How to buy groceries on a budget?

How is anyone affording grocies these days? I am a single mom who makes too much for food stamps so its just me and my three kids…i was spending about 1000 a month for food and snacks for the house but now with everything so high i am almost spending double that…i barely bring in 700 after taxes a week so i dont understand how i am making too much…i do get child support for one of the kids but it isnt much…help

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to buy groceries on a budget?

Meal planning helps!
I limit snacks - we limit processed foods really. But each child can pick one snack for the week, I have 2.
Other than that it’s fruits, veggies, whole foods…

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Meal prep. Shop sale flyers use multiple store and couponing

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We’ve cut out all soda, junk food, and I only buy enough fresh produce that we will use it all before it goes bad. I’ve been keeping certain leftovers n essentially making them something else. (I.e I made fried chicken lastnight, we had left overs so I threw them in the fridge for today skinned and shredded it and make a chicken soup) it’s been tough. Even food for our dogs have went up $8/bag.

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I feed a family of 4 on about 100-150 a week.

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Definitely meal prepping

Please check out the local food banks/pantries.

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You’re definitely NOT making too much
You’re probably not filling out the forms properly
In my area for a family of 4 the IRT is around $3,000 a month

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See if you can find a local food pantry to help

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Make meals that stretch like spaghettis, beans, gumbo’s, and learn how to make some treats. I am from South Louisiana so we have gumbo’s and other things not maybe cooked in other areas.
My mom used to make Kool aid and put a little pet milk in it. Then she would freeze it and make us freeze pops. You can freeze it in an ice tray and put toothpicks in it when it starts to firm up and then they will freeze in it. We had the old fashion Tupperware freeze pop makers.
When you buy snacks like chips or pretzels, limit how many they can have. Peanut butter is a great snack also.
Please go to your local food bank. A lot of times they will help you when you don’t qualify for EBT.

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Meal plan. Use veggies and fruit that are in season and meal plan around those. Try to buy meat in bulk especially when it’s on sale

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I have 3 kids, make $1600 a month, no child support and they say I make to much

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I do family 5 for 440 a month in groceries , and 240 in take out a month that 680 a month total …I use coupons, buy what’s on sale , rotate what I buy if I got 5 or more left one thing I don’t buy it again until its gone …I also go out state ( my state pa milk :milk_glass: almost $5 and I go hr to Ohio to kroger which is 2.79 even gas like .10 cheaper )

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Apply for food stamps again. The guidelines have changed. Also, if you have an Aldi in your area shop there. Are there food banks in your area? Most will help everyone.

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We’ve been eating breakfast for dinner, a lot of polish sausage in meals, canned chicken for chicken chili, grilled cheese, etc. ALDI has been a lifesaver

Food pantry. Aldis. Save a lot. Coupons. Store brands

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I found if I sat down each week and planned out meals, I could come up with a more efficient shopping list and wouldn’t purchase repeat items I already have in the cupboards. I also try to go with store brand products whenever possible. Coming up with meal ideas where leftovers can be repurposed for another meal or just used for lunches the next few days. Costco or Sam’s club might also be a good option where you can buy items you frequently use in bulk. Try to make more simple recipes. Pasta, rice and beans are good options. Ive even made packets of top ramen but add in a leftover porkchop or chicken cut up and crack a few eggs in it along with some stir fry frozen veggies. Check out your local churches or food pantries for food giveaways, they usually will include peanut butter, cheese, milk, cereal and canned veggies.

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Instead of buying pork chops already cut buy a pork loin and cut it in to chops yourself. I divide ours in to 4 chunks but with your smaller family you could probably get 5-6 and it costs less.

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DHS, churches, food banks, cut out snacks for the most part , dollar tree,save a lot, Aldi’s, sales most of all make things like goulash ,spaghetti, homemade scalloped potatoes, homemade beans tortillas rice and Taco meat, chilly and etc, . Some people do good at a Sam’s clue.

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Coupons. The answer is coupons. Only shop the sales. N0 junk food. Plan ahead. There are food pantries… you need to find them.

