So lately I have been trying to fit my family into a certain amount as budget for the month and that has taken me on a very wonderful journey, so I thought I should share it with you all.
Whether you are financially strong or not, we can all agree that running a home is expensive, from buying of food stuff to cooking different meals every week and sometimes hosting unprepared guest, your bank account suffers, so what if I told you that there are certain tricks to reducing those expenses by half? Interesting right, yes I know, who doesn’t like a bargain or a few extra cash lying around, i know I do.
When it comes to feeding on a budget you have to be ready to work, yes work hard and the tips below will help you achieve it easily.
1) The first thing you need to do is set a budget, yes decide with your partner how much you both want to spend every month on feeding, once that is done you can now plan around it. Now take your time and carefully chronicle your previous expenses and what it is that took a large chunk of that money, was it really important or not, also by this little exercise you will realize exactly how much you might save with your new budget.
2) The second thing that you must do is make a list of the food essentials that you need in your home (check my post on kitchen must haves) often times we buy food stuff or condiments that we don’t use for months or until they expire. Once you identify the major food ingredients that you make use of everyday, you can now go to the next step.
3) Stock up on your food essentials, this will reduce the unplanned buying of food items every week and also structure your cooking around what you have at home.
4) Visit a local market around you (farmers market), this is a very important step to feeding on a budget. You will not know the amount that you can save by simply ditching the super markets, big shopping malls and the likes for a local market. Yes it could be far away from you but it will save your pocket not to add that you get the best bargain and also food ingredients in their fresh state. That packaged tomatoes you buy at ShopRite cannot be compared to the fresh and relatively cheap one that you will buy at the market, let me add that your comfort might have been digging into your pocket too deep. Take a Saturday morning and drive or use a public transport, go to the nearest one to you and shop all that you need to stock up your house, here in Lagos you have the popular mile 12market,girl you will feel so good after buying things that you will ask yourself why this didn’t happen to you since.
5) Make use of your freezer, this is a major life saver. Buy your tomatoes, peppers and onions in bulk from your local market, blend them and freeze away, you will be amazed at how easy preparing meals will be when all or all most all you need can be found in your freezer ready to be used, cut your ripe and unripe plantains keep them in a zip lock bag, store them in the freezer for easy breakfast or dinner.
6) Decide and say goodbye to food wasting, that leftover rice can be reused tomorrow with just a simple stir fry recipe and the rice is renewed, or that leftover yam can become a delicious pottage for breakfast the next day with just a few ingredients that you might already have in the house. Research leftover recipes and bring them to life in your kitchen. (Stay glued to this blog for leftover recipes)
7) Prepare more soups and stews, these will help you reduce the amount you could spend extra in cooking different dishes, the stew could be used for pasta, or for jollof rice, there are so many ways one pot of stew could become different delicious dishes without having to spend extra
8) Reduce your eating out if you can’t stop completely, most times all you are doing is enriching these eateries and damaging your account balance. Learn to make homemade meals more often
9) Be creative with your recipes, you can always come up with a delicious dinner that doesn’t have to be expensive, must you eat cheese every day? Your sandwich can be yummy without it, so take certain foods out of your diet if you don’t have to eat them always or if you can do without them.
10) Another tip that is very helpful is to do a garden in your house or a poultry farm, either of these that you can do will save your pocket from buying what you can produce yourself, imagine wanting to prepare chicken curry and you already have the chicken in your backyard without paying for it, it will only take you a few months to grow them to maturity and you have yourself healthy and organic chicken to devour. Yes starting it would cost you but in the long run you will save more and actually enjoy the whole process.
So guys these are my tips for feeding on a budget with your family. Was it helpful? Let me hear in the comments section and what tricks do you use to save up and feed on a budget. See you all in my next post.