Having kids is expensive, there is no way around it. While you might not have too much control over the cost of your child’s education or healthcare, there are plenty of simple ways to save money if you set your mind to it. Below you will find a collection of quick and easy tips for Frugal Parenting.
- Repurpose things as much as possible. Before you throw something away, take a minute to think about whether you could possibly use it for something else. Old, ratty towels can be cut up and used as reusable baby wipes. Pairs of pants with the knees worn out can be cut into shorts. The options are endless if you use your creativity.
- Keep your meals simple. A family of four could spend hundreds at the grocery store each week very easily, but you don’t have to! Rather than trying out new recipes every day, stick to some family favorites several days a week so you can buy your ingredients in bulk. When you do go outside the norm, stick to basic ingredients and rely on fresh herbs and spices to make things interesting.
- Don’t pay for haircuts. Children, and their hair, grow very quickly. A simple haircut can cost $15, or more, depending where you go. Rather than wasting money on a haircut that your child isn’t going to keep neat anyway, learn how to do a simple trim at home.
- Divide and conquer. Many parents rely on hired help to keep their kids busy while they get things done around the house. The other option is that the hire people to do the housework while they take care of the kids. A cheaper option is to divide and conquer. Have one parent take the kids outside or to another part of the house to free up the other parent to cook dinner or clean house.
- Set up a babysitting co-op. Childcare can get expensive, so talk to some of your friends and see if you can make arrangements to trade babysitting services. If you and your spouse have a date night once a month, see if you can get a friend or neighbor to watch the kids in exchange for a night of childcare that you provide for them.
- Save up your loose change. Keep a change jar near the front door or in your bathroom and collect all those miscellaneous coins you accumulate throughout the week. Once a month (or however often you like), convert the coins into cash and use it to fund your kids’ allowance or to pay for a family movie night. You might be surprised how quickly that change adds up.
- Don’t buy new unless you have to. Kids grow out of their clothing in a matter of weeks, it seems, so there is no sense in buying a new wardrobe every couple of months. Rely on hand-me-downs for play clothes and only buy new items for things your kids will get a lot of use out of like a pair of sneakers or a winter coat. You might be able to find like-new items at a fraction of the cost at your local thrift store.
When you are a Parent, every penny counts. The money you save while your kids are young can be put into an account to fund their education or to cover unexpected costs that arise. Being frugal is easier than you might think – just try some of these frugal parenting tips!