Other tips for stretching the food dollar:
Eat less food. Don't wait until you feel full to stop eating. Put your fork down when you no longer feel hungry. It takes time for that food to hit your stomach and give you the feeling of being full, but once your brain realizes it has some good food in your stomach, it will turn off the hunger signals. You will eat less food, thus saving money, and perhaps loose a couple pounds in the process.
Avoid processed foods. Although that convenience food made look delightful on the box, it is full of extra fat, flavorings, fillers and chemicals that you don't really want. You are paying for the convenience of the quick, no-brainer prep, but if you learn some basic cooking skills, you will realize that you can make something from scratch in about the same amount of time. It just takes a bit of planning ahead to have the right ingredients on hand.
Set daily food budget challenges for yourself. I do this often, especially when the finances are extra tight. I will set a goal to feed our family of 8 for only $10 per day. I have to tell you that this is a bit challenging and takes some creativity. I set a goal of $5 for dinner, $2 or less each for breakfast and lunch which leaves $1 for snacks. Unfortunately, my children can blow the snack budget with just a piece of fruit each.
If you want to try this, here are some blogs with budget conscious recipes:
- 30 Bucks a Week – a couple living in New York City living on $30 per week in groceries.
- $5 Dinners – Just like the name implies. Also includes, tips, meal planning, and online coupon links.
- Budget Bytes – Frugal recipes with costs listed.
- Broke and Healthy – Cheap, healthy recipes with costs listed.
- Homespun and Cheap – Economical homemade meals
I would love to hear from you. What are some of your ways to stretch your food dollars? I'm certain that there are many great ideas that I haven't even begun to touch upon. Leave a comment and share your stories.