There are some things despite the higher cost that I still need to purchase. I am big on produce as it still costs less per pound than the lean meat I use. I have a baby with a sensitivity to milk products which also adds costs to my food budget. What I do is find ways to cut costs in other areas.
A couple of tips that I used just this morning are with muffin mixes. Yeah, I could cut the cost further and make muffins from scratch. I do actually. The mix was from my AngelFood Ministries unit.
Tip #1: Add flour to the mix. I find I can use 1/4 cup per mix. It stretches the mix a bit. If you have seen my locusts eat (or fight over the last muffin for that matter), you realize that every little bit helps.
Tip #2: Bake the batter in a baking pan not muffin tins. It saves on muffin liners if you use those. It also allows for smaller portions without fits about "I don't want a broken one. I want a big one like so-and-so."
Another way I use muffin mixes is to make flavored waffles. It won't work in pancakes as the fruit pieces are still hard. Waffles work because they are thinner and cooked differently so the fruit cunks melt like in the muffins. I add the mix to 2 cups of pancake mix. I then add whatever the muffin calls for such as milk, eggs, etc. along with what is needed to mix up the pancake mix. So 50 cents for a muffin mix makes enough flavored waffles for an entire meal. That is not bad, and even breakfast makes a good dinner some nights as it is cheap and filling.