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As of 2021, the average U.S. household size was 2.6 people, according to Census Bureau data. But if you’re a family of two adults and one child, you’re already beyond the average. And if you have a larger family — say, three kids or more — then you may be well aware that feeding your household can eat up a lot of your income.

In September, grocery costs were up 2.4% from a year prior, according to the Consumer Price Index. So if you have a larger grocery tab to begin with due to your household size, you may, at this point, be eager to find ways to free up some cash to add to your savings account. Here are some tactics you can use.

1. Buy in bulk — but only when it makes sense

Warehouse club stores like Costco and Sam’s Club give members access to grocery items in bulk. And even if you don’t have a warehouse club membership, you can often find bulk food items at supermarkets and big-box retailers like Target and Walmart.

Buying in bulk will often mean paying less on a per-item or per-ounce basis. So it’s something that easily makes sense for items your family consumes mass quantities of.

But do note that caveat. One thing you don’t want to do is buy items in bulk that you only eat sparingly at home, especially if those items are perishable. You might end up throwing some of your stash away, which could mean wasting money rather than saving it.

A good bet is to make a list of the items your family tends to eat the most and go through most quickly. Maybe that’s a certain cereal or items like cheese and bread. From there, you can look at your options for bulk purchases and load up on items you’re unlikely to let go to waste.

2. Look to discount grocers

Discount grocery stores like Aldi can be a big source of savings when you’re trying to feed a larger family. But that strategy may not work so well if you have a household of pickier eaters who refuse to go off-brand.

A big reason discount grocers can offer such competitive prices is that they stock lesser-known brands that don’t spend as much money on advertising as the brands most households know. Since those little-known brands cost less, those savings can be passed along to consumers.

So if your kids love granola bars but don’t really care what the packaging looks like, then it pays to see what prices stores like Aldi have. But if you know that your kids just plain aren’t going to eat a product they don’t recognize, then you might as well save your money.

3. Subscribe to snacks and pantry staples on Amazon

Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program lets you sign up to have products shipped to your door automatically at different intervals. It can be monthly, every other month, and so forth — your choice.

The upside of this program is that on top of Amazon’s already competitive prices, you can save up to 15% when you’re signed up for five or more products in one auto-delivery. So if there are snack or pantry items your family uses regularly, it pays to see what price you can snag with this program. Not only might you save money, but you’ll save yourself the hassle of having to remember to restock.

Feeding a larger family is no easy feat at a time when grocery costs are still up. And even when they aren’t elevated, it’s still a tall order. But these tips could help you shave some money off of your grocery bills, so you have more financial leeway to cover the many other costs associated with having a big household.

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We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.
The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Maurie Backman has positions in Amazon. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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