We’ve all been there: pay day is still a week away and you only have $20 to your name. This might feel like a reason to panic, but the truth is, you have options. There are certain tips and tricks you can implement so you can make that $20 go its very farthest and get the most grocery bang for your buck. Take a look at these tip on how to get the most groceries for your dollar. So you can be sure to stretch your food budget the best you can until pay day arrives.
Purchase rice in bulk.
A 2 pound bag of rice will cost you about $2, especially if you buy generic. Rice is perfect for stuffing in tortillas, adding to casseroles, or serving as a side dish. You can even add some milk and sugar to it for rice pudding, and inexpensive dessert idea. ($2)
Purchase beans in bulk.
Consider a 2 pound bag of beans, perfect for using as a side dish, in soups or stews, or add them to wraps. They are full of protein, taste great, and cost pennies per serving. Just soak them to soften them and then cook to your liking. ($2)
Canned vegetables may cost less than fresh.
It can be hard to find fresh produce at a great price. If you can grab cucumbers or peppers for under $1 each grab them. If not, you may be better off buying canned. Head to a store such as Walmart or FreshCo where you can grab canned tomatoes, green beans, corn and peas for less than .80 cents a can. ($3)
Apples and bananas are your cheapest fruit option.
If you thought fresh vegetables were expensive, fresh fruit can be even worse! When you’re on a budget, fresh bananas and apples are your best options. Simple red lunch box apples run about .25 cents each, while bananas are around .70 cents per pound. This is a great way to get the fruit your body needs while staying on budget. ($3)
Powdered drink mixes are pennies per serving.
Beverages can be pricey, so instead, opt for water dressed up with a drink packet if you’re wanting something other than plain water. You can find powered drink mixes for pennies per serving. For calcium, milk may be pricey so opt for a few yogurt cups at .50 cents or so each. ($2)
Chicken will be your most budget friendly choice of meat.
You can often find chicken wings, drumsticks or thighs for a low price so this is your most budget friendly option. Dress them up with salad dressing or simple olive oil and salt and pepper. Some other cheap “meat” 😉 options include deli meat and of course, hot dogs. ($5)
Opt for day old bread choices.
Visit the day old bread store or raid the clearance bin at your local grocer for bread items under $1. Bread is perfect for sandwiches, making garlic bread, making croutons, etc. Plus if you find a great deal on it, you can freeze it. ($3)
Don’t let pay day being days away keep you from eating well. Keep these tips in mind for how to make the most of your grocery budget between pay days and see how much they can help!
How do you make your grocery budget stretch in between pay days?
I love this list of 15 Things You Didn’t know You Could Freeze from Money Saving Mom. Food waste is such a big budget buster so this is a great read!
I’m always looking for great dollar stretcher tips for our grocery budget and thought I’d share some of my favorites with you. These are great ways to make simple grocery items go further, therefore saving you money on your grocery budget. I love being able to feed my family great meals they love, but still stay on budget and meet our financial goals. 🙂
Dollar Stretcher Tips For Grocery Budgets
Add powdered milk to your milk.
If you’re feeling more adventurous this idea may be for you! (However, you may find you get used to the taste pretty quickly.) Split your 4L jug of milk into two cartons. Prepare a gallon of powdered milk and divide between the two now half gallons of milk. Mix together and use as normal. Powdered milk is much less expensive and mixing like this will still taste the same while saving you money on one of the most often purchased and used items for a family budget.
Add beans to more than just soups and chili.
Dry beans are always super cheap and easy to cook in a slow cooker or Instant Pot. I love making large batches of pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans and garbanzo beans then putting them in 2-cup portion bags to use in everything from soups and chili, to mashing into my ground meat for spaghetti, tacos or casseroles. They take on most flavors they are seasoned with, and their texture is great for all kinds of dishes. This can make one pound of ground meat go twice as far in a casserole or soup!
Don’t fear using carbohydrates.
Starches and carbohydrates tend to have a bad reputation, but as long as you are including a lot of great nutrient-dense vegetables into your diet as well it’s not a bad thing to include things like rice and potatoes as a base for casseroles. Rice and potatoes are a great dollar stretcher for almost any meal. In fact, roasted potatoes, green beans, and roasted chicken is one of the easiest and cheapest meals you can make for your family. It’s healthy, satisfying and easy to manage. The potatoes add bulk to the meal without being high fat or unhealthy, and they are so cheap it makes your meal very affordable.
Batch cook your meals.
You may wonder how or why this can be considered a dollar stretcher for your grocery budget, but it really is a great way to save. When you buy larger quantities of meats and produce, you often save a significant amount of money. Next time you find chicken, pork or beef on sale in large “family sized” packages don’t hesitate to grab them, then cook in simple ways and portion to freeze. Chicken can be roasted and cubed for everything from salads and soups to casseroles or fajitas. Pork shoulders can be roasted and pulled for use in BBQ, casseroles or tacos. Batch cooking meats, produce and even whole meals and freezing for future use saves you time, money and tons of frustration each evening when you need to throw a simple meal together fast.
