Family Finances: How to Sock Some Money Away When You Have Lots of Bills and Expenses

If you’ve got a lot of kids, you already know what an enormous expense it is to raise a large family. You might think it’s impossible to set aside any money at all. Utility and fuel bills can be massive for a family of any size –even moreso when there are many brothers and sisters. In the interest of helping you sock some money away, we’re pleased to present a few tips and tricks that work for other big families.

Shop smarter and save

When you grocery shop, always take a list and stick to it. Walk the perimeter of the store and stay away from center aisles that feature costly, pre-made foodstuffs. Learn to cook and buy ingredients, instead. Your whole family will eat healthier, and you can stash away the savings for something fun in the future.

Use an app such as GasBuddy to locate the cheapest gasoline in your area. Take a class in basic car repair and save a bundle on automotive expenses. Grow a garden and let the kids help choose which yummy vegetables to plant. Dental schools and barber colleges often offer free or reduced price services that can save gobs of cash for sizable families. Call your local city information line to find out what’s available where you live.

How to save when you get paid once a month

When a family relies on a once-a-month paycheck, budgeting for weeks in advance is a must. If this sounds like your family, take a hint from the mom of a U.S. military family. She shops at discount stores, clips coupons, and researches local ads for the best prices on things her family needs. She buys non-perishable good in bulk, bundles phone and internet with a discount package, and always stocks up at end-of-season sales, explains Crazy Adventures in Parenting magazine.

Get stuff for free

Never pay retail for anything, if you can help it. Thrift stores, resale shops, consignment outlets and classified ads are chock full of stuff that big families need. Check eBay and Craigslist to find deeply discounted clothes, furniture, appliances, toys and textbooks. Peruse your local edition of Freecycle to find the same sort of stuff for free, recommends the money guru at Humorous Homemaking.

Be creative when it comes to planning a family road trip. Exploring the wonders of the world is good, wholesome fun and it doesn’t have to cost much money. National parks and fascinating museums typically offer several no-admission days per year. Find out when they are, load the kids into your Chrysler 300 and sightsee to your heart’s content.

Organize a neighborhood hand-me-down party, invite the moms and donate outgrown clothes to moms of smaller children. The same group of mothers can work out a babysitting exchange to save a ton of money on sitters and daycare.

Raising a bunch of kids without breaking the bank can be a challenge, to be sure. Plan and budget and you can sock away a bit of cash every week.