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There’s an app, I believe it’s called Flipp (I’m sorry, I’m at work so can’t verify atm), that shows all the sales and coupons in your area. Coupons help a ton!
If any of your children are under 5, you should try for WIC as well. It has different requirements than food stamps and can help supplement your monthly groceries. It’s not a whole lot, but it definitely helps.
In our area, dollar stores carry a lot of grocery and snack items.
Other than those, meal planning can make a big difference. When you buy snacks you can portion them out in baggies, to help your kids make them last longer.

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I do a menu and grocery list for 2 weeks at a time for paydays. I spend 200$ or less on all our grocery household needs. Today I set a budget for 200 and spent only 175$ so happy about it. Lol.

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We’ve been shopping at aldis and it’s saves us a lot of money

$1000 a month BEFORE inflation? Holy crap that’s a lot.

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Always make a list so you buy exactly what you need , knowing what you are going to cook ( food plans) might also help , and buy store brands

In my personal opinion target is the cheapest out there. We meal plan and it works so well for us. We also do snacks like string cheese, carrots, Graham crackers…not expensive at all. I cook a lot as I think precooked/box to microwave are more expensive. Name brands are always more expensive.

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Know your feeling it’s rough

One income equalling $1400. Me + my two kids.

(Also, I just got my job and haven’t even gotten my first paycheck yet. I do not receive food stamps and have applied six times in the past month and have gotten denied every time.)

I’ve found that buying meat in bulk and then rationing it saves me a ton of money. Ground turkey tastes just as good as beef and is cheaper and healthier. Rice goes well with almost every meal, and the big bags are cheap and you can season them so many ways. Don’t be afraid to buy off-brand; many are packaged in the same facilities as name-brand options. Only buy produce that’s in season. Check out the sale rack near bakeries/delis.

I also shop at Brookeshire’s. I’m not sure how common it is, or if it’s even in other states, but they have a FREE rewards system set up that helps me a LOT. Show them my store card when I check out and it takes money off my total order. They have their “member only” deals posted under nearly every item in the store. I could easily save $20 or more on a $200 order. It also gives me gas points every time I spend money there. $1 = 1 point. Every 100 points gives me 10 cents off a gallon at their gas station. I’ve gotten 1000 points saved up before and was able to get $1 off a gallon, so I filled my car up and saved even more money that way. Many grocery stores have deals like this, you should check out your local shops.

There’s also a grocery store about an hour from where I live that is a discount grocery store. Everything there is much cheaper than Target, Walmart or HEB. Look out for farmers markets, also, because those people are usually so friendly and will give you great deals on items in their stalls when you buy bulk.

:heart:

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That is way too much to spend on food. We are a family of five, 2 adults and 3 kids. I spent about $600 in May and $800 in June on food.
I shop at Aldi every two weeks for the necessities and inexpensive healthy snacks.
I’ll stop at Publix every 10 days depending on their sales or to pick up things I need to complete meals with what I have available.
I do not buy sweet (sugar) snacks unless they are on sale and I have a coupon.
I coupon for all other household and personal items.
I also meal plan and stick with my grocery list. My grocery list always starts with looking to see what I have on hand to make meals. I do not bring the kids or husband to the store with me. Sometimes I make more food than what’s needed and freeze for a lazy day. I’ve gotten into a schedule where I will make two meals for dinner then the third day will be leftovers for dinner if I didn’t freeze it. It might seem like a lot but once you see how much you’re saving it makes it easier to spend on eating out or on other things.

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Only buy what you need,stop buying treats and cook cheaper meals

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I do about 50 dollars a week. Have a menu in place is a good start. Grocery outlet, ALDI those types of stores really help with my sons snacks etc. I am in the same boat as you and it’s really really hard and some days it seems over whelming

Honestly Aldi is the cheapest I’ve seen food besides meat.

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We’re 3 adults, and one kiddo. My weekly groceries were $120ish, and now they’re about $315. I get how you feel. I get deals and buy the cheaper brands.

