Having a baby is expensive, but the cost doesn’t end when you pay your labor and delivery bill. Kids have a way of depleting your bank account very quickly, but these 7 money saving tips can help keep you in the black.
- Samples – Don’t be afraid to ask for samples. Your pediatrician often receives samples or coupons from manufactures for everything from formula to diapers to lotion. Don’t be shy, your pediatrician will be happy to share.
- Clothes – Don’t buy a lot of baby clothes in advance. Baby won’t need much more than the white hospital shirts for awhile and you never know how fast baby will grow. Newborn clothes may last all of a week because your baby may hit a sudden growth spurt. And don’t bother with baby shoes. Baby isn’t walking so no need for shoes.
- Two in One Furniture – Look for baby furniture that does more than one thing such as a bassinet that is also a changing table.
- Rewards Programs -Babies R Us, Pampers, and more have reward programs where you receive special coupons and freebies. All you have to do is sign up via email. The savings are worth the 2 minute sign up.
- Classes – Ballet, art, and other classes can get expensive. Check out your library for free story-time and classes where you child can learn and have fun for free!
- Field Trips – Most museums, zoos and cultural centers have a monthly or weekly free day. Check websites to see when you can take your child to one of these places for free.
- Car Bag – Keep a child care bag in your car in case you forget your diaper bag or something from it. It’s more expensive to have to buy diapers, snacks, etc. on the fly.
The cost of diapers add up very quickly. Some choose to cloth diaper to save money and the environment, while others prefer disposable diapers. If you use disposable diapers, Pampers has a wonderful rewards program where you receive points for the diapers you buy much like reward points for a credit card. With your rewards points you can purchase everything from a Sesame Place ticket to Mega® Bloks to Spa gift certificates!
Check it out, it’s free to join!
You have picked your vacation spot, know a few main attractions you must go to while there and just need to pack. But wait – you could be missing the best deals for your family vacation! By visiting the tourism site of the city you are going to, you will not only find some good deals, but find out about local events that you might not have known about. If you sign up for email alerts, follow the city on Facebook or Twitter you often get exclusive deals! It’s an easy way to save money and pack more fun into your vacation!
Where do you find the best vacation deals?
Going on a vacation or out to eat as a family can be way out of budget range especially in this economy, but there is a way to have fun as a family without breaking the bank! Family Finds website, allows you to get the best deals for families for vacations, restaurants, Summer Camp, toys, clothes and more! It’s a free and easy sign up where you include your zip code so deals can be targeted to your particular area. If there is a deal you like, you just buy the deal at a reduced price. It’s that easy!
What are your favorite family deal sites?
Do you feel like your child grows out of his clothes before you can even get the tags off? While we love to see our children grow at a healthy rate, it can be difficult on our budgets because baby and kids’ clothes are not cheap.
That is why we love the site ThredUp – a site for moms and dads like you to swap children’s clothing & toys online.
It’s easy to use:
- Pick a great box full of clothes for your child – just $5 plus shipping
- Post a box of gently-worn clothes your child no longer wears
- When another member picks your box of clothes, send it free of charge. ThredUp provides boxes, postage & even schedules the pick up!
What tips do you have for saving on children’s clothes?
Extreme Couponing has debuted on TLC. You may have seen episodes where people bring coupons to a new level. Through very calculated clipping and strategy, they are able to bring a $400.00 grocery bill down to $60.00 or less and sometimes end up paying nothing. The way they coupon is obviously extreme and not for everyone (the space alone that they need for their “stash” of supplies is definitely beyond the scope of city living in small spaces!).
We have 5 sites that may not fit extreme couponing, but they certainly help you find the best deals at the click of a mouse.
- CouponMom.com – This is almost a one-stop shop with online coupon codes, printout coupons and free samples.
- Coupons.com – This site has coupon gold with deals that you would normally find in the Sunday paper.
- Coupon Cabin.com – Deals are updated daily so you get the latest and greatest coupons and discounts.
- RetailMeNot.com - This user generated community keeps you up to date on what discount codes work and what are bad deals.
- Smartsource.com - Get the best local deals and printout coupons to maximize savings on this site.
Have you seen the show Extreme Couponing? What did you think? What practical tips do you have to finding the best deals?
Valentine’s day is around the corner, but it’s not in everyone’s budget to get that new diamond necklace or go on that great weekend getaway. Not to fear! Valentine’s day can still be a special day for you even on a budget! We have a few ideas to make celebrating your love fun and romantic without breaking the bank!
