Having a big family means you’ll have big expenses, too. The current level of inflation is impacting all families across America, but large families could really get hit hard by these rising expenses.
Parents may especially be on the hunt for money-saving strategies in 2022 as inflation continues to rise. One great way to save money is by researching the best auto and home insurance bundles.
Here are six ways that big families can save more money in 2022.
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#1 – Buy in Bulk
Many wholesale retailers give the option to purchase items in bulk after paying a yearly fee upfront. Buying in bulk can be a great way to save money, but keep your family’s habits in mind before buying everything you can in bulk.
It’s also important to compare prices to see if buying something in bulk will actually save you money.
You’ll have to eat Items like fruits and vegetables in only a few days before they become a waste. Non-perishable products like cereal, pasta, and condiments are the better option in most cases.
Food items aren’t the only products that can be bought in bulk. Your family will also benefit from buying household items such as paper towels, toilet paper, and other toiletries in bulk.
In general, you’ll probably find the most savings when you purchase items that your family uses up quickly in bulk.
#2 – Create a Budget for Everything
It may seem like an obvious tip, but creating a realistic budget can easily get overlooked. The concept of sitting down to create this budget can be intimidating to some. Budgeting is especially helpful for any families who are trying to manage their debt.
The first step for creating a budget is to consider your goals. These goals can be short-term (such as saving for a vacation) or long-term (saving for retirement). Recording your goals on a chart or spreadsheet is a helpful way to manage them as well.
Next, you should add up your income and expenses. Don’t forget to include taxes when determining your income. If you have an irregular income, it could be more difficult to determine how much you make. Three ways to approach your irregular income are:
- Create a family budget around your lower-income months. This is difficult since you really have to cut back on expenses for this to work, but it allows you to have extra savings during your better months.
- Determine your average net income for one year and divide by 12 to find your monthly income.
- Put all your income sources in a separate bank account, then give yourself a set amount you can withdraw from the account every month.
Finally, determine how much money you spend on a regular basis. This list will certainly be longer than your income list, but that’s only natural. If possible, try to factor in the more random expenses such as doctor visits or birthday gifts.
One of the best parts about budgeting is that you can get your family involved in it. Asking your children to help with even the smallest tasks, such as writing a grocery list, can help them feel included.
#3 – Prepare Meals Ahead of Time
Meal-prepping can make it easier to eat at home. Dining in is much cheaper in the long run compared to going out to eat. Plus you can keep eating at home exciting by setting up themed nights like Taco Tuesday.
However, it can be overwhelming just imagining yourself trying to prepare healthy meals for your family.
You and your family can tackle the intimidation of meal-prepping by setting aside an hour or two once a week to plan the meals. Then decide what kind of preparation you can do ahead of time.
For example, you can chop vegetables or marinate meat ahead of time. Your freezer will be your friend once you become a meal-prepper.
#4 – Bundle Home and Auto Insurance Policies
Most insurers provide a discount when more than one policy is purchased under them, and this is why purchasing home and auto insurance policies from the same provider is a popular option.
To decide if your family could benefit from bundling home and auto insurance, compare quotes for separate and bundled policies. Sometimes a separate policy is cheaper than bundled policy rates.
Once you’ve established that bundling is the more affordable option, compare bundles from several different insurers. You can either do this yourself online or contact an agent to assist you.
Sometimes insurers will use a third-party insurance company, also known as an affiliate, for either policy in a bundle. You’ll still be saving money, but you will lose the convenience of dealing with only one insurance company.
#5 – Embrace Second-Hand Items
Shopping second-hand is great for items like clothes, shoes, and toys. Plus when you have multiple children, the siblings can share these items. Consignment shops and thrift stores can have a surprising amount of good-quality items. Kids don’t stay the same size for long, so you might as well save money by buying second-hand clothing.
Here are some things to consider when you’re buying (new or used) clothes for the family:
- Buy neutrals: Buying your children’s clothing in neutral colors means they’ll be easier to pass down to other siblings regardless of gender. Keep this in mind when buying expensive items like winter coats and boots.
- Follow the “30 x 3” rule: Refrain from buying a clothing item unless you think you’ll wear it 30 times and it will go with at least 3 other items in your closet.
- Purchase high-quality staples: This is similar to buying neutrals. If you purchase higher quality jackets or shoes, for example, you’ll be more likely to pass them along to other children. Even if you don’t have many children, it’s still good to have some high-quality items that shouldn’t need to be replaced for a while.
You can use sites like Poshmark, ThredUp, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay to sell any old clothes or accessories that have sat untouched in the back of the closet. This is a great way to keep your home organized while also giving yourself extra cash.
#6 – Cancel Any Unused Services
Did you know that 71% of Americans spend over $50 a month on unwanted subscription fees? It’s easy to forget about the free trial you signed up for months ago, and sometimes it can just be difficult to keep track of what services are getting your money.
It doesn’t help that many companies intentionally make it difficult to cancel a subscription.
If you’re a family that has gotten rid of their cable services and switched to streaming, this could be a huge problem for you. We recommend keeping track of your subscriptions with a spreadsheet so you can see how much you’re spending a month and how often you even use these services.
You can still use free trials to test out services, but you should mark down the end of the trial period on a calendar before you get hit with a charge. Don’t forget to turn off auto-renewals for services as well.
Luke Williams writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, InsuranceBlogByChris.com. His passions include best practices for insurance and helping big families save money.