Finding ways to save money is critical during uncertain economic times. But when you are a large family – say, five or more with everyone included – saving money is almost always a household priority. You can cut back in a number of different ways without feeling too much pain; following are six ideas.

1. Buy used clothing.

Garage sale, thrift store and consignment store clothing finds often are still in great shape and maybe even still fashionable. Save new purchases as special treats, or for gifts.

2. Eat homemade meals.

There are cookbooks galore with ideas and recipes on how to have a tasty, healthy meal on the table within thirty minutes. There are blogs that provide similar information. Take advantage of the savings over take-out meals.

3. Cut back on toys.

Kids have too many these days, and it’s killing their creativity. Agree on a set number of toys within a set budget that each child will receive for holiday gift-getting. To stock up on the shared toy box or shelves, scour thrift shops, garage sales and craigslist.org.

4. Garden together.

This is one of the most satisfactory ways to save money you may practice as a family. Grow at least some of your own fruits and vegetables, and you will pay less for groceries. Involve the children at whatever level is appropriate.

5. Stock up on school supplies when they’re on sale.

Need I say more?

6. Keep the 1950s house size proportions.

Back then, Americans lived in houses that were no larger than three hundred square feet per person. With a few tools and some ingenuity, this can work.

7. Keep your home organized.

Disorganization causes things to get lost, which causes you to spend money to replace them. Train everyone to return belongings to the proper spaces after use.

8. Save big with breastfeeding and cloth diapering.

You will save thousands of dollars over the diaper-life of just one child, let alone multiple children.

9. Get crafty.

Creating your own crafts to decorate the home or give as gifts not only saves you money, but also brings much more warmth and meaning to the place or person because it comes from your hands – and your heart.

10. Make the library your best friend.

Forget about magazine subscriptions, constant online book ordering and buying movie DVDs. Your library has it all – and what it doesn’t have you can almost always get via Interlibrary Loan.

Of course, this is only a smattering of the many ways to save money, no matter your family’s size. Start putting them into practice, and your wallet may just sigh with relief!