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‘It’s freeing’: A N.B. mom of 7 shares her budget-friendly meal planning tips

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N.B. mom of 7 shares budget-friendly meal planning tips online
WATCH: A busy New Brunswick woman is helping people across the country save on food costs by sharing her tips and tricks on how to eat on a budget. Shelley Steeves reports – Sep 22, 2023

In a country where the cost of groceries keeps climbing, one determined New Brunswick mom has taken it upon herself to help families across Canada learn how to eat well on a budget.

“Grocery prices are ridiculous and they have definitely skyrocketed,” said Katie Peterson of Rothesay, N.B., who started the Facebook group “Frugalicious Meals” several years ago.

While government officials vow to tackle soaring food costs, this mother of seven is posting tips on meal planning to offer support for Canadian families that are struggling to pay their monthly grocery bill.

“I am just trying to help people eat what they want on a budget,” said Peterson.

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The stay-at-home mom has a degree in nutrition. Through her Facebook and Instagram platforms, she shares invaluable tips and tricks on how to trim monthly food expenses. She says meal planning is the key.

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“The very first thing that I recommend people do when meal planning is to make a recipe collection,” said Peterson.

With nine hungry mouths to feed, she meticulously plans her spring and summer and then fall and winter menus, consisting of 80 recipes that will carry her family through the seasons. This approach allows her to purchase ingredients when they’re on sale or in bulk, ultimately saving money and reducing stress.

“It means I am not wasting a whole lot of food, and I am not going to the store trying to think about things that I want. (Without) that mental load, it’s freeing,” she said.

Members of her meal planning group, spanning Canada and the US, share recipe ideas and tips on how to save on food, said Peterson.

“When you’re using ground beef, you can add black beans. Just mash them up a tiny bit and it works great, especially on taco night,” she said.

“Frugalicious Meals” members like Kelly Willington from Red Deer County, Alta., said the group has helped her family save at the checkout.

“She also gives you inspiration for school lunches and for suppers and breakfasts and how to just make meals fun but also doable,” said Willington.

Peterson said that eating well on a budget is possible and can be a “delicious adventure.”

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