As soon as I became a mom of a boys, I started hearing people talk about how much food they will eat when they get older. The majority of our monthly budget goes to food! It can really add up! Here are some tips for keeping boys full on a budget.
Keeping Boys Full On a Budget
Between my four boys, the main thing I hear is, “Mom, I’m hungry!” I try to keep our fridge and pantry stocked up with food, but it doesn’t seem to last very long. They are especially hungry in the afternoon when they get home from school. It is as though they are a pack of ravenous wolves and I barely get a hello before they head to the kitchen to scavenge something to eat. But, there are a few things I have found that work great for keeping boys full longer and that will help you save on your grocery bill.
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1.Buy on Sale and Freeze
You will be amazed at all of the different things you can freeze to extend their shelf life. I watch sales and stock up when I find a good one. I just learned that you can even freeze milk! We go through at least a two gallons of milk per week. Other things you can freeze that you might not of thought of are meat, eggs, butter, bread and cheese. Dairy and meat are expensive right now so watch for deals and freeze what you can’t use before the expiration date.
2. Keep Hydrated
A lot of the time we can feel hungry when we are really just thirsty. Making sure your kids are getting enough water will help them feel full longer and will give them added energy.
3. Provide Foods That are High in Protein and Fiber
Protein and fiber take longer to digest than carbs and will make you feel full longer. Breakfast is such an important part of the day because what our kids eat for breakfast will affect the amount of energy they have during the day and will help them stay full until lunch. Breakfast foods that are high in protein and fiber help to regulate blood sugar and make it so our kids don’t have an energy crash shortly after arriving at school. Popcorn is a great after-school snack and is very inexpensive to make at home.
4. Cut the Sugar
When kids consume too much sugar it causes a spike in blood sugar which will eventually result in a crash of energy as their blood sugar tries to level itself out. This makes kids feel more hungry than before. Opt for foods that are low in sugar and avoid sugary soda and juice. The sugar in drinks, even 100% juice, can really add up. Give them milk or water instead.
5. Shop in Bulk
I watch for our local grocery store to have the case-lot sale and then I stock up on canned goods. It costs a little more up front but saves a lot of money on groceries in the long run. I store my cans in a rotating canned food organizer so I know which items need to be used up first. I also shop at warehouse stores for certain items. But be careful because some items, such as cereal, can actually be more expensive.
I JUST discovered Boxed.com and it is AMAZING! Your favorite warehouse products at warehouse prices, but without a membership fee. We live an hour from the nearest big box store and I had NO desire to drive that far in 110 degree heat to stock up on food for my boys. A friend told me about Boxed.com and I decided to try it after seeing all of the things she purchased. To my surprise and delight, it came the NEXT day. I’m hooked! Such a life saver on busy weeks and makes it so I don’t have to drag my kids to the store with me!
6. Have Healthy, Filling Foods on Hand
I will make things such as homemade granola bars, that can be made in bulk and stored in the freeze. I also keep plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables around for snacking on. If you have picky kids, who turn up their nose at the sight of veggies or fruit, this list of recipes for finicky eaters is SO helpful!
7. Money-Saving Grocery Apps
I am just discovering the different types of apps that are available for saving money on groceries. I don’t have the time, or desire really, to coupon. But apps such as Ibotta or Snap by Groupon, allow you to browse different rebates, choose the ones you will be shopping for that day and then upload your receipt and get cash back. I’m just getting started with these but I’ll update and let you know what I think. Any app that wants to help me save money on my grocery bill sounds like a good thing.
8. Don’t Eat Out
I know, I can’t believe I just typed that! Maybe it should say, “Eat out less frequently”. But, we spend SO much more on food when we eat out than when I cook from home. This is definitely true now that we have moved off of the kid menu with my older boys. You can save a lot of money by cutting back and only eating out on special occasions.
So these are just a few tips that have helped to keep my boys full without breaking the bank and I am always open to new suggestions.
What tips do you have for keeping boys full on a budget? Leave a comment with your advice.
This post is a part of our series 31 Days of Tips for Raising Boys. Each day throughout the series we are discussing a different topic regarding raising boys. I’d love for you to follow along and share this series with other parents of boys who may need some support or just to hear that they aren’t alone in their journey of raising boys.
Check out the next post in the series: How to Get Dirt and Grass Stains Out of Clothes