One of the many important duties as a parent is to ensure our children are receiving all of the nutrition they need. Keeping on budget and getting our children to eat in a healthy manner can be a very challenging task. Eating the right foods will help a child to grow and thrive. All children need healthy servings of fruits and vegetables every day!
Although every child has different nutritional needs, it’s safe to say that the less processed foods that they eat, the better it is for their health. The average child needs 1600 calories per day to maintain proper energy levels.
We understand that kids can be picky eaters, so we have included some yummy recipes that all kids will love! The ingredients are multi-purpose and through savvy shopping methods, you can feed your kiddos and still stay on budget.
Saving Money on Groceries
There are a websites & apps that you can use to find manufacturer’s coupons. Coupons are a parent’s saving grace! Combining manufacturer’s coupons with weekly and monthly specials at your local supermarket, will help you save thousands of dollars a year! Below, we have listed 3 sites that offer tons of savings!
1. The Krazy Coupon Lady
TheKrazyCouponLady has millions of followers. Visit their website and search through hundreds of coupons on items you use everyday.
Search through tons of coupons for groceries and restaurants in your area.
Get grocery, cashback and loyalty offers from local stores and markets.
Money Saving Recipes (that your kids will love)
Below, we have listed our top picks for delicious and inexpensive meals your kids will love! Although we added classic ingredients to the list, you can substitute milk with almond milk or lactose free dairy products. You can substitute real eggs with egg substitutes. You should also consider healthier alternatives for salt, butter and oil. Keep in mind that penny pinching does not have to be unhealthy!
Kids love pancakes! Adults love pancakes too! Pancakes are a great breakfast meal that can provide your children with all of the carbs they need in the early am and by adding fruit, you are giving them extra nutrients. You can pick up ready-made pancake mix for about $2, or it is another option to make your own. Below, we added a recipe to make delicious pancakes from scratch.
- ¾ cup of milk
- 1 egg
- All purpose flour
- Baking soda
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of white sugar
- Vegetable cooking spray
- You can also add chopped fruit
Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Heat a large skillet with cooking spray. Pour the batter to your desired size. Once bubbles appear on the surface, flip it over. Once the pancakes brown they’re ready to go!
Oatmeal is a wonderful breakfast food that many children can eat everyday. It’s fast, delicious, and affordable. There are many brands of ready-to-eat oatmeal in the supermarket. Most brands start at $1 a box. Below, we’ve added a nutritious oatmeal recipe to get your kids on the right track!
- ½ cup of rolled oats
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of white sugar
- ¼ cup of milk
- 1 banana
- ½ cup of berries
Mix the oats, fruit, and water on your stove-top for about 5-8 minutes. Cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Pasta salad is a healthy and affordable choice for lunches. Kids love it, and you can add veggies to make sure they get their greens! You can usually find boxes of macaroni and cheese on sale, 3 for a dollar.
- 4 cups of macaroni
- 1 cup of low-fat mayonnaise
- ¼ cup of distilled vinegar
- ⅔ cups of white sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons of mustard
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 stalks of celery
- 3 tomatoes
- ½ onion
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the macaroni. Cook the pasta until tender and drain the water. Chop all of your vegetables, and place them to the side. In a large bowl, mix all of the other ingredients until a smooth consistency is achieved. Pour over the macaroni, and add the veggies. Mix well and refrigerate. Serve after 3 hours and enjoy!
Bacon and Tomato Grilled Cheese
Any parent can attest to the fact that kids love their grilled cheese sandwiches! Below, we added a
healthy twist to the classic.
- Whole wheat sliced bread
- American or Provolone cheese
- Sliced tomatoes
- Turkey bacon
- Cooking spray
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake your turkey bacon until it becomes crispy. Once the bacon is cooked, use a skillet and spray the pan. Place one slice of bread on the pan. Add a slice of cheese, tomato, and bacon. Use a fork to turn over to check if slice is light brown. Place the other slice of bread on top and flip it over. Once again, check for the slice to be golden brown. Let the sandwich cool off for 5 minutes and serve to the happy kiddies!
Quesadillas are delicious, fun to eat, and inexpensive to make. The wraps come in a pack and are usually on special for $2-$3. You also have your choice of corn, wheat, or basic flour wraps.
- Pound of meat of your choice
- 1 green pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 1 onion
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Fajita, or any seasoning of your choice
Preheat your oven on the lowest setting. Place the quesadillas and shredded cheese on baking sheets. In a big pan, stir fry the chicken/beef, veggies, and the other ingredients. Cook until meat is done. Turn off your oven. Grab a spoon and pour ingredients into the quesadilla wraps and close them up. Sprinkle some cheese on top. Once cool, serve with a spoon of sour cream.
Yummy Sloppy Joes
Everyone loves Sloppy Joes–especially kids! You can buy either ground beef or chicken by the pound. Many supermarkets have weekly specials on these items. You can either make your own sauce, or a ready-made spaghetti sauce will work just fine as well.
- 1 ½ pounds of lean ground beef
- ½ diced onion
- 1 diced green pepper
- ¾ Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ of ketchup
- ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
In a large skillet, cook the chopped onions, green peppers, and beef until the meat is fully cooked. Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to grind the meat while it’s cooking. Add the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and/or pepper to taste. Serve it on a bun and serve it to the kiddos!
Desserts & Snacks
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies and kids just go together! Below, is a little recipe to make your very own inexpensive chocolate chip cookies. You can buy all-purpose flour at the market for usually around $3-4 a bag. That bag can last you a good long while.
- ¾ cups of brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Chocolate chips
- Baking soda
- ½ cup of butter
- Cookie pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, mix all of the above ingredients. With a large spoon, place the mixture on an ungreased pan. Bake the cookies until golden brown. Let ‘em cool before serving.
Corn Muffins are not only delicious, they are easy to make! You can have them at any time of day, and they are extremely affordable. A bag of corn meal usually cost about 80 cents. You can add honey, chocolate chips, or fruit to your muffins as you like.
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs
- ¼ canola oil
- 1 cup of milk
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 1 cup of flour
- Addition of your choice.
- Corn Meal
- Baking Soda
- Muffin cups
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your pan. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients. Stir gently, then add the mix to muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until they become golden brown. You can also do the toothpick test. Once they’re dry inside, they are ready to go!
This snack is great for school, home, or extra refueling after a long day of playing. Granola bars are easy to make and are very inexpensive. You can use groceries that you probably already have in your home.
- 2 cups of rolled oats
- ½ cup of shredded coconut
- ½ cup of honey
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ⅛ of salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 inch baking dish. Spread the oats and coconut evenly on a baking sheet. Toast the oats in the oven until brown. Mix the honey and other ingredients in a large bowl. Spread evenly on the toasted oats. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. The longer they are in the oven, the crunchier they are. If you like chewy, remove them sooner!
The Final Word
There are many inexpensive meals you can make for the kiddos on the daily basis. Cut your coupons and if something is on sale, buy larger quantities. Be creative and get cooking!