New Episode - "Cheaper By The Duggars" 10/20/08

Watch how the Duggars save money when buying clothing and food, heating their home and even growing their own vegetables. You'll have a new understanding of the word thrifty after watching this episode!


Anonymous said...

It's no secret how to save money on food and clothing. I could feed and clothe 18 children, and I'll bet most here could, too.
I'm curious, though, how they get healthcare. They don't work for companies that will give them insurance through their jobs. I doubt a private insurer would insure them. Forget food and clothes. Mr. and Mrs. Duggar, how do you pay all those premiums and doctor's bills?

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering why Danielle thinks that an insurance company wouldn't insure the duggars? Money is money, 18 just means more of it for the insurance company.

Maggie said...

I was glad to see them getting a vegetable garden. What a fun project for the family and a real money saver as well.

As frugal as they seem to be, I am surprised they haven't done this before.

Anonymous said...

I found it disturbing when one of the girls said that her and all of her sisters (the older girls) all have long hair because her father likes long hair. When she was saying it she paused for like a second and said "Oh, but we like having our hair long too." Creepy!

Anonymous said...

Regarding insurance, a family health plan costs the same regardless of the number of people in the family. They could probably get a good family plan (very low co-pays and pretty much everything else covered) for about $1500 to $2000 per month. That money can be deducted from their taxes. While it's a lot of money, it's not much per person per month, especially if all their medical costs are covered.

Anonymous said...

Because it's high risk to keep having children, especially in your 40's. Because among 20 people, there has to be some pre-existing conditions in there somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I like this show, and I'm a big proponent of saving money.

BUT....I have to draw the line at repairing boots with duct-tape and then coloring it over with black marker.

When I saw that type of shoe-repair in the episode, my heart just went out to the children. A new pair of shoes at Payless runs less than $10.

I guess I don't understand how the parents can rationalize buying diapers for yet another baby Duggar when they have older children with duct-tape on their shoes.

Quit having more children if you can't put decent shoes on the feet of the children you already have. And I don't mean "name-brand" shoes either....decent ones from the thrift store are just fine.

Sad. Very sad.

rose said...

I think it's impressive that you can take that many children into a retail establishment and have the management still be able to say, "we love when they stop in-the children are so polite!".

I was in retail a number of years and there were PLENTY of families that would wreck the shelves with just 1 or 2 kids - and the parents just didn't care. However you may feel about the D's ultra-conservative lifestyle, their children do not have the same sense of entitlement that is plagueing (sp?) kids these days (many adults too!). I also love that Michelle can discipline with a kind, yet firm, voice - I wish I could be 1/2 as patient as her.

They are my inspiration for working towards the time I can call myself "debt-free".

Kelly said...

I thought this episode very interesting, how they make it work without visitng churches for "love offerings" and pay for things themselves. Could you imagine ever seeing an episode of J&K where they visit the thrift store for shoes and make their own laundry detergent? What polar opposites the Duggar and Gosselin families are!

Anonymous said...

I think I read somewhere that they are part of a samaritan insurance company where many families pay in monthly, and then when you need it, you take some back out. Many big families get insurance this way.

I want to know how Mrs. Duggar stays so calm? Morning sickness on top of 6 little boys riding bikes around the resale shop would've had me in a knot, but she was just so calm the whole time! How does she do that?

Also, one of the older girls commented about the "boys doing it the hard way" had me LOL. Was that the same one who made the "weird" comment on the other episode?

I don't think the family always shops with 11 baskets either. Jimbob said "that is a record". And haven't I heard Michelle say that she doesn't like to shop that way as it overwhelms the cashiers?

Rose said...

To anonymous 10/21/2008 12:56 AM:

I didn't find the long hair remark creepy at all. On the contrary, I keep my (one) 10yo DDs hair long partly because I know her daddy likes it. There's nothing wrong with a father appreciating something looking good on their daughters - whether it's clothing or a hairstyle. Personally, I find long hair much easier to take care of, too.

I can see where it may have come across odd if the viewer doesn't have a daughter or long hair, but it seemed ok to me.

Anonymous said...

We keep our daughters hair long too, because Daddy likes it. I don't see what the problem is with that. Most moms who like short hair would probably keep their daughter's hair short.

Also, the comment I loved was when they were talking about the long hair and the one girl said "Well, it's like any girl, they want to be like their friends". Those kids truly LOVE eachother. So nice in this day and age!!

Anonymous said...

I think my favorite part of this episode was toward the end, when JimBob was talking about how they always make due. He said something like "We've never had an abundance, but we've always had enough." It took me back to a few years ago when the whole brood was living in three bedrooms and two bedrooms because he couldn't finish the house fast enough. They didn't have enough then, did they? Not enough beds, not enough toilets, not enough COMMON SENSE! What a whackdoodle.

It truly makes me sad to see those little kids running around in worn out second-hand shoes. Growing feet need solid, comfortable shoes for proper support and alignment. My dad's family was very poor when he was growing up. (They got government surplus food and hand-me-down clothes from their church.) With 6 kids in the family, his parents saved money every year to buy them new shoes for school. There's no reason the Duggar kids shouldn't have their own new shoes once or twice a year.

Cassandra said...

One item that I never handed down from my older daughter to my younger daughter is SHOES. You should never wear hand-me-down shoes. It's very, very bad for your feet... ask any doctor. I could understand if you were extremely poor... but the Duggars can certainly afford new shoes if they want to.

Tres disgusting.

Cassandra said...

I would NOT be proud of buying used shoes.

That kid Josiah is such a tool. He has no idea how absurd he sounds. He is spouting what has been told to him by his not-very-bright father. ("Other families go to stores and buy new shoes, but we......")

