I am often asked about our food budget, and how much we spend to feed a family of six.
The last time I wrote about our food budget was back in 2012. Back then I was able to stretch our budget a long way, but in the last year or two our food budget has been forced to grow a little. This is mostly because our children have grown, and their appetites have grown with them, but also because food prices in general have risen.
We still use all the methods described in that original post – I still do a big monthly shop, we still work with the cash system, and we still try to keep our food budget under control. Most months we spend between $600 and $650 on food and groceries. It depends on the month and how insanely busy we are, and also what’s growing in the garden, some months when I am particularly on top of things I can keep it below $600, other months I splurge!
One of the things that keeps us on track is a good list of budget friendly family dinner ideas.
Our family dinners are usually vegetarian, or have less meat than recipes recommend. I stretch many meals by adding extra veggies or pulses (red lentils can go in just about anything!). I rotate meals according to the seasons so I can get cheaper veggies, and so we can grow our own. And I cook meals from scratch when I can.
I am far from being a fancy cook, so our dinner menu is full of simple, easy to prepare meals, that everyone will eat.
Here’s 20 of my favourite budget friendly family dinners from my blog and some of my favourite family bloggers:
- Spinach Pasta Bake
Felafel Style Veggie Burgers. (freezer friendly)
Crustless Quiche Four Ways (one variation is not vegetarian but could be!)
Lentil-ese – Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese. (freezer friendly)
Pizza Pockets (variations not all vegetarian) (freezer friendly)
Beef or Lamb Meals
- Freezer Friendly Meatballs
Kid-made Chilli (can also be vegetarian) (freezer friendly)
Beef and Spinach Burgers (freezer friendly)
- Pizza Pasta Bake (can also be vegetarian)
Easy Tuna Pasta from Childhood 101.
Cheese Burger Pasta Bake from The Organised Housewife (we use less meat and add veggies)
- Sausage and Rice Bake from Childhood 101
Tuna and Rice from Planning With Kids
Kid-friendly Fried Rice from Planning With Kids
Mexi Bake from Planning With Kids (can also be vegetarian)
What are your best budget friendly family dinners?
Share some links or meal ideas in the comments so we can give them a try!