Learn ways to feed your children while on a budget – and in a way that they will enjoy!Cheap meal ideas for kids

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it costs about $233,610 to raise a child from birth to age 18. That’s a lot of money for anyone – and especially for families on a budget.

Thankfully, there are limitless ways in which to spend less in almost every facet of life. Today, we’re going to talk about ways to spend less on food – specifically, ways to save money when feeding a family with children.

Cheap Meal Ideas For Children

Here are some cheap and easy meal and snack ideas for kids, using ingredients you probably already have on hand:

Cheesy corn hotdish recipe: One of my favorite hotdish/casserole recipes that takes 5 minutes to prepare! A potluck favorite.

Baked oatmeal cups: Individual baked oatmeal cups can be flavored and topped with a variety of ingredients.

Egg & potato breakfast tacos: Breakfast for 4 for less than $5.

Cheap Meals For Kids: Use What You Already Have

Feeding your kids does not have to break your wallet. Start by using what you already have on hand at home, instead of making a trip to the grocery store or getting takeout.

Here are 7 affordable and easy-to-make back-to-school meal ideas.

Getting Your Kids To Eat Healthy Foods

Kids can be fed quite cheaply. The trick is finding foods that they will enjoy eating that are also healthy.

One clever trick to get your kids to eat healthy foods: Try naming your menu items.

A peanut butter and banana sandwich is more kid-friendly if it’s called a “monkey sandwich”. Broccoli is boring, but “dinosaur trees” is fun and intriguing. Food manufacturers do this all the time in an effort to market toward a young audience. Why not try it yourself?

Here are some classics with a kid-friendly name:

  • Ants on a log (spread a celery stick with peanut butter and place a few raisins on top)
  • Toad in a hole/egg in a nest (cut a circle in a slice of bread, crack an egg and pour into the hole, and fry until the egg is cooked through)
  • Pigs in a blanket (wrap refrigerator crescent rolls around a hot dog and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350F)
  • Rainbow wheels (spread hummus on a whole wheat tortilla, layer on lettuce, tomato, avocado and cheese, and roll up)

Additional Ways To Get Your Children To Eat Healthy Foods

  • Cut healthy sandwiches in fun shapes with a cookie cutter
  • Have your child help prepare food. Depending on your child’s age, give them simple tasks such as washing vegetables, mixing batter or cracking eggs.
  • Serve raw veggies with a healthy dip like hummus or bean dip
  • Make one meal for the whole family to enjoy – Don’t start the habit of making a special meal for the kids and one for the adults
  • Cut back on junk food – If you stop buying it, they will stop eating it at home

Remember: Your kids will model your behavior. Do you eat unhealthy foods but expect them to eat lots of fruits and vegetables? Make a practice of eating nutritious, whole foods as a family.

50 cheap snack ideas for children, from Cheap Recipe Blog

More cheap meal and snack ideas: 50 Cheap after school snacks

Where To Shop

Remember, where you shop matters. Grocery store prices vary greatly. Typically, the highest price grocery stores are co-ops and natural grocery stores that sell more special diet and organic foods.

One of the cheapest grocery stores that has a growing selection of organic and specialty items is ALDI. This is where I do most of my grocery shopping – and I fill in the gaps at other grocery stores.

Other national grocery chains with low prices on groceries are Walmart and Target.

The $10 Food Day Series

The $10 Food Day

I recently came up with three one-day meal plans that will feed a family of four for less than $10 – for the entire day! If you are looking for some ultra cheap meal ideas (we’re talking much less than $1 a serving), these are for you:

Is it possible to feed a family of four for less than $100 a week? Absolutely! Learn how I did it – and how you can do it too.