Keeping the fridge and cupboards fully stocked is no less of a challengeeven as lockdown measures gradually lift. Until life is completely back to normal, you may be home from work, and the kids will be home from school. It’s only natural you share more meals during your isolation.
All that snacking can take a bite out of your budget, which may be especially hard to handle if the pandemic hurt your family’s finances.
Whether you lost hours, your job, or you simply want to take control of your spending, this money management guide is for you. Here are some tips to help you balance the books while feeding your family.
Create a Food Budget
Do you know how much you spend on food, down to the last penny? That’s how accurate you should be with your food budget each month. Without an exact spending limit, it’s easy to overspend and throw off your entire household budget.
Check out this guide to see what a reasonable budget for your family size and financial situation may be. It gives you an idea of what you could save if you put your mind to it.
Don’t Boost Your Budget by Borrowing
Food is a recurring, essential expense. As a regular expense, food is an expected part of your spending plan that you should budget for each week.
That’s why the lending specialists at MoneyKey don’t recommend borrowing payday loans to boost your food budget. Payday loans help you cover unexpected, non-recurring emergencies, like surprising car repairs or unexpected medical bills.
In these unexpected emergencies, borrowing money may be an option. Check out the MoneyKey loans information page to see how they work, especially when compared to installment loans. This quick guide will help outline when a payday or installment loan may fit your finances.
Follow a Meal Plan
A meal plan is a schedule for all the meals that your family will eat over the week. This plan gives routine to your diet; you’ll eat deliberate meals that fit with your budget rather than relying on random takeout or recipes that waste money.
The success of your meal plan relies on research. You’ll have to devote some time to your task to hunt down nutritious and tasty meals that you can make with inexpensive ingredients.
Be mindful of leftovers and perishable foods while planning your recipes. By tweaking your meal plan to use up food quickly and incorporate leftovers, you may save $1,886 of food headed for the trash.
Think about Takeout Carefully
Normally, takeout and prepared meals are a boon to busy families everywhere. It helps you ensure everyone has a full belly, even if you don’t have time to cook for hours.
Once in the habit, takeout is a natural part of your routine, even if you aren’t as busy nowadays. With the lockdown affecting extra-curricular activities, sleep-away summer camps, and your work schedule, do what you can to cook more.
When you have the time, cook in big batches and freeze the extra; this way, you’ll have a prepared meal waiting for you when your social calendars fill up again.
Food will always be a big feature of your budget, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to keep everyone well fed. Try out these money-saving techniques to put your budget on a diet.