Jill Duggar Pulls Back Curtain On 19 Kids & Counting's Money Secrets & Perks In New Memoir

The Duggar family, led by Michelle and Jim Bob, became famous thanks to their TLC show. It first aired as "17 Kids and Counting," but as their family kept growing, by the final seasons it was "19 Kids and Counting." The show was on for seven years, and the Duggars definitely changed since the debut of "19 Kids and Counting."

Housing, feeding, and caring for such a large family is no easy feat, and that was a part of the intrigue of the show. Along with being known for their conservative and strict religious beliefs, the family was known for being frugal and living debt-free, an episode in season 1 was even called "Cheaper by the Duggars." The Duggar family was shown on the show buying groceries in bulk and shopping second-hand. But it wasn't all garage sales and bargains.

What you didn't see was how much help they got with money behind the scenes. But now we have some insights into what went down thanks to Jill Duggar Dillard, the fourth oldest of the Duggar children. Jill, along with her husband Derick, wrote a memoir called "Counting the Cost," which hit shelves September 12. Jill's memoir got pushback when it was first announced, but that didn't stop her from telling her story. The book has now come out, and the publisher's website describes it as "revealing the secrets, manipulation, and intimidation behind the show that remained hidden from their fans." And some of those secrets are about just how much they didn't have to pay for their lifestyle, thanks to the production company.

The massive Duggar family home was furnished by an interior designer

In her memoir "Counting the Cost," Jill Duggar Dillard wrote about how excited she and her siblings were to go grocery shopping when the TV crews were there, because they'd be the ones footing the bill. That meant that they were able to load up their carts with everything they wanted, with no thought to the cost. It made a welcome change, she said, from "tater tot casserole or bean sandwiches." She wrote, "Instead, we were allowed to fill our carts with boxes of Lucky Charms and Honeycomb cereals, ice cream sandwiches, frozen pizzas, and all-beef chimichangas."

Perhaps most notable was how much help they got with their 7,000 square foot house in Arkansas. The main storyline for their 2006 documentary "16 Children and Moving In" was about them building and moving into a new, bigger house. On the show, they talked about how they were building the house from a kit. But they didn't talk about how a professional interior designer from New York was brought in by the producers to help pick out furniture they couldn't have paid for on their own. And they didn't bring up the fact that a team of workers was hired to come in and help finish the build in time for a TV special on them moving in — that's all tea that Jill spilled in her memoir. Jill says it was all down to some good negotiating on her dad's part that got them the deal to get the house finished up. Not a bad arrangement, but definitely not announced on the show.