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Let’s face it—having kids can cause your household expenses to double or triple, and managing your budget can feel like a never-ending challenge. Between that emergency pack of diapers and the late-night run for more formula and snacks, there’s a faint bright light of savings.
If you’re not aware of all of your potential money-saving opportunities, you’re bound to miss out on tons of attractive deals and short-lived sales. By utilizing the wide variety of apps, browser extensions, and shopping services available, you can find the best deals on any and every item you order.
So, while you might be actively choosing the lowest-prices goods while grocery shopping, and clipping coupons from the Sunday paper, you may not be saving as much money as you could. Familiarizing yourself with some helpful hacks can help you take back control of your finances and enjoy your shopping experiences.
Without further ado, let’s explore these simple and effective money-saving hacks for parents, and find out how you can start saving your way toward early retirement. Saving money might just be way easier than you ever thought possible.
1. Utilize Every Possible Form of Savings
Every penny counts when you’re a parent. However, we no longer live in a world that runs on cash, coins, and paper checks. Instead, most of our finances have taken a completely digital form. This can make it challenging to save money on your online purchases and payments.
In the past, you might have saved hundreds of dollars each year by clipping coupons and fastidiously organizing and using them. While doing that now can still save you a decent amount, digital coupons are quickly outpacing them.
Digital coupons are an environmentally-friendly alternative that scan from your smartphone screen, making transactions far faster. Many different retailers and restaurants offer digital coupons and rewards, and these savings are often tethered to a user account.
This allows companies to reward their customers with additional coupons, discounts, and deals. If you tend to shop at the same two or three stores, you may want to ask them if they offer a customer rewards card. Doing so can help you quite a bit of money, especially over time.
Of course, online shopping doesn’t often incorporate customer reward cards. But that doesn’t mean you can’t score some amazing offers on necessary products. Using a deal-finding shopping extension like Honey or Wikibuy could potentially save you thousands of dollars each year, and both offer points reward systems for users.
Wikibuy is entirely free, and it’s an excellent shopping tool that locates all the best possible coupons for a product, searching over multiple websites to help you save the most money. They are reported to have found $70 million in savings for customers in the last year. With these types of services at the tips of your fingers, you might be able to get your must-have baby products for a jaw-droppingly low price.
2. Read Buyer’s Guides Often
Another way that the internet can help you save money is by offering you a wide variety of user-friendly buyer’s guides. Nearly any product you can imagine has a buyer’s guide available, allowing you to research all of the most essential features to look for and factors to consider when shopping for a specific item.
For example, if you were trying to find the best organic baby formula, you might start your journey by performing an online search. However, you’ll likely find dozens, if not hundreds of options.
This organic baby formula buyer’s guide could introduce you to a few key choices, and some valuable information to help you make the best possible choice for your babe’s sensitive tummy.
3. Buy Used Whenever Possible
Kids grow up quickly, and it may be worthwhile to shop at a secondhand clothing store when buying for your little ones. The benefits of buying used far outweigh the potential disadvantages, making secondhand clothing an obvious option for parents on a budget.
Rather than lamenting about how your five-year-old managed to permanently stain a two-day-old shirt, you could relax knowing that you spent $1 on that shirt, and he’ll outgrow it a month’s time. Choosing to purchase used clothing or toys is also an environmentally-friendly choice.
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4. Research Products Before Buying Them
Always research your products before buying them. You may find that the brand-new TV that you and your family have had your eyes on is lower-quality than a similarly-priced one from a different brand.
Consequently, you could save hundreds of dollars by searching consumer reviews and comparing features before making a purchase. Besides, everyone’s doing it. Researching your products is officially trendy.
5. Plan and Prepare Meals Ahead of Time
You could save hundreds of dollars on wasted food and take-out by prepping your meals ahead of time and sticking to a tight budget while grocery shopping. Instead of purchasing pricey pre-made lunches for your child to enjoy, you could spend a few extra minutes in the morning or evening crafting a uniquely delicious personal bento box for them.
The ingredients required are all very basic, inexpensive, and easy to keep fresh while chilled. You could even apply this thinking to all of your household’s meals. Many types of dishes can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. When you’re ready to serve some food, all you’ll need to do is reheat and eat!
6. Get Gifts On Sale All Year Round
While you might be tempted to save-up for Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales, you might be able to find better deals on your big-ticket items during the spring and summer seasons. And in terms of holiday shopping, it’s always best to do it all the day after the holiday has ended.
This practice won’t ensure that you have the best decorations this year, but it will guarantee that you have an excellent set of decorations every year after this one. It’s a shopping habit that’s beneficial in the long run, and it could help you save hundreds of dollars each year on expensive last-minute Halloween or Christmas decorations.
Birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, Hanukkah presents, and any other type of giftable good can be purchased months, or sometimes even years ahead of time. Not only will you always have a gift ready in the event that you forget an anniversary or birthday, but you’ll also save a ton.
Following a detailed month-by-month guide can help you get the most out of your newfound daily shopping search.
7. Allow Your Kids to Help Out and Earn
Getting your children involved in household chores and cleaning tasks can save you time and help you save money on costly repairs and upkeep. While your kids might not be able to pull the leaves out of the gutters or repair the roof, they can pull weeds in the garden, sweep the front porch, and help repaint a room.
Doing chores alone can be a drag, so be sure to accompany your child whenever possible while they’re completing their household maintenance. Making cleaning tasks fun is a great way to get kids excited about their chores. An allowance may also help provide a little extra incentive, as well as help children develop basic finance skills.
Overall, it’s a win-win. You spend dimes and quarters for light manual labor, and your kids grow respect for cleaning and earning money.