Eating Healthy on a Single Mom Budget

Nov 3, 2014

Living on a single mom budget doesn't mean we can't serve healthy meals to our children. Learn how this single homeschooling mom manages to do it.

Each single mom has her own unique experience and challenges. My only real challenge as a single mom is finances. 

There just never seems to be enough money. Ever. Feeding a family on a single mom budget isn't always easy, but I've found what works for us. 

It is entirely possible to feed a family healthy foods on a tight budget. In fact, I spend approximately $65 each week. Here's how.

Eating Healthy on a Single Mom Budget

{This post may contain affiliate links}

Cooking from 'scratch' saves money.

I grew up eating minimally processed foods because that's what was available. people cooked. As a part of a big southern family, I most certainly learned to cook. 

Always practical, I never began buying processed foods when they came into fashion. I just didn't see the logic in spending more for less. Today, I realize it's not only less expensive to cook my own food, but it's also healthier.

I don't shop at chain grocery stores.

I avoid chain stores as much as possible. I used to do the crazy couponing (and did it well, mind you), but only realized I had a kitchen full of cereal and pasta. Well, we don't really eat cereal and Lorelai can't have pasta. Most of the coupons were for highly-processed foods, which my kids don't want.

And produce? You're not going to find any super-coupons for that.

I shop at a local store that offers so many fresh fruits and veggies it'll make your head spin. (See their prices here.) Sometimes I'll go to the meat market in the next county. I can feed my entire family for a month for approximately $45.

I make a menu and a shopping list.

I hate shopping and try to not repeat meals every week. Planning a two-week menu and only shopping every other week works best for me. 

First, I plan dinners. Once I see what ingredients/foods I've planned for the first two or three dinners, I know what I'll be using for the other dinners as well as lunches.

For instance, Let's say my dinners are looking like this: (note the bold items)

  • Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes with balsamic green beans
  • Lentils with Roasted Beets and Carrots and Cilantro-Brown Rice
  • Sautéed ChickpeasGreen Beans and Tofu
From that, I can see green beans being used twice (money saver!) and if I make extra chickpeas, I use them to make hummus (great for a lunch of tomato and hummus in a pita pocket!). If I buy a large pack of chicken, I can make chicken and rice one night, too.

By reusing ingredients in that way, I save money. 

eMeals helps save time and money.

If you're like me, menu-making isn't your favorite thing. I sometimes avoid it because it's time-consuming. (Maybe it's time-consuming because I hate it. I don't know.) 

I discovered eMeals a few years ago. Having the menu with the shopping list show up in my email is convenient. The time I save is worth the small subscription fee. 

I'm dealing with various diets in this house. I'm not good at creating a vegetarian menu, so I subscribe to the vegetarian menu at eMeals. From there, I add things for those who eat meats. Doing it this way works for us and saves me a lot of time and money.

I save the menus so that I can refer back to them at other times, creating my own menus from a blend of their recipes and my own. Maybe I'll make my ground beef stew for a Sunday lunch or perhaps I'll be in the mood for chili on a cold night.

That's how I do it.

  • Cook from scratch
  • Avoid grocery store chains
  • Make a menu and shopping list
  • Use eMeals to help with our special diets

Learn how other 
at iHomeschool Network.

What tips do you have for saving money on food? Share them in the comments.

Never miss a post! Subscribe here.


  1. I'm not a single mom but we are living on a single (and small, right now) income and it IS tough. I agree that cooking from scratch it a BIG one. We also try to eat seasonally. Produce that is in season is usually cheaper. :)

    1. True! That helps a lot (and it's healthier). I believe that we were given certain foods in certain seasons for the nutrients that will help us through that season.

  2. I'm going to look into eMeals. Trying to cook on a budget, with dietary restrictions is not the easiest thing I've ever done!

    1. They have a lot of choices - diabetic, low-carb, paleo, vegetarian, etc... Definitely check them out. Even if you ignore all the other things I said I do, the eMeals alone saves time and money. If you get the app, that's the best! It lists the menus, recipes and shopping list. I don't even have to THINK!

  3. Anonymous11/06/2014

    As a product of a single mom household, I have to commend you for pulling off being a mom and homeschooling your kids. My mom grew vegetables. I never considered it a big deal before, but now I do since it wasn't easy for her to do it in potted plants on our balcony of our apartment, but she did.

    1. I think it's so sweet that you not only remember that, but have come to appreciate it.

  4. I think it is a great work for helping the single mom to get healthy food at cheap price. I really appreciate this kind of effort. Thank you

    1. Thanks for visiting. Glad you found the post useful!


Join the conversation!