10 Easy Ways Parents Can Save Thousands of Dollars
Becoming a parent is a blessing that brings many moments of joy. But raising a child is hard on the wallet. As of a few years ago, the cost to raise just one child was already over $233,000.
So most of us parents enjoy finding ways to save money. And as a mom of two who has paid off over $60,000 in student loans and lived on one teacher income for a time, I have first-hand experience with cutting costs when needed.
If you’re looking for new ways to save money while raising your kids, here are my top 10 easy ways to save thousands of dollars:
1. Ask for Diapers
From baby showers to Christmas, my mom and mother-in-law know a #1 appreciated gift in my house is diapers. Whether you want to cloth diaper and ask for those diapers as a gift, or you use disposables and need to continuously restock your supply, getting diapers as gifts is a serious money-saver for parents of little ones.
2. Give Practical Gifts
Speaking of gifts, being practical when you buy gifts for your own children can save thousands of dollars throughout their upbringing. From these Easter basket ideas for toddlers where rain boots or umbrellas can be the basket to practical gifts for college students, you can create a theme and give things like swimsuits or pajamas that the kids are going to need anyway. Gifting this way can save a lot of money and eliminates excess toys that end up collecting dust.
3. Appreciate Hand-Me-Downs
Say “yes” to hand-me-down clothes and toys! Babies and toddlers go through so many clothes. They grow super fast, so letting your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or church community know you are open to hand-me-downs can lead to a lot of free stuff for your kids. We’ve been blessed with baby gear, toys, books, clothes, shoes, coats, boots and more just because people know we appreciate it. Plus, running a garage sale can be a lot of work. So many people are happy to pass things on to someone they know will appreciate it. Be that person and you can save thousands of dollars with this one tip alone.
5. Use Coupons
For anything you can’t get free or cheap, use coupons to save money at checkout. You can always check for the latest coupons on the Philly Coupon Mom coupon page to save money at checkout. It seems like you can almost always find coupons for diapers, training pants, baby food, formula, or kid-friendly snacks.
6. Use Rebate Apps
Use rebate apps after checkout to get free cashback. Take a couple extra seconds and you could save hundreds per year with cashback apps like Checkout 51 (use this $5 sign up bonus), Ibotta, and Rakuten. You can even stack coupons with cashback apps to save even more money.
7. Free Activities Until School
Another way you can save thousands of dollars is postponing baby and toddler activities until they are school age. It can be hard to feel like you’re missing out when it seems “all” the other parents pay to have their kids in activities. But what kids need more than anything is love, time, free play, time in the outdoors, and social interactions. All of these can be achieved for free at least until school age.
8. Cook at Home
Cooking at home as much as possible will save a lot. You can eat much cheaper if you take the time to prepare food for your family yourself. Cooking with your kids can be a fun activity to do together that teaches them an important life skill too. Even if you can’t eat at home every meal, aim for 90% of the time and you’ll keep a lot of cash in your pocket. And when you need a break from the kitchen and want to grab food somewhere downtown…
9. Free Meals at Restaurants
Take advantage of “Kids Eat Free” deals at restaurants. There are hundreds of fast food and sit-down restaurants who have promotions for free or cheap meals for kids on certain days of the week. Instead of spending full price an an adult entree or an overpriced grilled cheese kids meal, take your little ones to a place that will let them eat for free when you go out to eat.
10. Use All of Amazon Prime’s Perks
Get an Amazon Prime membership. I know it may sound counterintuitive to pay money for something when you’re trying to save, but here’s how Amazon Prime might actually save you money: Amazon Prime can be your source for free Kindle books, free music, free TV shows, free movies, plus free 2-day shipping on pretty much anything imaginable. If you wanted, you could probably cancel some of your other memberships and just use the Prime benefits to save money for your family in the end.
I hope you enjoyed these ten money-saving tips for parents. Choose one and you’ll save some. Implement them all and you’ll save thousands! Pick what works for your family and start enjoying your kids with a fatter wallet.
About the Author
Val Breit is a stay-at-home mom by day and a mompreneur by night. Val started The Common Cents Club to show others how to master saving money, working from home, and shopping smart. Here Val revealed the 7 ways she makes money while being a stay-at-home mom.