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Tips for a thrifty parent

Posted on 19 November 2018

Although the notions of saving money and parenting don’t always go together naturally, we need to save at some point. It’s not always easy to be frugal but there are some amazing stories on the web of family savings to inspire a bit of thriftiness in everyone. Take Katie Musgrave, mum of three, who managed to go for an entire year without buying anything new. Her story is inspiring and she explains that the savings made meant her family could go on their first ski holiday.

With the Christmas season looming, it’s always good to have a few thrifty tricks up your sleeve. It’s also good to think about how to get your children thinking about good spending habits. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • You may be looking for baby products, childcare options, money advice and other family related products. Which? is a useful comparison site that has advice on a wide range of parent-related purchases.
  • School-aged parents should try and pack lunches where possible. For both children and parents, this is a massive cost saver. Invest in some good reusable packaging and get packing!
  • Bulk buy dishwasher detergent and washing liquid when they are on sale – you’ll always need it and sometimes supermarkets put the price down by half.
  • Ask yourself if it’s a need or a want? This may sound simple, but when it comes to buying your little one a spontaneous mid-week gift or even one for yourself, this question can put every purchase into perspective.
  • Play financial games with your children, like Monopoly, to get them thinking about spending and saving money. It’s a great way to start the conversation early.
  • Use a budget planner, like this one on the Frugal Family website.
  • While on the subject of planning, meal planning is a great way to save and links with the above tip on packed lunches!
  • Make the most of loyalty cards and points schemes – this can save you cash but be careful you don’t get caught up in buying for the sake of getting the next freebie.
  • Sign up to a site that sends you thrifty suggestions as they often have interesting (and usually unheard of) ideas!
  • Following on from that, Frugal Living suggests ways to create a 25p meal – using discounted food from a local supermarket.
  • Keep an eye out for sales on things like school uniform and school shoes. You could grab a bargain at half price and get the school wardrobe started for next year.
  • Try and give yourself the task of never paying full-price for a theatre ticket. There are tons of two-for-one offers from train companies and last minute tickets available.

There are quite a few ways to save some cash and parenting doesn’t have to cost the earth. Being thrifty can be fun and something that the whole family gets involved with. If you are feeling less than motivated, give yourself a goal to work towards with the savings. A trip, nice family meal or a day out at a theme park is a great way to enjoy the savings together. You can even use a coupon at the amusement park to save further.

Saving cash with children isn’t always easy but when you can manage it successfully, it usually encourages you to spend some special family time together. And that’s worth everything.