There’s no denying it, feeding a family (especially a large family) can be expensive. In fact, the average Australian family spends around $250 a week on their food bill. Sure, processed junk food is cheap, cheerful and convenient to cook but it’s also one of the surest ways to seriously damage your family’s health. For those of us who want to raise our families on a healthy diet with maximum whole foods and minimum processed convenience food things are a little more tricky… But not insurmountable. One might be forgiven for thinking that they have to make a fundamental choice between feeding their families healthily or feeding them inexpensively, but the simple truth is that you can have your cake and eat it… So long as you bake it yourself.
Yes, the simple fact is that the best thing you can do to drive down food costs is by cooking yourself. If you’re already rolling your eyes, don’t worry. This blog has already demonstrated how easy it is to feed your family healthily with a minimum of fuss. Here, we’re going to look at ways in which you can stay just as healthy while also driving down costs.
Ditch wasteful habits
As any Frugal Mom will tell you, eating healthily on a budget is much easier when you cut out bad habits. From aimless shopping in the supermarket to over reliance on restaurants and takeaways, we’re all guilty of forming wasteful habits when it comes to our diet. After a hard day’s work it’s easy to be tempted by takeout instead of cooking for the family but the monetary and health costs clearly outweigh the benefit of convenience.
Cut down on meat and dairy
Meat, fish, eggs, cheeses and milk are among the most expensive items on the supermarket shelf and they’re also the most damaging foods to the environment. Animal agriculture accounts for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than the entire transportation industry. Loading up on whole grains and veggies will not only make your food shop cheaper and more sustainable but help the environment out too. A five bean chilli will feed your family just as well as a chilli con carne at a fraction of the price.
Have fun with leftovers
Leftovers are a great way to put yesterday’s food to good use but rather than just throwing them in the microwave you’d be astonished at how easy it is to repurpose yesterday’s food to make it even more delicious. A little imagination or invention go a long way. The carcass from yesterday’s roast can be picked and made into a delicious pie, yesterday’s chilli can be made into today’s burritos or old mashed potato can be pressed into delicious waffles for breakfast.
Cook in batches
There will be some days when you have neither the time nor energy to cook. As such it’s important to have a backup supply of freezer food to prevent you from reaching for the takeout menu. If you’re making a curry, chilli, pasta dish or stew it makes good sense to make a little extra and stretch it across several meals.