I buy and cook for a large household and even after being extremely frugal for years I can’t decide which is best.
Bare bones ingredients/ from scratch: looks good and cheapest on paper, but involves 2+ hours kitchen time plus 3 full loads dishes plus running the oven daily. Yes I do a lot of prep and batch cooking, there’s still a ton of cleanup and kitchen time. I have limited freezer space.
Big box: involves lots of repetition, forced to buy in bulk. For a small household this may work, but for a large household I end up with a lot of complainers, still having to run out for smaller ingredients. To stay cheap this still involves a fair amount of cooking/ clean up. Plus gas to drive to the big box store which is becoming increasingly expensive.
Couponing/ regular grocery store/ sales/ points or rewards: a lot of sale products I consider junk food , less choices if I buy only sales but at least it changes week to week . The rewards seem worth it but I still end up spending about $20 for every $5 in discounts. Then I still have to buy the from scratch ingredients for stuff I cook regardless of sales.
Honestly they all seem to come out equally good/ bad if I consider the pros and cons. I can’t be the only one bouncing between these? Any help or shared experiences appreciated! Especially those from large households.