Family Savings Center

Hundreds of Ways To Do More For Your Family Every Day!
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School is back in session and parents everywhere are easing back into a daily routine. For many families, that means hectic mornings and busy nights. When time is limited, saving money on meals and snacks can be especially challenging. Here are ten simple tips to incorporate savings into your weekly routine.


Breakfast

Weekend Prep

If you enjoy bacon and eggs for breakfast, take the opportunity to assemble some breakfast sandwiches on the weekend that you can freeze and enjoy throughout the week. Layer cooked eggs, a slice of cheese, and bacon in between halves of a toasted English muffin. Place in sandwich bags and store in your freezer. Allow to thaw overnight and microwave in the morning for an easy, filling, yet inexpensive breakfast.

Breakfast on the Run

Even the most organized families have days when they're running behind schedule. Be prepared! Keep boxes of cereal bars or granola bars on hand for mornings when there simply isn't enough time for breakfast at home. Even if your time is short, school-age kids can prepare cereal on their own. Have them assume the duty of making their own breakfasts to instill responsibility and help beat the morning rush. Look for coupons for these items to help you save.


Lunch

Sandwich Savvy

Save money and incorporate variety into your sandwiches by using different breads like pita pockets and bakery rolls to take full advantage of products on sale at the supermarket. Tortillas are great for wrap sandwiches as well as pinwheels, which kids can help you make.

    Tortilla Pinwheels: Spread tortilla with cream cheese or other spread. Add thin slices of your favorite lunchmeat and cheese. Roll tightly. Place tortillas in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before cutting into 1/4" slices. Discard the ends.

Make Lunches Fun

Once the novelty of the new lunchbox and thermos has worn off, find creative but inexpensive ways to keep kids interested in their packed lunches. Sending along little notes of encouragement lets your kids know that you're thinking about them even when you're not around.


After School

Keep Healthy Options on Hand

When kids walk through the door after a busy day at school, the first thing they ask for is something to eat. Be prepared with healthy options like yogurt, fresh fruit, and whole grain muffins for kids to grab quickly; it's easy to find coupons for these items, too.

Snacking on the Go

Hunger always seems to strike when you're least prepared. Keep a stash of easy snacks in the car to stave off hunger between practices, school events, and other activities. If your kids play sports, bring your own snacks and energy drinks so that they can fuel up at halftime or after games. This way, you'll avoid expensive trips to the convenience store or the drive-thru window.


Dinner

Plan Frugal Meals

When creating your grocery list, think in terms of whole meals rather than individual items. You'll avoid additional trips to the store for items you forgot. Include frugal meal themes such as "Meatless Monday" or "Soup and Sandwich Night" to help save on your overall grocery costs.

Family Night

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it can be easy to lose sight of what's truly important. Designate one night of the week as "Family Night," when spending time together comes first. Keep outside activity and distractions to a minimum and plan an activity you all enjoy. Cooking as a family can be a great way to spend time together and save money: incorporate hands-on food traditions such as making homemade pizza with a pre-made crust or assembling tacos instead of eating out.


Weekend

Sleepovers

If you've got school age kids, sleepovers are often part of the weekend routine. Help keep costs down by providing plenty of inexpensive snacks like popcorn, pretzels, or other items you can purchase in bulk. For dessert, making Indoor S'mores is a fun (yet frugal) activity.

    Indoor S'mores: Spread one tablespoon chocolate frosting on a graham cracker square. Layer one large marshmallow on the frosting and top with another graham cracker square. Line a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place s'mores on top. Bake at 300 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until marshmallow has melted.

Bake ahead

A baking project can double as a family activity and preparation for the week ahead. Cookies, bars, and cakes are always a hit with kids and can be enjoyed throughout the week as after-school snacks. If you're short on time, consider ready-made mixes and dough to make it even easier. Getting kids involved in food choices and cooking also helps to insure that they will eat what you make, which means less food and money goes to waste.

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