Frugal Food Options

pizza Recently I heard about a family that was spending more than $500 a week at the grocery store. The thing is that this was a family of three, and the price didn’t include diapers and some of the other baby-related purchases that can raise the weekly grocery cost, since those were purchased separately. Now, I don’t know the details of their shopping list, but $2,000 a month seems a bit steep for two adults and one toddler.

Both parents work, which makes it difficult for them to cook from scratch. I suggested the use of a crock pot or freezer cooking on the weekends, but the mom didn’t think that would ever work for them. They are taking a step in the right direction by choosing to eat at home instead of out, but their food bill still needs to get under control. Here are some of my suggestions.

Eliminate the cold cereal in favor of hot cereal. Hot cereal really doesn’t take much to prepare. Three to five minutes on the stove will make a warm filling breakfast that cost much less than cold cereal. The family should avoid those instant packets, if they want to save money.

Take advantage of rice. Rice can be a healthy and filling part of a meal. Again, rice doesn’t take much time to cook. Making a double batch and freezing it can work well for a busy family.

Beans are another good option. Try beans instead of meat for dinner. While the family would save the most by using dried beans, canned beans are still an inexpensive option and may be more convenient.

Skip the frozen pizza. In some cases, frozen pizza can cost more than the pizza you buy at the pizzeria. The dimensions of those frozen pizzas are shrinking too, leaving you no choice but to make two or three of them in order to feed your family. While I am a big believer in making your own dough, refrigerated dough at the grocery store combined with a can of store brand pizza sauce and some bulk cheese can be a more frugal choice than the frozen pizza.

What other suggestions would you give to this family?

Mary Ann Romans.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com

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