As families struggle to make ends meet, the deck seems to be stacked against us. If your household is anything like mine, you are shocked each time you walk into a grocery store. Most budgeting programs advise you to spend 10% of your annual income on food, but most Americans average spending a little over 20%.
Every household wants to cut costs and save money, but that can be hard to do when your paycheck is stretched tight for just the "essentials". I have found some websites that I hope can help. As you are looking at these websites and trying to save money, get the kids involved. Let them figure out the cost per serving of your food, how much you can spend at the grocery to use only 10% of your income. Which item is really more affordable, the smaller package or the larger package?
First, the Iowa State University Extension Office has a great website called Spend Smart, Eat Smart. There is great information on here about how to save money. There is a section that shows you how much you should be spending at the grocery. How to find the best deals in the store and then there is a recipe section with the cost per recipe and the cost per serving broken down for you. I know what you are thinking: "I can not cook from scratch, I need convenience foods!" We all need some level of convenience in our lives, I understand this. I have a family and a full time job too, but I also want to spend my money on experiences for my family, not just food.
For recipes, I love Food Hero! They have some great and economical recipes on their website, as well as some food storage hints and tips. I personally can not wait to make the Chicken and Dumpling Casserole. My family loves Chicken and Dumplings, which is already an inexpensive meal, but this I can make during the week after work. This website is a product of Oregon State University and it has lots of recipes. You can get a free membership and save your favorites in your own recipe box.
Another great website for inexpensive recipes and general frugal ideas is Cheap, Healthy, Good. They do whole foods as often as possible but are not ashamed to use some convenience items also. I have made a few recipes from their website and I highly recommend them! In addition to the great recipes, the blog is very funny to read. It is written by 3-4 ladies with a great sense of humor and a large desire to help people.
What are some of the things you are doing to save money?
Share your ideas with us.