The question goes… How do you feed all of those kids? How do you afford it? Okay, we did not wake up one day and go from 2 people to 13 people. Granted it is a lot of people to feed, especially with so many boys that are teenagers. I am so used to preparing a large meal in 30 minutes to feed anywhere from 13 to 15 people. I have learned through the years that tools in the kitchen are one of the secrets. The other secrets are having some type of meal plan. I have another post on 1 way to look at meal planning.
It depends on what season of life I am in. When I was pregnant all the time with babies in tote I had very simple meals. I am a big fan of rotation meals. What I mean by that is you have a menu planned for 2 or 3 weeks of what your family likes and then rotate them. This is very simple and keeps down on confusion for children. Too many choices create conflict and discontentment in children. I am not a mom who calls everyone to dinner and a child say, “yuk, I don’t want that.” They know this is not okay. No, our children know that if the person preparing the food took the time to make it then they at least have to try it. I do not cook different meals for people. We all eat the same thing. Our children were taught that from the beginning. I give them opportunities to take turns picking out their favorite meal for birthdays and special events.
Tips on Grocery Budgeting:
- Take inventory of what your family likes and eats in 1-2 weeks.
- Take inventory of what is in your pantry, freezer, and deep freezer.
- Make fillers (potatoes, pasta, and rice) for meals in all sort of different ways.
- Keep certain foods on hand at all times so that you can whip up a quick meal and not be tempted to eat out.
- Keep your menu simple by using the rotation menu.
- When trying new recipes make it a goal for 1 or 2 times weekly. I have found trying a lot of new recipes at once can hurt your budget because you don’t have those items on hand.
- After following steps 1 & 2 you will be able to shop sales and clip coupons.
- Know where your best deals are so you can plan accordingly.
Example of grocery list for week:
5 gallons of milk
7 loaves of bread
2 containers of bagels
3 butters with 4 sticks in the box
2 packages of tortillas
2 large bags of veggies to cook or steam
1-2 Bags of nuts
2 family size boxes of cereal
2 packages of chicken at 5 lbs a piece
2 packages of cream cheese
5 packages of shredded cheese
4 large cans of cream soups
2 jars of alfredo sauce
2 large cans of green beans
1 large head of lettuce
1 Romaine lettuce
1 bunch of celery
1 large bag of potatoes
fruits in season
I usually buy condiments every other week. That list is what I will go through in 1 week. I will add that our boys are hunters hence deer meat. We get our deer meat packaged like hamburger meat. So I save a considerable amount of savings there. We have our own chickens so I get eggs daily. However, I do have to buy chicken feed.
We budget for groceries and some weeks I will not have the same amount of money I had a week ago. I also take a calculator in the store with me and my list so I can stay on track. I also pray before I go shopping. We do not eat expensive meat like steaks or pot roast because it is not in our budget. If a pot roast is on sale I do not buy it because 1 pot roast will not feed all of us.
I hope some of these tips with a sample grocery list has helped. Knowing your family and what they like and what you go through weekly is a great start for budgeting your food. Happy grocery shopping:)