How To Food Budget When You Have A Teenager In The House

Teenagers can have big appetites -from doing a lot of exercise, studying for exams or simply growing. Here's how to food budget with a hungry teen in the house.

Teenagers need good food to keep them going but this means a little extra expense for parents or caregivers, so how do you manage it? Learning how to food budget is important and today, we're sharing everything you need to know.

Here are some tips on food budgeting when you have a teen in the house: 

How to food budget with a teen in the house:

  1. Ask your teenager about what they would like for snacks.

    If you can bulk buy things ahead of the week then you’ll likely save money as you won’t be in and out to the shops (which can lead to impulse buying).

    Have a chat with your teenager and ask them what snacks you can get and try and be ‘budget smart’. Buy bananas and if they go off, keep them for healthy banana bread. Apples could be used for poached apple or grated into oatmeal muffins. 

  2. Make your teenager accountable.

    If your teenager wastes food and is bringing home a full lunchbox talk to your teen about food waste. You can’t budget for food if it is going in the bin - you need your teen to play a role in what they eat and ensure it doesn’t end up in the bin. Wasted food is wasted money so if you can cut that out, you’ll save. 

  3. Start the day well.

    The best way to save money on excess food bills is ensuring your teenager eats well in the morning. This means eggs, porridge, cereal and fruit to get them off on the right foot.

    Having a good breakfast means your teenager will be less likely to over snack (if they are at home during the day) and it’s good for them too. 

  4. Teach your teenager to cook.

    A teenager who can cook is less likely to fill up on unhealthy food that is usually overpriced and not very healthy. Teach teenagers the basics of making rice dishes (stir fry) and pasta dishes (carbonara is simple to make) and they will not need to eat bad food when you are busy or haven’t started dinner. In fact, they can make it for all the family!
    How To Food Budget When You Have A Teenager In The House

  5. Keep an eye on specials.

    Take advantage of times when snacks and food are on special. Pieces of meat might help feed a family but only if they are well-priced and as teenagers eat a lot, cheaper cuts can offer more but at a budget-friendly price. Go for drumsticks instead of chicken breasts so your teen can have more protein but without breaking the bank. 

  6. Make your own.

    Simple snacks can be quite pricey so do yourself a favour and make your own if you can. Instead of buying packet soups, do a big lot of soup and put it in the freezer. Do extra portions of Bolognese and lasagne for days when your teenager is late or early home so they can get dinner in between study.

    Make healthy snacks like muffins, granola bars and pancakes instead of spending too much money on these items. Making smoothies at home is another tip and instead of letting your teen buy a hot chocolate or coffee on the way to school invest in a coffee machine and a good quality keep cup. 

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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