Five Ways to Save Money on your Child’s Necessities

Friday, January 31, 2014, 1:00 AM | Leave Comment

If you have a child, you know how expensive kids are. It’s easy for people without kids to chalk it up to frivolity and just assume you’re spoiling your child, but no matter how frugal you are, there are some things that are necessities, like food, clothing, and some toys.

However, there are a variety of ways to stretch your dollar and save on these essential items!

Five Ways to Save Money on your Child's Necessities

  1. Forego the “Fun” Food

    If you look in most children’s lunchboxes, you’ll probably find juice boxes, single-serving bags of chips, and packaged entrees. Next time you go shopping, use a calculator to find out how much you’re spending on your child’s school lunches.

    While it may not be as exciting, leftovers or sandwiches will still fill his stomach and they will be healthier choices as well. Fruit snacks, chips and other packaged foods can be pricey and replacing them with carrot sticks, sandwiches or apple slices can save on the grocery bill.

  2. Limits

    Kids don’t need 30 different outfits, and if you’re finding that your child’s toys are somehow overflowing to the living and dining room, it might be time to think about cutting back. Set a concrete limit.

    For instance, tell your child that she’s only allowed to have 10 outfits or 25 toys. Keep in mind that your limits will change throughout the years depending on how much space is available and how old your child is. Think logically about wants versus needs when making purchases.

    For example, if you child has outgrown their pants, it is generally essential to purchase them new ones so they can be comfortable and avoid embarrassment at school.

    However, if your child wants the newest monster high doll, but doesn’t even play with the ones she has, you can probably pass up on this purchase.

  3. Fix It

    If your child has an expensive toy and it stops working, don’t automatically assume you need to throw it out and buy a new one. You may still have those Power Wheels parts under warranty, and you might be able to fix that video game system you bought last Christmas with the help of the internet or a tech-savvy friend.

    Websites like Mending Shed or official brand web pages may be able to help you locate parts for other items, too. Some toys can even be strategically repaired with just a needle and thread or a good old-fashioned tube of glue.

  4. Buy Used

    Used toys and clothes are easy to find, and they can save you a lot of money. Small children won’t know the difference, and older kids will likely understand why buying used is smart if you show them exactly how much it saves.

    If you shop around you can often find thrift stores with brand name clothing or even clothing with the original tags still attached.

  5. Choose Clearance

    If you don’t like the idea of buying used or can’t find something specific, look for clearance items. These perfectly good items can be up to 75% off and are only on sale to make room for more products.

    One tips is to shop out of season. If winter has come to an end, and you know your child is going to need new warm clothes for next year, don’t wait till next winter.

    You can buy inexpensive out of season clothing in bigger sizes and keep them in boxes or the back of the closet till the next season comes around. This can save you hundreds of dollars.

Having a child is expensive, but there are many ways to significantly cut back on costs and budget better for family life. By consciously making an effort to keep costs down in your grocery budget and your child’s toy and clothing allowance, you can save quite a bit of money each year.

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