7 Creative Ways To Be Frugal With Lots of Kids

Here are seven creative ways to be frugal with a large family! Learn how to be frugal with many kids, using these tips and tricks to help your family save money on groceries, utility bills, and more.

Hey y’all, Tiffany here.

We have two kids, but after a while, we began to sort of foster a family of five kids whom their drug-addict mother abandoned. We went from 2 kids to 7 – overnight! Furthermore, we had to get creative to stay healthy and find money-saving tips for large families.

As you can imagine, our grocery bills (and other expenses) skyrocketed! Some of these kids are pre-teens, so they eat a lot of fast food too! Here are seven ways that we’ve found to save and spend money less with seven kids.

Meal Planning to be frugal with lots of kids

It has been impossible to find something that all eight, and seven kids (and hubby!) like to eat. To save you money and my sanity, we came up with a list of frugal living-friendly easy meals that at least the majority of them enjoy.

I make out a list of what I need for each meal; I try to purchase the non-perishable items just once a month. Then I try to keep an eye on sales for any of those items and stock up every few months. With these frugal living tips, you can learn more about monthly meal planning here.

Join Local Facebook Groups

Moving away from groceries a bit, one of the biggest, frugal lifestyle ways that I save is by purchasing things like clothes, furniture, etc. second-hand. I hesitate a bit with thrift stores and garage sales (a lot of that can be junk), and Craigslist scares me! By opting for second-hand items, I can significantly reduce my grocery bill and allocate those savings elsewhere in my budget. However, many neighborhoods and towns have frugal lifestyle Facebook groups that work a bit like thrift stores and Craigslist.

One benefit to these groups is that these people are usually closer to you. And it’s a little more difficult for people to run scams since they’re using their cell phones to find local deals through platforms like Facebook Marketplace or online marketplaces.

These groups often have names like “Beg Barter Buy Sell” or “Online Garage Sale.” I get most of my kids’ clothes from these groups, and I also turn around and sell a lot of items that my kids outgrow or that we no longer use. Larger families go through lots of clothes, so saving money here is essential to financial success! Consider depositing the proceeds into a savings account to build up your financial reserves even further.

Be frugal with lots of kids!

Learn how to coupon and save money on groceries

Many people hear the word “couponing” and think it will be like those TV shows where people spend tons of time each week clipping coupons and going to stores. They think they don’t have time for it, that their lives are too busy.

However, couponing can be pretty simple! If you just get a weekly newspaper each Sunday and save the coupons (you don’t even need to buy produce to clip!), plenty of bloggers out there will do a better deal of the legwork for free entertainment – I’m one of them! By following frugal tips like these, having a big family makes you find creative ways to save!

There are several couponing blogs where each week they create a list with the items in the ad and any matching coupons. If it’s a coupon from a prior week, you can pull it out and clip only that coupon. It’s pretty simple, and it doesn’t take more than a few minutes!

They also have a coupon database so if you need to purchase a specific item (say, Hellman’s mayonnaise), then you can search to see if there is a coupon for that item that hasn’t expired yet. It’s a gold mine for money-saving, meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal planning tips for large families.

Even if you don’t have time to cook dinner, spend less money on grocery bills due to coupons. If you want to save more money on groceries and your meals, then follow our steps to have a $42 weekly grocery budget for four people.

Managers Specials

As you head to the store with your coupons, make sure to check out the Manager’s Special area! Even better, ask the manager when they usually do markdowns (certain days of the week or times of day).

I try to get meat, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and bread for 50% off (or more!) because they are about to reach the expiration date on the package. This expiration date doesn’t always mean it’s about to go bad, but you can freeze the majority of these items! By following these practices to live frugally, I save a ton of money by purchasing the manager’s special items and freezing them.

This helps me be a frugal person without spending unnecessary money on lots of kids.

A few examples: I got 3 lb packages of boneless skinless chicken breasts for $0.99 per package at Target, and I also got 3 lb packages of Angus ground beef for just $2 per package at Kroger – I still have some in the freezer!

Bulk doesn’t always mean you can be frugal with lots of kids

It’s common to think, after all that money, that going to Sam’s Club or Costco will help you save on items. And in many cases, it is! However, that isn’t always going to be the case. Sometimes certain items will be cheaper at your local grocery store than a warehouse. You have to get creative to save money for a large family!

The best and most effective way to figure this out is by shopping online and making a list of items that you usually purchase a lot of (flour, pasta, diapers, etc.) and down their regular price. Then go on the apps for Kroger, Walmart, etc., and look up the prices at each store. You may be surprised to find that there are lower or cheaper alternative at-store brands in one place than another!

Another way to both compare prices and find lower prices is with an app called Flipp. It collects the ads for different stores in your area, and you can search them to find out which store is currently selling certain items at the lowest price. Need more flour? Just search in Flipp, and any store that has flour listed in its ad that week will show up, telling you the best price!


Amazon’s Subscribe and Save

Do you have items that you purchase regularly? Things like laundry detergent, diapers, paper towels or others? Amazon Prime has a program called Subscribe and Save, where you can set up recurring subscriptions for common household items. If you set up a subscription, then you get 5% off that item. If you have 5 subscriptions or more arriving in a single month, then you get 20% off the entire order!

I especially love this credit card because not only do I get a discount, but I also save money on gas (and not making splurge purchases!). Being cost-effective is important when having such a large family and trying to maintain a frugal lifestyle while living with lots of kids.

It’s nice to not have to load up all 7 kids to go grocery shopping or run to the store because I realized I ran out of shampoo. The items I need regularly just show up at my front door! If you don’t have an Amazon Prime account, you can sign up here for a free 30-day trial.

Start a Gift Closet

Have you ever had a kid surprise you with a last-minute birthday party invite? Or have you seen a toy or diapers at a store on clearance for a great price, but you don’t have young children anymore?

Go ahead and get it anyway!

It may seem counterintuitive, but you can save money by purchasing discounted items that you may not need (at least, right away) and storing them in the closet for the future.

That adorable infant’s dress or t-shirt may not fit your youngest child who is 8 years old, but it will be perfect in three months when someone at church invites you to a baby shower!

You can learn more about starting a gift closet here.

How to be frugal with lots of kids

Raising seven children has been a remarkable journey filled with both challenges and blessings. While it’s been unexpected to welcome five “surprise” additions to our family, it has also been a profound learning experience. One of the most significant impact valuable lessons I’ve gleaned from this journey is the art of living frugally and resourceful, particularly when it comes to managing finances to accommodate the needs of a large family.

Learning to navigate the financial demands of raising multiple children has been a transformative process. It has required me to rethink my approach to budgeting and spending. Finding creative ways to make financial decisions that keep spending money in check and stretch our resources while still providing for the diverse needs and financial goals of each child.

What are some ways that you save money? 

An earlier version of this post that Tiffany wrote can be found on Devinism HERE.

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