Saving money, and monitoring budgets, can be hard work, particularly when you’ve got a family to provide for.
Is it really possible for families to be frugal without losing their minds? Absolutely!
We love frugal tips at SAHM. In fact it’s the very core of our attitude when it comes to families and spending. Being frugal doesn’t always need to be about missing out, sometimes, it’s about making smart choices now, for rewards later. Here are some of our favourite frugal tips.
Let us know yours as well!
How to Save Money on Food
1. Shop Seasonally and Locally
Hit your local farmers market and get an idea of what’s in season, that’s where the savings are. Even better, go to the markets about an hour before they close, farmers often don’t want to take any unsold produce home and reduce the price – so grab the good deals!
2. Cook From Scratch
Convenience foods can be handy, but they eat up your money fast. Anything, from pasta sauce to muffin bars, can easily be made at home for less.
3. Use Everything Up!
Avoid throwing away money through food waste. Make stock from chicken bones and save vegetable pieces for stock, stews or compost. Even keeping the crusts of the bread and keeping them together in the freezer can be made into stuffing. Before you throw it out – think about how you can use it up.
4. Menu Plan
Sit down and properly figure out what you’ll be eating for the week, fortnight or month. This makes it easier to shop effectively, waste less, and trim excess.
5. Don’t Go In-between Shopping
Work hard to get everything you need in one shop. Going to the shop in-between generally results in more money spent unnecessarily.
6. Price Up Meals
Take some time to price up your favourite family meals and think about how you can cut the serving cost down. Under $10 meals can be delicious, check out our Under $10 Recipes!
7. Always Look At Unit Prices
When shopping don’t get caught up in the overall price, look at the unit price and then compare.
8. Buy In Bulk
Buy in bulk if you can, either online or locally. Also if something you use regularly is on sale, buy in bulk and store it.
Have a few meatless nights in a week. Meat is expensive, but it can be easily and nutritionally replaced with beans, legumes and hearty vegetables. A couple of delicious meat-free recipes that are family friendly include:
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
- Stuffed Capsicums
- Mushroom Risotto
- Easy Corn Quiche
10. Start A Vegetable Garden
If you have green space, use it to grow some vegetables. Look at quick yield items like eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers. No space? Grow herbs on your balcony.
11. Share And Swap
When you start growing vegetables, network with others around you for useful swaps. Got chickens? Swap eggs for vegetables or vice versa.
12. Avoid Snack Size
Kids love ‘snack size’ items, but they’re a black hole in the budget. Buy big and then split up at home, saving your wallet and the environment.
13. Double Up And Freeze
When you’re making a family favourite, double all the ingredients and then freeze the leftovers. This stops you from opting for takeaway on a lazy day.
14. Slowcook Cheap Cuts
Choose cheaper cuts of meat and then whack them in the slowcooker for juicy, tender and delicious meals at low costs.
Spend a day with your kids, or by yourself, in the kitchen making a week, fortnight or month of bread, pasta sauce or snacks that can be frozen to save on convenience food purchases.
Challenge yourself to use everything in your fridge and pantry one week, potentially saving hundreds on shopping that week.