Lifestyle

How I Feed My Family On A Budget – $300 A Month for 5!

Learn how I manage to feed my family on a budget, a family of 5 of us for just $300 a month! You can save money by lowering your food expenses per month.

How I Feed My Family On A Budget - food budgeting hacks and meal planning for feeding your family

How to feed your family on a budget

It seems like everyone is itching to save money these days, so what better way to do so than to cut down on monthly food expenses? We all want to know how to save money on groceries, especially with families to feed.

My family consists of myself, my husband (who should really count for two people), my mother-in-law, MJ (5), and Baby Girl (1). That’s three eating adults instead of the normal two, so I really have the challenge of stretching meals and making our budget work.

Inside the new ALDI food market in Vista, CA

How to Feed a Family of 5 on a Budget

By buying in bulk, trying store brands, using coupons, and some planning and preparation, I am able to feed my family on a budget for an entire month using no more than $300! You might ask, “is $300 a month enough for food?” With pre-planning and small kids, the answer is YES. Here is our monthly sample shopping meal plan:

1st week: The biggest shopping week for us. This is where I re-stock all of our meats, canned foods, eggs, bread, milk, juice, pantry staples, seasonings, fruits, vegetables, and other necessary items. I spend about $125 on this trip.

2nd week: This trip is usually a Walmart/Target trip and includes toiletries, snacks, paper towels, laundry items, cleaners, and anything else we need to maintain the household. I buy enough here to last the whole month. I spend about $50-75 on this trip.

3rd week: A light re-stocking of grocery items we have run out of, such as fruits, veggies, or specifics I need to cook with for the week. I spend about $40

4th week: Another Walmart/Target trip, re-stocking odds and ends we may need before it’s time to do the next mass shopping trip. I spend around $40.

How I feed my family on a budget - grocery shopping for a family of 5 for $300 a month!

Photo credit: USDAgov via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Calculate your monthly grocery spending

I have friends that are single and calculated their monthly spending at $400-500 per month on food alone, FOR ONE PERSON. Yikes! It’s wonderful to treat yourself to the more expensive ways of living when you can afford it, but when you are on a tight family budget, you must pinch pennies and be a smart spender. Check out these ideas I have implemented in my weekly shopping trips to feed my family on a budget…

Buy Staples In Bulk

I buy all of our staple foods in bulk. When you do so, you save a pretty good amount rather than buying small amounts every week. A few examples:

  • You can buy 3 lbs of frozen chicken breasts for about the same price you would buy 1 lb of fresh chicken breast.
  • Buy a large 10 lb. bag of potatoes instead of smaller bags or purchasing them singly. My local farmer’s market has 10 lb. bags for only $1.99, whereas I would only get about 3 large potatoes for the same price if I bought them separately.
  • Stocking up on rice is cheaper when you buy it in bulk, plus it can be used for so many great meals and is very filling.
  • This also goes for miscellaneous items you need: buy diapers in bulk, toilet paper in bulk, paper towels, trash bags, you name it.
How I feed my family on a budget, $300 per month for a family of 5, Fresh bananas fruits food grocery store supermarket

Matching Coupons with Sales

Another way I feed my family on a budget is clipping and saving coupons, you never know when an item is going to be marked down! As always, if the matching store-brand item is still cheaper than the brand name item with a coupon, I would buy the store brand. Take a look at the store’s weekly ad and compare them with the coupons you currently have and that are available to print. You can end up saving over 50% by matching the manufacturer’s coupon with sales and/or in-store coupons. There are a few great blogs that do this on a weekly basis to make our lives a tad easier. My favs:
  • MoneySavingMom.com: Posts the greatest deals and coupons matchups for a variety of stores, including Walmart, Target, CVS, and more.
  • ForTheMommas.com– Provides different scenarios on how to maximize your savings at various stores, such as Kroger, Safeway, Kmart, Shop Rite, Geunardi’s, Meijer, Food Lion, and more.
  • PocketYourDollars.com– This site actually makes a shopping list for a bunch of popular food and drug stores across the country. Take advantage of the deals posted here!

Note: The best places to print manufacturer’s coupons online are Coupons.com, Hopster, Red Plum, Coupon Network, and Smartsource.

Shopping at Discount Stores

Do not be afraid to visit your local Food 4 Less, Dollar Tree, Save-A-Lot, and 99¢ stores, you would be surprised at what you can find! Even the Target and Walmart Supercenters have better deals than your local expensive grocery store. I have seen multiple items at almost half of the price they would be at the grocery giants. It really makes a difference.


Save by buying store brand items

Many of us are stuck on brand-name items. Remove yourself and take a peek at what the store brand has to offer! They often have many of the staple items, snacks, toiletries, and beverages you may be looking for at only a fraction of the price of the more popular brand name items. Some of my favorite store brands are Safeway brand, Market Pantry (Target), and Kroger brand (Kroger, Ralphs, Food 4 Less).

fresh raspberries fruit

Shopping in-season produce

This applies to mostly fruits and vegetables. Try to stick to the items that are in season, they are much more plentiful so they cost less. For example, buying peaches in the winter is almost always a fail, which is totally against my ways to feed my family on a budget. If they are available, they cost an arm and a leg, and usually end up being super hard anyway!

