Bringing up a family is an expensive exercise and the bigger the family, the more expensive it will be and the less money you will have left over for saving. You’ll be in this situation for many years so its a good idea to get the whole family into a routine that automatically saves you expenses on everything! Here’s 10 instant ideas.
1. Never pay full price for anything! Either wait for it to go on sale or find a cheaper alternative and always ask yourself if you really need it in the first place.
2. Plan meals and menus as well in advance as you can and cook double the amount and freeze the other half whenever you can – saves time, waste and money!
3. Don’t be afraid to buy second hand clothes and shoes. You’ll find ‘gently used’ stuff and that can be perfect for house clothes or shoes for the kids that you don’t have to worry about getting dirty. Winter jackets hardly ever get worn out, kids grow out of them first.
4. Online shopping has come a long way and many sites offer great bargains with free shipping. When you find good value sites, bookmark them and join their newsletters so you are up to date with any sale info.
5. Consider putting food in containers in the middle of the table for the nightly meal and let each help themselves if they are old enough. This lets everyone eat as much of what they like, as they like, cuts down on wasted food and makes cleaning up a whole lot quicker and easier. You simply pop the lids back on the containers and put back in the fridge.
6. Recycle some of the paper that comes into the house twice if you can. Use the backs of letters and envelopes for scrap notes and drawing/painting paper before it goes into the recycling bin.
7. If you have hungry kids then make cakes, slices etc and cut them into serving slices and freeze individually wrapped for easy snacks and lunchbox treats. Three or four cheap prepackaged cake/muffin mixes can last for a month of snacks.
8. Have a well stocked medicine cabinet with a good first aid book. Know how to deal with accidents rather than rushing off to the doctor or hospital when there really is no need. Learn how to clean and dress wounds properly, treat colds and sicknesses. Stock the medicine cabinet with what you’ll need straight away rather than having to rush off to the chemist because you don’t have antiseptic wash/cream, a bandage, sore throat gargle or electrolyte drinks etc.
9. The less time spent at the grocery shops will mean the less money you’ll spend. Try to shop fortnightly or monthly with a list and go the extra mile and cook as much as you can to freeze and save money. Stock your pantry well with what you use often and plan those meals! This tip alone can save you a lot of money in the year and beyond!
10. Teach your family to not be wasteful. Turn lights off when leaving a room, shut doors to keep the temperature under control, don’t throw clean clothes in the wash when they can be worn again the next afternoon after school, hang towels after using (outside in the sunshine for the next day is good). All the little things add up and multiply that by how many people live in your house and the savings will add up too!