Hi Frugal Life Readers! We are Lily and Ellie, authors of the Duggar Family Blog. The purpose of our blog is to provide factual, encouraging information about Jim Bob and Michelle and their nineteen children. We are delighted to share a post with you.
Raising kids costs money, and lots of it, but can you imagine providing for nineteen little (and big) ones? Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are doing just that, but not without sacrifice and careful planning. Let’s take a look at some frugal living tips from one of America’s largest families:
Early on in their marriage, Jim Bob and Michelle went through Jim Sammons’ Financial Freedom Seminar and purposed to get out of debt. They sold their home and rented for several years, eventually saving up enough cash to purchase a fixer-upper. “It was such freedom getting completely out of debt,” Jim Bob explained during our February interview. If they do not have the cash to pay for something, they do not buy it.
To stay within their budget, the Duggars shop secondhand whenever possible. Ever since they were “1 and Counting,” Jim Bob and Michelle have stayed true to their motto: "Buy Used and Save the Difference.” They are frequent thrift-store shoppers and are always on the lookout for garage sales, auctions, and clearance items. With the advent of the Internet, the Duggars began purchasing secondhand goods on websites like eBay and government sales. Whether they are searching for an oven, an SUV, or a pair of jeans, the Duggars always look to buy used and save the difference.
While building their house, the Duggars paid for the supplies as they went along and carefully considered each step with a frugal mindset. They saved money by purchasing a Kodiak Steel Home Kit and by heating their home with a wood-burning stove, powered by tree branches from their property. The entire family worked together for nearly four years to construct their dream house.
DIY Home Living
The Duggars also look for ways to save on everyday items. Michelle and the girls make homemade laundry soap, which is $60 cheaper than buying a month’s supply of conventional detergent. The older girls have learned how to give each other perms, saving salon fees of over $100. The Duggars also use homemade baby wipes, a recipe passed on by fellow parents of “19 kids and counting,” Gil and Kelly Bates.
Saving on College
How does one stay debt-free while putting kids through college? Several of the older Duggars have graduated high school and signed on with CollegePlus!, an organization that guides students through the process of earning their accredited bachelor’s degree at a fraction of the cost of traditional university. Twenty-year-old Jill Duggar is well on her way to becoming a registered nurse and is expected to save about $20,000 in tuition. The flexibility of CollegePlus! allows the Duggars to provide their children with an economical, quality education while maintaining a close family relationship.
The Duggars believe that becoming debt-free was critical to preparing for a large family, but they also understand the importance of continuing to live frugally. To stay in the black, they look for ways to cut costs, even when purchasing small items. While modern society cringes at the cost of raising more than a few children, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their nineteen kids are surviving and even thriving.