With a big family comes big responsibility... and bigger grocery bills, as you'd imagine. The Duggar family has been fascinating the world for more than 10 years now, in no small part because watching one family so seamlessly accomplish ordinary things like laundry and bathroom sharing with a family of, uh, 20-plus people, is kind of a feat. As you'd imagine, these seven Duggar money-saving hacks will make perfect sense, and actually might inspire you to cut back on your own monthly bills.
For the Duggars, it's not about always having the newest or nicest things. In fact, as Michelle explained on her TLC blog, "there are so many ways to save." She continued: "As a matter of fact, Jill and Derick are going to be looking on Craigslist for furniture for their home. There's beautiful stuff available. People are constantly moving and they get rid of things they don't need." She went onto explain that you need to be patient when it comes to finding just the right things at just the right price. "We've already decided we won't go into debt to buy things," she said.
In fact, many of their tacts are often featured on the show: shopping in bulk, using hand-me-downs, and thrifting, thrifting, thrifting. Here, some of the Duggar's best known money saving hacks.
1. Keep The Grocery Bill At $3,000 Per Month
What may seem astronomical to someone coming from a family of four (or even just shopping for themselves) is commonplace for the Duggar family... they are, after all, feeding 20-plus people three meals a day. Thanks to a combination of shopping at discount stores and buying in bulk, Michelle said on her TLC blog that their budget for food is $3,000 a month, which is up from $2,000 due to inflation and some of the younger boys growing up.
2. Buy In Bulk
As for how they keep their food bill in check? Always buy in bulk, and keep it healthy. Nutritious foods tend to be more cost-effective when purchased in large quantities. Michelle told Today:
We buy in bulk. We try to buy as healthy as we can; buy whole grain as much as possible. Whole grains are very filling but stretch the dollar. For example, we buy whole-grain brown rice. We can cook a meal of rice and add a little bit of meat and veggies and stretch the meal and fill our tummies. We also make our own homemade bread — we buy a 50-pound bag of wheat.
3. Get Creative With Thrifted Clothing
Jessa and Jill opened up in a video on TLC's YouTube channel about how they make secondhand clothes their own. Jessa gushed that Jill is the most creative one in the family, and that all of the girls envy how well she puts different clothing pieces together. Of course, all of that also comes with the stipulation that it must be modest. In Touch reported that the Duggars wear long skirts and dresses so as to avoid "defrauding."
4. Find Free Weekend Activities
Speaking to Today, Jim Bob and Michelle opened up about finding free or inexpensive ways to entertain the family on weekends. "We go every Friday and Saturday night to our community family center," Jim Bob said. "Our favorite thing is broomball on the ice hockey rink. It's poor man's ice hockey." Michelle added: "Another thing is, we pack a lunch and go to a public park or a school playground when school's out. We have a picnic and play on the equipment."
5. "Buy Used, Save The Difference"
It's no secret that one of the biggest Duggar #moneyhacks is to always buy things second hand. "It's all in what you think is important, because most things you can buy used and save the difference," Michelle said on a TLC blog. "Other things you just have to find it when you can and splurge." Michelle explained that she and Jim Bob want to teach their kids about the importance of patience and that you can often get high quality things even if they are used:
We teach our 19 kids to be responsible about money. And when they've saved up for something we encourage them to see if they can find it on Craigslist or in a thrift store, or just be patient to see if it goes on sale before buying it new.
6. Carpool Or Use Public Transportation
Since the beginning of the Counting shows, fans have known that the Duggars have always used large, second hand vehicles to transport everyone. However, Anna Duggar's money saving strategies (which include buying things off-brand and in bulk, as her in-laws do) also spans to not being afraid to take public transportation. TLC reported that when she and Josh moved to D.C., Anna would tackle the metro with her kids in tow.
7. Keep Coffee Runs To A Minimum
It's no secret that the Duggars love coffee — particularly, Starbucks. In fact, when they are seen going out, they often post photos to their Instagrams of them getting Frappuccinos and other drinks. Of course, given how costly that can become, they do save it for special occasions only. In Touch reported that the Duggars love their coffee, though they keep it to a minimum.
Jim Bob and Michelle had previously said on TLC that they went through a financial freedom seminar years ago, and that's what led them to living life debt-free and budget-conscious. "If we hadn't heard those principles, we would never have known to buy used and save the difference and be willing to set aside a little bit of money here and there for those incidentals," Michelle said. All in all, it came in handy, because with almost two dozen kids in the family (not including grandkids!) budgeting is essential.