10 Ways to Save Time & Money with 4 Boys

10 Ways to Save Money by Sprouting Tadpoles

Having four growing boys in the house means that I have a lot of dirty clothes, no food, no clean towels and a toilet seat that stays UP all the time! I am the only female in my house now that my daughter moved away (she is 18 and eager to be on her own). I am starting to feel out-numbered. My boys are 13, 11, 5 and 3. My two older ones are growing like weeds and eat non-stop ALL DAY LONG! My two younger ones will eat a lot when they hit growth spurts, which seems to be all the time.  It is essential that I find ways to save money so that I can continue to feed them :). Here are my top ten ways that I save:

(1) Freezer Meals

A few years ago I started shopping and planning my meals for an entire month, once a month. I only make 2-3 more short trips after my major shopping trip. I also started freezing many dinner meals and have since found some great ways to make and freeze breakfast and lunch items as well. The boys have come to love having healthy, ready-made food to quickly grab. It is also a huge time saver for me because they can make their own lunch and help the little ones make theirs. I have some great links on my Pinterest board for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner meals. More great ideas here and here,

(2) Laundry

I only do laundry ONCE a week. I am not a fan of doing laundry so I only do it on Sunday. If I stick to my schedule, I can get all of our laundry done by the end of the day. Since we homeschool, the boys don’t change clothes several times a day, which helps keep laundry piles down. During the summer, I have more laundry to do because they are outside a lot and get hot and sweaty. I also make my own laundry soap which saves us a ton of money. It serves as my stain remover as well and I use vinegar as a fabric softener. Works great.

(3) They wear Crocs

Crocs are the kind of shoes that can be worn anywhere. The kids just slip them on and out the door we go. We have a designated area in our house where everyone’s shoes go. Right now it’s the foyer closet and as soon as those boys walk through the door, they take off their shoes and put them in the closet. Each boy has different color Crocs so when we are ready to go its easy to find and put on each boys shoes. No hunting them down or fighting over whose is whose. And the absolute best thing about Crocs is that I can throw them in the washer and they come out looking brand new. They can be worn in the mud, sand, water, out to eat, on a trip, are easy to get on and off and dirt comes right off. Easy peasy. I always try to buy mine at consignment sales but if I don’t have any luck with that and there are no Croc stores near, Amazon has the best pricing and a great selection of styles and colors.

(4) Shave the head!

When my kids are little and start to need haircuts, I will keep it cut with those trimmer/shavers that have several different hair length choices. I cut it short enough to last about a month or two and in the winter time they wear beanie type hats for warmth. My 13yo no longer has his hair cut like this and so my mom keeps his hair cut and trimmed.

(5) Shop on Amazon

I have a prime membership through Amazon so I get free shipping on all the things I purchase. I get most of our household products through the subscribe and save option which gives me an additional 20% off. I get our shampoo, toilet paper, baby wipes, diapers, deodorant, body wash and dishwasher detergent delivered once a month. It saves me time and money and we don’t run out of essential items. It also keeps me from running out at the last minute because someone is screaming about taking a shower with nothing to wash with.

(6) Netflix

Instead of paying for cable or a subscription for satellite service, we pay $12 a month for Netflix. The boys share bedrooms and the have a PlayStation for watching Netflix. It is also great for watching documentaries and educational shows.

(7) No TV

I don’t allow the TV to be turned on during the day unless we are watching something specifically for school. This helps save some money on our electric bill.

(8) Discount school supplies

I buy the majority of our school supplies during the back to school sales in July and August. I shop around all the different stores for the best pricing and then stock up on the things we use the most. Most of the school supply stores like Staples, Office Depot and Office Max offer discounts to educators and that helps out as well.

(9) Refill water & limit snacks

Instead of buying water bottles, we have a water filter pitcher that is refilled everyday with fresh water. No money spent on water and no bottles to throw away or recycle. I also limit snacks to twice a day, at designated times. This keeps the boys on a schedule of eating, they don’t have free reign of the kitchen and my snacks aren’t gone in two hours.

(10) Thrifty shopping

Buying clothes for 5 kids can get expensive really quick! I started shopping at consignment sales when my oldest were little ones. Most of their clothes get passed down to each boy and my nephew. I teach them to respect their things and take care of their clothes so that they are still in good condition when passed down. I have some clothes that my 13yo wore 10 years ago and are now being worn by my 3yo after being passed down to 3 other boys. I also shop at thrift stores, Goodwill and yard sales.

So there you have my top ten ways to save in a large family. Do you have any good tips to share?




  1. Cristina says

    Thanks for this article. I really like it!
    And I only have 2 boys 🙂

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