Food Budgeting 101: Keeping Your Family Well-Fed


The future is still uncertain for many, and one thing you might worry about the most is how you’re going to keep your family fed if you find yourself struggling with finances or if a food shortage happens in your area.

Here are our top tips on how to keep your family fed over the next few months.

Remain Calm

As long as everyone buys sensibly, there should be plenty of food to go around. Most shortages would be a direct result of people going overboard with their purchases.

Just remain calm and don’t panic. Don’t overspend and take time to plan out a food budget that you can financially handle.

Consider Substitutes

You might have a favorite way to prepare a meal, but keep substitutes in mind as you do so. For example, if your recipe calls for a sweet potato, consider a white potato instead.

Or in lieu of bread crumbs, toast and crush your own bread to add to the recipe. There are many options!

If You Have a Freezer, Use It

Buy meats in bulk—but don’t overdo it. You can space out your meat purchases over time. Buy bulk containers if possible that you can separate into smaller Ziplock bags to place in your freezer.

Not only is this cheaper, but you’ll have conveniently sized packages available for dinner.

Have a Snack Tray Handy

If you have kids, you already know how often they say they’re hungry or in need of a snack. One thing you can do is to create a “snack tray” or basket.

Every morning, fill the tray with available snacks that your children are allowed to have throughout the day.

However, make sure that you add this rule—that after the snacks for the day are gone, they’re gone. This can help your kids be thoughtful of how much they’re eating each day.

Use Media Resources

YouTube, for example, can be a great resource to find videos about how to create an entire week’s worth of meals using very few ingredients.

There are also apps available to help you, such as SuperCook. All you need to do is type in the ingredients you have on hand, and the app will make recipe suggestions based on those ingredients.

It’s Okay to Get Help

If you find yourself in a dire situation, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many school zones are offering free meals for students that you can drive up to accept.

Many states also offer food assistance in the form of food pantries, food stamps, and WIC and you can even have hot meals delivered straight to your door if you are unable to leave your home.