Thursday, June 17, 2010
How Much Does a Large Family Cost?
I'm sure you've heard that it costs about $7000 a year to raise one child. The $7000 includes food, housing, transportation, school, insurance, clothing, child care, and miscellaneous. Just imagine how much it must cost to raise a large family!!!! Or does it?
Here's how we manage on one income. We have five home schooled children ages 2-11. I am a stay at home wife/mom. My husband works outside the home. We rent our home. It is a smallish three bedroom house with a decent sized yard. We didn't rent a home out of our price range. We have a girls room and a boys room. We have paired down clutter to make our home seem larger.
We garden. We also can lots of produce. I was able to go most of the winter without buying any frozen veggies, pizza sauce, ketchup, salsa, and tomato sauce. We also do once a month grocery shopping and cook in bulk. I cook almost everything from scratch. Yes, this takes time. My kids and I spend several hours in the garden everyday. The kids also help when it's time to can what we grew. They also pitch in when I have a freezer cooking day.
We don't buy clothes new. I shop at yard sales, thrift stores, and Once Upon a Child. I am able to find wonderful quality name brand clothes for as low as $.25 per item. I also accept all hand me down clothes offered to us and pass on what we don't need. My girls are close in age so I also save clothes for them as they grow.
We're in the process of reducing our utility bills. Our electric bill keeps climbing even when we're using less electricity so we're on a mission to reduce it! I'm also trying to reduce our trash.
I'm using a budget for the amount of gas I put in our car. It gets so easy to run around all the time but those trips start adding up! We're in a busy season right now with 4-H and other activities but as they wind down we'll be reducing our gas budget as well.
My kids don't participate in a lot of costly activities. I encourage each of them to pick an activity they love and then we try to find a way to make it affordable. My daughters did dance and gymnastics last year. My son played football. We didn't participate in a different sport each season. We pick what we love and that's it. We also make our children wait until they're 6 before we'll consider any activities.
How do you cut costs in your family?
For more frugal ideas check out Life as Mom