A major expense for most households is food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that families of four (with young children) might spend as little as $568.40 or as much as $1,112.70 monthly on food at home, depending on whether they are thrifty or liberal in their spending. Those who are short on dinner ideas may eat out more and spend more on food.
A friend recently told me that she spends about $1,200 monthly to feed two grown adults and five teens and young twentysomethings at home. I also spend a lot when my sons are home visiting.
I’ve found that it takes creative, sustained effort to spend less (time and money) on meals. As my life changes, with kids entering and leaving the house, I’m constantly experimenting with ways to eat better and spend less. Here are dinner ideas that have worked for me: