Large families can be wonderful, full of love and laughter. They can also be full of arguing and general crabbiness, but that is another topic altogether. Large families have lots of great things going for them, but they also have their share of problems. One of the biggest problems large families face is how to save money.
* Reduce grocery bills
This is one area where it is extremely easy to save money. For example, start using coupons and paying attention to sales like “buy one get one” and buy “x” amount for “x” price (10 for $5, etc.). Another way to save money at the grocery store is to buy certain items in bulk like meats, toilet paper, canned foods and dry pasta. These items can be divided up into portions and the rest put away for future use. Buying bulk will allow you the luxury of not having to buy the same items again the next you head to the store. One way many families save money is by purchasing store or “generic” brands; these items are usually noticeably cheaper than name brand products.
* Homemade saves money
Instead of buying some things, make them at home! This can be a great way for the family to spend some quality time together making meals in the kitchen or even learning how to make some clothing together. You can have family night where the whole family gets together and makes some sort of craft/art project. This last one saves money in more than one way: first off, you save on entertainment costs, and second, arts and crafts projects can turn into items that are useful around the home (picture frames, wall art, etc.). If your family really enjoy creating things, you might even consider selling some of them at a local flea market or something similar.
* Cut down on bills
This can be rather tough, but is possible with some careful consideration and lots of family communication. Look at your monthly list of expenses and decide which ones can be either eliminated or at least reduced in price. Things like cable, internet and cell phone services are reduced by downgrading to a cheaper plan. If anyone in your family belongs to any online clubs like book or music clubs, have them switch from items they have to buy, to ones that are free. Many Smart phones have applications for music and books, and those offer free songs and free books. Another monthly bill your family can reduce is the electric bill. Have family members shut off lights as they leave a room, and shut off lights and appliances that are not being used at that time. This simple act actually makes a noticeable difference in your electric bill.
* Shop discount stores
There is a lot to say about taking the family out for a fun shopping trip, that is until you get to the checkout stand! Try taking the family to a discount outlet, or even a secondhand shop and let them wander around there for awhile. Yes, they may moan and groan at first, but chances are really good that within a few minutes they will start finding things they like! The secret to making any shopping trip work is to set a spending limit before you walk in the door of the store. A budget works at discount shops too.
The task of saving money can seem daunting when you have a large family, but take a deep breath and relax. All it takes to start saving money is to sit the family down and have a serious discussion about the small changes you all are going to make for the good of the household. You may hear whining and complaining at first, but you have a wonderful family who will learn how to pull together and save money. They may even surprise you and have some fun doing it!