Easy ways to save money for families with young children

Babies and toddlers are small expensive creatures. When you have young children there are so many expenses all concentrated over a very short period: nappies, buggies, new clothes, childcare…

The costs can quickly spiral out of control. What you need are easy ways to save money for families with young children, so we have pulled together some simple steps families can take to stretch the budget and save some money.

Easy ways to save money for families with young children:

1) Hold ‘swap’ parties with friends and people in your community to exchange used children’s clothes, toys and games. Kids are constantly outgrowing their stuff so pass good, clean items on. Other good sources of second hand clothes and toys are Ebay, charity shops, jumble sales, school fairs and car boot sales.

2) Get money back for your child every time you shop online. If you prefer to buy new, then sign up to KidStart to earn money back. When you shop online at any over 1,500 stores including Sainsbury’s, M&S, Boots, H&M, TK Maxx and John Lewis, go through KidStart and a percentage of the money you spend with the retailers will be given back for you to save for your child. Turn the essential costs into a nest-egg for your child’s future – you can start even before they are born.

3) Register your children at the local library and teach them how to find books they’ll love instead of buying new ones. Some libraries even hold  free classes like story time and mum and baby yoga – baby classes in private centers can be so pricey!

4) Get to know your local park inside out. It’s free and will give your family hours of entertainment at no cost. If you don’t know where your nearest one is, try this park finder.

5) Rope your friends and family into babysitting. One of the biggest expenses when you have a date night as a parent can often be childcare! When you feel more confident and your child is settled in a routine, your relatives or friends can host a sleepover or a fun afternoon – then, if they have children, you can do the same when they need you to.

6) Search NCT groups and Mumsnet boards for second hand baby items, free advice and more. The only baby items you really need to buy new are car seats and mattresses.

7) Use www.freecycle.com when you can. Freecycle is a fabulous grass-roots movement that was set up to stop used items becoming landfill. It’s great for sourcing larger items such as bikes and furniture. You can list your items for free as long as you are giving them away for free.

8) Why not swap skills and talents with other families? You can use your skills to teach friend’s children in exchange for help from other parents. For example, if you speak a foreign language, perhaps you can swap language lessons with a parent who plays an instrument.

9) Try to save £5 a week for your little one. If you could save just an extra £5 a week for a child, that works out as £260 by the end of the year – and within 10 years that would be £2600, which, let’s face it, would come in very handy when they started university, and a fiver isn’t much, is it?

10) Buy nappies in bulk! Your your baby or toddler will get through at least five nappies a day, so if you are using disposable nappies, your best bet is to look for bulk bargains online at stores such as Amazon, or if you are keen to go green, why not consider buying a package on Ebay – once it’s sterilised it’s no different. Plus with KidStart you can get money back for your children’s savings pot!

Do you have any other easy ways to save money for families with young children? We’d love to know!

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