Hi again! I can’t believe I am actually blogging again, but I have had so many things on my mind I needed to start writing them down. Finally!
I mentioned on my social media how I am working on meal planning, grocery shopping, and of course budgeting. This all started when a kind follower messaged me asking “how do I make grocery shopping for a family of four, with only 100$ a week. Including snacks and drinks?” Well, I had to say right then and there, if you want to eat healthy for a family on a budget, first things first, you have to think about what you are spending your hard earned money on?
My first thought, to be honest is, to say those first two things mentioned are a luxury. And if you want to budget you have to make some sacrifices. Snacks and drinks are not a need. They are a want. I chose to not buy drinks this last year, and we don’t even miss it anymore! From bottled water (oh my, you poor environment I am sooo sorry for years past!), canned sparkling water, soda, juice, juiced boxes oh my! But that has saved us SO much money, and is much better for our health and the environment! Kids do not need juice. It is mostly sugar and if you aren’t carefully most of the time it is concentrate with fructose corn syrup. I struggled with my boys drinking juice instead of eating a meal. It left them feeling fuller with a sugar high. I felt I was chasing their highs and lows of the day without stability with mood swings and temper tantrums.
If you think this is all too drastic for you and your family, consider buying in bulk? Not exactly pre-made drinks in bulk, but maybe a concentrate or mix you can buy that can make 100 drinks and use a reusable bottle!
Now onto the snacks. Most of the time, the easiest thing to sacrifice over quality of food is convenience. From single wrapped snack items, to drinks, to paper products. If you take the extra time to make your snacks or buy in bulk and place in to go containers, not only are you eating better, helping the environment, but also saving money! Of course its a learning curve, and sure it take a extra minutes during an already busy day. But if your choice is to go hungry or pack a snack, for me packing a snack wins.
Another reason for all this, was my boys would scream at me for snacks! I could be making dinner with minutes to spare before the meal was ready, all the while having two little boys thinking the world is ending begging for a snack. Well, when I decided not to buy those snacks, I thought the screaming would last for days. But you know what? Once I showed them their snacks were gone, they stopped begging for them knowing if they do not exist they will not be getting anything. Eliminating the competition of pretty pre packaged snacks with super heroes on them, I can get the kids to chose between more mommy approved snacks. Now our snacks between meals include- grapes, apples, crackers and cheese, almonds etc etc. No more fruit snacks, chips, and all the other stuff processed snacks can come in. The kids eat better at meals where I make sure we eat a more balanced diet with protein to fight the highs and lows of growing boys.
Lastly, here we go. We were such a paper plate family. I swear my hubby would be so disappointed when we were out! And I get it, who wants to do dishes… everrrrr. But the more affordable paper plates have a wax coating and are there for not recyclable. So sad!!
Again, with this topic of helping the environment… think about all your plastic and paper products you use every single day. I no longer buy plastic bags (we use Tupperware!) And for snacks in the car, or on the go, I put food in Tupperware for the car. I do not think this is more work and I am no longer stopping at the gas station just to clean trash out of the car! And, best of all, you’ll save moneyyyyyy.
I hope these tips inspire you all. I have so many more ideas on how to save, but for now this is a start! I hope whether you are saving money or just want to help this planet, something here sparks your mind. No one is perfect, and there are so many ways to improve our all busy lives. But we can all start small, and do this together <3