Looking to drastically reduce your grocery bill? These tips for how to make a 50 dollar per week meal plan will help you achieve grocery store financial freedom!
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We all know that the cost of food is rising, and as it does, you may find it harder and harder to stretch your food budget. But worry not. There are still plenty of tips and tricks that savvy shoppers are using in order to feed their family for less. This doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice and eat beans every night either. You can still enjoy healthy and well rounded meals while sticking to a tight, okay, very tight, budget! Take a look below for some super tips on how to feed your family on $50 a week. For these tips, I am basing it off my family of five. I shop at the Military Commissary with their FREE Curbside To Go grocery pickup now!
First, let’s take a look at five tips that can help you shave those grocery costs right from the start. These are tips you can utilize on a weekly basis to help keep your costs low and show you exactly how to feed a family on $50 a week!
How To Create a $50/week Meal Plan
1. Cut out those coupons.
Make a goal of using coupons on at least half of the items you buy each week. Use your shopper’s loyalty card to score additional savings. Be sure to cash in on any rebates offered on the products you buy as well. When you utilize these tips you save money before and after the sale. Getting that final price down is the goal, and these tips will help you do that. A great way to save the most amount on your groceries (and even get some FREE!) is to combine Coupons.com with Ibotta. No need to collect the newspaper each week and clip anymore – it’s literally all at your fingertips!
2. Plan your shopping around sales.
If it is not on sale, it does not go in the cart. Plan your meals for your weekly menu mentioned above according to sales. If hamburger is on sale, plan on tacos, burgers, and stuffed peppers that week. If there is a great sale on steak, plan on black and blue cheese salad, steak fajitas, and shish kabobs.
3. Make meat a compliment to a dish, not the main star.
Meat is one of the pricier items that will end up in your fridge/freezer. Because of this, build dishes where meat serves as the accent. Instead of making a huge steak for each family member, buy one or two small steaks and cut into chunks for stir fry or grilled on skewers with vegetables. Meat can always be added to salads, casseroles, and bakes. This way you don’t need as much as if you were giving an entire serving of it to a person as is.
4. Plan your weekly menu.
Impulse purchases will make your food budget rise quickly. When you plan your weekly menu, you are only buying what you need. The idea also is to be able to use leftovers from previous meals in your meals later in the week. For example, the extras from the meatloaf you make on Monday can be used in the vegetable and beef stew you make Wednesday. Make a menu and stick to it.
5. Shop a variety of stores.
You may wish to buy your meats from a wholesale store where they are typically the lowest price. Dollar stores are great for dry goods such as cereal, rice, noodles, and other non perishables. Then, get your fresh items such as dairy and produce at your traditional grocer. Yes this involves three stores but you will find that the savings can be significant.
Now, let’s break down where your $50 a week will go:
Breakfast: We focus on high energy, healthy foods that are also inexpensive. Eggs, frozen waffles, bananas, and yogurt are all inexpensive and can be served multiple ways. When eggs are only around $1.50 a dozen, yogurt around .30 cents a cup, and bananas less than .50 cents a pound, we never go hungry or broke at breakfast time.
Lunch: You can always use leftover dinner chicken for chicken salad or chicken tortillas. We like using tortillas for lunch wraps since they are around $1.00 a package. Stuff them with cheese for fresh veggies (we stock up on the vegetables that are in season and therefore on sale) and grill them in a pan for a tasty lunch. Canned soups, tuna, and pasta with a little olive oil are all around $1 per serving and really pack some flavor.
Dinner: For dinner we stock up on healthy produce and add meat items that are on sale. We love grilling vegetable skewers with chicken or beef chunks. Rice can be cooked in the crock pot with a can of cream soup and any kind of shredded meat added. We enjoy stir fry, pasta with fresh veggies and meat, and a variety of other dishes that typically cost us less than $5.00 to whip up. Try to make a habit of not spending more than $1.50 per pound on meat. Buy bone in meat for additional savings.
Drinks: Nothing is more refreshing, healthy, or frugal than water! Add a slice of lemon to fancy it up. If you still need some more flavor, drink mixes cost pennies compared to bottled drinks. Save milk for breakfast as it is one of the most important meals of the day and will compliment that meal well.
Remember, nothing should go to waste. Leftovers can always be used creatively in other dishes for other meals. Get into the habit of making what your family eats and saving whatever is left to use in creative ways! Give these tricks and tips for how to make a 50 dollar per week meal plan a try and see how easy it is to cut your grocery budget down. Way down! You will find you can still enjoy tasty and healthy meals, you will just be able to do it for a great deal less.
bottom image photo credit: http://www.123rf.com/profile_bennyartist