My husband and I set our grocery budget at $500 a month. The only issue is: we have four children. 🙂 So every month, I work hard to make sure we can get our groceries for $500 or less (preferably less).
As homeschoolers living on one income, we simply cannot afford to eat out often. But I don’t have time to make a lot of our foods from scratch.
Nevertheless, we still manage to feed our family of six for $500 a month. Read on to see how we feed a family of six on a budget!
How I Feed a Family of Six on a Budget
1. Stick to a budget.
The key word in “on a budget” is budget. We’ve had to be hardliners about how much money we’ll spend on groceries each month. Each month, I stick to $500 or ($110 per week). If I have extra at the end of the month, we splurge on a little something.
To stick to the budget, I cannot go shopping without a list. And I cannot go shopping with children who beg for everything in sight. So I always make sure to get at least one “treat” for them, even if it’s a bag of generic graham crackers. That usually keeps them satisfied.
2. Use a list of “go-to” meals.
This tip isn’t even really about sticking with our budget. This one was born out of my frustration with not knowing what to make every night. 🙂
I started with a list of seven dinners that I know my family likes (and that fit our budget), then I tried a few more until I had fourteen. Now I have a list of 28 “go-to” dinners that I know fit our budget and are easy to make and my kids will eat. (Fish and grits, red beans and rice, and beef stroganoff are staples around here.) I don’t have to stress about what to make and I don’t have to worry that I’ll break our grocery budget.
3. Buy in advance.
If I see an awesome price on meat, I just buy it right then, even if I’m not cooking something that uses it that week. That’s what freezers are for, right? I can’t stock our freezer too much, because it’s small, but when I have meat or fish up there, I can generally find an inexpensive meal to use it in.
Do you have any tips for how to feed a family of six on a budget? Share them in the comments!
This post is part of the “Feeding the Homeschool Family” linkup from iHomeschool Network! Click on over to read even more meal ideas from our fellow bloggers!
Leigh Lawrence says
In our family of five I research EVERY possible option for saving money–using coupons; price matching; stocking up on items on sale; reviewing grocery store sale ads etc. Similar to you, we are on a budget with one income as well but what has really helped us is cooking our foods. I know you mentioned your limited time but we save quite a bit of money with cooking/preparing food that I do not have to purchase including broth, bbq sauce, granola cereal, almond milk etc. Preparing/cooking our own foods takes a huge chunk of time but I get all of my kids in the kitchen with me to help. It also helps that my husband loves to cook so he cooks on the weekends while I cook during the week.
Do you shop at farmer’s markets? For fresh vegetables our regular stops are DeKalb Farmer’s Market, Sprouts, H-Mart and the state farmer’s market in Forest Park. I also have a membership at Costco and will purchase chicken and fish at very reasonable prices (99 cents and $6.50 a pound respectively). At my husband’s job there is a vendor who comes twice a week to sell fresh fruits and vegetables at discounted prices many of which are organic items. We actually barter home-made baked desserts with him because I love to bake :-). For example he will sell my husband 6 pounds of bananas for .39/pound and I will make him a cake or muffins. Does your church sell fresh produce? Our church recently started selling fresh vegetables and fruits on Saturdays—their own version of a “farmer’s market” which helps us save quite a bit.
I use to spend 175 a week on groceries and it’s just 4 of us. I have managed to cut it down to 120 but it’s been hard. I admit I don’t use coupons but I do buy whats on sale. I think it’s because I have to send the school with lunch and I make breakfast during the summer months we eat breakfast so late that they rarely get a lunch.
Christine @BecomingChristineSmith.com says
YES, meal planning is a MUST. We are a family of 8. I manage our meals on Google calendar and stock up when things are on sale. I have a highly rated ebook about meal planning that you might like – it’s on Amazon. http://amzn.to/1PXwOm5
Shar-ann Simpson says
We coupon and use couponing sites for best deals. We get a lot of free things and stock-up when we find those deals. We have a family of five so with one income we really have limited funds saving is essential.
I am only buying for myself, but I still understand the struggle of trying to keep the grocery budget down! It is hard! My best tip is to try to find mark-down items: produce or baked goods near their date that might be marked down, or dented cans…stuff like that. Its a great way to get a cheaper price on items that normally have nothing wrong with the actual food!
Thanks for sharing your tips at the Weekend Wind-Down party! =)
Selena Robinson says
Thanks for hosting! And yes, finding things that are close to the date is a great tip! I do that with meat all the time. It freezes just fine. 🙂