The decorations are down, the kids are back to school, the first credit card bill of the year is looming and maybe our spending has to be curtailed for a little while. How do we cater for family meals on a budget?
We all know that it is important to prepare and cook healthy balanced meals for our families, but sometimes it can be a bit more expensive than we would like.
Cooking family meals on a budget
Here are our top tips for cooking for the whole family without breaking the bank.
Buy in bulk. Buying and cooking in bigger quantities often make the cost per portion cheaper.
Batch cook. If the idea of cooking at the end of a long day is the reason that you don’t eat as a family as regularly as you’d like to, batch cooking can save you time. The idea behind this is to prepare meals on a day when you do have more time, and then putting them in the freezer so you only have to heat the meals up when the kids get hungry.
Look for special offers across different supermarkets and your local stores and plan your meals to include these items.
Shop for longer lasting items. If you don’t manage to organise your meal plans at the start of the week, fresh fruit and vegetables can end up going off and wasting. Buying cheaper alternatives such as frozen vegetables, canned beans or packet sauces which last longer can help you to make meals for an even more reasonable cost.
Use a slow cooker. They are perfect for cooking cheaper cuts of meat to perfection. A slow cooker is the perfect way to enjoy a hearty meal with minimal effort. Check out these slow cooker recipes for some ideas.
Use up whatever is left. Looking at the fridge and lost for inspiration? A quick Google search will help you find handy online tools where you can enter the ingredients you need to use up and find recipes of meals to make for the family. You might even find a new recipe that you love!
Grow your own! Fruit, veg, salad and herbs grown in your garden or allotment are so much cheaper and fresher than shop bought.
Good eating habits
One thing that we do advocate is the importance of eating family meals together.
Family mealtimes are the perfect opportunity to catch up, talk and laugh with our families. Children who eat with their parents can often become less picky eaters and better communicators too as others around them influence their behaviour.
Help cut the stress and create a relaxing environment at mealtimes by using one of our Bibetta feeding bibs or placemats for your little ones to catch any dropped food so that the clear up is easier afterwards.
Have you any good tips you would like to share with us?