How Do Large Families Afford To Live

I am a stay at home mom. I always have been. My husband and I have 9 children ranging in ages from 2-21. I will explain how we get food, clothes, cars and have fun.

Almost from the start of our marriage I always tried to eat healthy which has saved us on doctor bills. We belong to food co-op and eat fresh fruit and vegetables as much as possible. We buy food in bulk and make almost all our food from scratch. Beside being healthier it tastes better. We have a garden and can tomatoes, pickles and freeze corn and asparagus. Since the kids have been in 4-H we have grown our own chicken, beef and pork. . We seldom go out to eat, but we like eating out on our deck or our beautiful hill in our back yard. My kids eat outside as soon as it is about 50 degrees outside until late in the fall. Eating at home is much cheaper and more relaxing for the parents. Our new neighbors that moved in this summer have a connection with second Harvest and they share their abundance with us. The last couple of months we have been getting free day old bread. Good bread— whole wheat, 12 grain, 7 grain, bagels etc.  She, also, gets fresh fruits and vegetables.

For clothes I buy underwear, socks, shoes, Christmas and Easter outfits new. —Everything else is from Goodwill, Thrift shops, hand me downs and my oldest daughter is a beautiful seamstress. She made 17 dresses one summer out of scraps and denim material. My neighbor stopped me one day out in the yard and was very surprised that we could afford designer clothes. She was very surprised to learn that the dresses were made out of scrap material. At Goodwill, rummage sales etc. we have found many new clothes with the store tags still on them.

For our cars we do not buy new. We usually watch the paper for cars that we like. Also, our last van we bought at a state car auction. All state vehicles are auctioned off when they get their new fleets. The cars are usually in good shape. We got a 15 passenger van that was previously owned by a state college. We keep fixing cars and my husband does
basic maintenance himself and is teaching our teenage boys to do the same.

Here are some ways to have fun on a budget. Having picnic’s in your yard with family and friends. Why not make it a potluck?. Back yard baseball or whatever your favorite sport is. Go for walks at a state park. Cost is a sticker for your vehicle for the season. Going to smaller local museums are usually fairly cheap some are free and you can learn the history of your area. Bowling and skating are fun things for the family to do. We get videos and dvds from the local library. A big thing at our house in the winter is board games, and jigsaw puzzles, building snowmen and sledding.

The other thing that I have noticed with having a big family is the children entertain each other and don’t need or care for many toys. Actually, my kids like to build their own toys and then have fun playing with them. They get sick of store bought toys quickly and beg me to let them take apart to see how they are made.

I would say the biggest cost of having a big family is having to feed teenage boys, but if you follow the steps above it isn’t too bad. So if you want a big family go for it, you do not have to live on government assistance to have one.

Debbie Hegeman is the wife of Dan for 22 years and mother of 9. She homeschools and is a work at home mom. She is an independent contractor for Plantmakers growing system. She likes growing plants and so do her kids.

One thought on “How Do Large Families Afford To Live

  1. Dottie ofarrell

    Awesome, Debbie. Way to break out of the mold and dress well, from Goodwill! I live in a very affluent area. We don’t want to look like hillbillies in comparison to our neighbors. But it can be done well at the thrift stores. You have re-inspired me to do this kind of shopping again. All these homemakerish things just sing to my soul. I have a little “pioneer spirit” in me that just won’t go away. Thank you for new inspiration, Debbie. By the way we have nine kids.

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