Having kids is not only rewarding, but costly as well. We want the best for our kids, dance class, t-ball, summer camp, but we also need to make sure we provide the necessities like food, clothes, and doctor check ups. It can be hard to balance everything at the same time. Here are a few simple tips that will help you save a few pennies.
Try to find inexpensive activities to do as a family. A day at the movies can set you back quite a bit, but renting a movie and throwing in a bag of microwave popcorn while snuggling together on the couch won’t cost you much at all. Instead of a trip to the water park, try planning at trip to the local beach or lake. Purchasing a few tubes and rafts that can be used over and over is less expensive than a fifty dollar day pass. Also, when you pack a lunch you save pennies. You can still make the trip special by bringing a treat that you don’t usually get to eat.
It seems as if kids grow overnight. And if they are not growing out of their clothes, then they are staining, ripping, or losing them. You can find some great deals at second hand stores like Goodwill as well as Tots to Teen in Gorham, and Baby Mama in Waterboro. These places even carry clothes and shoes with the tags still on. There’s always Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx, and Marden’s as well, which carry name brand clothes at discounted prices.
Your baby is quickly growing from an immobile infant to a wild crawling baby, to a mischievous toddler, to an inquisitive preschooler. The only thing that stays the same is that they want nothing but to be entertained by you. While you love your moments with them, sometimes they need to rely on toys to keep them busy. When it seems your child is growing bored with the toys they have on hand you can find lots of baby toys (and other items) at mom sales and second hand stores as mentioned above. When you really want to save money, try doing a toy swap with a mom you know that has kids the same age as yours. Each of you fills a box with toys and swaps for a month, then return the original toys and a new box with different toys. When it’s new, it’s interesting.
The thing that most moms always try to save money on is the weekly grocery bill. It’s hard feeding an entire family, especially with a growing, or multiple growing children who may also be picky eaters . Scanning the fliers for deals and clipping coupons are both great ways to save money. Combining these is even better. Many times store brand items can be as much as a dollar less than the name brand. And remember, buying the larger container doesn’t always mean you are getting a deal. Check to make sure you are not going to get more for your buck by buying multiple of the smaller container. In the summers you can get tons of produce from your local farm stands for a lot less than at the grocery store because none of your money is going towards the fuel or trucks it took to get it to you. Locally grown food is usually less expensive and much tastier, too. The exception is local food provided by your grocer because they raise the price to gain profit from these foods. If your family buys a lot meat products and you have freezer space you can always buy a pig, or cow, or portions of these animals from a local farm. You can also get your products in bulk at wholesale places like Sam’s Club and BJ’s. Another great practice for saving money at the grocery store is by making a list of all the meals you want to make for the week, then making sure your grocery list only contains the necessary items to make those meals. Only buy what’s on your list and make sure to use your coupons! Besides the newspaper, there are numerous sites online where you can print coupons. Check some of the websites of the foods you buy most often such as Kellogg’s, or Betty Crocker for coupon deals daily and weekly.
Try some of these helpful hints as well. A penny for good luck.