How to Save Money - Top 10 Tips For Parents

by Samantha on February 25, 2012

Simple financial strategies for families on a budget

How to Save Money - Top 10 Tips For Parents

Money’s tight for everyone these days, but this is particularly the case if you’re a parent. The question of not only how to make money but how to save money as well is one that is always on the minds of budget-conscious moms and dads. Not only do you have to take care of your own expenses, but you have additional responsibilities that extend beyond the basics such as food, clothing and shelter. Yes, parents have to also add extra-curricular lessons such as soccer or dance practice, school trips, family savings and more to the list of monthly household expenditures. Multiply this by one, two, three children or more, and there’s no question as to why parents are feeling stressed. The costs related to raising children are high, there’s no doubt about it.
For this reason, it’s prudent for parents to look for ways to stretch their hard-earned dollars as much as they can. While it may seem difficult, there are some simple things that can be done to make that hard-earned dollar last twice as long.

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How To Save Money - Tips For Parents

1) Clip & Save - Coupons are the way to go. They’re everywhere - from the newspaper to online to the supermarket where you shop. When you think about it, it doesn’t make sense not to use them for items you would already be buying - or ones that you’ve been thinking of buying that are close enough to your regular brand. Get the scissors out and start clipping and watch your savings increase.

2) Turn Off and Tune Out - Your parents were right. Turn off lights and don’t let the taps run when you’re not using the water. There’s a cost to everything - electricity and water are no different. Teach your children to also follow the family rule to turn off lights and tighten taps as well. Make a concerted family effort to cut back on this type of wasted energy and watch your wallet grow.

3) Water It! - A little-known fact is that concentrations of many regular household items, such as shampoo, dishwashing detergent, body wash and baby wash are much more than are required to get the job done. Dilute any of these items by even a quarter and you can stretch out usage for much longer.

4) Appetizer, Entree, Dessert - Make a commitment to plan your family’s weekly menu. You’ll waste less food and tend to shop more efficiently. Don’t forget to include leftovers in your plan to make your groceries last even longer. As well, consider making a larger amount of a particular meal and freezing it for later consumption. Items such as pancakes, stews and homemade burgers freeze particularly well.

5) Late-Night Laundry - Off peak hours are the best times to wash your family’s clothes and run the dishwasher. You can realize savings of up to a third by waiting to do a load later on in the evening or in the early morning. Load up the washing machine and dishwasher in the day, but don’t turn on the “on” switch until after hours.

6) Clothing Co-op - Share and circulate gently used kids clothes with your circle of friends. Hand-me-downs are a great way of not only saving money, but going “green” as well. If you’re child has grown out of something and it’s in reasonable shape, pass it along! As well, if your friends offer you clothes for your kids that are in good condition, accept.

7) Make a Date - Schedule automatic payments for monthly bills and avoid late fees. Figure out a schedule that indicates which date each bill is due and set a course of action that will allow you to get them paid on time.

8) Home-Cooking - Families can save hundreds, if not thousands by cutting back on buying lunch, dinner and morning coffees. You don’t have to give it up completely, but consider eliminating one or two Starbucks lattes or morning bagels. Bring your lunch to work a couple days a week and you’ll find that you have more money in your pocket - and bank account.

9) Bigger is Better - Shop in bulk - it’s more economical and makes a lot of sense if you’ve got kids. Staples such as diapers, wipes, cereal and more can be purchased at places like Costco, Sams Club and similar stores. If you’re buying these items on a regular basis, it’s worth the cost of membership to have access to the bulk sizes which, in many cases, works out to a less expensive unit size per item.

10) Out of Season - Shop in the off or end-of-season. Prices for kids clothing, from snowsuits to sweaters to t-shirts, bathing suits and more are considerably discounted if you purchase them at the cusp of the new season. Stock up on items when you can: If you see a snowsuit or heavy pants marked down to a clearance price in the midst of spring, grab them and run!

So as you can see, there are a number of simple things that can be done to make your hard-earned money last longer. 

What other money-saving tips do you follow? Please share in the comments below.

VIDEO: Donna Summer - “She Works Hard For The Money


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