Buying in Bulk Is The Way to Go To Feed A Family on Budget
Feeding an entire family on a budget can be hard, whether you are a stay-at-home mom, the breadwinner of them family, or both you and your spouse work. Figuring out a good balance between meats and vegetables without breaking the pocket book is a skill. One of the ways that I make it work is by buying in bulk on sale and dividing it up into personal sizes. This helps to reduce waste, over eating, and can really help with meal planning.
I usually buy my vegetables at Kroger’s, I find that the quality of produce versus the price is the best on the island. For meat though, I shop around between Randall’s, Walmart, and Kroger looking for the best prices. After a little while if doing this I’ve learned when the stores have their sales.
Know When The Sales Are
Our Wal-Mart usually has a mid-month sale and Randall’s has one at the end of the month. Kroger’s is kind of all over the place though, sometimes I get lucky and find some amazing deals but most times not. What I look for is meat that is closer to its sell by date, these are usually marked down to help them sell quickly, if they expire the store loses money. If the store offers a reward card, sign up for it, they usually have rewards of some kind and special prices. This can help you get the best deals. You can get double the meat for the same price this way. Once you’ve bought it you can cook it that night or put it in the freezer and save it for another night.
For instance, my Randall’s will have a BOGO sell on the family pack of ground meat at the end of the month, just about every month. Now this pack is still about thirty dollars on its own, but you get a second one for free. This equals about twenty pounds of ground beef for thirty dollars making it .67 cents per pound. That is less than a dollar a pound! I then get home and divide it up into the proper portion sizes and freeze those in individual freezer safe baggies to be removed at a future date. This can last my family of three up to two months, depending on how often I want to make recipes that have ground beef in them.
Buying Meat in Bulk for a Family
If you are a meal prepper buying in bulk for the month can make things much easier on you. Not just for meat but with vegetables as well. The things to look for are buy two get one free sales or specials that the stores are running for their card members. I like Kroger’s for this part best, their produce is a little more but the point system is better for getting discounts on gas. The Kroger’s in my town will have a mix and match sale of 10 for $10 on the frozen vegetables. I’ll go through and buy two bags of broccoli, corn, carrots, mixed veggies, and a few other things. I get twenty bags of vegetables for twenty dollars, making the vegetables a dollar a pound. These vegetables will be enough to last us about two months with our portion sizes.
Now, you will need to adjust this to fit your family and your needs, but if you used a pound of meat and a pound of vegetables for each meal, you can have twenty meals for about $1.67 per meal. This doesn’t include anything else you would want to add to the meal but it lowers the cost of the meal drastically. It can take a little work in the beginning, but once you get the timing of the sales down it becomes very easy to save your family a lot of money on your grocery budget without having to sacrifice quality. Making sure your family gets the best nutrition for the best prices! Here is a quick and budget friendly recipe that I like to use for nights that I don’t have a lot of time to devote to dinner:
Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. It serves four people and here are the ingredients.
- 1 pound of meat divided into four patties
- 1 pound of veggies (I like to use a mixture of broccoli and kale)
- 4 potatoes peeled and cut up
- Salt and other seasonings to taste
Take one cut up potato and mix in the ¼ a pound of your vegetables, place this mixture on a large piece of foil. Add in salt and other seasonings to your taste (I like to add some red pepper to give it a little kick)
Place one meat patty on top of the vegetable medley and fold the pieces of foil over the meat. Placing the meat on top helps the grease flow down over the rest of the vegetables to help make sure they are cooked all the way through.
Cook at 400* for about 30-40 minutes, depending on how done you like your meat. Peel back the foil and enjoy.
Also check eMaxHealth reporter Sarah Smith's story on how she feeds her family of 10 on a 100 dollars a week.