How Do The Duggars Afford Their Lifestyle?

by Casey Rackham

Here's the deal: I only have to make enough money to support one person (myself), and that's already a struggle (although, I never seem to have trouble finding enough money for wine). So, it's hard to imagine how Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar can afford to feed and clothe all 19 of their children. Honestly, it just doesn't seem possible. Now, they probably make a decent amount of money from, you know, starring in their own reality TV show, but even that can't be enough to pay all of the bills. Because, seriously, can you even imagine how much they spend on groceries?

Well, according to Jim Bob, the biggest saving grace has been their mission to "buy used and save the difference," and to live debt free. Now you may be wondering, "How did they decide to do this?" Well, approximately 19 years ago, Jim Bob went in search of a loan at a bank, but soon after he was led down a different path and found himself sitting with 50 other men watching Jim Sammon's Financial Freedom Seminar. He then came to believe that you should "owe no man anything but love," which led him to postpone the loan. Ever since then, Michelle and Jim Bob have committed themselves to living a debt-free life. Their outlook and guidance may be a tad different than the Average Joe's, but, hey, you have to admit that they're doing a pretty good job providing for their family.

Jim Sammon and his word aside, here are a few other ways the Duggars make sure that no one in their family goes hungry:

1. They take advantage of "kid's meals."

In a 2014 episode of 19 Kids & Counting, Jim Bob took most of his kids out for pizza. But instead of paying full price for everyone, he made sure to go to a place where kids eat for free. Cha-ching.

2. They buy in bulk.

The Duggars try to stick to a budget of $3,000 per month for food — that's an average of $5 per day, per person. In order to stick to that budget, they shop at discount grocery stores, co-ops, and warehouse clubs. I bet Costco loves the Duggar family.

3. They make their own food (sometimes).

From baby food to pickles, the Duggars know that not everything needs to be bought at the store.

4. They almost never buy anything that's new.

Whether it's shopping at a thrift shop, garage sale, pawn shop, or flea market, the Duggars look to save a penny whenever they can. However, Michelle wants us all to know that she doesn't buy used "undies and socks."

5. They participate in "hand-me down shopping."

Sucks for the Duggars who are stuck wearing clothes from a different decade. Anyone else hope someone's wearing something from the early '90s?

6. They're not afraid of the Craigslist Killer.

According to Michelle, the most adorable newly-engaged couple, Jill and Derick, will probably be furnishing their new home with furniture found on Craigslist.

7. They have a radiant heat floor.

Keeping such a large family and home warm in the winter is a serious task, especially since the Duggar's house is a whopping 7,000-square feet. They save on heating bills thanks to the radiant heat floor that they installed in their house during the building process, and a tankless water heater.

8. Michelle loves to barter and negotiate.

Michelle deserves the title of Queen of Sales since she successfully feeds and clothes 19 children. She definitely knows how to negotiate her way to a good price.

9. And finally, they literally pray for good sales.

According to Michelle, if there's something her kids want to buy, she tells them "to pray about it and then go shop for it, because, honestly, God provides in amazing ways."

Images: DCL (5); Jim Bob Duggar/TLC; DCL (2); TLC