We are a family of 7. We have 5 children and the ages range from 14 to twins that are 7. There is only one of us working right now. It would cost too much for child care for both of us to go to work. I stay at home and he works. I cut costs by buying in bulk for groceries, using coupons, and if your grocery store has the savings card, I go online and download e-coupons and put them on my card. I only buy sale items, and usually 10 for $10 items. Some groceries stores have 5 for $19.99 on meats.Those can be great deals for me if the quantity is right. I found that if I go to a butcher shop it is cheaper for me to get a 1/4 cow that costs (cheapest I got it was $245.-$280) I request to have mostly burger some roasts and a few steaks out of the cuts of meat. I have the burger wrapped in 1 pound packages. We end up with it varies but about 60# of burger, 3 English roasts, 4 regular roasts, and 13 steaks. It lasts us a little over 3 months. I buy boneless pork loins on sale only when the price is about $1.88 # and buy 2 I have the store cut into quarter in slices and break it down to 7-8 chops per package.We get about 80 pork chops that way for right around $30. Making a menu helps too.
Clothing is a little bit tricky because of the ages and sexes of my children, the oldest is a female she's 14, then I have a 13 year old boy, then I have a 8 year old girl, and twin boys that are 7. The 3 youngest are very close in the same sizes so I try to get pants/shorts that will work for all 3 of them. I shop at lightly used clothing stores. I even have family members that pass their children's clothes to my kids. I will go to the local Salvation Army store that have sales on the color of tags everyday of the week. The goodwill store is another good place to go I can save a lot there too. Yard sales have been great. I have not figured out a very good way to save on clothing but I will.
As for saving in the home, I will go around after everyone, shutting of lights to save on electricity.Kids leave every light on when they come out of a room. I unplug any and all unused cords (cell phone charger, can opener, microwave, etc.) which I am very surprised that does take a lot off electric bill. I will hang clothes up to dry over the bath tub,or out on the line if it is not raining. I found if I break down and buy more expensive laundry soap it lasts longer and you use less of it.If you have some baking soda, out it in with the load. I go to big lots and buy shampoo and all my house hold things they have sales like 2 -3 times a year for 25% off entire purchase and everything is descent prices there. I end up having about 10 bottles of shampoo, I try to have a stock pile.
I heat with propane which costs me about $800-$900 a year to fill the tank.In the summer instead of leaving the pilot light burn I go outside and shut of the main valve that runs to the house then relight it when it starts getting cold but not right away. I will throw on an extra shirt or grab blanket if anyone is cold. April to about Oct I go out and shut main valve off so its not using any. I make sure I clean at least once a week my seal around my fridge, and I use the vacumm an clean the coils that way its not working that hard to keep items cold. I live about 10 miles in any one direction to get to a store so when I go I try to get everything I can that way I am not wasting gas.
One more thing I would like to add is if you have a deep freezer, freeze yourself some bags of ice and if your electricity ever goes out those bags of ice will save your meats from going bad and you don't have to throw them out plus if some thing happens to your water unthaw and drink it.
That is my story how we make it on one income.