Shop all sales,around a holiday protien is always on sale buy multiple, freeze what you can,buy snacks on sale,contact manufacturers on the kids favorite snacks to receive coupons,Walmart can veggies is cheaper than anywhere 50cents a can load up,aldi is super cheap for bread,produce ,if you stick to a sale regimen you will save a ton of money

You need to budget. $1,000 is way too much for a month. Make meals like spaghetti or soup where you can have left overs.

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I stock up on meat when it’s on sale and separate it into freezer bags at home. I also try and use coupons and rewards for local stores. I also buy whole pork loins when cheap, and trim cut the chops and roast myself(I used to work for a butcher)

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Food pantries and food banks help. Buying ingredients for snacks and meals while knowing most of what you are gonna make (little wiggle room on that) instead of pre-made or ready to go foods helps cut down cost. Also if possible to garden you can do a basic variety of veggies/fruits for eating. Couponing and looking for the deals and sales on food in your area or a little further out.

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Look into your local food banks 

If it’s been a few months or longer apply again.
I heard they were changing the qualification amounts etc !!
Good luck !!
Also, I found shopping online and picking up at store makes me stay more on track and no extra BS goes in the cart … plus if it’s your first time picking up many stores have deals on that … King soopers/Kroger for this rod you whom have it has save $15 on your first pick up plus they have digital coupons that work as you go then they have their regular savings card … plus they take regular paper coupons and you can save at the pump the more you buy the more you save on gas there
But that’s just one place …
Any whole sale places you may have in the area could help with savings and bringing more in. I’m thinking it’s a good idea to buy the Sunday paper and clip coupons and buy what’s on sale etc …
…I’m pretty sure I’m speaking for the majority of us here …
We are all struggling it’s getting harder and scarier by the day
Good luck and God bless!

Coupons,buying in bulk on sale. Don’t buy snacks pre packaged if you can make from scratch for less. I meal prep breakfast and lunch foods for my kids so they can grab their own stuff through out the day when I’m working. As far as snacks… my kids love jello and Popsicles… both things I can make at-home instead of buying pre packaged. I also have a rather large garden that provides enough fruits and veggies for us. Plus we have our own chickens that provide us with 18 eggs a day. Shop off brand, buy whats on sale, shopping first thing in the morning is ideal to find meat that is marked down for quick sale. Buying stuff like potatoes and rice are versatile and can go a long way… I can make a full meal with 2 cups of rice, a lb of ground beef, a pepper, an onion and some cheddar cheese (and there’s usually enough leftover for me to have lunch at work the nextday)… I can spend about $200/week on groceries in the summer and I have 3 teenage boys.

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I had to start rationing and portioning. When I would buy snacks in bulk, snacks wouldn’t last. I meal prep for each including snacks. Each one has a different color Tupperware. Food lasts longer and the snacks too

They have food pantry to help out

I feel your struggle, I’m right there with you. I’m barely making it with everything going up in prices. Rent is outrageous too.

Buy only what you need, budget, stop buying treats, buy cheaper brands, stock up meat when it’s on sale and portion it into freezer bags. Ration and portion your meals also.

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Maybe worth going part time in order to get some food stamps

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Get veggies from farmers markets, fruit straight from the fields, and buy a cow, pig, or chicken directly from the butcher!

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5 ppl household we spend 250 every 2 weeks, ik how to shop, plus good deals.im in Texas we have a HEB. You buy something get 3 or things free. I’m always finding good deals.

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Idk how you do it. I am a SAHM my husband works and I spend $500 dang near every week on groceries. We have 4 kids though. 9,7,1 and 4 months.

Watch for coupons. They can really help to save!

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Buy only whats on sale and make due stock up on meats thats what I do…

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I use stock piling mom’s website and guide. I made all these meals, a mix of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, for less than $300. It’s about a month and a half worth of food.

For breakfast I make breakfast burritos, and for lunch pulled pork burritos, that’s what’s in the tinfoil in bags to the right.

