Thursday, December 11, 2008

Feeding your family on a budget

Many people think that if you use coupons you only eat "junk" food. I want to prove that isn't true. In our family one of my daughters cannot have dairy, soy, or gluten. Another one of my daughters is sensitive and we have to avoid artificial dyes and flavors. Yet I still manage to feed my family on a relatively small budget!! Coupons are a major way I have found to stretch our money. You can find coupons for almost everything you need. I have emailed companies to compliment their products and to ask for coupons. You can receive many organic product coupons this way!! is another great place to find healthy coupons. Internet coupons are a land mine of bargains!!
We are a homeschooling family and my husband works next door to our house so he's home for all meals too. Planning three meals a day for 6 people ( the baby can't eat yet!) that doesn't cost an arm and a leg takes some work! Here's what works for me. At the beginning of every month I look at our calendar and plan out our meals breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I try to keep it simple by assigning certain foods to certain days, for example Monday night is chicken night, Tuesday is soup night, etc. For lunch we try to use leftovers, but I also have a lunch plans for the days we don't have leftovers. Breakfast is also planned, if one of the kids don't like what's planned they eat cereal.
Another way I feed us on a budget is eating from our stockpile. When I find something we like at a rock bottom price I stock up!! I buy enough to last us 12 weeks or more if it doesn't go on sale often. My goal is to never pay full price for our food!! It takes a little while to get stocked but once you are the savings are amazing!! I am hoping to get a full six months to a years worth of food and household needs. Once you have a stockpile you can then decide how much you're willing to pay for things. An example is I won't buy shampoo,toothpaste, deodorant, razors, and body wash. The only way those come home with me is if it's free!! I also won't pay more than $.50 for frozen vegetables, $1 for 5lb of sugar, free yeast, or $.99 for pasta sauce. It's a great feeling to know you don't have to shop if you don't want too.

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