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I have a confession. I don't use coupons anymore. Ok well I use some, and if I see some good deals at the drugstore I'll jump on them but really for groceries, I'm lucky to remember my list much less my coupons. I haven't used coupons since I was pregnant with baby #4 in my 1st trimester when I was constantly sick, and it was a miracle to get out of the house to even shop much less put effort into it. I did do the whole extreme couponing thing but I didn't have the time anymore. So I went on the hunt for cheap meals for large families because I am feeding a family on a budget!
Feeding a Family on a Budget – How I Feed My Family of 6 on $200 a Month – Cheap Meals for Large Families
The first thing I did was read this book from America's Cheapest Family, Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America's Cheapest Family: Includes So Many Innovative Strategies You Won't Have to Cut Coupons. I started implementing different tactics and started asking other ‘large families' and here is what I do.
How am I feeding a family on a budget with 6 people for under $200 a month without that crazy extreme couponing? I have developed a system that works perfectly for our family. Here are my steps incorporate what will work for you and watch your grocery budget shrink!
Take a tally of what is in your fridge, freezer, and pantry. I make a list, so I have it as I sit down to make my list and menu plan. No need to buy ketchup if you already have a bottle in the pantry.
Menu plan around what you have in your pantry already. This doesn't have to be strict but a list of dinners for the week/month. I only plan dinners, but you can do breakfast and lunch to whatever works for you. We plan for an entire month at a time.
If you struggle with menu planning and finding cheap meals for large families I HIGHLY recommend the $5 Dinners Menu Planning when feeding a family on a budget. The meal on this menu plan cost $5 a meal.
Add beans to stretch your meals! We love beans. Mix them in taco meat, burgers and more to stretch your meat.
We have breakfast for dinner once a week. Pancakes, french toast, waffles, omelets, blueberry cupcake bites, and more are all cheap, and the kids love it! Find more easy breakfast recipes here on The Frugal Navy Wife and make sure to check out our 40 breakfast for dinner ideas.
Use up your leftovers. We have a leftovers night once a week. Use up the leftovers and make a few sides to go with them. Use this and the tips above and you have almost half your week of menu planning done. Leftovers are great for lunches as well.
Make Lunch for the Week
Take a lunch to work or if you stay home, this works too. You can make sandwiches for lunch for the week, and freeze them. Then all you have to do it pull out the sandwiches for the day and go. You can also make bacon and put it in the fridge and make BLTs, Think outside the box!
Make Breakfast for the Week
I also try to make breakfast for the week, so it's grab and go. I make things like bread and muffins. You can make pancakes and waffles and freeze them between wax paper. You can set aside baggies, pre-portioned, ready to be made.
Limit Shopping Trips
We go grocery shopping once a month. I do a month long menu plan, and we grab everything we need. We have a deep freezer and a stand-up freezer to allow us to do this. All we just have to grab produce and more milk mid-month. We freeze our milk so we can buy in bulk. The logic behind this is it also limits the amount of impulse spending.
Make Cheap Meals for Large Families by Making it Yourself
Don't go for the convenience foods, make it yourself to save money. Pizza crust, garlic bread, rolls, flavored rice, pasta sauce, jams, apple sauce. These can all be made yourself and save money doing so! Pizza crust can be made in bulk and frozen. We make a huge batch of pasta sauce and use it on pizza as well. Each fall we make jams and applesauce for the year and can them as well. See the 7 items we stopped buying and started making to save money.
I am a Wife, mom to 4 kids, homeschool mom, blogger, social media junkie, Frugalista, Book Worm, and Closet Want-to-be Chef. We are a Roadschool family (homeschooling on the road while traveling fulltime).
I grew up learning ways to save from my mom and grandma. I started my own coupon journey when my first child was born in 2009 and started the blog on 2010 when baby #2 was born to share my tips with everyone who kept asking about how I was getting diapers for $1 a pack!
Click here to learn more about starting a blog.
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