Anonymous said...

Used shoes are a podiatrist's nightmare. The Duggars need to splurge on some Payless or Target shoes. Instead of shopping for 30 pairs at a time, watch for sales and discounts.

As far as the health care goes, they really could get a family plan for a reasonable monthly rate. Number of family members doesn't matter and no, pregnancy is not a pre existing condition. Also, many states have laws prohibiting people from being denied insurance due to pre existing conditions.

Anonymous said...

On the subject of the girls' hair, they aren't 10, they're teenagers. When you were teenagers did you do everything just because your parents asked you to or preferred you to do something? They've got these girls completely brainwashed to obey their parents without question, even though the oldest is an adult and the next three will soon be as well.

Kriss said...

I watched and I too was sad about the shoes. I noticed their average break down on the cost of one pair of shoes....$35.00 Maybe older children/teens but not younger ones. I buy my son nice OshGosh shoes at Target with a nice arch for $11.95 onsale. Last month I bought my daughter Aasics at Toys R Us on sale for $13.00 original $32.00. I noticed they were only paying a $1.00 a shoe. My kids arches mean more to me than a dollar. A shoe starts to get foot imprints after wear, I don't want my childrens foot trying to "match" someone else foot impression. Now if the shoes still had new tags on them, thats different. I have donated shoes before that my kids never got a chance to wear.

Anonymous said...

My mother also never allowed my brother and I to wear secondhand shoes. Clothes? Sure. Shoes? No way, for the reasons stated in previous comments.

I see nothing wrong with the girls' reason for long hair. I actually think their hairstyle is very flattering for their faces, since they all seem to have somewhat long, oval-shaped faces. (Not a criticism; I think all of the girls are very pretty.) And my family was not ultra-conservative in any way, but I also had long hair for a time because my father liked it...along with the fact that I did too! Girls like to please their doesn't have to be creepy.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 12:38pm, I don't think saying the family always had enough even though they once lived in a too-small house makes Jim Bob a "whackdoodle" or someone who lacks common sense. I think what he meant is the family had what they needed--shelter, food, clothes, and most of all each other. He wasn't whining that they needed more space or more stuff. Good for him! Nice contrast to another family we know.

MomOfThree said...

While I wouldn't buy used shoes from a thrift store, I do hand down gently worn ones (especially dress/church shoes) from daughter #1 to daughter #2. We've never had any problems. As for the cowboy boots being fixed with duct tape and Magic Marker, if you watch closely, you see that it is the young kids that are doing it (Joy-Anna and the brother the boots belong to) and showing their mom what a good job they did. I don't think that she really expects him to wear them; perhaps that is one of her gentle parenting ways, to not make a big scene that those boots are history, but to let him think that by "mending" them, he can save them and then she can toss them out later (as opposed to Kate shrieking that Joel's/Collin's/Aiden's beloved boots are ruined and she's trashing them right now). Michelle does say that her son is hoping to find that the store has cowboy boots today, so I'm sure she is planning to buy him some "new" ones. I guess everyone's choices in life boil down to what they are willing to accept. If you want a large family, you probably need to make concessions in other areas, such as clothing and shoes. To some, this is acceptable to others, a small family and new things are the way to go. It is a personal choice.

Liz said...

I love the Duggars but please buy the kids new shoes. It just does not seem sanitary. One thing I always did was buy my kids good shoes. Their feet are growing and they need the right support. Cut back some place else they seem very resourceful I am sure they can find a way.

Diana said...

I'd like to have the recipe for the home-made liquid laundry soap. That is great!

Anonymous said...

Oh Lawdy, JimBob and Shelly Bell would have an Arkansas sized cow if they knew I just bought my 16 year old two pairs ...TWO...of Ugg boots at $100 a pop.

I still just love this family, cheap shoes and all. :)

I'd rather see the Duggars actually paying for their own things and appreciating them, than see the Gosselins handed everything on a silver platter and their hands held out for more.

And how does Michelle stay so sweet and calm? She walks the walk. Kate, on the other hand, just talks the talk.

I would pay BIG BIG bucks to see Wife Swap step in and Kate and Michelle trade places for two weeks. Let's see Kate have to buy herself a pair of used shoes, and let's see Michelle plunk her butt in the white plastic chair.

Anonymous said...

One 4 1/2 oz. bar Fels Naptha or Ivory soap
1 cup borax
1 cup Arm and Hammer washing soda

Finely grate bar of soap into a lg. bowl (smallest grate on grater)
add borax and washing soda, mix thoroughly.
One batch fits into a Qt. canning Jar.

Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load of Laundry

Can use 1/4 cup vinegar in rinse cycle.

**** If clothes are not getting white enough for you , go ahead and add 1 cup of OxyClean to the mix, remix all ingredients together.

Maggie said...

If you like the idea of a Wife Swap between the Duggars and Gosselins, check out Tom and Trix Plus Six at:

It is parodied there, I believe Episode 7 and 8. Very funny!

Anonymous said...

Not sure where they get their health insurance, but in Georgia it's per person if you are buying your own; and pre-existing pretty much knocks you out of healthcare. He must be getting it out of a company where you have to take all of them hook, line and sinker.

Anonymous said...

I just got a nice pair of New Balance Sneakers for $16.99 at NWL - New in the box last year's overstock.

Used Shoe's take the cake!

Barbara said...

I think there will be rebellion at some time from some of these kids. I just cannot imagine that 18 kids will walk the straight and narrow path without resenting it and jumping ship. I think, just from observations watching the show, that the first girl to do this might be Jinger. I wish we lived in a world where every child growing up had this perfect world to live in, but that's not the way it is and at some point you have to learn to function in that real world. I don't believe you can keep them all on a commune forever. Sort of like the Amish, even they allow their teens to go through rumschpringe - or running around time before deciding to commit. I think Jim Bob and Michelle have created a difficult life for them as they grow up and move out into the world. I wish them only good things, I think they are good people with good intentions, but each of those children have minds of their own and at some point will use those minds.

