Having children can greatly affect your household finances, but it doesn’t have to drive you to the poorhouse. If you find yourself struggling to find extra funds for a family trip, or you’re looking to add even more to your savings, try these money saving hacks:
1. Use cloth instead of disposable diapers
Cloth diapers are relatively easy and can save you — and Mother Earth — plenty of green. If you’re not sure you want to commit, try using them only on evenings and weekends. If you want to save even more, consider using cloth wipes in lieu of disposable wipes. Need tips on washing your cloth diapers?
2. Make your own baby food
Let’s face it, baby food is expensive, as are those handy pouches they come in these days. Spend a couple of hours over the weekend making your own purees and freezing them in an ice-cube tray to make smaller portions for younger babies. For older babies, consider purchasing reusable food pouches and filling them with your own purees or apple sauce purchased by the jar. Better yet, feed your baby what you’re eating for dinner — just make sure to separate her portion before adding spices.
3. Plan your meals around the reduced section
A great way to save on your grocery spending is to create a meal plan using the meats and produce that are reduced.
4. Order groceries online
If items you don’t need tend to find their way into your shopping cart, shop online. Many supermarket chains now offer customers the ability to shop online and deliver. Shopping online can help you stick to your list and your grocery budget.
5. Shop at charity shops
Not only are the clothing, toys and baby gear sold at charity shops in excellent condition (they have to be in order to be sold) at low prices. The range of items you can purchase include books, DVDs, puzzles and maternity wear. This is one money-saving hack you must check out. Not only can you save money shopping in charity shops, but you are helping a good cause.
6. Buy gifts year-round
After-holiday sales are a great time to pick up toys and other gifts at steep discounts. Plan ahead, and you can create a gift closet for birthdays throughout the year. If you’re shopping for children’s birthday parties, be sure to set a budget and stick to it.
7. Utilize your public library
Not only can you check out books for the entire family, but you can often check out DVDs for family movie nights at little to no cost. Most public libraries also offer a range of free activities for children, so be sure to take a look at your local library’s event calendar.
8. Plan vacations during off peak times
If you have children under school age, you can save big by booking your vacation outside of school breaks and travelling during the off-peak season.
9. Keep a change jar
If you’re not already keeping a change jar, or a piggy bank for your kids, you need to get started. Not only are you teaching your children a lesson about saving, you’re also amassing some serious coin — you’ll be amazed by how much you can save in a year. It’s perfect for a special family treat.
10. Eat in
Save meals out for special times, or limit eating out to once a month. Substitute a family pizza or taco night for your weekend meal out and have everyone pitch in. Not only are you spending quality time as a family, you’re saving money while you’re doing it.
With careful planning, a little creativity and these money-saving hacks, your family will be able to save a little money for the important things. How does your family save money? Tell us in the comments!
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