Today many of us find ourselves in blended families, we have a kind of his, mine, and ours life. This has lead us to having very large families in a time when money is tight. I was living a very comfortable life with myself and my children, then I married a man who had four children of his own. Thankfully I have a five bedroom farm house that is very large so we did not have to face the financial burden of moving. This is how we make it work without public assistance and without going into any debt.
The first thing we had to look at was our meals. I had a pretty well stocked pantry when we were first married, I knew this would come to an end very quickly. I was used to spending about three hundred dollars a month to feed myself and my three children. This was enough to stock up when I found great deals and stocking up was how I kept the cost down. Now we are looking at more ways to stretch our dollars when it comes to food. One of the great ways I have found is to shop at a discount grocery store. This is a store that sells items that are outdated, or damaged. We have also found a lot of times it will be something simple like the wrong icing was used on 500 premade cakes and you can buy them for one dollar. This is not where we buy meat, or most of our canned food. I can get meat at our local store for $25 dollars for 5 packs, and we buy canned goods when they are on sale. We also do not buy junk food unless it is a special occasion, you will not find chips and soda in our house. Doing this has actually kept our food bill below 300 dollars and everyone eats well.
Another way we make ends meet is that I work from home. In our community it would cost us at least 500 dollars per week to put all of our kids in daycare while I worked. There are some good jobs around here but I would only be actually earning about 250 per week after daycare costs. Another cost is the fact that someone else would be raising our children and we just don’t want that. So while my husband is at work, I stay home with the kids and work online.
The last way to make ends meet I would like to discuss is finding things to do that do not cost us any money. We do not go out to eat at fast food restaurants unless a member of the family has invited us. This saves us from wasting our money on food that does not nourish our bodies. We live on a farm so we take walks in the woods often and the kids really enjoy this. We go to our pond and fish, and we take the kids to the river to swim. We are active in free community activities which keeps our kids involved. Doing all of this keeps us busy enough that the kids never realize we have not spent a dime and it keeps our checking account safe from waste.
These are just a few things we do when it comes to making ends meet. With a family of nine sometimes you have to become creative and just make it work. I hope this article has given you some insight and the push you need to save as much money as you can even if you have a large family.