A Mom-ynous said...

"BUT....I have to draw the line at repairing boots with duct-tape and then coloring it over with black marker."

First off, that was a cute craft done by one of the children.

Michelle had no intention of utilizing that shoe.

My children have made attempts to repair things that they loved.

A Mom-ynous said...

They do say they buy gently used shoes.

You can examine shoes and tell and it seemed like that store had a good selection.

Things I do with my feet might be a "podiatrist's nightmare" but I know my feet and do what's best for them.

They enjoy flip flops and being bare foot immensely b/c of their shape, size, and pronation.

My running shoes I pay a hefty penny b/c in my lifetime I have collapsed more side walls than I can count. So the shoe has to be a stronger shoe to deal with the shape, size, and pronation.

My feet are flat and prefer to stay that way, so I utilize no inserts and have been known to remove inserts so that my feet stay as flat as possible and then the shoe structure accomodates the impact for running.

Anonymous said...

I'm really confused at the snottiness towards used shoes, too. I have always worn used shoes, and honestly? I always liked them better than new. They made my feet feel better than new shoes ever did. And nothing is wrong with my feet.
You all sound like the people that had a major problem with the fact that I carried a backpack rather than a diaper bag when my daughter was a baby.

Anonymous said...

Good Grief people! Used shoes are not that big of a deal. I personally only wear used when I know who has worn them. But,my kids and I do wear them. And my kids are just as excited and gung-ho over the used shoes as if we bought them new. I know people on both sides of the camp, those who gladly accept used and the ones who will not put anything on their little darlings feet but a new pair of stride-rite's and I know everyone in between. The shoes the Duggars were trying on were in good condition and some were even name brand. At our Goodwill they recieve new items from Target! You never know what you may find. In my experience in buying Payless or Wal-Mart shoes for my son is that he can tear them up pretty quick. Maybe they choose to buy a used pair of name brand than a used pair of off brand? I would also like to say that was one of the nicest thrift store shoe areas I have seen. Nowhere around here could I find 30 pairs of decent, gently worn boys shoes to buy all at the same time!

Rose said...

Personally, I use the soap recipe referenced above by "anonymous 10/21/2008 10:07 PM". We have saved soooo much money by this small change. I have a shredder/grater attachment for my stand mixer and that makes shredding the soap MUCH easier.

I *think* the D's were actually making the gel version of laundry soap. Basically, it's the same ingredients - but I prefer the dry, it's much easier for me to store in a small house.

Here is a link to other laundry soap recipes:

As to the shoes - I "splurge" in two areas: shoes and mattresses. But if this works for them, that's great and it really does sound like they're using discretion in which pairs are chosen.

I thought the boot taping was a riot! That's one of those "cool mom" things I would never think to let my kids do when their favorite shoes are falling apart. They're still great "backyard" shoes!

MomOfThree said...

So JB is a "whack doodle" for living within his means and being grateful for "not having an abundance but always having enough"??? Instead of living modestly in a three bedroom/two bathroom home til he could afford a bigger one, he should break his financial commitment to live debt-free and go out and mortgage a huge home that he may not have been able to afford at the time? Now THAT'S using your common sense; 16 kids, a pregnant wife, and a large mortgage! There should be more people out there that financially responsible. What an example they are setting for their children. On one hand, we have the Duggars who live modestly and on the other, we have the G's who take all the freebies offered to them. What lessons the G's could learn from the Duggar's! Since the G's income will end when the show ends, they would do well to take a page from the Duggar's book and invest in some real estate, also.

As for their healthcare insurance, could be that JB has formed a corporation for his real estate holdings and the family is insured through his company? Just a thought....

MomOfThree said...

Poster "Barbara" said that the first child who may "jump ship" could be daughter, Jinger. Did you mean Jessa? Jessa is the daughter who made the comments about "boys being stupid", told viewers who said the family was too sheltered to "get over it" and said the e-mailers asking JB for his daughters' hands in marriage were "weird". Michelle once referred to her as "Jessa Blessa", "our ball of energy who's going to set the world on fire". My money is on her to have 2 or 3 kids and some sort of career. Jinger was the sister getting her hair permed in this last new episode.

MomOfThree said...

I really like this family and their values (as anyone who reads my posts can tell), but I have to say that I was bothered by something Michelle said and a statement made by one of the girls in this episode. When Michelle was taking the boys shopping, she said something to the effect that they love to go shopping to "get out" and in the supermarket, an older daughter echoed the same sentiment when she said that most kids would not want to go to a grocery store, but they all love to go "just to get out of the house". When a trip to town to buy food and used shoes/clothing is that exciting that kids jump into the car (and have to be coaxed out as little Johannah had to be when she was discovered in the car when Michelle and the boys were leaving), I have to wonder just how isolated and desperate for a change in routine they really are. Yes, toddlers like Johannah sometimes get upset when they aren't allowed to go with mom or dad, but how many 7/8/9 year old boys want to go to a grocery or clothing store? Except for the few times that they get together with other families, the kids don't seem to interact with kids other than siblings at all. Whatever they do, they do as a family (which is great) but maybe the little kids...the younger boys and Joy-Anna, because she is the only girl her age in a large group of boys, might enjoy mixing more with non-Duggars. I know that their home is not that close to "town", but maybe once in a while they could attend a play group, art class, karate class, baseball or soccer practice with other kids? As I said, I really do like this family/show and have "followed" them since their first show. Those statements just sort of made me think.

