The larger your family is, the more important that budgeting and planning becomes. Here are some money saving tips for big families to help you start your financial planning.
Planning and preparing meals in advance can help limit trips to the grocery store and the amount you eat out/get take-out. Use your weekly grocery store mailers as well as online sources to find what’s on sale and use that as the foundation when picking your meals for the week. Have the entire family contribute some of their favorite recipes and create a family book for a quick resource during this planning. Depending on the age of the kids, some dinner tasks can be assigned out in order to help save time. This prep could also go towards preparing school lunches to save even more time and money.
Whenever you go shopping, make detailed lists and only go to stores where you will be able to find those items. If possible, buy online and pick-up at the store. This may help prevent impulse/unnecessary purchases and help save you money as well as skipping the stress that may come along with bringing your entire family to the store.
When it comes to clothes and other household items, plan ahead so you’re always buying out of season. Keep a year-long shopping list of what and when you need to buy items that members of your family will need. For example, know that kids #1 and #4 will need new coats for next winter? Buy them as the season is coming to an end and stores are trying to clear out their inventory to make room for spring.
Find ways to interest your kids that won’t break the bank. Take advantage of alternative entertainment options; such as the library, parks, and community events.
It can be easy to let the cost of events such as the holidays or birthdays snowball. Set expectations early and keep them consistent for all of your kids. For example, instead of each kid having a big party every year, pick ‘milestone’ birthdays for a big bash and then a smaller celebration during other years. For holidays, create a budget each year, save early, and start shopping early to help spread the cost more evenly throughout the year.