Taking care of a big family on a budget can be super stressful. While having a big family can be a great thing, it comes with expensive financial responsibilities not found in smaller families. A big family, especially one that includes both young and elderly family members, can have all sorts of expenses. This makes it especially important to budget properly while also knowing how to save on everyday expenses.
While my family isn’t particularly large, we did have rotating members who lived with us from time-to-time. Nieces and nephews, cousins, friends and even my elderly mother-in-law were all part and parcel of our family. Over the years I’ve compiled a few strategies that helped me save money while taking care of my family.
1. Cook at Home More Often
We all lead busy lives. From working long hours to going to school, some days it’s hard to find time to cook meals for a big family. But, eating out is quite expensive. For what you spend on a single night’s meal you could likely spend on a week’s worth of groceries. While it’s okay to eat out every so often, it’s best to eat at home as much as possible. I used to feature how I would feed my family of four for $10. Food prices are higher now, but you can still save a significant amount with cooking versus ordering or eating out. So, put your Uber Eats away.
If time is the biggest factor in deciding whether to eat in or out, invest in a crockpot, Dutch oven, or even an Instant
Pot Cooker. With these appliances, you can cook meals in bulk. These items are also great for cooking dinner while you’re at work.
By cooking at home, not only do you save money, you also get to spend quality time with your family when preparing and eating a meal.
2. Be Smart When Grocery Shopping
Big families eat a lot, but we all know that the cost of groceries continues to grow. When shopping at the grocery store, it’s important to shop strategically. Make a list of groceries that you need to purchase and then look at the weekly circular as well as the store’s app or website to find any coupons that you can use. This can save you hundreds of dollars each month.
While you don’t have to be an extreme couponer in order to save money at the grocery store, it helps to use coupons and to know about coupon stacking so that you can get the biggest discount possible.
Another way to save money on groceries is to just buy in bulk. Purchasing items in bulk when they’re on sale just makes sense – especially if it’s an item that you use quite frequently. You’ll also want to ensure that you always have a grocery list so that you can avoid impulse buys.
3. Know How to Save on Medications
With a big family, chances are that at least one person takes prescription medications. But, even with insurance coverage, certain medications can be quite taxing on your monthly budget. Just like any other product on the market, there are all sorts of ways to save money on medications. By cutting prescription costs, you’ll have more money to put towards other expenses.
One of the simplest ways to save money on medication is to switch to the generic form. Most common prescriptions are available in generic form, which is much cheaper than the name brand option. Generic medications use the same active ingredients and have the same side effects.
Another tip is to use coupons to save money on Eliquis cost or other common prescriptions such as Nexium or Plavix. You can often find prescription coupons at the doctor’s office though they are also available online on the drug manufacturer’s website.
Other ways to save money on prescriptions include:
- Asking your doctor for free samples
- Use an online pharmacy
- Switch to a different pharmacy after asking for their price list
- Ask for longer prescriptions
By saving money on medications, you can take the money you’ve saved and put it towards other expenses.
4. Bundle Services
These days most families have cable television and Internet services. While these services come at a cost, most are willing to pay the fees for the sake of entertainment. But, did you know you can save money on these services by bundling them with the same provider? Companies are all about providing discounts to customers who use several of their services. By bundling, you can save plenty of money each month.
If bundling isn’t an option, you may want to consider lower-cost entertainment options. These days streaming video is all the hype. The best part is that it usually costs a fraction of cable services. We have cable in just one room in our house and use streaming services in all other areas.
Another way to save money is to reconsider your package options. Do you really watch the hundreds of channels you have access too? Do you need super high-speed Internet? These are effective and non-intrusive ways of saving money on at-home entertainment.
There’s nothing greater than having a big family. While expenses can sometimes cause financial strain, there are plenty of ways to make your dollars go further. Try incorporating these 4 tips into your daily life to see just how much money you can save.
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