Karen said...

I have to say I enjoy watching the Duggars. I hand down shoes between my boys, because kids generally outgrow shoes before they are worn down to any extent. I noticed only the younger boys were going to get shoes at the thrift store; it's likely that the adults and older kids get their shoes new, because yes, adult shoes would be worn down rather than grown out.

The girls' having their hair long wasn't creepy to me. My grandfather liked my hair long when I was a teenager; I also liked it long, but when I would think of cutting it, I'd think how my grandfather would have been a bit upset. And yes, the girls like to look like each other, because their sisters are their peers, most kids that age want to look like their peers.

If you think it's creepy for a father to say that long hair on a girl is preferable, then I guess it's creepy for parents to tell their kids they can't shave their heads, or whatnot.

As for future rebellion--yes, there might be. But generally, the rebellions don't last long in most young adults, and when the rebellion fades, those kids will have a solid foundation of morals and faith to land on. That's a lot more than can be said for many children these days.

I could never deal with that many kids, but Michelle is a model for me of patient parenting. I'd rather watch the Duggars being grateful to be able to shop in a thrift store than watch Kate and Jon whine about not getting enough free toys for their kids.

Michelle said...

I'll have to catch this episode on the rerun tonight. I missed it Monday (fell asleep waiting for J&K to be over.) I would NEVER buy shoes second hand. I am a very thrifty person, but I will always buy my kids new shoes. I refuse to pay more than $5 for a pair of shoes and usually pay no more than $2-3 for the kids' shoes. Buy off season. I always check the clearance stuff. I got my son a pair of Thomas the Train boots for $3....normally $29! You never know what foot fungi you can pick up from used shoes. yick.

I have a problem with the hair thing, too. As the wife of a man with a sexist father, it has taken me over 7 years to wipe out most of the negative thoughts my FIL instilled in my husband growing up. Boys playing house/with baby dolls is one and hair is another. My MIL and SIL (who is 24) both have long hair because my FIL says they should. It is not flattering on them AT ALL. My FIL has a problem with me working, even though I do it from home so I can be here for our children, and he comments on it often. (which thankfully my husband stands up for me about and supports me fully in my career.) My husband thinks my daughters and I should have long hair because "women have long hair, men have short hair." My hair is definitely not shaved, it's not even as short as Kate's, but it's "too short" according to him, at about 2 inches above shoulder length. My hair cut flatters my face, and I like it, so I don't care, but those kind of sexist remarks on impressionable children can really do some damage. My younger daughter has very long hair...because she wants it. My older daughter has short hair...because she wants it. She has to wash it and care for it, if she wants it short, that's fine with me! My FIL comments all the time about how horrible it is that my older daughter has short hair, and wouldn't she like long hair? Thankfully, we have raised her with enough of her own senses to say no, I like it short because it's easier to wash and brush. Gotta love the honesty of a child.

dotsicle said...

One really has to be careful with used shoes and always try them on wearing socks. Foot and toenail fungus is easily spread by people trying on shoes barefoot, whether new or used.
I bought 3 pair of canvas "gardening shoes" from Target @ $5. All my other shoes are from the second-hand store. So, it doesn't bother me to see the Duggar kids enjoying shopping for used shoes. At least the parents aren't using their kids as a way to get everything new and free.

Michelle said...

Oh, and as an afterthought, we don't have health insurance, but when I was looking into it, pregnancy was considered a pre-existing condition, and most of them I looked at even said that a pregnancy would not be covered until 9 months after the policy had been taken out to insure that that wasn't the sole reason to get the policy. I think for pre-existing conditions it might have been something like being covered a year, and then they would cover it or something silly like that.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong, though, Michelle, with pleasing your father or spouse by wearing your hair they way they like it. My husband likes my hair long, and our daughters' hair long as well, so I and all 3 girls wear our hair long. He doesn't think it's horribly sinful or anything for us NOT to have long hair, but he does prefer it that way. And b/c I love him more than anything, I like to do things that make him happy, so I don't cut my hair off. I teach my girls that their daddy goes to work to provide for them, and takes care of them so much and loves them so much, that they can honor their daddy's wish and keep their hair long. They love doing so.

As to your Fil, I'd just have my daughter smile and say "Grandpa, Daddy says my hair looks pretty like this, so I will keep it this way." and go off to play. She can still be sweet and honoring to her Grandpa while not changing her hairstyle.

Many husbands and fathers don't care about this, and that's fine too, but it certainly doesn't hurt anything to make Hubby and Daddy happy by leaving your hair long if that is what he likes.

Mrs. P

Anonymous said...

I am a full supporter of the Duggars. I like them and how they live their lives. Does it really matter if they wear long hair because their father likes it that way. There are many families where the girls all have long hair according to the wishes of their father. Amish, Muslin and many others where girls have long hair because their family is patriarcal. Also, there is nothing wrong with being thrifty. People can say all they want about wearing used clothes, but I suspect that the Duggars have a large pile of money because of their lack of spending.

shelbysmom said...

If you notice in the episode, Michelle is buying nice tennis shoes and I think a pair of crocs. The kids clothes are always clean and tidy. I would assume that she looks for good, clean shoes for her children.
My father was the same way about our hair being long when we were young. Plus we were told as long as you live in my house and he paid the bills it was his rules not matter the age.

Rufus said...

Anonymous said, People can say all they want about wearing used clothes, but I suspect that the Duggars have a large pile of money because of their lack of spending.

I don't think anybody said anything about wearing used clothes. The issue here is used shoes. Quite a different issue. Also, I haven't seen anyone's comments putting down the Duggars' thriftiness. I think we all agree that anyone that can live thriftilly in these times is to be applauded.

