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When It’s Hard to Feed Your Family on a Budget

It's hard to figure out how to feed your family on a budget. Here are some tips and resources to help lower your budget and save money!

“I have to feed my family of 4 for $50.00 a week but I don’t know how. Do you have any tips?”

I’ve seen, and get asked, this question in some form many times. Change each number to fit your family, and I’ve probably seen it.

If this is you, you’ve already made the powerful decision to change your lives, but it can be tough to know where to begin. I’ve been in those shoes, I know what it’s like.

Here are some starting steps you can take to feed your family on a budget. At the bottom of this post is a helpful list of resources I’ve written that delve deeper into some of these subjects and can help answer more of your questions!


Maybe you’re in a tough financial situation right now. You stay at home with your kids, and one day your husband comes home and says he no longer has a job.

It’s a horrible feeling, and you immediately wonder how you’ll make it all work. I know it’s scary, but I think the first thing you should do is pray about your situation. No matter what happens, God will take care of you, and I firmly believe that.

When John told me he had lost his job, it was pretty terrifying. We had a young child at home and suddenly had no income. We prayed every day; I cut our grocery budget in half and we stopped all non-essential spending.

Through it all, we were never in need and by the grace of God John got a job 4 months later. I’m not saying it’ll be easy during these times, but I know you need to trust God while you get things in your life in order.

It's hard to figure out how to feed your family on a budget. Here are some tips and resources to help lower your budget and save money!

Meal plan

If you know how much you want to budget, you need to make a meal plan each week. It doesn’t have to be complicated; you just need to have a general idea of what you’ll be eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Having a plan in place will immediately help you save money, as you won’t find yourself at the store every couple days picking up random ingredients for dinners and spending even more money.

Don’t be afraid to make meals simple! Dinners like spaghetti and tacos don’t require a lot of effort; and as long as you’re okay with being repetitive, you can have those every week while you get a good idea of how much you can spend per week. 

Start small

If you spend $100.00 a week and want to get your budget down to $50.00 a week, you might have issues immediately cutting down to that amount. Try lowering your budget a little at a time, maybe by $10.00 a week, until you feel pretty comfortable.

It’ll be hard at first, but like I said, start small! Check the front page of your grocery ads for the biggest sales on meat and produce and see if you can buy a lot of your food from there. That’ll immediately cut down your spending as you’re buying food at super-low prices.

Meat can be one of the bigger expenses, especially if you eat it at every meal. You can stretch your meat in different ways to last longer; a couple pounds of ground beef can get you through a few meals if you add things like beans or rice in it!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you’re on a really tight income and you really don’t know how you’ll make ends meet, there’s no shame in getting help! Your town most likely has a food pantry you can visit, and if you qualify, the WIC program can really help.

We’ve never been in a situation where we’ve needed either of these, but I know people who have. They’re helpful and a huge blessing, so please, don’t be afraid to reach out.

No matter how you decide to do things, stick to it

Once you decide on a budget and how you’ll spend your money, don’t stray from the path! This only works if you’re committed and willing to put in the effort.

It’s so easy to fall back into your old habits and let impulse buys take over (ask me about the bags and bags of snacks in my pantry). Stick to your list and say no to that soda, or cookies, or whatever it is you no longer want that sucks up your grocery budget.

Consistency is key, and once you shop with a lower grocery budget for a few weeks, it starts to become second nature and gets much easier. I promise!

Remember, this is YOUR life, and YOUR grocery budget. Your budget and list will probably look nothing like the lucky person who lives three states away from you, whose store has milk for 89 cents.

Whether it’s from dietary needs, cost of living, and even what you choose or choose not to eat, just know that everyone is different. And everybody’s choice is correct, even yours, because only you know your family and your needs. So don’t compare! Stick to your plan and don’t give up, and remember that you’re not alone.





Tuesday 30th of May 2017

Ohh Jaime, I like your website :)! I'll spend during 2017 50 euros/week with our family of 4 (our daughter - 4 years old and our son - 9,5 months). This 50 euros is for all groceries, care products and detergent, presents, baby supplies, children's wear, to cut hair and to wash the car.

It's a voluntary challenge, our income is fine, but we want to save extra for the kids and pay off the mortgage.

Good to read that we believe in the same God :)!

Welcome to my blog, but I only write Dutch texts, so I don't know if you can understand my writing ;)...


Tuesday 30th of May 2017

Adrianne, you are amazing! =) What a great challenge, and I wish you the best of luck! It's hard at first, but knowing your end goal makes things a lot easier.


Friday 5th of May 2017

Great post and very helpful. Really enjoyed this and that you give such practical advice and tips that anyone can do and start wherever they are with whatever they have. I look forward to your next article.


Saturday 6th of May 2017

Thank you, Jan! I really appreciate that.


Thursday 4th of May 2017

Hey, Jamie! Good tips, here! There was a time when we were a family of 8 on one teacher's salary. It was crazy, but we made it through. The math didn't ever add up. A friend of my called it God Math. She was so right. ;)


Friday 5th of May 2017

Thanks! It's amazing how things never seem to make sense when we're in financial troubles. It's definitely a God thing!

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