Running a home daycare can be both fulfilling and challenging. One of the most important aspects of running a daycare is providing healthy and nutritious snacks and meals for the children. However, this can sometimes come with a hefty price tag. In this blog post, we’ll discuss tips and tricks to keep your home daycare food costs low while providing tasty and healthy meals for your little ones.
Tips to Keep Your Home Daycare Food Costs Low
Try Buying Store Brand Products
When it comes to buying groceries, we often tend to go for well-known brands. However, opting for store-brand items can save you a considerable amount of money. Most store-brand items are of the same quality as name-brand products but at a lower price point. So, next time you go grocery shopping, try store-brand items and see if you can save some money.
Opt for Frozen Veggies
Fresh vegetables are great, but they can be pricey and tend to spoil quickly. Instead, try opting for frozen veggies. You can cook them as needed and store the rest in the freezer for the next time. This way, you reduce waste and save money in the long run.
Say No to Expensive Cereals
Most children love cereals, but they can be costly. Instead of serving cereal for breakfast, try making a batch of pancakes or waffles. These are quick, easy to make, and usually cheaper than boxed cereals. Plus, you can make them in bulk and store them in the freezer, ready for a quick breakfast.
Buttered Noodles Are Your Friend
Pasta is an excellent option for a quick and easy side dish. Rather than adding expensive sauces, try serving buttered noodles. They are a hit with most children; you only need butter and pasta. It’s a cheap and easy way to add carbs to meals.
Get Creative with Pizza
Pizza is a crowd-pleaser, but it can be expensive if you buy it pre-made. Instead, opt for a $1 crust mix, a jar of sauce, and some cheese on sale. If pepperoni is on sale, add that too, but cheese pizza is always a win. This way, you can make a whole pizza for less than $2!
Watch the Price per Ounce
Opting for larger packages sometimes seems like the cheaper option. However, it’s essential to watch the price per ounce. Sometimes, buying smaller packages can actually be more cost-effective. So, always compare prices and sizes before making a purchase.
Serving family-style meals can help reduce food waste. This way, children can serve themselves and take only what they can eat. Plus, it encourages children to try new foods as they see their peers enjoying them.
Use Coupons and Rewards Points
Before making any purchase, check for coupons and rewards points. Many grocery stores offer digital coupons that can be accessed through their app and rewards points for future discounts. Plus, opting for pick-up instead of in-store shopping eliminates impulse purchases.
Buy Meat on Sale and in Bulk
Meat can be one of the most expensive parts of any meal. To keep costs low, buy meat on sale and in bulk. Freeze any extra portions and use them for future meals. Ground beef, chicken, and pork are all great options. Using these ingredients, you can make meatballs, tacos, or shepherd’s pie.
Double Your Dinner Recipe
Make dinner the night before and double the recipe. Serve the leftovers as lunch the next day. Leftovers save you time and money.
Create a Snack Mix
Make a snack mix with any leftover cereal, pretzels, and crackers. A homemade snack mix is a great way to use up any leftover ingredients and give the kids a tasty snack. You can also add in some raisins or other dried fruit to give the snack mix a sweet touch.
Serve Smaller Portions
Serve smaller portions and give seconds if the kids want more. Smaller portions help reduce food waste and still ensure everyone gets enough to eat. Encourage the kids to try a little bit of everything, and if they really like something, then they can have seconds.
Buy Cheese in Brick and Shred Yourself
Instead of buying pre-shredded cheese, buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. Shredding your own cheese will save you money, and you can also control the amount of cheese that goes into each dish.
Purchase Farm Fresh Eggs
If you can get your hands on farm-fresh eggs, then go for it! They are usually cheaper than store-bought eggs, and they taste much better. Plus, they are a great source of protein and can be used in various dishes.
Shop What is on Sale, Then Plan Your Menus
When grocery shopping, check out what’s on sale and then plan your menus around those items. This ensures that you’re getting the best deals and that you’re not overspending on food.
Running a home daycare can be challenging, but implementing these tips can keep your home daycare food costs low. By making minor adjustments, we can reduce food waste, provide healthy meals, and save some money in the process. So, go ahead and give these tips a try for your little ones, and see how much you can save.