Summer Break and the Grocery Budget

Summer Break and the Grocery Budget

School is out and the entire house is starving! This makes me question, “How the hell do y’all survive at school?” They are only allowed to eat on a schedule so why is it during a school break the kitchen is an all you can eat buffet 24/7?! I continuously hear, “Mom I’m hungry.” Here are a few ideas to help you (and your grocery budget) survive this summer!

Meal Planning 

Yes, we are all busy but carving out a few minutes a week can be beneficial. I try to set aside 15 minutes a week to create a menu. The menu isn’t only for dinner, it also includes lunch, breakfast and a few snacks. I am not saying you have to be a chef – all you have to do is prepare! For example, you are serving rotisserie chicken or baked chicken and have a bit leftover, use the leftovers for quesadillas, tacos, or a salad. No one will view it as “boring leftovers” because it is a different meal. Freeze or vacuum seal the bigger leftovers such as beans and soups. Those are great for busy weekends, nights, or when their friend tribe is over.


Try to stick with a budget. Yes, you can keep the same menu but may need to alter brands or where you are making purchases. With the recent increase in food prices, my house has become an ingredient household. Try making whatever you can from scratch. Oftentimes convenience comes with a price tag. A great place to shop is your local Farmer’s Market. Bring the kids along and let them join in on the meal planning. My go to items are cheese, meat, fish, shrimp, eggs, fruits & veggies. I have not braved the milk. The advantage is shopping local and your items are fresh. If are lucky they may also have baked goods. 

Food Swaps 

If your house is like mine – with teenagers who will eat you out of house and home – you may need to do food swaps. We do not have soft drinks in the house. Three cases of drinks is now equivalent to a tank of gas. No more juice boxes (unless it’s wine in a box). We put our own fruit in the water. Pre-packaged snacks at this age will require you to eat the entire box! We make smoothies, cupcakes or brownies and snack on those. You can freeze cupcakes and pull them out individually to serve. Giant boxes of cereal would be left opened to go bad. We now buy the individual serving size boxes. Make your own pancakes and waffles rather than buying them pre-made. They freeze well and you can still pop them in the microwave or toaster. 

Although converting your pantry and altering the way you cook meals seems like a chore, it will be worth it. In the end, you will have less processed food and the kids are learning to cook. 

Shopping bag full of healthy food on blue background. Flat lay with copy space






Brandy Baham
Brandy is a Single Mom of two, Riley (14) & Cruz (13) and resides in St. Charles Parish. She has a degree in Psychology from Holy Cross College and is an ELA teacher. During her free time she can be found cheering on her kids in whatever extra activity they are participating in. For fun she likes to try new local restaurants.


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