The more kids you have, the less money there is to spend on them, especially when you are on a fixed income. However, just because you have a big family, it doesn’t mean that you or your kids have to go without. In fact, there are plenty of smart ways to save money around the home, which will allow you keep funds back for the more important things in life like birthday presents, first cars, and college. Keep reading to find out more.
Do-it-yourself is an excellent mantra to live by when you have a large family, and not just concerning maintenance tasks around the house. Although, it has to be said that knowing how to do the basics like fix a leaking faucet, put up a shelf or two, and even hem clothes, and make curtains can definitely save you a pretty penny!
However, there are other things you can DIY to save money as well, including making your own toiletries, cleaning supplies, and washing soap. Something that will not only work out a lot cheaper but can also be better for you family as well, because you can limit what you put in it to all natural ingredients.
Don’t forget to buy in bulk.
Next, if you are looking to live as frugally as possible, despite being a large family, do remember that buying items that you use a lot of in bulk can make a big difference. The great this about this approach is you can do it with household goods such as toilet paper, kitchen roll, and dishwasher soap, as well as with food items.
In fact, buying enough meat for the whole month from a cash and carry, farm, or butcher can save you a great deal compared to buying it meal by meal at the supermarket. Just remember that you will need to plan your meals to make this effective, as well as bag up the meat and label it well, so you can see the items you need in the freezer easily.
Do reduce your energy consumption.
The cost of energy never seems to stop rising, and so another way that you can be frugal is to reduce your power consumption.
Now, you may think you will have a fight on your hands, getting the kids to run off lights, TVs, and the heating, but this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, with smart tech, you can do this remotely via your phone, something that makes it well worth investing in smart enabled home devices, for the saving you could make over the long term.
Also, in particular, heating and cooling your home may be costing a fortune, especially if you are living in a large building. Happily, there are ways that you can reduce this cost, and none of them include getting the whole family to sit in the cold with three sweaters on!
Firstly, is crucial to take a long hard look at you home and check for any places that are causes heating or cooling inconsistencies. For example, many homes are not insulated well enough in the roof space, and this means they lose a great deal of heat from this area, heat that you are paying for but are letting get away!
Similarly, the crawl space under your house may be causing a rise in humidity because its damp and is trapping the heat. This damp then seeps up into the house above and generates an unpleasant, humid environment. One that you will need to run costly air condition and dehumidifiers to solve.
Air Conditioning can use up a lot of energy and so cost a great deal.
Luckily, this need not be the case if you get a waterproofing company like Helitech Online to test your crawl space, as this can help keep it dry. It can also prevent mold and fungus from growing down there as well as an added bonus!
Do find a cheaper way to fuel your home.
You may even want to take things further than just reducing your energy consumption, and swap to a cheaper way of fueling your home altogether.
In this case, it’s wise to look as sustainable methods of generating power such as solar, wind, and even in some instances geothermal energy.
At the current time, though, solar power seems to be the most practical solution for the broadest range of families, only because most homes have a roof where the photovoltaic panels can be installed.
However, do remember though that putting in solar panels in, can at first be pricey, so you are looking at this method of being frugal paying off over the long term. Although, it is possible to hook your power generation method up to the grid and sell any excess. Something that can help offset the cost, and help you stop start saving money from your family’s budget lot quicker.
Don’t throw away old clothes.
Kids that live in large families often get sick of their brothers’ and sisters’ hand-me-downs. However, as children don’t always get full use out of their clothing, passing them down the generations is one of the best ways to save money!
Of course, if you come up against a lot of resistance, to this idea within the family it can help to customize the clothes for each child. You can do this by adding patches, dying items another color, or even making simple alterations, so they feel more personal for their new owners.
Remember too, that even if your young kids don’t want to wear the old clothes you have, you can still use them to save money. In fact, all you need to do is cut the fabric up and use them in place of dusters, dishcloths, and rags around the home. Something that you can actually end up spending quite a bit on when you have a large family, and end up adding these products to your grocery shop each month.
Do grow some of your own food.
To be as frugal as possible, you may also wish to start growing some of your own food. Now, I’m not suggesting that you go entirely self-sufficient straight away, especially with so many mouths to feed. However, growing at least some fresh produce can help you cut the cost of your grocery bill and leave you with more money in the kitty for fun things like family days out.
If you like the sound of this idea, then you may want to start with growing fruit and vegetables, and then move on to things like homemade dairy. Regarding vegetables begin with a few raised beds with ‘cut and grow’ greens. Then you can slowly add in more plants like tomatoes, potatoes, and even herbs.
Dairy products are, of course, more complicated, as producing them includes keeping animals, something that may not be practical for a lot of families. However, if you can fit a chicken coop in the garden, or have room for goats for milk, or even a cow, reading the post at morningchores.com can give you the advice and confidence you need to get going.
Do go for preloved items.
Bear in mind as well, that if living frugally is your aim, eschewing brand new items and going for preloved one instead is usually the best approach.
Happily, it is relatively simple to get just about anything second hand these days, because of the popularity of auction sites like eBay. Sometimes it is even possible to grab the item you are looking for, for a fraction of the original cost, if you use the auction or ‘make an offer’ functions.
Just remember to look carefully at all of the photographs on a listing to check for any damage, and read the description and return policy well. Otherwise, you could end spending your hard earned money on something that you won’t ever end up using, and that would be a real waste.
Don’t forget that there is plenty of free family fun to be had.
A real lifesaver for larger families that are trying their best to live as frugally as possible is to find free entertainment and activities to do. After all, paying for tickets to a movie, or amusement park can run up into hundreds of dollars if you have a lot of kids!
The best thing about free, fun, family activities is that they can often be integrated into your homeschool curriculum as well. For example, the resources you collect from taking the kid’s on a fun nature walk could be used in science, or art lessons. You may also wish to visit a local site of significance and use this as the basis of a history project. Something that means your family fun isn’t just frugal but educational as well, making it a double win!
Do limit eating out.
Eating at a restaurant, or even at a fast food place can be costly, but when you have a large family, it can be prohibitively expensive. This is actually a real shame as this is an expense that can be enjoyed for both parent and kids.
Luckily, there are some strategies that you can use to deal with this. The first is to limit eating out with the kids to a single child on their birthday. Then they get to spend some quality time with just mom or dad, and you don’t have to pay for loads of meals every few weeks!
Get the fast food experience at a fraction of the cost!
Alternatively, you can buy the takeaway style wrappers and boxes to use at home, something that means you can have a takeout style meal, at vastly reduced cost. Yet another frugal way of living as a large family without going without!