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1k per month is waaay too damn much for food. Cut down on the junk and watch how much you save. Implement a ‘‘ban’’ on snacking in between breakfast lunch dinner and snack times. they dont need to be eating allll day long out of boredom. Itypically find that stocking healthy foods to begin with helps that out alot LOL

A 1000for for 3…holy cow. I spend 500 to 700 a month for 2 adults and 4 kids and 2 large dogs. That includes house cleaning things.

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Go to the butchers and buy meat packs and portion it out and freeze it in portions, snacks I would only buy what’s on special never full price, fruit and veg try farmers market or buy specials from your local shops and place In Tupperware to keep fresh to last longer

Snap unfortunately goes by gross income (before taxes) and not net (after taxes). Personally I believe they should go by net. Every state also have their limits on who can qualify.

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Unfortunately, us folk that have limited means have to eat a lot of soups and casseroles. Pasta and that sort of thing. I know meat is high, but there are lots of things you can do with hamburger. Goulash, veggie soup, spaghetti, fried rice, tacos, etc. I’m also a big fan of the Walmart brand of Mac and cheese. You can add tuna to that for a good meal for cheap. Put a veggie on the side. Frozen veggies are cheap at a dollar a bag. Instead of pop, get the drink mixes. I get the ones in the rectangular canisters in the pop aisle. They’re $1.84 with 6 packets that make 2 liters of drink each. There are several different flavors. But if you get the orange flavor, there are only 5 packets. Anyway, I save a 2L pop bottle and use a funnel to mix it in. Also, I’ve found if you watch the gas stations and drug stores you might be able to get milk cheaper there… just watch the expiration dates. Also, if you ever get the chance, a lot of churches have food pantries. You can get free food and cleaning supplies at those. Most of them are for folks who don’t have jobs and are down on their luck, but if you’re ever desperate…

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What state? $1000 for 4 does seem like much but I have no clue where you live. We’re a family of 3 and living off of $80-$120 a week. Obviously if we have extra money we get a little more, so the weeks more comfortable, but that’s for 2 adults 1 kid. If you have any local Aldi’s, Ollie’s, or any discount grocery places those are really good to start!! :slightly_smiling_face: DG does $5 off $25 on Saturday’s, and occasionally throws out a $3 off $15 if you have the app. Online order groceries from Walmart for $10 off use the code tripple10! Coupons online and offline! And if you normally email your favorite manufacturers comments about their products they usually ship you some coupons :slightly_smiling_face:

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I shop different stores. I check the ads weekly. If 1 store has better deals that week, I’ll get my groceries there, and the next week, it may be a different store. Use the stores apps and make sure you’ve clipping the coupons you’ll use. Buy in bulk when you can. I also base my meals for each week around which store has the best sales. Then I try to make at least 2 to 3 cheaper, easy meals a week. If bacon is on sale at Kroger, I’ll plan BLTs for one of our meals. If ground beef is on sale, I might do meatloaf a night, abd tacos another. I also buy generic snacks for the kids when possible, and cereal. No soda, only juices that are on sale, water. Never pay full price for things! Always shop sales and coupons.

1.000 good grief what are you feeding them on steak .

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1000 for 4 people? We have 6 in our house and I spend about 120 a week, occasionally 150. Before prices went up it was 60 to 100 week. We shop manly Aldi, lidl or Walmart, which helps a lot.

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Coupon. Download the store apps clip the coupons ask everyone you know for coupons from the newspaper. Use both. It takes time but u can get $300 worth for under $75

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Try going to food banks to help

Sams club costco … Buy in bolk

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Coupon, meal planning, eating schedule, buy in bulk, go to your local food bank, only buy as much produce as needed, download the Supercook app for recipes that only include foods in your pantry, cash back grocery apps like Ibotta, price compare your local grocery stores, buy certain off brand snacks because kids don’t care or notice, cool with a crockpot for easy bulk recipes, and dedicate one night a week to leftovers

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Shop at aldi or discount grocery stores. If that’s not an option then buy store brand stuff instead of name brand. Even for meat don’t buy name brand and make sure you compare price per pound. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy 2 or 3 smaller packs of meat then it is to but 1 big pack.