Anonymous said...

i heard that the duggers dont pay any taxes because they use their house as a church. I guess you can save a lot of money if you dont have to pay any income tax

Maggie said...

I don't think that is true. I remember on another site that someone had looked up their property taxes and they were paying them.

Anonymous said...

I really feel like digging up whether or not someone pays property tax might be crossing the line a touch.

Also, in Nebraska, I've heard (I'm not for sure), after you have a certain amount of kids, you don't pay income tax....maybe it's the same way in Arkansas?

Used shoes gross me out, as does making my own laundry soap, and perming my own hair. HOWEVER, I'm not likely to have 20 children either. I guess you do what you have to do in order to make ends meet - and the Duggars help me to realize that going to buy that $10 bottle of Era is, in fact, a luxury.

Yay Duggars!

Anonymous said...

At least the Duggars gave 'real' tips for saving money, not useless ones like Kate Gosslin (making a ham sandwich?, apple slices w/ peanut butter?, putting items on layaway at Kmar and then pretending that this is something she does?). At least Michelle appears to walk the walk. You can tell because you'll see the same shirt over and over again (the pink blouse and the lime green blouse).

I don't agree 100% w/ Michelle but I think she's for real, a very good person, and a devoted, loving mom.

Anonymous said...

I am also a homeschooler, and my kids go barefoot most of the time. So, those shoes aren't on their feet for 9+ hours a day like most children. My kids only wear shoes when we go somewhere, or they are playing outside.

Also, the shoes she picked out looked brand new. She spent $30 for 30 pairs of shoes! I thought it was great! Are we such snobs in America that we can't see the treasure in using something until it is worn out?

I've seen so many posts about how they are not worried about the environment. IMO, this shows that they are concerned enough to not throw out resources that can still be used. I would personally trade in my debt and buy used shoes. All the new great things I bought for my kids, don't seem so great now that I am paying those credit card bills.

And heating their house with wood! What a great idea! It gives the boys something to do instead of playing nintendo all day long like most kids, and gets them outside and works off their energy. That one tree will save them a lot of money.

Cassandra said...

When my daughters were little, my husband just wanted them in hairstyles that would "not get in their way when they were playing." Thank G-d he was not sexist.

Do the husbands and fathers who insist on long hair know how much more trouble it is to take care of? And how much more expensive it is for shampoo, conditioner, adornments? I doubt they would want to go to all the trouble of washing and combing all that hair.

However, if the Duggars want to keep their hair long, that is their choice. My major complaint is that they never seem to do anything "different" with their hair... braids, buns, ponytails... As if they have zilch imagination. Michelle also has that horrendous fringe around her face. It's ghastly.

But they do have those awful perms!!! I can't understand that.

Anonymous said...

I applaud families who are thrifty and try to do the best for their children on very little money. I don't think the Duggars fall into this category. New shoes can be purchased for very little money. You don't have to buy the most expensive designer shoes. As for their clothing the choices made at the thrift shops appear to be clean an gently worn. I also feel they take advantage of their children in many ways, not the least of which is putting them on a reality tv show. Yes children should have chores and learn values, but I feel it's so wrong to expect older children in a family to raise the young ones. The teenage girls have so many responsibilities and don't get to enjoy being teenagers. Mom could surely find a way to do some of the "jurisdictions" herself. I have to agree with Grandpa Duggar they have enough children.

Anonymous said...

When did they say the older kids raise the younger ones? I must have missed that episode. I thought the older ones helped hold hands when they went out, and helped them get ready for the day in the morning and with some schooling ( because being a teacher is the best way to learn something). I have never seen the older kids discipline a younger one. I have seen Michelle disciplining many times though. I wonder if any of the people who complain about the older children raising the younger ones have their own children in childcare centers? Do they consider the center to be raising their children? Or is there more to raising a child than keeping an eye on them? hum......

Anonymous said...

I think people should be more careful when they label others. These kids are no where near brainwashed. It's funny that people jump to "brainwashed" automatically when they refer to people who are practicing religion.

They also throw around the terms "sexist" just because a family believes in the father as being the head of the household.

I have worn and buy worn shoes. I also buy some new, and some clearance. There is nothing wrong with buying used shoes. Buy a can of lysol on the way out if you are really worried.

Loved the soap recipe. We are going to try that. I would like more tips on babies and toddlers, though. I stopped watching J+K because I felt like it was making me think it was okay to behave like her. Michelle, on the other hand, is a good role model for handling children.

As far as the kids not being able to just be "teenagers"...Do you remember being a teenager? I wouldn't wish that on anybody. We only had four kids in our family, and I still did a lot of the parenting. Responsibility doesn't hurt kids. Yes, it can be overdone, but so can enrolling your child in every piano lesson, swim lesson, etc.. that you can find.

We could all tear each other up if argued over every little thing that other moms do. Used shoes, new shoes. Who cares? The point is that we all do what we feel is best for our family, and we should support each other instead of tearing people down.

Rose said...

Cassandra -

I guess it's all in how you look at it. My DD and I both have long hair. Personally, I find it much easier to take care of. Yes, I wear my hair in the same basic style and I'm ok with that. It's like "SAHM Standard Issue" hairdo, lol.


As to your mention of shampoo/conditioner - with very little effort couponing, I am able to pick up higher-end styling products at the pharmacies for very little. My general rule of thumb is I will pay no more than $.99 per bottle - and frequently I can get it for much less! is a fantastic (free) resource for couponing! It's a great site worth checking out.

Anonymous said...

