This post may contain affiliate links which is shown by a *. This means if you click on a link I may get a small commission at no cost to you.
This is what to do when your family is starving and you have no money for food
If you’re worried that you have no money left to feed your family this month, please don’t despair. You may have no money for food right now but you’re still an amazing parent and things will get better.
Being starving and having no money for food is a horrible situation to be in. Having no money for food makes you feel worthless but there are things you can do when you have nothing to eat.
For starters please don’t think that you’re a failure or that you are alone. Depressingly more of us than ever are struggling to feed our families and keep a roof over our heads.
Running out of money and needing food can affect all of us regardless of if you’re on housing benefit, have health issues, claim any other type of benefits or other stereotypes that gets thrown around.
You can have a good income and still have a month that has caught you out meaning you have no leftover money for food. We have all been there!
It’s not always possible to save money for tight months or when times are hard.
What Can You Do if you have no money for food?
Having no food and no money can seriously affect your mental health so please ask for help.
Don’t panic! You are doing the right thing sorting this head on. Feeling scared, emotional and embarrassed are all normal but please don’t let that stop you from getting help.
No Money for Food: What to do
Do you really have no money for food this week? Have you raided any saving pots you have? You may need groceries but sometimes you don’t need money. Do you have a Nectar card, Tesco Clubcard or a Boots Advantage card you could use? Yes your points will be used but it’s worth it if you just need to be tied over for a few days.
If you do then look at the budget versions of rice, porridge oats or pasta. They may not make the healthiest meal right now but can last you a few days while you get back on your feet.
Learn more on how to “manage your stress” while keeping a tight budget.
Have You Really Got no Food?
Have a look through all your cupboards. Do you have any tins that have been sat there for a while because the kids have suddenly gone off them.
Do you any frozen vegetables that have been sat in the freezer for a while? Any food you have, however random can be made into a meal for the family.
Have a look at the below and see if they trigger some meal ideas.
Family Meal Planner on a Budget: Feed a Family of Four for Under £16 a Week post
View our budget weekly menu post: Here’s How To Feed a Family for Just £18
Try our 59 Cheap Recipes for Families When Cooking on a Budget
All these are here to help give you some inspiration and may prompt some random meal ideas!
Your kids may hate tinned tuna but if that’s all you have then that’s it. Nothing is a silly idea and everything and anything will do.
Have a Clear Out
Do you have anything stored away that could be sold? Old DVDs, video games, clothes? An old TV you can’t find the remote for?
Anything can be sold and bought online.
When it comes to the internet, your old junk really is someone else’s gold.
Starting off on Facebook is the best bet. There are hundreds of local Facebay and Babybay selling groups out there, all divided up by local area. Just search and sell. They are free to join!
Facebook has also made it easier with its marketplace tool. It lets you discover, buy and sell items in your community and anyone or everyone near you or looking for that item will see it quickly.
Your items may not make you a fortune but may be able to pay for a few more days groceries for the family.
Do you have a storage space or a drive you could rent out for a bit? It won’t be ideal but many people will pay a month in advance for its use.
Storemates is the best place to look at if you like the storage route, just remember to ask what’s in the boxes, as it may invalidate your own insurance. Also remember you may have to pay tax, so remember to declare it on a self-assessment.
Your Parking Space is a good site if you can let out your drive. If you live near a train station, hospital or a city center then your plot is premium.
Please remember, any extra income has to be declared, regardless of if you qualify to pay tax or not.
Are you working?
Could you ask for a small advance on your wages or speak to your company HR department. We are all human beings and most people will want to help you!
Yes, this may leave you a bit short at the end of the month but putting that against having to get a short-term loan at high interest would be better for your family.
Let’s be honest, you can’t live off your store card points or leftovers in your freezer for long. Can you ask for help? Do you have a friend or a family member that you can ask for help?
Having no money for food is embarrassing nut asking those closest to you for help will help lighten the load.
Could they cook an extra batch of whatever they’re having and give to you? Could they add beans, lentils or frozen vegetables to pad a meal out so it doesn’t end up costing them more too.
There are ways you can receive free food. These are:
A Food Bank
Please shallow any misconceptions you may have about using a food bank. Remember, your family needs to eat and so do you. You may never have dreamed that you, yourself would ever have to use a food bank but we all need help sometimes and that’s what they are there for.
A food bank is there to give people food to those in need.
Anyone can use a food bank regardless of their personal circumstances. It doesn’t matter if you and your partner work full time or if you’re single, they will help.
How to use a food bank
This is when you may have to do a quick bit of research. You can’t just turn up at food banks, you need a referral.
Trussell Trust is one of the largest food bank networks throughout the UK and should hopefully have one near you. Also phone around your local churches, children centres or Health Visitor who will be able to point you in the right direction.
To get a referral you’ll need to speak to someone at either:
- Citizen’s Advice
- Children’s Centre
- Health Visitor
- Job Centre
Remember to tell them that it’s an emergency and you need to speak to someone today because you have no food and no money to feed your family.
Food Bank Voucher
Once you have been given a voucher you’ll be able to go to your local food bank to collect some food. You normally get given around three day’s worth which will help to feed your family.
This can include tins, milk, toiletries etc
Food sharing App called Olio
This app is all about stopping food waste. If a family home, café, restaurant or even a community allotment have surplus food they can add it to Olio. It’s free food to stop waste!
If you live in a large town or in a city then this may work really well for you.
No money for food after bills
If you have paid all your bills and just need food then the advice above should hopefully help you feed your family in till your next wage packet comes in.
But what do you do if you still have bills to pay?
Make sure you pay your “essential” bills first like your rent or mortgage and council tax. You don’t want to get behind with either of them as you could lose your home!
Please don’t bury your head in the sand. Before things get bad call the companies and be straight with them. They may be able to come up with ideas on how you can spread the cost and give you some wiggle room. It’s always worth being honest with them.
Things not to do when you have no food
1. Panic. You now know that there are options and you can pull a few meals out for a few days in till you get help.
2. Turn to a high-interest loan. Please, please don’t turn to a high-interest loan. This will trap you into a debt cycle that you and your family will never be able to get clear of.
3. Don’t steal. Your family love you and want you home. We’ve all been here and we’ve all come out the other side and so can you. It may look bleak but it won’t be like this forever.
- 51 of the Best Frugal Living Tips: This is How to Become a Frugal Family
- How to Feed a Family of Four on £2.50 a Day
- 59 Cheap Recipes for Families When Cooking on a Budget
You always have options!
We really hope that this has given you some help if you have no food and no money to feed your family.
If you feel like there is no escape from your situation please do get some free debt advice. You should never have to pay for it!
Please look forward to the future and your circumstances will change.
We offer FREE saving money help in our Money Saving Mums Facebook group. Please join our safe community of parents who all want to save more to live a better financial life. Becoming debt free isn’t easy but together we can all help each other.
You can also join The Resource Vault that offers you over 15 FREE money saving printables. (By agreeing, you are happy for us to send you details on what we are up to and other money saving tips.)
If you enjoyed this post and would like some more family friendly money managing ideas, then head over to the managing money section here on Savings 4 Savvy Mums where you’ll find over 30 blog posts dedicated to helping you manage your family’s finance. There’s enough tips to help you save over £300 a month! You could also pop over and follow my managing money Pinterest boards for lots more ideas on how to keep more of your money in your pocket: Managing Money Printables, Managing Money for Families and Family Finance.
Love this post? Then why not save it to Pinterest so you can easily find it later.