Q: My three children must be going through growth spurts. They are eating me out of house and home! I plan healthy meals and clip coupons to help with the cost of groceries, but my food bill is still overwhelming! Do you have any tips for feeding my bottomless pit children without breaking the bank?
A: Often when children are going through a growth spurt they do indeed consume more calories (food). This is normal. Growing and changing bodies use a lot of energy. They need fuel. Healthy fuel.
You can’t always predict when the increase in fuel will be needed and it can certainly be overwhelming if you have more than one child in a fuel demanding growth spurt at a time. (Triple overwhelming with 3!)
Here are some tips for helping to keep your grocery costs down any time, but especially when you are sharing a dinner table with a bottomless pit (or 2, or 3).
Skip the pre: Premade and prepackaged foods are intended for convenience- not economics. Skip the premade and prepackaged, purchase the ingredients separately, and make your own. (Or get your children to make.). A jar of peanut butter and a box of crackers makes much greater economic sense than the premade/prepackaged version. (And may be healthier too.)
Buy in season/sale and freeze: The cost of fresh produce can add up quickly! In addition to having your own garden, buying in the appropriate season for the produce and then freezing extra produce is a great way to spread your dollar. I have a favorite farmer at the market that knows I love asparagus. He gives me a discount when I buy an entire basket full and then I pop most of the bunches in my freezer. I do the same with peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, etc. even watermelon. (Apples I cook down to applesauce and then freeze.) It is a treat to have fresh peaches in January without spending a fortune and importing from the other hemisphere!
Providing healthy food for growing children is so important and with a little planning and a few extra steps it doesn’t have to break the bank!