Valentine’s Ideas for Your Kids:
- Play Dates - Give them a special love note that you decorated with a coupon for a play date together. Does your child like to read? Give a coupon to have a special story hour with him. Does your child love to play dress up? Give a coupon for a special dress up play date.
- No Chore Day - Give your child a chore-free day. While it’s important that your child has chores & helps around the house, you can give them a Valentine’s Day pass on chores.
- Special Dinner - Let your child pick the menu for the night. If they want macaroni & cheese with ice-cream for dessert – that’s their special Valentine’s Day meal.
Valentine’s Day Ideas for Your Honey:
- Indoor picnic – Pack a picnic for you and your honey. After the kids are in bed, spread a blanket on the floor and enjoy a summer picnic indoors. You will be surprised at how fun a simple picnic can be!
- Be Silly Together – Rent a romantic movie and pick a “kiss trigger” – i.e. every time you laugh you have to give your partner a kiss.
- Music Memories - Make a play-list of meaningful songs; your first dance, a song from a movie you saw when you first started to date, a song that was popular the year your child was born, etc. Have your own romantic dance night remembering special times you have shared.
Pass on the chocolate, here are some great low-call, low-cost Valentine Day gift ideas for your honey to give to you!
Gift Ideas for you:
- Chic, Affordable Jewelry – Made by a woman for women. We fell in love with this super cute & chic Jewelry from Toute Jolie. It’s boutique jewelry at affordable prices. We saw similar jewelry in boutiques ranging from $50 – $70 an item. Not exactly mom-budget friendly. These pieces look expensive, but are affordable. They will have your honey saying “Oh La La” when you wear them!
- Spa Time – A trip to the spa may be out of your budget, but a good back and foot rub with essential oils from your honey not only fits the budget, but encourages quality time together.
- Coupons – Ask your honey to give you coupons where he will prepare you and the kids a yummy meal, do a chore for you, take care of the kids so you can have an extra hour of sleep, etc.
With a little creativity, you can have the most loving, romantic Valentine’s Day and not blow the budget!
Last week we had a green parenting tip taken from The Eco-nomical Baby Guide book. When we posted it on our Kolcraft Facebook wall, one of our Facebook fans, shared a link to a site called ThredUP where you can exchange baby and children’s clothing.
Children grow out of clothes so quickly and the bills can add up. We loved this idea of a clothing exchange for gently used baby and children’s clothes. Check it out-your wallet and Mother Earth will appreciate it!
Thanks for sharing the site Ashley!
It’s hard to believe that it is almost time for kids to go back to school. That can be hard on the pocketbook when you have to buy clothes, shoes, school supplies, etc. Thankfully many states are offering a sales tax holiday where certain items will not have sales tax. Some states are even applying the sales tax holiday to electronics! As a parent, you know how quickly taxes add up when you are buying a quantity of items. This sales tax holiday will hopefully bring you some relief at the register.
We liked this Sales Tax Holiday site for a quick reference on what days and items the individual states are offering the “no tax” holiday. What tips do you have to get the most from the sales tax holiday?
- Use coupons effectively. Write out your grocery list before you look at coupons so you don’t end up buying something just because you have a coupon. We love Thrifty and Chic Mom site and Coupon Mom for great coupons of the week.
- Drink water. Soda and specialty drinks can really add up. Make an effort to drink tap water during the day. The savings really add up when you compare the cost to what you would spend on soda and specialty drinks. Plus there is the added benefit of how good it is for your health!
- Make your own snacks. Yes, the packaging of individual snacks is fun and convenient, but it can drain your bank account. Try making your own snacks or buying snacks in bulk and dividing them up in snack-size baggies. To save money and the environment, divide snacks into reusable snack containers.
- Double your recipes when you cook. When you shop, purchase twice the ingredients for one or two recipes. You will pay less per pound (especially with meat) when you purchase a larger amount for doubling your recipe. Freeze the extra servings for when you are too busy to cook a full meal. Not only will this save you money at the grocery store, it will save you money since you won’t have to order out when you are too busy to cook.
- Check out your local consignment shops. Clean out your closet and bring the clothes you aren’t wearing to a local consignment shop. Not only can you make money off reselling your clothes, you can also save money by shopping for you and your children at a consignment shop. You might be surprised at what you will find – even designer items!
What money saving tips do you have?