Our grocery bill has been astronomical the last couple of months so I've been revising things with hope of bringing down our food cost. That sounds sort of difficult when you're feeding a family of twelve but there are several things I did that have helped so far.

Making a menu for two weeks at a time is very helpful. This has helped me to stay focused and the girls can also help me with making dinner. They're all pretty good cooks and having a menu helps them to be able to help me better. I've found that with any size family, the better your planning the less trouble you run into. Here's a basic template that I use for menu planning.

You'll see here that I've shortened some words to make space. I simply could have widened the spaces on the chart but was feeling a bit lazy about this menu. By the way, this is an older menu that I'm adjusting quite a bit.

That brings me to another thing that we've started doing, adding more color to our meals. I couldn't believe at how much less expensive it is to feed everyone more veggies and smaller portions of meat! We've made eating red meat a less frequent thing and using more veggies as plate fillers. This has done wonders! Many people have trouble getting their children to eat veggies; however, as a parent, I make vegetables a consistent part of our diet and my children will now request salads and broccoli. It also helps if the veggies are made with love and not just tossed in a microwave!

One last thing is that we stay away from processed foods. Although we aren't 100% processed food free, we choose to make our meals with fresh or frozen veggies, buy bulk dry beans and rice, and make our meals from scratch.

I'm keeping a tab of what we're spending and I already see a difference. Hopefully our new menu changes will also result in some weight changes (wink).

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