5 Family-Friendly Ways to Make a Meal Last Longer and Save Money

Two things every mom dreams of: cooking less, and saving more money.

We got your back, Mom. We’ve got simple yet realistic tips that will make your meal last a little longer and save you just a little bit on your grocery bill.

  1. Add Some Beans

  2. I have started adding refried beans to meat to make it go further. It literally doubles the meal and costs less than a dollar to do so. Sometimes, I’ll puree black beans instead, but I usually add refried beans.

    If you want to try this, start with tacos. You can’t see a difference in the meat (thank you, seasoning!). Don’t say a word, and the kids don’t notice all. Even my super-picky kids haven’t noticed it yet.

  3. Serve a Side of Bread or Rice

  4. I never knew why bread was served with every meal, but it finally dawned on me: It’s cheap and fills you up! Yes, having meat, vegetables and fruit at a meal are a must in our house, but I also add a starch for the simple fact that four kids will eat us out of our home if we don’t fill them up in other ways.

    Opt for whole grain bread (tip: look for whole wheat, whole oats or brown rice as the first ingredient). That will pack a better fiber punch, and one of the benefits is helping you feel full.

    A side of brown rice or potatoes will do the trick, too!

  5. Save the Crust

  6. If you cut the crust off your child’s sandwiches, don’t throw away the crust.

    I keep a freezer bag ready to go, in the freezer, and when I cut the crust off three sandwiches for lunch, I save that crust, put it into my freezer bag and save it.

    The next time that I need bread crumbs, I take out my bag, add seasoning and put it into my food processor. I have just created breadcrumbs for only a few cents.

  7. Hack the Oatmeal

  8. We are an oatmeal-eating family; however, since we love oats so much, we’ve started buying a lot more. Our oldest son likes the oatmeal packets, but he will eat three at a time.

    Since I’m not thrilled about all that sugar (or money spent), my solution is simple: Add just one pack in a bowl, and then add the off-brand rolled oats to that bowl. We add milk or water and microwave. It cuts down on the sugar and the price.

  9. Use What You Have

  10. One of our biggest wastes of money? Throwing food away.

    Go through your refrigerator and pantry twice a week and try to make a meal of what you have. Pair any produce with any meat, and you’ve got dinner.

    Waste reduction alone will save you a lot of money on your groceries each month.

Making the most of your food is a simple way to save, because no one really knows you are doing it. The kids are still eating well, and you are getting the most out of a meal AND your money.

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