You can feed your family healthy meals on a budget. I’ll show you my family grocery budget and show how I fed my family of 5 for only $25 in one week.
Trying to feed your large family healthy meals on a budget feels like you’re trying to find a magical unicorn.
Nearly impossible some days.
But this shouldn’t have to be your case, in fact, my hope is this blog post will inspire and help you with your own family’s grocery budget.
In all honesty, we don’t like the idea of paying crazy amounts every week at the grocery store. Or any store for that matter.
Life seems like for every dollar you make, you’re spending five! And when you have little children running around who decide to eat the house because they’re going through a growth spurt…heaven help you.
$25/Week Dinner Challenge – Feed Your Family of 5 for $25 | The Family Grocery List on a Budget
I want you to know that you CAN feed your family healthy meals on a budget. Doing this is a lot easier than you think, because, honestly, the last thing you need is more stress in your life.
First, I want to share with you tips that I use every week to save our family hundreds of dollars. Then, I’ll give you a peek into one of our week’s $25 grocery trips.
Tips for Making Meals on a Budget
1. Use What You Have
One of the best things you can do to save money is to use what you already have in the cupboards.
Once a month (when my youngest is napping), I take my older children and we do an inventory of the food we have in the home. We throw away expired foods and organize what we have left.
After the kids have seen the food, I ask them what meals they think we should make.
Sometimes their ideas are a bit crazy (for example, we love spaghetti and our daughter decided that we should make cake), but other times, those who eat your food will let you know which meals they love.
By using the food you have already in your home, you’re saving yourself a TON of money versus buying new.
If you find that you have a lot of white rice in your cupboards, check to see if you have some frozen peas and chicken to make a cheap stir-fry. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity.
2. Creativity Goes A Long Way
Be as creative with your meals as you’d like. For example, going back to the white rice in your cupboard idea; have you ever eaten rice with country gravy? AMAZING! Throw on some pineapple, chicken, and chow mein noodles and you have Hawaiian Haystacks.
The best way to be creative with the food you have, without spending more money, is to ask yourself, how can I make this meal filling and enjoyable without spending more than I need?
Remember, having spaghetti sauce with your noodles is a need. Buying a $4 baguette (although very tempting) is a want, especially when you can make bread at home.
3. Don’t Eat Out
Have you ever tallied the amount of money you spend eating out each month? How about the money you spend unexpectedly (such as a “quick trip to the grocery store”)?
This tip does take a bit of practice and self-control, but don’t spend your money on things you didn’t budget for, especially when you don’t need them.
Yes, ordering pizza would be so much easier than making a meal, we’ve all been there before. But at the end of the month, your wallet will be thanking you (and you’ll be saving a ton of money).
4. Make From Scratch
What do you eat throughout the week that could be made by taking a few minutes to make from scratch, rather than store-bought?
You definitely don’t have to start living the life of a pioneer and start churning your butter. But there are some foods you can easily make from scratch that won’t take a ton of time away from your already crazy schedule.
One of my favorite recipes is alfredo sauce. All you need is butter, flour, and milk. You can make this recipe more flavorful by adding parmesan cheese, garlic seasoning, or anything else your family might enjoy.
And speaking of family…
5. Involve Family Members
Don’t do this alone!
Please don’t feel like YOU have to be the only one to make these changes.
Involve your family when planning and preparing meals. Little children can easily put forks and spoons on the table. Older kids and teens can help cook some basic foods.
Give yourself and your family permission to help you in the kitchen.
6. Save $$$ At The Grocery Store
One last way to save money is at the grocery store. One of the best things you can do is plan the meals you’ll be making by what’s on sale.
Look through your store’s ad to see what’s on sale and think of meals you can make.
For example, if they’re having a sale on peppers, then you can definitely have a fajita night. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.
If you get stuck on ideas, ask your family for help.
As you use the food you already have, involve your family, save money by not eating out, take a few minutes to make food from scratch, and shop smartly by using the store’s ad, you’ll be on your way to eating healthy (and cheaply) on a small budget.
As promised, here is my family’s menu for our $25 week (with our family of 5) by using the same principles we just discussed.
Sunday: Salad Night (lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, croutons, dressing, chicken)
Monday: Crescent Dogs (crescent rolls, hot dogs)
Tuesday: Biscuits & Gravy with scrambled eggs
Wednesday: Spaghetti, Meatballs & Homemade Rolls
Thursday: Chicken, Stuffing, Veggie
Friday: Waffles or pancake night
Saturday: Chillie Dogs & Homemade French Fries
Leave a comment below and let us know what your family’s favorite go-to meal is on your crazy nights.