What isn't addressed here is that long hair is part of their religion. Michelle also mentioned in one of the shows how they tell the children how to answer questions, so that may be the case here.I think that so far, they are playing the religion down a bit. I also noticed that they made a point of going to see a movie, which is also against their religion. Although, they did say something about some kids couldn't go because they weren't 18 and isn't the age 17? Maybe they let them make decisions about how strict they are personally at that age? Overall, I'd have to say I'm pleasantly suprised by the things I've seen on the show. The don't seem as brainwashed as I thought they'd be. A lot of the misguided things they say are more a result of mostly age appropriate immaturity & naivete, also seen in their parents! I'd also have to agree that Jessa will be one that gets a degree, job and has just a few kids or none at all. Who knows?! It will be interesting to see!

Anonymous said...

The Duggars do not educate their children adequately. This above all else bothers me. Education gives people choices, and choice is threatening to this insular community. I don't find this family charming or quaint. I find them disturbing because they are about control, especially control over women.

Anonymous said...

If the Duggers educated their kids adequately, Josh would be pursuing his dream of being a lawyer right now instead of being married and running a car dealership.

Anonymous said...

How do we know that they aren't educated properly? I think that many people make education and success and money their god. What is the goal? Is it serving God with all your heart, soul and mind? Or is it getting an education and trying to be in a high paying career?

Anonymous said...

Posted by Anonymous: "What is the goal? Is it serving God with all your heart, soul and mind? Or is it getting an education..."

I doubt that God thinks getting an education should not be a goal. God gifts you with a mind, use it. To use it properly, you need an EDUCATION.

Why can't a person get an education AND serve God? Are you saying they can't do both? That's just ludicrous.

It especially bothers me that the older Duggar girls do not seem to want to explore other education options. Maybe because it was never emphasized in the Duggar home?

Anonymous said...

For me it comes down to tolerance. They don't think the same way I do, but that does not inherently make it wrong. I know some people much like the Duggars and they are wonderful warm-hearted people. They enjoy their lives as much or maybe more than I enjoy mine. Who am I to tell them to change?

When we had fires in California last year they took me in, gave me a room and a bath to myself, fed me, and asked for nothing in return. They wouldn't take anything at all except my prayers for them.

The people I know have allowed their daughters who wanted to attend college to do so albeit Christian schools. Josh's wife is said to have a college degree. I'm not going to make assumptions about the Duggars that I can't prove any more than I'm going to make assumptions about my friends and neighbors based on wearing long dresses and long hair.

Anonymous said...

I do not necessarily agree with the following statements, but I run in the same circles as the Duggars and this is the general train of thought:

Most colleges teach liberalism. There have been several studies out that are swirling around the homeschooling communities about colleges leading youth away from God.

Also, college is expensive. You do not want your dd's to go into marriage with debt as their dowry. Then, when they have children, to feel the need to put them in public school and daycares so they can continue their careers and provide part of the income ( in order to help pay off the student loans)

Being a mom is the highest calling, so why do anything else.

Education can be obtained without going to college. If you can read, you can teach yourself anything. You do not have to earn "credit hours" in order to be educated. Learning should be something that continues to happen throughout life.

Anonymous said...

"Being a mom is the highest calling, so why do anything else. College is expensive. College teaches liberalism.
Posted by Anonymous"

Yes, being a mom is a great calling.

Suppose one day a mom with no job skills, no education, no vo-tech training, no nothing, but does have 17 children to feed, clothe, and provide medical care for, gets a knock on her door from a police officer, informing her that her wonderful husband and provider was killed in a car wreck. Oh, and there's no life insurance and no eligibility for Social Security survivors benefits.

How is that mom, now a widow, going to provide for her children? Find another man to support her?

Hmmm...suddenly taking a couple years before getting married and popping out all those kids, to get a degree, or learn a trade and have some job skills suddenly seems important. All she has is an empty resume. Oh, but that's ok, 'cause I'm sure that job at McDonald's will pay enough to support the family, right?

Newsflash, kids cost money, in the most frugile households.

Being a mom is great.

Have a backup plan too in case the "oh, that could never happen to me" happens.

Anonymous said...

How do we know that they aren't educated properly?

Well, we see kids of all ages sitting around the same table as Michelle holds up a flash card. (Can we all say perp-uh-dik-u-ar?) When kids range in age from six to 16, to whom exactly are the lessons focused? Do some sit while the other are taught? Do the older kids teach the others? Based on what knowledge? Do the religious pamphlets teach science, literature, and philosophy? When do the girls get to the 200 loads of laundry, the diapers, and all the meals that need to cook and bathrooms that need to be cleaned? Has Josh's Web site demonstrated proficiency in grammar and punctuation? If the point is to keep people under control by denying them information, then this family works. These kids are being cheated out of a modern, functional education. If the Duggars don't want their children in (gasp!) public schools, then they need to be sure the children get the tools to function in the world. Oh, I guess they don't. This is my main complaint about this family--they use lack of education as a means of control.

I teach in a college. if parents are afraid of their children being challenged to think, then there are certainly schools that can reinforce their conservative views. However, without a family culture that values learning, children won't get educated. I see training in this family, but not much education. Domestics, migrant workers, slaves, factory workers--they all get training. Not so much education. (See Frederick Douglass on this point.)

Anonymous said...

The above poster asked what would happen
if a knock at the door occurred and Mrs. Duggar was left with 17 children
to raise? She would qualify (via her
husband) for Soc. Sec. benefits, and
of course, TLC would re-create a NEW
reality show called "18 Kids and All
Alone - How DOES She Do It?"

Anonymous said...

Homeschooling is actually very controlled in America. You have to meet certain checkpoints by certain times and check in with the school systems. Not many people realize that.

And a lot of religious people homeschool, and I can't say that I don't see the benefit in it. What's a better alternative? Sending them to public school with kids that are going to ridicule their faith, overcrowded classrooms, violence and metal detecters, learning how to take standardized tests and not much else?