These are great dollar stretcher ideas for your grocery budget. Just a few simple changes can save you hundreds of dollars in grocery expenses over the course of a year.
How do you make ordinary grocery items stretch further? Let us know in the comments below!
As the saying goes, ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. So while this is true, it can also be the least expensive and easiest meal to make of the day. With using items like sausage, veggies, eggs, and other ingredients that are easily accessible, you can easily make breakfast for the whole family for under $5.
Here are my favourite Healthy Breakfast Ideas for under $5:
- Greek Yogurt and Fruit – You can usually pick up a tub of Greek Yogurt for under $4. Use some frozen fruit and maple syrup for a topping and you have a delicious breakfast.
- French Toast – One of my family’s favorite meals is French toast… for breakfast or dinner ;). For some reason, we can’t get enough of it. I don’t mind because using whole wheat, I can make the French toast semi-healthy! We add fruit topping or peanut butter instead of real maple syrup sometimes.
- Banana with Peanut Butter – Is there anything more delicious than bananas and peanut butter? I think not! It also makes for a very filling breakfast for little ones. If your child doesn’t like bananas, try cutting up an apple for them. Delicious, healthy, and simple!
- Breakfast burritos – Using low carb or whole wheat tortillas, mix up eggs, salsa, and cheese to make a yummy breakfast concoction.
- Oatmeal – The lovely thing about oatmeal is that you can make it simple and healthy. Oatmeal is cheap and can feed a lot of people at one time. I’ve got three great recipes for oatmeal: Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal, Chunky Monkey Oatmeal or Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets.
- Fruit salad – One of my favorite healthy meals for under $5 is taking all the leftover fruit in the fridge and mixing it together to create a fruit salad. Sometimes I add a bit of yogurt on top. Yum!
- Veggie omelet – A dozen eggs can be bought for a little over $2. Make a yummy veggie omelet to feed your family a healthy meal for under $5.
- Sausage and Eggs – Keep breakfast simple by making sausage and eggs for your breakfast of choice. My family never complains about this meal.
- Homemade banana muffins – If you have old bananas in your possession, make some muffins out of them. A simple breakfast that will save you money! These are my most favourite Banana Chocolate Chip muffins.
These 9 healthy breakfast ideas for under $5 will help you stay on budget and keep you feeling great all day long. It’s easy to swing through the drive thru and get caught up in a $20 breakfast for the family. But instead, it’s just as easy to make your own breakfast at home for $5 (and stay in your pajamas!).
What healthy breakfast ideas do you have for under $5?
Are you trying to ensure your family is eating healthy? A meal plan is the best way to plan your meals and keep everything as healthy as possible. Many people can attest to the fact that healthy meals can seem way more expensive to make than regular meals. Today, I’d love to show you how to make an inexpensive healthy meal plan.
How to Make an Inexpensive Healthy Meal Plan
Buy or make a cheap calendar
First of all, the best plan of action is to write your meal plan down. It’s nearly impossible to stick with a plan unless it’s written down. I like to use a traditional calendar to write out what we will have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Once you have a place to write down what you will make, you can move on to the next step.
Make a list of healthy foods your family likes
I have learned (by trial and error :)) that you will save money by buying what you know your family will eat. If your family loves bananas, apples and carrots, then spend your money buying those delicious fruits and vegetables. You can always try adding one new fruit or vegetable a week in small quantities.
Create a list of healthy meals that are inexpensive
The only way to create an inexpensive healthy meal plan is to make a list. Make a list of all the healthy meals you can think of that keep you on a budget. You may want to put google or Pinterest to use helping you find ideas. I also really like Budget Bytes for recipes! In my household, we try to stick to a main dish, veggie side, and rice/potato side. This helps keep things on budget and simple. For example, barbecued chicken with a side of mixed veggies and baked potato.
Make a shopping list
When you are meal planning healthy meals, you need a shopping list. You don’t want to forget what you need to buy and it helps keep you accountable to eat the healthy meals that you’re planning. A shopping list will help you save your sanity. Write a note in your phone or jot it down on a piece of paper. Depending on the store you shop at, you can even make a shopping list in the store app.
Stay on budget
When you’re planning an inexpensive healthy meal, try to stay on budget. You can do the math of what a meal will cost before you even head to the store. This will help you know how much you need to spend before you even spend it. For example, chicken is $3.99 a pound and you need 3 pounds to make this week’s meals. That’s rounded to $12, which can make about 2 meals for a family of 4.
There you have it, the steps to making an inexpensive healthy meal plan for your family. Take your time, create a budget, and plan each meal out. The most important part is sticking to the meal plan that you took the time to create.
If you really struggle with the idea of creating a meal plan, try out $5 Meal Plan. It happens to be my favorite meal planning service. It’s just $5 a month (the first two weeks are free!), and you get menu plans sent straight to your email along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. Each meal costs around $2 per person or less. This service allows you to save time because you won’t have to meal plan anymore, and it will save you money as well! If you are interested in joining for free, click here.
Do you have any tips to add? Let me know all your inexpensive meal plan secrets in the comments below!