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Don’t shop at one place only! Browse markets and find sales! I shop locally and go to Winco for my meats!

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Food pantries (plural) have been a huge help to me in times of need. Also, make space to grow what you can.

You’re spending too much. I have a household of 7, 3 adults and 4 kiddos ages 5 and under. We spend about $300 per week on groceries.

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Shop the outer rim of the store and you will save money. Learn how to do healthy snacks because once you have to buy pre-made snacks is when everything becomes expensive its hard to learn but it is nice once you do because the snacks are healthier and you do not buy a ton of processed foods

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Aldi! We are a family of 7 and we don’t get food stamps. Also using coupons and looking for certain deals.

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I think you could make your grocery bill less no idea what you’re buying that it’s costing that much for family of 4 and not sure ages of the kids . We’re a family of 6 in Canada and probably spend over a 1000 a month on groceries but I look for what’s on sale when I can

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You can save money by only buying sale items. Check grocery ads. Sometimes takes multiple stores. You will have to research if any stores near you take coupons. Google cheap meal ideas. Start making your own snacks if you have the time. We have a Sams Club membership. We only get our gas there and save enough to pay the yearly fee. Look for instant savings if you are a Sam’s member. You have to be careful shopping bulk stores like Sam’s and Costco. They don’t always have the best deals. I shop store brands or Aldi or Walmart when grocery stores don’t have what I need on sale. To be honest your kids may have to go without some of the stuff they got used to. You as well. Luckily almost everything goes on sale here and there. You just have to look. Buy sale meat in bulk and freeze it. Google what foods can be frozen, because more than just meat can be. A deep freezer is a good investment for someone shopping sales and stocking up. I have a freezer full of meat now and rarely have to get more because been shopping this way for years. Eventually you will be pretty well stocked. And once you are it frees up money for other food

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Meal plan. Buy great value or the cheapest some have always save brands.

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Well they count your money before taxes unfortunately which is what makes a huge difference… I feed our family of 3 plus our 5 dogs for about 700 a month… so I think you need to shop places that are like Aldi, ruler, savers, places where food prices aren’t super high. Make sure you buy the generic not name brand stuff, and make a list, plan out meals that can be used as leftovers. For example I made an Italian roast one night and the next I used the leftovers and made beef and noodles…

Shops sales, coupon, buy bulk when you can and break down to make last. Pasta is fairly cheap, potatoes last and are filling, beans, moderation (start with very small portions and allow kids to eat another if still hungry instead of full meal size portions all at once, helps eliminate food waste) go to pantries as needed, use leftovers to help make other meals (left over mashed potatoes from dinner can be used to make potato pancakes for breakfast)

Go to food shelves and distributions

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as for snacks make them a week in advance!! such as cookies,rice crispy treats,pop corn,brownies,frozen juices pops.

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Shelf shop first, your own pantry/freezer supply, make meal ideas from what you have if you need something to make it a meal add it to the list. Than look at flyers see what’s on sale buy what you know you use on sale. Limit what you have for options for snacks. So for fruit I limit to 3 different kinds so hopefully it’s all eaten before it goes bad. And I rotate snacks my kids like with each grocery order. I always buy a few freezer type meals for busy nights or if I get lazy so we’re not ordering out. I always have certain staples on hand too like potatoes, carrots, meat in the freezer, boxed stuffing. That way if I always have a meal idea that simple. Meat potatoes carrots stuffing.

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Meal plan according to what’s on sale. Also, one of the best things I did was start picking up nonperishables. I’d grab a box of pasta, rice, a can of vegetables, or seasonings every time I went shopping. I now have a stocked pantry without ever feeling the cost. Now when I shop, I’m able to focus more on meats and dairy. Apps like Ibotta are very helpful too. Pinterest has a ton of recipes for tight budgets. They also have several shopping lists you can print out to help stay within budget.

