Remember this post on the actual reasons why kids cost SO much money? I figured that many of you are in the same position that we are- spending most of your hard earned money on floor food and toilet paper- so hopefully this list of 21 ways to help you save money will come in handy!
21 ways to save money when you have kids
-Stretch your meat a bit further by adding lentils to ground beef and chickpeas to chicken. I can feed 3 adults and 6 kids a dinner of Butter Chicken with one chicken breast!
-Buy discounted foods. A lot of grocery stores will mark down food that’s about to expire. Get in on this! You can freeze a lot of it, or incorporate it into a meal prep day to make some meals you can freeze for those nights you’re too exhausted to cook and don’t feel like putting on clothes to greet the pizza delivery man.
-Sign up for rewards at local grocery stores. In a year and a half I’ve gotten us almost $600 worth of free groceries at our local store.
-Kids are notorious for eating about 3 bites of their food, declaring they’re full, and announcing 15 minutes after meal time that they’re famished and you don’t feed them enough. So, what do you do with all that extra food? I’d love to say “eat it”, but my experience tells me that those extra 1500 calories a day from their unfinished plates will end you up 25 lbs heavier. Put it in containers and save it for your lunch (notice how I said “your lunch”) the next day.
-“I rarely if ever buy clothing at full price. I’m always looking for great thrift or consignment store finds. And since moms are so busy I’m glad there are some awesome websites and apps for that these days. ThredUP sells consignment quality clothing in a great, searchable format. And for more high-end clothing I like Poshmark. It’s an eBay-like resell site with a Facebook style of interaction between buyers and sellers.” -Tracy, Frugal Florida Mom
-Mama, we can’t wear white anymore. Or black. Or grey…or blue…If you’re going to buy any new clothing save your money and buy prints ONLY prints, nothing solid, so tiny chocolatey fingers don’t show up on your blouse!
-Still wearing your nursing bra from 5 years ago? Don’t be embarrassed! Own it! Not only are you providing easy access to your significant other when sexy times miraculously occur, but you’re fully committing to your frugal lifestyle by not running out to buy a whole new expensive bra just because you’re no longer nursing (and haven’t been for 3 years….again, own it!!).
-Meal plan!!! Seriously, this is a life saver for me. I’m not creative in the kitchen. I don’t enjoy cooking. Having a meal planner forces me to think about what I’m going to feed these people once a week and then I can forget about it (until I have to actually cook what’s on the menu, of course). Plus, this one is super pretty and super cheeky so I don’t mind it so much after all!
-I’m a fan of bathing my kids when they need it (a.k.a. when there’s visible dirt). I figure by doing this we’ll save money on shampoo and conditioner (we have 4 girls, people…) and save money on our hydro bill. We can then put that money towards our hydro bill that’s racked up from that guy I live with keeping the t.v. on all night while he falls asleep on the couch.
-“I freeze EVERYTHING to prevent food waste and save money, then find ways to creatively (and deliciously) repurpose it. Leftover chicken can be thrown into soups, leftover steak or pork can be made into chili, leftover rice can be frozen and later used for fried rice. The average family throws away $2200 a year in unused food, and I’m DETERMINED to keep that money in my pocket!-
-All Mom Does-Use bar soap. Kids tend to pour out anything liquid.
-Look for free programs in your community. We keep ourselves busy all week long and rarely have to pay for anything! Try going for a hike or spending time at a park. There’s a great resource here!
-Kids eat toilet paper (at least I think they do because we go through A LOT!!). Modern Day Hippie Mama used to be Super Duper Hippie Mama who used to use family cloth. Ya. Cloth toilet paper. It’s not as bad as it sounds, and we saved about $20,000 in toilet paper that year, but I definitely opt for the disposable type of bottom wiping materials now.
-“Budgeting is essential to setting your family up for success!”- AC, Right Meow or Never
-Buy your kids experience gifts for birthdays and Christmas like movie tickets or a trip to the science centre. They’ll be thrilled and you’ll get to have a wonderful family day.
-Drink grape juice out of a wine glass. Allow yourself real wine, too, but you’ll never be able to keep up with the expense of drinking it as often as necessary. Drinking something resembling liquid sanity will deliver a powerful placebo effect.
-“Coupons are great for saving money while grocery shopping, but now there is something even better, Rebate Apps. I use apps such as Ibotta, Checkout 51, Saving Star and MobiSave to get money back on items I buy at the store. Each week they offer a list of items with rebates available. After purchasing the item claiming the rebate is as easy as scanning the item barcode and taking a picture of your receipt. This provides additional money saved on all my grocery shopping trips.”-Stephenie, Blended Life Happy Wife
-Cancel your cable subscription. #Netflixandchill is the best option for 3 reasons: 1) It’s relatively inexpensive 2) Binge watching is so satisfying, and 3) Netflix originals
-Use a Diva Cup
-Have a no-spend day, week, or month. Only buy the absolute essentials (yep-wine and chocolate are included, ladies!). You’ll find you probably spend a lot of money on things you don’t necessarily need and will break bad habits quickly.
What are your favourite and creative ways to save money?