8 Tips For Affording a Large Family

Managing a large family on a small income can be tough, but with practical approaches and helpful tips, it doesn’t have to be so hard! Today I’ll share some of the most useful tips for affording a large family that I learned raising and homeschooling my 8 children on one income.


We have heard it many, many times:  “You have EIGHT kids?! How do you afford it?” Others add comments about how they can’t afford the two or three kids they have! Many times people who say this really mean they can’t have a large family AND the high standard of living they desire. I implemented every one of these tips for big families when I was raising my kids, and God always provided for us. 

My husband and I decided when we had our first little one, that I would stay home to care for her, and any children that came after. We were raising our large family on one income, and it wasn’t always easy. We didn’t have much at the time, but we knew we had a God who promised to supply our needs, and we could trust Him. 

I will say there were many times when things were tight, and we scrimped. but we always had our needs met!

God does promise to provide, but He also expects us to be good stewards of the money He has given us. We need to be wise and careful in how we use it.


Tips for Affording a Large Family + A Free Grocery Plan!


1. Agree on a budget with your spouse.

How do you budget for a large family? It’s very important to sit down with your spouse and set up a budget that you can both agree on. A married couple is supposed to be a team, and it won’t work if one of you is off doing their own thing financially. Have one of you handle the bill paying and budgeting, while both of you abide by the budget.

2. Trust God with your finances and always tithe!

No matter HOW tight the budget is, this is a Bible principle that we need to obey. If you get into the habit of tithing, you don’t even really think about it. And God promises to bless you when you are faithful in tithing. (Malachi 3:10)

3. Don’t go into debt!

Other than our house, and a couple of new cars over the years, we have avoided the debt trap. The biggest thing that gets families into debt is the use of credit cards. There is a right way and a wrong way to handle how to finance a large family with credit cards.

We agreed to have a credit card for certain things like booking a motel or emergency car repairs. But we agreed that we would ALWAYS, ALWAYS pay the bill in full the next month, so we never incur any finance charges. If you don’t have the self-discipline for this, it’s better to get rid of the cards and use a cash envelope system.

Money-Saving Tips for Large Families

4. Plan ahead and save regularly for big-ticket items you are going to need, or want.

For example, if you know your washer is nearing the end, start saving for a new one. When you reach the goal and can buy the items you’ve saved for, you really appreciate them more.

5. Don’t overspend on gifts.

As Christians, we aren’t supposed to be materialistic, and if we don’t start buying our kids lots of stuff, they won’t expect it. Then they’ll appreciate it more when they do get things. Decide a reasonable amount that you are going to spend for birthdays and Christmas, then stick to that amount.

When our kids were young, I got most of their toys from garage sales. You can find many nice toys, almost like new, at garage sales for a fraction of the original cost. Second-hand shops are great too. The same thing goes for kids clothes. They outgrow them so fast, that you can buy them used, but like new, and save a lot of money.

6. Make a menu, and stick to it.

How do big families save money on groceries? Write a grocery list to include what is needed for the menu, and buy only what is on the list. When shopping without a list you automatically end up spending more, as you pick up an extra thing here and there.

Also, try to shop where prices are lowest. For many years when the kids were young, my husband went to Aldi and bought almost all of our groceries there. We were able to spend a surprisingly small amount on groceries, compared to what most families spend.

Another thing that helped us save on groceries:  we never bought junk food. We didn’t buy sugar cereals, chips, or pop when the kids were young. That alone cut quite a bit off our grocery bill. I would bake once a week, and that was a treat we all looked forward to.


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How can I save for my family?

7. Combine trips, and shop online.

With a big family, going to the store for frequent, leisurely shopping trips was impossible, not to mention that it wastes time and money. Before going out on errands, make a list of all the places you need to go, the things to look for or buy, and do it all at once.

When you focus like this, you can a lot done in a short time, AND you don’t just randomly go spend money on things.

Buying things online is also a money and time saver. You can buy almost anything online now through places like Amazon, and save yourself time and gas by not running to the store for them. This helps you plan and control what you spend, and you can browse your choices from the comfort of home.

Frugal Living With A Large Family

8. Learn to pray and trust God.

I can look back at so many times when we had to pray and trust that God would supply certain needs. Over time we learned to leave the need with Him, sit back, and watch to see what He would do. It has been SO exciting to see the many times, and ways that He has provided for us. Even MORE exciting was that my kids SAW God provide, and they too, learned to trust Him. You can read my favorite story of how God proved Himself to us here:  “I Said I Couldn’t Trust God.”

Trusting God to provide for you is not always easy! Living this way is so opposite to the world’s philosophy that says “more is better,” “if you want it, buy it”, etc. It’s easy to focus on what we DON’T have, rather than what we DO have.

However, the difficulty of it all over the years of raising our kids, has pushed me closer to God and caused me to depend on Him like never before, and rest in the assurance that He CAN be trusted!

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