Having a large family is fun but let us face it, everything adds up. If you are taking a vacation, going out for a meal, shopping for clothes, birthdays, whatever. Everything adds up. My motto is “It’s not how much you make; it’s how much you save.” Here are a few tips to take the money focus out of it all.

1. Vacationing

You will have to have a plan for everything. If you plan on taking an annual vacation, you can be creative about it. A vacation does not have to mean leaving your shores. Do great resorts exist in your neighbourhood?  Are there any campgrounds nearby? Are there any cottages or lakes where you can spend a few days? What road trip can you make?

Make it local, jazz it up. We have done tons of local stuff in Canada; our favourites are Niagara Falls, Blue Mountain and Muskoka to name a few. And guess what, there are deals available for these destinations as well.

I am telling you, there is always a deal, you just have to look for them.

You can do the International type vacations every 2 years instead of every year and do the local ones in between. For international vacations, take advantage of the Booking.coms of the world. There are so many Airlines and Hotels that are collaborating to offer you deals. Take advantage of that. Select your destination, work out the cost and get to it.

Here is a tip, if you can do a weekday getaway instead of a weekend getaway, you get unbelievable savings and with all the savings, you can afford to get the overpriced merch at the destinations.

Fun on a budget, now that is winning.

Budgeting with a Large Family! - vacationing
2. Family Night/Games Night/Movie Night

Family Night is not complete without the snacks. Some family nights, I do snacks, other nights, I am just too tired, and a pizza is a convenient call away.

We always go for the one or two topping options; you get more pizza for half the cost. Everyone is fed, full, and having fun. Hey, that is an alliteration, how clever.

Feeling like chicken, order the buckets.

Whatever you desire, just check the deals first.

Budgeting with a Large Family! - games night
3. Shopping for Clothes

This is a huge deal for us. My kids love to get new clothes. I mean, who does not? That bill can add up quickly. So hey, you know this mama is all about the sales. I hardly ever buy anything, and I mean anything full-price. These kids outgrow everything quickly. There is no way I am overspending on their clothes. I will drop a dime on the shoes because I swear; they have razors for feet, but the clothes, no way.

My favourite shopping places are Children’s place; they always have a sale. We love H&M and do not discount good old Walmart. There are lots of gems there.

Hand-me-downs are a good resource for acquiring clothing for children as well. If you have children close in age or friends with children close in age, rotate those clothes. Children grow quickly and when you are living in the North, most times they only wear some of their clothing for one season which is like 3 months. In those 3 months, the garments may have been used just once or twice so those items are like new. Pass them on. Save a buck, save the environment.

Budgeting with a Large Family!
4. Shopping for Groceries

I miss the price matching days of Walmart, so annoying that it is no longer available. Luckily, coupons are still a thing. You can go to town with those.

We are a family of 6 and my 4 children who are far from their teenage years, already eat like teenagers. I know my son is a dump truck, but you should see the 3-year-old twins. I am still trying to figure out where it all goes. Where do they store the food?

When I tell some of my friends my market bill, they are so surprised, “What are you buying?” Food is our hugest expense outside of our mortgage. I am a health freak, so I want to have affordable food that is still quality.

Fruits and veggies must be fresh for us, so this is a weekly purchase. However, for the dry goods, you can save on those by buying in bulk.

Wholesale depots exist in every location. We have Costco and it is a game-changer. Once again, I advise you not to discount Walmart. Walmart has some items that you can buy in bulk at a fair price.

Most supermarkets have flyers, or you can use the apps to get an idea of what might be on sale that week. Those are super useful as well. Especially if the item on sale is a dry good and has a long shelf life, just stock up on it.

Budgeting with a Large Family! - shopping for groceries
5. Birthdays

These milestones can add up quickly. My kids love parties; they love being the life of the party, the presents, the cake, the presents. I plan ahead of time, find out what their birthday list is, set a budget and buy presents throughout the year. You do not need to wait the week before to get the gift. Stores have sales all the time on toys, books, and whatever must-have gadget they so need lest they die.

Anayah’s birthday is Christmas Eve, most of her presents are purchased on Black Friday. If Eli knows what he wants at that time, I will buy that item and tuck it away until his birthday.

Some years instead of a party, we do a mini getaway and create a memory with the family. Oh, they love this as well.

Birthday parties do not always have to be huge. Get a cake, get some balloons, sing the songs, give the gifts, and make it about them. You are guaranteed to hear: “The best birthday ever,” every time.

Budgeting with a Large Family! - birthdays
What is the takeaway from all this?
  1. Make a plan, decide what and when, and save for it.
  2. Look for deals and sales. They can be found everywhere.
  3. Buy in Bulk, you save this way.

What are some fun, creative ways you save your family money?

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