Having a big family of seven has kept me on my toes concerning a lot of things. One of the most challenging facets of our big family has been feeding them on a budget that is not out of this world. We stay under $1,000 every month and normally we are under $800 a month.
Virtual Learning has taken our bill up a little more because of the extra meals and snacks needed to supply everyone. My tea and candle bill went up because I require more things to calm and soothe me as I monitor and enforce the law of learning. Ha!
Grocery shopping became simpler when I found out that writing a grocery list is not enough for me. Writing a menu for the week and then constructing a grocery list works much better. It helps me see where I am spending money and how I can save money by using some of the same ingredients for multiple meals. Here's a weekly menu list that I use along with the grocery list.
Both are kid-friendly and they give a realistic picture of what is needed versus what was being bought. I can say I went overboard a couple times trying to get it right.
What makes grocery shopping easier?
* Take inventory of what you already have on hand
* Build a realistic list of what you need
* Create a menu for the week
* Build a final grocery list for the week
That's much better. Sometimes we forget about what we have on hand and let things go to waste. Sometimes we go by only what we have on hand and it doesn't leave much room to dance with our imagination for the weekly menu. Listing both gives great harmony and includes what the whole family has in mind. I've noticed that my ideas are way more grand than my family's stomachs. We are a simple family and we do not require an elaborate menu. Thank the Lord!
Next week, we'll be doing some budgeting that will be a little different from the norm. For now, enjoy grocery shopping and expand your menu horizons.