Saving Tips for Parents
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Saving Tips for Parents

Posted on Monday, April 4th, 2016 at 7:50 am
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A few small changes in your lifestyle could help your family save money.  Frugal families tend to seek out ways to save money. This is especially necessary for families who are low-income or those that have lots of children. Here are a few saving tips for parents who need to stretch their dollars a little bit farther.

Easy Savings Tips for Parents

Look for Free Fun
It is possible to keep your kids entertained without having to spend a fortune to do it. Public parks are great to play in on days when the weather is nice. The public library will have a kids section filled with books geared for readers of different ages and abilities.

There might be a free (or very inexpensive) after-school program that your kids can attend (such as the YMCA or the Boys and Girls Clubs). Some bookstores will hold a weekly story time that kids can attend for free.

Hand-Me-Downs are Great!
A really easy way to save some money on children’s clothing is with “hand-me-downs”. The oldest (or largest) child outgrows a t-shirt, sweater, or pair of jeans. That child’s younger (or smaller) sibling might be able to wear it – especially if the clothing is still in good shape. Some families include cousins in the “hand-me-down” clothing pass.

Another option is to shop the local thrift stores or visit the consignment stores that carry children’s clothing. Yard sales or garage sales are also great places to find inexpensive kids clothes. The clothing you find probably won’t be brand new. But, it might be in good condition and it will be less expensive than what the department stores sell the same items for.

Generics are as Good as Brand Name
Your favorite grocery store probably has at least one “store brand”. Often, the store brand (or “generic” brand) has the exact same ingredients as the popular name brand. Test this out the next time you shop for cereal. You can save some money by purchasing the “store brand” and still get the same quality.

Make a Budget
Have you ever wondered where your money goes? The first step in saving money is to make a budget. The next step, sticking to that budget, is more difficult. It is worth the effort to learn how to spend within your budget. Being intentionally conscious about how much money you are spending tends to make people less interested in wasteful things like “impulse buys”.

Plan Your Meals
A meal plan can help you figure out what foods you should buy at the grocery store this week. It also makes many people more motivated to eat the food they brought home and to cook their own meals. This can reduce food waste because you use up the food you spent money on.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.