Eating our, I mean "eating on a budget."

Eating on a budget is something we do out of necessity. It is not just some new, chic-mom ordeal where you follow bogus recipes that are neither cost-efficient or time-saving. Truly eating on a budget means deciding what you can live without, and, in some cases, what you can live with.
So you love eating Ben & Jerry's? Yeah, we all do. But it's not in the budget. You don't know why you can't buy that case of Pepsi? Because it's not in the budget.
One of the first steps to eating on a budget is planning your meals in advance (more about that here). And not "in advance" like when I wait until Sunday night and go "Ah crap.... we need to figure out next week's meals really quick." But maybe more like planning the entire month and then going shopping for it in half-month intervals.  This is probably 1/4 of the entire idea of food budgeting.
It is important not to shop while hungry, because impulse food buys and deviating from your shopping list will prove fatal. Your list should not only include dinners, but snacks (especially if you have little ones) and breakfasts and lunches as well. Most large families try to simplify at this point, reducing it to between 2-4 total choices for lunches and breakfasts, rather than actually planning these meals or just trying to have a ton of food available for each day's cravings.
What you plan for your meals is essentially another half of true food budgeting. Especially when feeding a large family (I say 'large' but what I mean is anything more than a typical family of four...that is what is socially considered a 'large' family...) it is important to find cost-effective meals. In most cases, for us, this is limited by what is available to us. I live on an island, and so planning meals is even harder. There are many products that are grossly inflated for us making them typically inefficient as far as cost, unless there is a sale. Sometimes, hot dogs are too expensive. How sad is that??
We have several meals that we make because of the cost to make them. Spaghetti, burritos, soup, halibut or salmon, salads, stir-fry.... all extremely cost-efficient here.  We try to avoid making meals that have a main and several side dishes, because they often do not get eaten by the kids if they have too many things on their plates to choose from. I don't know why, but it happens. I think it's ridiculous too, but you can only do so much to force food into your children.
There are several common-sense tips for saving money on what you eat. One thing I do is a few times a month, I make a soup or chowder.This falls into the category of "what you can live with." Remember, I said that? I don't really like chowder or soup, but eating on a budget means sacrificing what you want to eat with what your family needs to eat. In this case, the pros far outweigh my fickle distaste for using spoons. Soups and chowders are incredibly easy to make from scratch, are very cost effective because they can be made in HUGE batches for little cost, and they can be frozen. They can also be tailored easily to what you have on hand. Things that we don't often make any more are things that require intricate ingredients. If you have to go to the store and spend $10 on one ingredient, because you don't usually use it or have it on hand, it is probably not the best use of your food budget.
We, personally, try to include many meals that can be made from WIC items. About twice a month, I make refried beans and turn them into bean burritos with just tortillas, enchilada sauce, and cheese. It is a very inexpensive meal and it's something the whole family loves. The chowder is usually made from halibut, salmon, and crab - since we live in Alaska, those ingredients are pretty much free. If I still lived in Oregon, the ingredients might be trout or cubed elk steak.
On a similar note, you should start taking as much from the land as possible - if you can grow a garden, do it. If you can go berry picking, do it! If you have rich hunting in your area, ask someone to show you what you can be doing to get a deer (or bison or what have you) to stock your freezer. We are planning on obtaining our bird licenses so we can hopefully put some suck and goose in our freezer this winter. Do what you can! Check out pioneer woman's site for more information on crazy homemade stuff that will make you go "whoa! that will save me money!"

 Anyways, the last 1/4 or so of eating on a budget, as far as I'm concerned, is how you handle your prepared food. If you cook up a huge 3 gallon pot of soup, then leave it sitting on your stove for four days, then dump it in the trash, you have obviously not saved any money. It is important to invest in ways to properly store the food you have prepared. It is also important to keep your fridge clean enough that you can see what is in there and utilize all of it. After I make the huge batch of soup or chowder, I put it in several zip bags and stick it in the freezer. I usually do about four or five small (one-serving) bags and then at least one large (five servings) bags, so I can either pull out a bag for lunch for one or three of us for lunch, or a large bag if we are eating it for dinner again. Right now I have seafood chowder and tomato soup in the freezer, ready to be reheated. This also saves a huge amount of time in preparing lunch! Any chance you get to make more than needed and find it to still be cost efficient, you should go for it. Get into the habit of freezing leftovers.
 To reduce the impact of "snacks" on our budget, we simply do not buy the snacks marketed for children. We do not buy any nutrigrain bars (you can make them at home if you google a recipe), cookies, gummy snacks, or "baby" snacks. We buy crackers in bulk when they are on sale, and we bought an air popper so we can make superfluous amounts of healthy popcorn (we don't put anything on it, and the kids still love it).
Of course, on occasion, you will still want to grab that Starbucks Frappacino as you are walking to the check out line. Now that I mention that, I kind of want one now. I think I will go buy one, since my husband is away on a wrestling trip and he can't counter-spend by buying a mountain dew.  And you will still sometimes want to buy your kid some M&Ms -hahahaha yeah right! Those are for me!!- but the greatest trick is breaking the habit first, so that you can actually indulge once in a while. A great way to work on this is to start reducing the intake of high-cost junk food by scheduling one night a week "movie night" where everyone gets to pick out something like that; and then as you find yourself more capable of saying no to the junk, reduce it to once every two weeks. Of course, if you have severe food aggression like me, you will make up for your lack of purchasing goodies by frequenting your rich friends or over-indulgent parents. I like to hang out at my parent's house because 1) my mom makes brownies, like, all the time and 2) my dad always says "going to the store, need anything?" and I usually get at least one Cherry Coke out of it. Due to my food aggression, I cannot fathom the opportunity to get free food just passing me by! So I take them up on these food-offers as often as possible. You may say "scrounge" but I say - oh wait, I say scrounge too. Being a scrounge is in my budget.