Kids are expensive! Fortunately, there are ways to cut costs and save money so you can plan for their continued education and for that family vacation. Keeping your pantry stocked, shopping at thrift stores and perusing auto insurance quotes online will help keep costs down.
With rising inflation and gas prices, there’s no better time to pinch that pocketbook and these tips will get you pointed in the right direction.
- Hand-Me-Downs. Yes, please! Chances are good that someone in your family or one of your friends has kids just a little older than your own. If they make an offer to give you their gently used kids toys and clothes, say yes! You never know the gems that are hidden among these piles and remember, you can always donate (or give to someone else) the items you don’t want.
- Review Your Cart. When you’re at the grocery store, especially if you have the children with you, you are likely spending more than you want to. Before heading to the checkouts, review what’s in your cart and take out 3-5 items. You’ll end up saving $5 or even $10 or more. And by the time you get home, you won’t even miss those items.
- Avoid Popular Stores as Often as Possible. You see commercials for WalMart, Target and others all the time. You decide that you’ll run in for some paper plates and picnic snacks and that’s it. Next thing you know, you’re walking out the door with $100 less in your account. Resisting “good deals” and items you think you need is difficult for the average consumer.
- Sell Your Stuff. There are clothes you don’t wear anymore, children’s toys that have been stuffed into a bin. People, generally, fill their houses with items and most of it is no longer even used. Set up an online shop on sites such as eBay, Swap.com and Amazon. Make a commitment to selling and watch your house get de-cluttered and your bank account grow!
- Be Smart about Groceries. Look for the best weekly sales at your local grocery stores. Learn which store has the best prices on meat, produce, paper goods, etc. Take advantage of sales and BOGO’s to stock your pantry, freezer and fridge. Once you get into this habit, your meals will be half price, and you’ll be saving hundreds of dollars every month.
- Carpool. This makes sense for so many reasons. 1) You and others will be leaving a smaller carbon footprint 2) You’ll be saving money on gas and 3) You’ll have more time. Talk to the parents of your children’s friends and arrange a carpooling schedule that works for all of you.
- Pay Yourself Like You are Paying a Bill. If you aren’t consciously making the effort to save, money is going to flow through your fingers like water. Before paying any other bill, make an agreement with yourself to save X amount of dollars every week, and do it first. Over time, and done with consistency, you’ll find yourself not only growing your savings but also looking for other ways to cut back.
- Bag the Lunches. Whether you are making lunches for the kids or for yourself, when you take a sack lunch you’ll be saving money and, benefit, you’ll be eating healthier, too. Ordering out or going to lunch with coworkers can be costly when you do it once or twice a week. A bagged lunch costs mere pennies.
- Work from Home. In the past, working from home was everyone’s dream but it is becoming more commonplace now. With the pandemic forcing workers to work remotely, businesses found ways to accommodate. When you work from home you save money on gas, lunches, clothes, as well as commute time. While it might be hard to juggle kids at home and business Zoom meetings, overall, you’ll see the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
- Spend More Time & Buy Fewer Presents. It’s true that most everyone loves receiving presents, and kids are no exception! However, when you spend more time with your children – even 15 minutes a day – they will grow to love and appreciate presence over presents. Activities to try together include:
- Baking cookies
- Reading books
- Assembling a scrapbook
- Buy In Bulk. There are some items that families use a lot. These include paper towels, toilet paper, cereal, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, etc. It makes sense to cut some of your costs by buying bulk. Keep an inventory of what you have, so you don’t buy more than you actually need.
Take some of the stress out of being a parent and save money by building different habits. When you can, get the kids involved too, because all of your clever strategies will be passed on to them!