When you have a large family, it can be very expensive. Everyone needs food, clothing, shelter; all the basic needs of life. As a mom of several children, not to mention the big kid, aka, the hubby, I have to be creative with my purchases. I have to be able to purchase what we need, but on a budget. I learned a long time ago how to be frugal and apply my knowledge with each child I have. This helps us to have what we need but not go overboard when it comes to spending.
One of the major costs of a big family is food. From the three meals a day to the many snacks a child requires, I have to have enough food in the home for everyone. This can get quite expensive if you do not have a plan. Thankfully, I have learned how to plan accordingly and use coupons to save money. I shop weekly to get the most savings. I simply look at the local ads to see what is on sale and then create a meal plan based on the sales. I use coupons on items, at stores that double, to earn extra savings. I have even found a local grocery store that clearances off their meat section, so I stock my freezer, always having meat for a quick meal.
A second major cost is clothing and shoes. I have found that shopping second hand can work wonders to save on clothing. Most thrift stores have $1 days or a bag day where you pay one low cost and stuff a bag full of clothing. I take advantage of these days, especially with young children. Kiddos grow out of clothing very quickly, so I find paying less is better than paying a lot for clothes they will only wear a few times. Find your local thrift shop to take advantage of deals, getting plenty of clothing and even shoes for your little ones!
Save, Save, Save
Being frugal means that I have the ability to save. I learned long ago that if I save, I have a contingency plan. With a large family, you never know when something might happen. Someone can get sick or have an issue in the home that requires a great deal of money. We live on the minimum requirement, paying bills and spending less on essentials, so that we can have money left to save, for a rainy day or when something comes up.