If you're facing financial difficulty buying food for your family then this guide will help you to reduce your food bills, eat better food, look at all the programs available for low income families and individuals as well as hunger programs in the USA that will help you feed your family for free. This will be a very comprehensive guide which I will constantly add to help as many people as I can, I've experienced hunger myself and I know how unpleasant it can feel (I seriously sympathize); please bookmark this article and forward it to as many people experiencing hunger, leave a comment if you know of any tips or programs that can help people experience food poverty.
#1: Budget Your Money Better
Effective budgeting can make your grocery bill much more manageable, sometimes people are surprised to find out how much they spend on a particular area in their life. When I was facing difficulties feeding my family I started budgeting, to my absolute horror I found that I was spending more money on entertainment and hobbies that I was on food. Budgeting will help you to get things into perspective and will help you prioritize what is most important which is to feed your family healthy and nutritious food. There is a link below which has advice on how to create your income and expenses statement so that you can see where all your money is going, you might be surprised. The most important exercise is to try to cut need less spending and then use that money for the things that matter like feeding your family.
Free Budget Spreadsheet
#2: Use Coupons and Special Offers on Food
Another great way to stretch the amount you can buy is with coupons and special offers. When I was facing difficulties with food the first thing I did was to downscale on the food supermarket I use and go to a budget supermarket, this helped me to drastically reduce my food bills. I also looked for coupons on the internet on the foods I needed and every time I found something it was like finding free money, I also looked at supermarket comparison sites to find half price offers or buy one get one free. The bottom line was I always looked for a cheaper alternative or ways I could cut the cost of buying foods. I have bookmarked an excellent site below which offers advice to people who want to stretch their money using special offers and coupons.
Deal Seeking Mum
#3: Learn to Love Leftovers
There were times when we chucked everything that we didn't want to eat, when I look back I think to myself what a waste of money, throwing food away was like throwing money away. What really helped with lowering our food bill was cooking less food and leaving leftovers for another day. If you're struggling with your food bill I would urge you to take this challenge and cook less food and lower your portion size, if you find that you're chucking away 1/3 of your food then cook a third less, instead of cooking 7 days worth of meals cook only 5 days and then use the leftovers for days 6 and 7. The link below has some excellent advice on how to love leftovers so that you can feed your family for less.
Learn to Love Your Food Leftover
#4: Find Inexpensive Food Items
This tip was mentioned quickly on #1 but deserves more attention, if you're struggling with your food bills you need to downshift a brand, rather than buying Coca Cola you need to buy budget cola, rather than buying Branded chocolate you need to switch to generic brands. If you can do this with every item you buy you can slash your bill by half! Take the challenge for a month, make the switch and then see how much you save, also see if you notice a big difference.
#5: Get Help From the Government
If you're on a very low income or have lost your job, are facing financial despair, disaster or crisis then you might be eligible for food stamps from the Government. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps people to feed their families, the public assistance comes in the form of vouchers which can be redeemed for food from stores that accept the vouchers. This program is invaluable for those who are having difficulties and you should apply right now if you're in this position, swallow your pride and get help. I have bookmarked a link below from the USDA Food & Nutrition Service for anyone who wants to apply for Food Stamps.
Apply For Food Stamps in Your State
#6: Get Help From Food Banks
Another option that you could explore is food banks, these programs are for families and individuals who have nowhere to turn to and need immediate assistance. Food banks are spread all across America and are one of the greatest programs available in the world today. Being hungry feels terrible seeing your family experience hunger is even worse, these non profit organization help people all across America with food. I have bookmarked as many Food Bank Programs that I could find, I will add more as and when I find them. If you know anyone who is experiencing hunger then forward this guide to them, if you know anymore hunger food banks then leave a comment below for people to share.
Feeding America Food Banks
North Carolina Feeding America Food Banks
Food Pantries America Food Banks
#7: Grow Your Own Food
If you've got a garden you have to grow your own food or at least try, if you can become a better gardener every year then the less you'll have to spend on your grocery. When I was experiencing hardship my garden became a respite from the depression of not having money, I grew tomatoes, potatoes, apples, pears, plums and used every inch of my garden to get some food, leaving a patch empty was like saying no to money. If you've got a garden start growing things and see how much you can save, start small and then build your produce. I have bookmarked an article below for inspiration, the couple concerned were able to cut thousands from their yearly food bill using allotments
Grow Your Own Food and Save Money
#8: Eat Less
If you're overweight then try to eat less, if you've been putting off that diet or are thinking about losing some pounds from around the waist then do it now. Buy less food and start your diet, if you eat less you'll lose weight and have enough money to feed your family, stop spending on takeouts, on expensive beverages and foods with high fat and sugars, replace them with cheaper healthier alternatives, if you can lose weight, save money and become healthy in one go then your life will improve in three dimensions.
Unthinkable Ways of Saving Money
#9: Buy Low GI Foods
The reason I ate to frequently was because I was eating foods high in fat and sugars, this habit was also picked up by my children, the high from the taste of fat, sugar wore of quickly so we visited the fridge more often which increased our food bills. By switching to foods with low GI I was able to feel fuller for longer, foods like Weatabix mixed Low Fat Yogurt and fruits. The less we ate the less we spent on food so our food bill became more manageable.
If you need help buying food for your family then try some of the tips mentioned above, the more attention you put into the advice the more money you could save which will help you to put healthy nourishing food on the table for your family. Please feel free to comment and add more tips to this guide, the more tips there are the more people we can help. Also please forward this guide to anyone who is experiencing hunger, by using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and G+ we can reach a much wider audience. I really hope this guide helps.
If you're desperate and have nowhere to turn to and nee urgent financial assistance you should visit the USA.Gov website to find financial help from the Government. You could get help with mortgage assistance programs, military financial assistance, financial help for self employed, and financial assistance for pensioners.