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I hope no one minds me posting this since it isn't really related to ttc, but I was just hoping some of you veteran moms of larger families can share some tips or secrets on how to save money when you have a large family.
Everyone always says how babies are so expensive, but I thought things were so much easier when the kids were babies and toddlers. Now that I have 2 school aged kids, and one toddler I spend so much money on school supplies, school field trips, food, clothes, activites, etc.
One of my biggest concerns is the amount of money we seem to be spending each week on groceries! Now that the kids eat more I'm finding that I'm having to run to the grocery store a lot! Unfortunately we live in a very small, farm town and our only grocery store options are very expensive. We will be moving back to the city in the next couple of months and I'm so excited because we will have a Walmart, Target, and discount grocery store again...YAY!!!!!!!! Right now I'm having to shop at Albertson's and it's not cheap!
I also have to double up on recipes now and I never used to have to do that. I'm realizing that a lot of our favorite meals that I used to buy are for a family of 4, not 5! I used to buy those Complete Meals by Betty Crocker, but one box doesn't feed our family very well. Same with things like Hamburger Helper. Anyway, I know the food issue is only going to get worse, especially since we want one more child.
For those of you with more than 3 kids, do you buy everything in bulk? I'm starting to think that's the way to go. I don't want to make it sound like we can't afford another child because we can, but I'm definitely stressing about the financial aspect of having 4 kids soon. We will also have to upgrade to a mini-van when I do get pregnant with baby #4. We also used to enjoy eating out, but it's just so expensive with 3 kids! We drop over $20 just to go to McDonald's so we don't do that very often.
Anyway, I'm not complaining because I've always wanted a big family, and I can't wait to have one or two more kids, but I am starting to notice the little things are adding up more and more each year.
Coupons, coupons, coupons!! Albertsons, Tom Thumb, kroger and most big chain stores have a special triple coupons up to a dollar event every year. And the store usually space them out enough where a different store does it every couple of months. There are ALOT of things I just end up getting free over it.
Not only can you get coupons from newspapers, but look on packages before you throw them away and there are alot of good online coupons out there as well. If you have a regular product, look up the web site and see if they offer coupons for it.
With a big family the crock pot is your friend. You can cook great meals for a fraction of the cost. If you like Hamburger Helper Lasagna for the convenience, you can start lasagna in the crock pot in the morning and it is done by supper and just as convenient and it feeds the whole family.
Walmart is a good place to shop as well. You can grab all the cirrculars from any grocery store and Walmart will honor ALL the sale prices. So if two stores are having a good sale and you can decide which one to shop at, take both cirrculars to Walmart and you can have both.
Also, look up frugal recipes and alot of cheap amd healthy recipes come up that will feed a large family that will usually have leftovers for lunches.
We usually stay away from sams and costco, it says it is cheaper to buy in bulk but I have done some figuring and I don't think it does.