Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What Does a Large Family Cost?

When people find out that we have five children many of them assume that it costs an arm and a leg to feed them, clothe them, house them, and that we are taking a huge toll on the World's delicate in having a huge carbon foot print. Here are some ways to keep your large family living small...

We have switched to cloth diapers, I wish I would've made the switch years ago but I didn't. We no longer buy disposable diapers at all. We also use cloth wipes.

We don't buy paper towels, we use rags or dish clothes.

We don't buy cleaning supplies, I use vinegar and baking soda for 99% of our cleaning needs

As a family we only put out one trash can of garbage out a week. We put out 2 30 gallon tubs and two trash bags full of recyclable items. We also have a compost bin to further reduce our trash. We no longer purchase convenience foods and now that I've begun canning our trash should be even less.

We don't purchase any clothes new. They are bought at yard sales or thrift stores. We also buy shoes used at Once Upon a Child. The same thing for toys and books. We do purchase some books and toys new but 95% are from yard sales or thrift stores, by buying used we don't have to dispose of the packaging.

Our home is small and we have well loved furniture, we have only one piece of new furniture.

Our electric bill is less than $75 a month. Everything in our house is electric except our furnace. Six of us are home all day long.

For more frugal tips check out Life as Mom


Anonymous said...

Hello Dear Autumn,
I just knew from the moment I first read your blog that we were kindred spirits.Happy Birthday to you too. Have you got plans for Monday? I have a daughter that turn 31 Aug. 29. You are so blessed to have the extra 5 years. God is good. I reliezed this year when I almost lost Dave how short life is.I wrote a post on my new blog today you will love. You are wise beyond your years.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

Wow! You have fantastic electric prices where you live! We have a gas dryer, water heater, and furnace, but even in winter our electric bill is over $100 (it's summer where we have high bills here, and for several years the electric company has been raising the rates every quarter).

I have 5 children as well.

I would love to throw out less trash and compost more, but I don't have room to compost 2 cans full of grass every week, plus tree branches, dead tomato plants, etc. If our city had a green pickup I would use that.

We have one car, and we don't go places too often. Since I homeschool, I don't drive the children to and from school every day. When we do have to run errands, we try to combine trips.

Theresa said...

I would KILL for a $75 hydro bill. I am in Canada, and my hydro(electricity) bill runs $183 a month. UUGGHHH!!!!! I am going to get militant about lowering my hydro costs. Love your blog, you are an inspiration.

Abbi said...

I enjoyed your post! As I read through it pretty much everything lined up on how we live as well. I think we still have a little more trash than that but a lot less recyclebles as we are blessed to be able to get quite a bit of our stuff in reusable packadging (such as getting our milk in our own jars.)

I am very impressed with your electric bill! We have one less in our family and our bill is over $100. I am a little puzzled as I worked really hard to lower it this summer and had very little in the way of results. I think I need to do a little more research and am wondering if our big old freezer is largely to blame.

Anyway, I enjoyed your thoughts!