5 Tips for Saving Money with a Large Family

I get so many questions probably on a daily basis as to how we go about making ends meet financially in our large family. One thing I have to say is it has made me very creative in my how I approach getting something accomplished. I never thought in the terms I now think before having all my kids…and quite frankly I when I think back on it I think…how wasteful was that? Its funny. The things I did even when I had 3 or 4 kids, I would never do now with 8. I think if the unthinkable happened and I lost kids in some way (God forbid), I could never go back to my old less frugal frame of mind. Here are some of the things we do to extend our money. Some are more of a savings than others but doing them all over time makes a difference.Buy in Bulk- Whenever its possible we buy our products in bulk. We belong to Sam’s Club which is a place where you can buy larger quantities of things like flour, sugar, coffee, and various other food items, as well as paper products of all sorts. I am able to make my grocery budget extend quite a bit purchasing the groceries this way. If I can’t find certain things in bulk, I always ask if it’s possible to get it that way. Sometimes it works out and other times not. It’s always worth your trouble toask if you can get things in a larger quantity, because over time it is such a big savings. Its more work but worth it, and if you have a larger family, you’ll always use the bigger quantity. It’s also helpful to avoid buying meats in the deli department. We usually wait until meat goes on sale. Recently, with the Easter holiday ham went on sale. That’s when we’ll pick up a couple at a time one to bake for the holiday and one to freeze til a later time. We bake them off, and then cut the meat and use it for sandwiches and other meals. For our size family we buy larger hams so some of the cut meat we will freeze for other meals at a later time.Hunting- My husband already has his hunting vacation planned for this next deer hunting season. In the past when he’s brought home a deer it has saved so much money for us with regard to meat. Not to mention, this meat is organic and has not been jacked up with antibiotics or growth hormone. That’s something I consider a big plus! If you can hunt in your area and you have a larger family, the money you’ll save on your meat bill will be significant. We also have alot of friends that do this and are always sharing their venison with us. I’m always happy to take it because of the savings involved. There is a turkey hunting season and I’m hoping my husband will start participating in that too. I’ve always got my SAVE thinking cap on in every direction possible.Birthday Parties at Home- As we kept increasing the number of children we had, the less money I had to have the kids birthday parties at different places like Chuck E Cheese, or the local bowling alley and other similar types of things. We have found some really great ways to have kid’s parties at home and honestly it doesn’t seem as though my kids are having less fun doing things this way than they would at Chuck E Cheese or other similar places. Depending on the parties theme, the teenagers and I have a great time coming up with lots of fun activities for the kids to do. Recently my 5th daughter had a hollywood themed party and all of us and her guests dressed up as a celebrity. All the food and games were tied in with that theme and it turned out so well. My teens thought of some really great games to go with the whole hollywood theme and it was a great time!! We also have a best above ground pool and in the summer my kids have pool parties with Hawaiian and island types of themes. Cook from Scratch- This is a must for us if we are going to be effective in saving money. I simply can’t pay the prices on the store shelves for bread and other types of food if I’m going to try to get the biggest bang from our buck. So, we bake all of our bread from scratch, as well as any desserts we eat, cookies, brownies, cupcakes and those types of things. This is what I fill the kids lunch bags with. Sandwiches made with homemade bread, homemade popped popcorn for snacks and whatever desserts we’ve baked. For birthdays my husband always makes cakes from scratch for the kids. He’s gotten very good at this and the kids enjoy thinking up what the cake’s theme will be with him.Shopping at Thrift Stores and Rummages- Shopping this way saves us a significant dollar with regard to toys and clothes and so many items, that I can’t imagine shopping any other way. Last summer I found a Graco car seat for older kids, for 2 dollars. How great is that? Those things are over 30 bucks brand new, and I have 3 in car seats with the newly implemented Wisconsin car seat laws. I really needed this thing. I was so happy to have found it!! It’s the thrill of the hunt! We actually go as a family. In fact the warmer weather sends us out on these excursions quite frequently.
Well, theres my 5 tips. I actually have quite a few more, theres just so many ways to manuver with this, however I’d boggle your minds with too much information! I don’t want you to get overwhelmed! I need you to think clearly so you can see the opportunities for saving a buck that exist in your midst! In all seriousness though, the more I focused on finding ways to save money, the more I actually was able to see PLENTY of opportunities to do so. Hence, “seek and you shall find”? That guy knew his stuff!!

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