Public school has become a joke in this country. Out of all the things you can criticize them about, I would say this should be the least.

And I agree with the previous poster about how it's not always a negative for the man to be the head of the house. It doesn't mean anyone is being brainwashed or abused, they are just more traditional.

MomOfThree said...

I don't know if the above anonymous poster (11/02 10:48)is referring to Michelle specifically when stating that "all she has is an empty resume", but if this is so, this is incorrect about Michelle. I don't know her education history; I'm pretty sure that she said that she attended "real" high school (not homeschool) and in one photo that was shown on one of the "specials" way back when, it looked as though she was wearing a cheer leading uniform. Anyway, one time she said that both she and JB had their real estate and insurance sales licenses. I don't know if this is still the case, but she had to have had some education/training in order to acquire those licenses. She also mentioned that at one time they opened and operated a convenience store; once again some business skills are required here to maintain inventory, keep the books, schedule employees, etc. I doubt that Michelle and the family would ever be financially "up-the-creek" should anything ever happen to JB. I am quite sure that he has all his ducks in order and has made more than adequate provisions for everyone, not to mention social security benefits available through the government. Perhaps tonight's show when they visit Michelle's family will reveal more about her past.

mollybloom said...

Suppose Jim Bob gets left alone because, God forbid, Michelle suffers a ruptured uterus and dies? Not a problem. Get a new 20-year-old wife and keep procreating. Could Jim Bob and a child bride get their own show? Oh, probably. TLC just loves the "unusual."

renee said...

I agree that one thing I REALLY don't get is how their homeschooling works. When you have kids from like preschool age to senior in high school age seriously HOW does that work? I guess one could be purchasing the materials and the older ones can be sort of teaching themselves, not that this makes a great education. And like the poster above said they have to fit all of their schooling in with their 'jurisdictions', and while those are great life skills to be learning they don't make up for academics. But then again they are prepping the boys to be like Jim Bob and the girls to be like their mom. I don't know, I'm not anti-homeschooling but with that many kids and such a wide range of ages I don't get how it can be done, at least not just by Michelle doing it solo. I'm guessing they know just enough to pass the most standard of what they have to pass to meet state requirements as far as academics are concerned, unless they are extremely gifted and focused on teaching themselves but that gets hard when you get to subjects like chemistry, calculus, and whatnot. I don't even care if any of them get college educations really, just a thorough enough elementary and secondary education (though there are some fine Christian universities out there if they did want to go that route, a few very close-by even). I don't know I just really value a well-rounded education so this issue has always bothered me. I remember the old special where Josh said he wanted to be a lawyer and the whole season I had been wondering if he was attending college and it made me a bit sad as well to see that he was still home running a car dealership. I mean if that is what he really wants, ok, but he did seem as if he had potential to do more and now his life just seems sort of dead end. Like at 20 it is already all paved in stone.

Also it would be nice to see them have some outside activities they do other than hanging out with each other, the occasional home-school conference they speak of, going grocery shopping, and maybe a vacation every other year so they can learn things like not all people who live in huge East Coast cities can be nice too. Their lives just seem so programmed. Maybe my youngest of 13 children, 86 year old grandmother can relate to a life like this, but for obvious reasons I can't.

Also someone brought up the older kids raising the younger ones and someone replied "how do you know they do?" or something to that effect. Of course they do. She gets no outside help as far as we see. I was the oldest of only 3, with a large age gap between me and my sibling because they were half-siblings and I had to keep watch over them all the time. So with 17 (though I guess Josh is gone for good now) you have to believe those older girls are looking after the young ones constantly.

And the other thing that I always thought about too was how frugal they are yet she uses disposable diapers! Someone mentioned that way above. I mean I wouldn't have the patience to use cloth diapers with all those kids (though maybe at least the ones that are sort of semi-disposable and the one part comes out), but it seems like if anyone would Michelle would. But I guess that would be another load of laundry to add to the 16 a day they do or whatever.

Also Jim Bob should think of going 'green'. Maybe some windmills or something. I'm not saying they are terribly wasteful because they don't make a huge 'footprint' in some areas like clothing as we saw, but I don't know. It could be a future show idea for TLC. Maybe Ed Begley Jr. can come visit and give them some tips. I too was surprised they didn't have a farm before their neighbor started his. I mean it could have been part of science class as well! If I had all that land I'd be growing whatever produce my climate could handle.

Sara said...

I think Michelle is a very dedicated mother, but somehow I don't see all the kids following their beliefs and traditions in their adult life. I think their life is just TOO controlled, and just like many Amish kids, some of them will end up jumping ship. Hopefully Jim Bob and Michelle are prepared for the possibility and they will understand and love them just the same.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's funny to make pretend scenarios where somebody dies.

A lot of people are making pretty big assumptions.

One I saw was that conservative parents don't want their children to learn to think. Now, I'm not going to say that there are not some fringe groups of -ifyoucanevencallthemchristians-
but "conservative" parents do teach their kids to think, and in a lot of cases, do more than some parents who just toss their kids out to the winds and say "Do whatever feels right to you. Don't think, just feel."

I went to public school, and have two degrees from college. I actually used to have a lot of negative viewpoints on homeschooling, but honestly, they were mostly ignorant. I just assumed that I knew about homeschooling. Now that I am a parent, I will homeschool, because I want much more for my kids.

Let's face it, schools are a mess. I've been taught, and have taught in schools. You can homeschool the same material that kids in school learn, in half the time. Granted, once they get older it takes more time, but there is a lot more time in the day once you take out all the lining up and marching places out of the school day.

