Of course, if it was just you and your spouse it wouldn’t be nearly as difficult. But what we’re talking about here is a family of four on 100 bucks a week. And that’s not easy, particularly in today’s economy where some food prices are soaring. But try a few of these tips that we’ve assembled because we’re confident they will help.
For starters, and we know this sounds pretty basic, but plan your meals for the week in advance. Going to the grocery store without a list or a meal plan will put you over budget faster than you can say Hostess Twinkies. The average American visits a grocery store more than two-times per week; try to limit your visit just one time.
Next, and this is just as obvious, spend a little time doing some research and shop the sales. Grocery stores spend a lot of money on their weekly circulars and email campaigns. Many websites like www.couponmom.com, http://lozo.com/grocery-coupons-bundler and www.coupons.com will do the research for you.
Bypass convenience stores and convenience foods. Convenience stores can be as much as 30-40% higher than a grocery store on matching products. But in a grocery store, be well aware that what the trade calls HMR, which is Home Meal Replacement, is one of the store’s goldmines in regard to profits. Resist the meatballs and prepared stroganoff; you’re going to pay a pretty penny for that type of convenience.
The big brands can also deliver big prices. And who can blame them? They most likely became big brands because of large advertising budgets. But those big brands don’t always taste that much better than the less expensive store brands. Private label products are huge in grocery stores today, so take advantage of their lower prices whenever possible.
Cheaper meats can be incredibly tasty. Large cuts of beef and pork for instance can be wonderfully delicious, particularly if you cook them low and slow and marinate them for an extra long period of time. Flank steak is extremely inexpensive but very flavorful, you just might need to marinate it overnight in this type of recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/marinated-flank-steak/. And larger cuts like a shoulder or an English Cut roast are remarkably tender when cooked in a crock pot.
So, there are your first 5 tips for feeding a family of four on a $100 per week budget. We’ll have 5 more tips for you next time.