More of our feeding family on a budget tips

Stop Buying The Unnecessary: Selecting Snacks and Sweets – Snacks and sweets are wonderful to have in the pantry, but they are not always necessary. Be selective of what snacks you buy and how much you are really getting for what you pay. I know those cookies look delicious, but in reality, snacks are some of the priciest items to buy, don’t be afraid to limit yourself. This is one of the times that you should strategize, using the “Matching Coupons With Sales” and the “Store Brand Items” sections above.

Plan for Left Overs, Left Overs, Left Overs!– I normally cook about 3 times a week and I make sure to cook enough food for at least one night of leftovers. It is much easier and cheaper to double your family dinner recipes and cook them once than to have a new meal with different ingredients every night. Breakfast and lunch are simple, but it is dinner that I have to plan out. Check out my weekly menu scenario for next week…

Sample Weekly Menu Plan
Feeding family on a budget, a sample weekly menu meal plan

Sample meal planning menu with ground turkey

This whole menu was planned with ground turkey in mind. I can buy a bunch in bulk and apply it to all meals listed, the Chili, Tacos, and Spaghetti. You can do the same with chicken breast, pork chops, ground beef, or whatever you like. The only other ingredients I need are veggies, noodles, bread, and simple odds and ends to complete the meal.

Note: Adding garlic bread or a side salad to a meal is a great, inexpensive way to stretch your meal and fill those tummies!

Rarely Eat Out – My husband and I used to eat out all of the time! I must admit, it was mostly me driving that habit. We have since drastically reduced our dining out nights, saving us hundreds of dollars per month! When we do eat out, I definitely make sure that we have a coupon accessible. Calculate the number of times you eat out per month, how much could you save if you at least cut it in half?

When you do eat out, save a bundle using Restaurant.com. You can get $25 gift certificates to restaurants in your area for as low as $2! There are different promotions and codes available, GO HERE to see the latest.

You can save money and feed your family on a budget!

I hope you are inspired by the way I feed my family on a budget, if you are not already trying some of these steps to reduce your grocery bill, I suggest you get started. The strategies I use to feed my family on a budget really make a difference in my household.

How large is your family and how much do you spend monthly on groceries, eating out, toiletries, and household necessities? Please leave a comment and share this article!

SubscribeFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube

 

HowI feed my family on a budget with $300 a month - Your family can eat good without breaking the bank, learn how I feed my family on a budget each month.

9 Comments

  • Considering this advice is nearly 10 years old at this point based on the oldest comment…I wouldn’t bother reaching for this. Especially considering our current economic state. 5 person household here and we spend $1,000 – $1,500 per month while being relatively conservative.

  • I’m one person but what helps me to save in the long run is by using my food saver. It’s a machine where it takes out all the air b4 u freeze whatever…it has helped me when things are on sale..like a few weeks back I saw turkey burgers on sale 90 some cents for 4 so I got 5 to 6 packs n froze them n now I have them for when I want a turkey burger…I’ve frozen bananas n blue berries n have not let them go bad…a food Saver is a life saver.

  • I have a family of 5 which consists of Myself, my husband and three daughters ages 14,10 and 2yr. I spend around $1,000 dollars a month on food so needless to say I started looking into ways to save and came across your post! I a have tried to save before but I just couldn’t stick to it. The lowest our monthly grocery spending has been is about 850. I m very excited to try your advice. Thanks for sharing! (:

  • I feed a family of 5 and only have a 300 dollar a month food budget. I was wondering if you could give more ideas of menu. I have me, my husband and 3 teenage sons. I have found myself hitting up local food banks because we run out of food and I don’t want to do that. Any ideas would be great. Do you do a monthly grocery list and if so how? Thanks.

    • I totally agree, it’s hard with teenage sons but I will get 1 or 2 types of protein to use for the week and you can do so much.
      If I buy a big thing of chicken thighs, I will break them up in gallon size ziploc bags and out a tbsp of olive oil and different types of seasoning and label them and either keep thawed in fridge for a few days worth or freeze them. They will thaw overnight and marinate in seasoning, comes out so tender. We may use it for fajitas, or with pasta, rice or potatoes, or on a salad or stir fry. Ground beef is great for burgers, spaghetti and tacos, meatball subs, chili, beef nachos, goulash. You can even make pizza with ground chicken as a crust. Recipe I use is found under lowcarblove on YouTube or instagram and you just need a pound of ground chicken, egg, and Parmesan cheese and spices and spread it like a crust, bake it for 10min at 450 then cover with pizza sauce and topping and bake another 10min. My kids love it!

  • I would love for you to post some other ideas for your meal plans. I just *stole* this meal plan for my family next week. I also have a family of 5, myself, my husband, DS9, DS8, and DD2. I actually found your blog while looking for how to budget groceries for a family of five under $300. I had been contemplating using your leftover concept and you just solidified it for me.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

/* ]]> */