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Look through the meat buy the cheapest shop sales use coupon

Shop wisely. Shop off brands. Or frozen vegetables. Make your snacks instead of buying them. Go through every meal you fix and see if it can be made cheaper. Do research on healthy choices…

I need help too but I only bring 400 a week with 3 kids and me and I’m barley surviving rent alone Is 1300

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Biggest thing for me trying to budget was planing meals a week ahead. Looking at what meats and produce would be on sale and making meals around those, and if i have left overs thats my lunch. My kids eat lots of frozen chicken nuggets or pb&j for lunch with a side of fruit. Canned veggies like green beans or corn are a good way to save. And buying off brand literally whenever i can. Walmart sells big bags of cereal, like 5lbs or something for $5.

Check and see if your store has a rewards program like Safeway that allows you to clip digital coupons and also get free stuff. See if you have a discount grocery store like Grocery Outlet you can save a ton of money that way. Making a meal plan is also helpful

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Eat more vegetarian/vegan meals. Beans, tofu, eggs, yoghurt are all good, cheap sources of protein and the bonus is no hormones, antibiotics, and if organic, no pesticides. There are great vegetarian recipes from all over the world. Better for you and the environment! You can always throw in some leftover meat/poultry/seafood if you want.

Use meat more like a garnish vs. the main thing on your plate. Add ham bits to au gratin potatoes vs serving a slab to everyone. Put leftover chicken bits in a casserole.

Soups can be cheap, healthy and filling and are a great way to use leftovers. Make bone broth by boiling the carcass of a rotisserie chicken with some chicken bouillon cubes for a couple of hours to have healthy homemade stock. Likewise with any bone-in beef leftovers. Add frozen mixed vegetables, chopped onions, whole wheat noodles or brown rice after straining and you’re set.

Don’t eat out much—it adds up quickly especially for several people—and it’s healthier. Skip drinks & have water when you do eat out. To avoid overeating, ask for a box when the main course comes. Put half the protein and carbs in the box to take home for a second meal. Eat all the vegetables, then add your own vegetables and fruit to the takeout box for another meal. Freeze food so you don’t waste it. Even little bits of stuff can get thrown in soups.

Buy frozen pizza vs. ordering in. It takes 15 minutes in a pre-heated oven vs. 30+ minutes to wait for delivery, costs 1/2 as much or less, no extra gas used, add your own toppings & spices to jazz it up (also a great use for leftovers)

Dip peeled bananas in melted chocolate (worth the splurge for European dark) and freeze for healthy snacks. Frozen fruit is as nutritious as fresh, you only use what you need,& it won’t go bad s few Use powdered milk if it’s cheaper. Infuse water with cucumber, mint, fruit or a combination so it’s more refreshing and not as boring. Dilute fruit juice if you drink it.

Buy store brand/off brand vs brand name. Buy non-perishables in larger sizes, divide into smaller containers. I like Dr. Bronner’s soap because you can use it for just about everything in different concentrations: dishes, clothes, body, hair, floors, etc. Dilute shampoo & dish liquid if you tend to squirt out a lot like most of us.

Replace any incandescent bulbs with LEDs. More efficient, don’t need changing as often, better for the environment. If you have a lawn, replace any grass with ground cover. No more mowing, fertilizer, pesticides or lawn service needed. Vinca, clover, non-invasive ivy, pachysandra—whatever grows in your region. Better for kids, pets & the environment too.

Shop thrift stores & yard sales first to find what you need. Hit the ones in expensive neighborhoods for better quality items.

Aldi, Costco, Sam’s club. Shop the sales. They also have apps and cookbooks that are completely centered around making meals on a budget

They count your child support as income amd count your before taxes

Aldi has great priced groceries!! I’d also figure out what lunches&dinners you want for the week and meal plan. Make sure each dish shares ingredients to save more money

Plan ahead…look for sales…go online…there’s websites that suggest meals for 5 dollars…use a crockpot…

Store brands, potatoes, rice, dried beans, pork roast or chops, plain cereal, ramen, chicken, cabbage, squash, zucchini…it’s not hard to shop if you learn the less expensive things to shop for, still good meals

Look up free food resources like food banks and look up recipes for cheap meals. Top ramen is cheap.

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How many kids do you have? That is an outrageous amount for the average family size.

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