It's kinda sad that people just label homeschooled kids and parents as "ignorant and controlled". I've also worked in a college, and believe me, the education kids are coming from high school with can be really pathetic.

Also, my big thing is that I don't want my kids to be taught to have to sit still all day. If I homeschool in the morning, they have all the afternoon to play outside. We have enough weight problems and ADD/ADHD problems in this country.

For those who say that the kids are only getting taught to cook, clean, watch kids, etc... The public schools don't teach kids those skills, and it shows in today's adults. There does need to be a balance of both. There are a LOT of good homeschooling families who teach a range of ages, and still balance soccer and music practices. Plus, a lot of churches or homeschooling groups get together for field trips or to have some high school classes.

The fact is, this family has certain beliefs that a lot of people label as bad, ignorant, controlling, brainwashing, etc... Kinda goes back to elementary school where you would get called names at recess.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous talked about name calling at recess which reminded me about all of Amy's snarky comments. She says " Pray for me" and talks about how she doesn't like their music choices, but you NEVER hear a Duggar child speak in a negative way about her.

I'm guessing she went to public school.

Jen said...

While I certainly hope nothing happens to JB (or any of the other Duggars), I would think that financially they would be ok. Their home is paid for, their vehicles are paid for and the commercial propeties and cell phone tower income should not disappear because JB passed away, provided that they are legally married and he has a will or the assets are in both of their names. Social Security have to work and contribute to Social Security to be eligible for the benefits, not sure if JB does this or not. If he pays himself a salary for the work he does (car lot, commercial property maintenance etc.) and pays social security taxes then it should be fine. But if he hasn't worked much "over the table" his whole life, the benefits actually wouldn't be that great.

But I'm not worried, I can't imagine JB would not have a will and stuff in place, unless they assume God will handle everything. Plus Josh would probably kind of take over as provider...

I always wonder what would happen if one fo the children was born with, or acquired, a severe disability. I think they would be loved and cared for, but it would sort of mess up the whole perfect family thing they have going.

Hopefully they will all live long, happy, healthy lives. But I'm not worried about Michelle ending up on welfare.

Mommyof4 said...

I also think that Amy is a little snarky. She kind of acts like she's there just to be on TV. She's always looking at the camera and talking to the camera even when they are filming something normal like teaching your kid to drive. I wish they wouldn't show her so much. I think that sometimes they show her to make the Duggars look even more different.

Anonymous said...

Why is Amy even on the show?

Anonymous said...

Why is Amy even on the show?


Publicity for her country album.

Anonymous said...

I love watching the Duggars and so appreciate their willing to live within their means. There are too many families right now who decided that living on two incomes to have what they want in life was necessary. When just one income is lost, they are losing their homes and lifestyles they are accustomed too. I hope this family inspires others to live within their means. Throw away the credit cards, buy used when possible and spend more time together as families instead of running to every activity that is availabe and needs to be paid for. I have a close friend with 9 children. They are always dressed well and well behaved. They are some of the most loving children and young people you would ever want to be around. They are hard workers and never have problems finding a job. Sometimes we are so critical because the issue just really hits home.

Anonymous said...

I think that the lesson from the Duggar's about living within their means in the most important one. We pay off our credit card (we only have one) every month (and use it for everything for the Disney Rewards). We have no car payment (own 2 cars that are only a couple years old), or mortgage. We are able to take vacations a couple of times a year and I only work part time. This is the way EVERYONE should be. My husband is not a doctor or a lawyer, but has a medium paying job. We are happy, and never, ever argu about money. This week, because of the Duggars I went to a thrift store for the first time and got two pairs of nearly brand new gap jeans for myself for $3.60 a pair....

I am Mary S. said...

Anonymous said...

I'd rather see the Duggars actually paying for their own things and appreciating them, than see the Gosselins handed everything on a silver platter and their hands held out for more.

And how does Michelle stay so sweet and calm? She walks the walk. Kate, on the other hand, just talks the talk.

I would pay BIG BIG bucks to see Wife Swap step in and Kate and Michelle trade places for two weeks. Let's see Kate have to buy herself a pair of used shoes, and let's see Michelle plunk her butt in the white plastic chair

A-FREAKIN-MEN to that! I used to love watching J&K + 8 but now it just grates on my nerves listening to the way Kate talks to her husband, her kids, everyone around her. To be sure, the Duggars have their faults as well, but Michelle is a breath of fresh air compared to Kate.

Anonymous said...

That is the best idea for a wife swap I've ever heard! I can't even watch J&K anymore. Her unmotherly ways, and screaming at Jon are just too much. But Michelle inspires me to be better. If Michelle can be so calm with all those kids, then I have no excuse. I am so glad that TV crews are not in my house though!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the Duggars. They live the way families used to live. Now, all the families I know seem to running around, never sit together for a family meal, kids have to have the best...there's too much stuff kids just have to have..all the electronic games (no wonder kids can't read), the computers, the 'watch anything you want'. Parents pay kids to stay out of the way and 'don't bother me.'

Get a Clue said...

I'd much rather have the Duggars than the family I was told about today. The woman was describing her goddaughter who is FOUR mind you. She gets regular pedicures and manicures. She recognizes and values Guchi bags and Prada dresses.

I think her parents are out of their minds.

Anonymous said...

I admire Michelle and how calmly she is able to run her household. Also not wishing death on anyone either, I can't help but wonder what would happen to the family if she were to tragically pass away. I think her family might withstand the tragedy.

But not all large families are capable of this. Just recently in the headlines was the story of a father of a large family dropping off all of his kids under the Safe Haven law because he couldn't deal with all of his kids after their mother passed away.

I hope Jim Bob appreciates Michelle's monumental role in the family.