A teenager boy eating a burger.

Buying groceries for very young children is fairly straightforward: Supermarkets fill whole aisles with ready-to-eat baby food and toddler snacks.

But when those tiny tots grow up, it turns out that feeding teenagers — especially growing boys — gets a lot more difficult. From the moment they wake up and start sleepily murmuring for breakfast through gobbling up lunch, at least six after-school snacks, dinner and dessert, they can barely find enough time in the day to eat everything they want.

For parents, this is a challenge: figuring out the art of feeding teenagers without messing up the science of the family grocery budget. But with a few crafty tips for shopping and meal-making, you can create a healthy menu for teenage boys that satisfies their infinite hunger without destroying your finite finances.

Pack in the nonperishable protein

Protein keeps kids full longer, but many go-to sources for it, especially healthier lean proteins, tend to be pricey and perishable. By keeping pantry proteins handy and taking advantage of coupons and cash back offers for them, you can stock up while you save money.

Notoriously filling options are pepperoni sticks for snacks, peanut butter for smoothies and sandwiches, and endless amounts of granola bars. Canned salmon tends to be one of the cheapest lean proteins, while lentils can easily be mixed into rice, stew or salads. (Maybe you can even persuade your grumbling teen to cook them!)

Stretch the special stuff

If you don’t want the meat and seafood you found on sale to get slurped up in a single bite, stretch those splurges by incorporating them into meals. You can cut a pork chop into strips and put it in a burrito, where it can add flavor to big bites of rice and beans. Slice a steak and fan it out over a Caesar salad, and flesh out crab by turning it into crab cakes.

Cook carbs in bulk

The cheapest and most time-effective ways to let teenagers leave the dinner table feeling full usually come in the form of carbohydrates. Big batches of rice or noodles as the centerpiece of a meal can keep costs down.

Serving garlic bread with vegetables, adding croutons to salad, or bulking up stews with a roux all add a little something extra to the meal to help keep folks full. You might even consider branching into unfamiliar whole grains — like quinoa, farro or bulgur — that will not only keep hungry teenagers full for longer but can pack a healthful punch.

Get your kids involved

Teenagers are old enough to understand a budget. Having the freedom to choose their own foods helps them learn how to balance spending with their eating preferences. Start by giving them their own portion of the grocery budget to pick out their snacks for the week. They might quickly learn they can get two bags of store-brand chips for the same price as some of the specialty name-brand ones — or understand just why you like your cash back app so much.