Food is one area
in the budget
where families can save the most money.
- Coupons. Coupons are for name-brand items, which are more expensive than off-brands.
- Convenience Foods. This food generally costs twice as much as the same thing made from scratch.
- Bulk Food. The bulk bin section of grocery stores is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than food purchased in expensive packaging.
- Cook from Scratch.
- Restaurants cost 6 to 10 times more than cooking from scratch.
- Frozen meals cost 4 times more than home-cooked meals.
- Prepackaged mixes are 3 times more than scratch.
- Pre-cut foods cost twice as much as doing your own slicing.
- Baking from scratch takes about the same amount of time as using baking mixes.
- Snacks such as homemade cookies and popcorn save money.
- Calculators. Use a small
calculator to help figure out an item's price per unit. Even if
something is on sale, the sale is not always the least expensive
- Plan Family Dinners. Begin
with the items a store has on sale that week. Those sale items are
advertised in the newspaper and are also available online. Many
different meals can be made from one item; such as a chuck roast being
used in pot roast, beef stew, chili, tacos, beef stroganoff, and
fajitas. Planning dinners helps in buying food you are going to eat
that week, planning to have and eat leftovers, reducing waste and
- Shop with a List. Surveys
show that people who shop with a list are more efficient, save time and
make fewer impulse purchases. Shoppers spend an average of $20 on
impulse every time they go to a store; so, reduce your shopping trips to
once a week.
- Children benefit when they help plan menus and take turns cooking one meal a week.
- Purchase local food from farmers or farmers' markets. Local
food is usually fresher, tastes better, is cheaper, and supports the
local economy (than food trucked or flown in from thousands of miles
- Raise a garden – a great family activity.
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
Federal program (formerly Welfare) designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency.
80,000 people in Washington receive TANF, including 55,000 children (2015)
(202) 401-9275 (Help for Families)http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/programs/tanf