Well, having 7 kids we have tried to keep things really simple around here. We write out a schedule for meals and snacks so the kids don’t just gorge on whatever is in the cupboard. I will buy special snacks such as poptarts or go-gurts or any of those fancy boxed snacks when they are on really good sales. We always keep bread(from the bread store-the clearance wall!) and PB and J on hand if they are still hungry. We also eat rice at every main meal to save on food.
I love clearance sales wherever I can find them usually at the end of a season so I try and guess the kids sizes for next year. JCPenneys is a great one for clearance sales. I have found shorts and shirts for $1.77. Again for clothes we keep it simple. I try to buy things that will match everything like jeans or khakis. I have also found that I try and keep a mental list of what the kids really need so I don’t just do random shopping. Shoes are the hardest for us esp. for boys. They are in between sizes of boys and men so to find their sizes is very hard. We have a Steve and Barrys store where everything is under $15.00 and sometimes under $9.00 so I am heading there to find shoes for the school year.
The dollar store is not what is used to be so I don’t buy as much there. I usually go there to get the holiday things for Valentines Day or Easter. I buy the celaphane bags that have 20 in them and fill them with pencils and candy. Occasionally I find good deals there.
We also have put limits at birthdays and Christmas so I try and shop all year long when I find good deals. For Christmas we do the 3 gift rule where they get 1 gift they need, 1 educational gift and then 1 fun gift.
I have learned though to always know what your family really needs so you don’t just buy just to buy because it is a good deal. It is a waste of money no matter how good the deal is if you don’t need it in the first place!!!