12 Ways to Save Money at Home
In these times of economic uncertainties, it is a must to stretch the family's budget to make ends meet. Budgeting was a lot easier when there were only two of us - just my husband and I. But when the children came one by one, then came the outpouring of expenses including the budget constraints.
With most baby care, a big cut of the budget goes to the purchase of formula milk and diaper. Thank God I breastfed all our 5 babies so we saved a lot. I wrote a hub where I shared how to save money when you have a baby. This hub is sort of a follow-up on a similar topic of saving money or budgeting at home.
In this hub, I will primarily tackle tips on how to budget expenses while parenting children who have passed the baby care stage or those who have begun going to school. I believe most tips are applicable even when the children are fully grown. Hopefully, the subsequent information would be helpful to you.
A Dozen Ways to Save Money at Home
1. When shopping for anything that the family needs, always buy the best value for your money.
This does not necessarily mean buying the cheapest. It's not cost effective to buy the cheapest product when you have to buy it again soon to replace what you bought because it's already useless. So when you buy consider both quality and affordability.
2. Make a shopping list so you can be sure you to buy only what is necessary.
Not only will you not forget what you need to buy but doing so will help you avoid buying things you don't really need. If you can, leave the children at home when shopping. My children just love shopping and when they see something they want, they would start bugging me to buy it. Of course, parents must learn to stay firm and know how to say "No."
3. Find bargains in yards sales, thrift stores or flea markets.
If we want to be frugal, we have to explore other places where there are more affordable products to buy. Second hand stores are also options where we can buy things for a bargain price. I remember buying my children's school bags from a second hand store and they were able to use them for 2 school years.
How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Child?
4. Pay cash instead of using the credit card.
I recommend this for 2 reasons. First, it helps you to spend only what you have. Second, it helps you avoid paying more because of the added interest to your purchased items. We also use credit card, but we make sure that we pay off everything we bought using our credit card before any interest is incurred.
5. Don't hesitate to reuse hand-me-downs (clothes, bags, shoes, lunch boxes, water bottles, pencil case, etc.) or to borrow.
When we had our children, we got lots of hand-me-downs because the children of our friends were older than ours. So that was a big blessing for us allowing us to save. It is also okay to borrow things from others as long as you know how to return what you borrowed. I do this especially when my children need some type of clothes for one-time events in school. As much as possible, we just borrow when we can.
6. Make family meals instead of eating out or depending on delivery meals.
Home made cooked meals still come out cheaper compared to buying ready-to-eat meals. It's probably safer and healthier, too. So, if you have the time and means to cook from home, do so.
7. Pack lunch for the kids.
This is especially applicable when the kids are still young, It is more advisable to pack the kid's lunch because it's cheaper and you know what foods your child is eating. Some older students would prefer buying from the school canteen though.
8. Save on the bills you pay.
Do everything you can to save on electricity, water and other utility bills. The children have to be taught how to conserve, such as turning off the TV when not in use, not playing with water or wasting it, etc.
9. Involve the kids in your effort at budgeting.
If you really want budgeting to work in your family, it is essential to talk to the kids about it. They have a part to play in terms of having the right attitude towards it and doing what they can to help the family save on expenses.
10. Know your options for the schooling and childcare of your children.
The amount of tuition fees varies among different schools. Make a study of the pros and cons of enrolling the children in a certain school (the same goes for childcare services). Know where the children can still get quality education though the tuition is quite affordable. Homeschooling may also be considered as an option. I home schooled our children during their preschool years saving us 2-3 years of tuition payment.
11. Take care of the children's health.
It is very expensive to get sick. The only way to keep from spending for any medical expense is not to get sick. So, teach the children the healthy way of life right from the beginning. This includes teaching them about healthy eating, food safety, proper hygiene and other healthy habits.
12. Learn to do some things yourself.
Instead of paying others to do things such as sewing to repair the kids' clothes or repairing the soles of their school shoes, why not do it yourself? The family, together with the kids, could also do gardening as an activity. Planting vegetables and fruits can be a big help in also providing for extra food for the family.
These are just some of the ways by which we can raise our children on a budget. How about you? How have you been saving while raising your children? at home, in school, in spending on entertainment? Feel free to share your thoughts.