Everyone likes to save money, and when it comes to budgets, smart moms know how to cut corners. Here are some useful tips for helping you stretch the family budget.
Savings on Diapers
Welcoming a new addition to the family also comes with increased costs. Diapers expense adds up quickly. Disposable diapers are convenient and most babysitters and daycares need them but, cut your diaper budget by using cloth or reusable diapers at home. If cloth diapers aren’t an option, buy disposable diapers in bulk and look for coupons. Don’t discount generic diapers; most are just as good as the more expensive name brands.
Along with your mortgage, another sizable chunk of money goes to the utility companies each month. But there are ways to cut down on those costs by checking around your house for air leaks. Make sure windows and doors seal properly and have no holes, gaps, or cracks. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal any holes you find. If you can, replace doors and windows with new ones built for energy-efficiency.
Check outside plumbing pipes, gas lines, and electrical cables to see if air is leaking around them. Caulk or insulation fixes most problems, but check with a professional if you are not sure about what material works best.
Kids grow fast. Save money on baby and children’s clothes by shopping at secondhand stores or garage sales. The national chain Once Upon a Child sells gently used clothes, toys, strollers, and many other items needed during the childhood years. A lot of kid’s resale shops offer name brands like Old Navy, Gymboree, and Gap. Why spend a fortune on clothes your child outgrows in a few months?
Garage sales are another terrific source for bargains. Plus, many schools and churches host swap meets for children’s items. Bring your used things and trade for another size. Think about hosting a swap meet if your area doesn’t offer any.
Image via Flickr by Lori L. Stalteri
Cutting your grocery budget takes careful planning. Try shopping once a month for non-perishable items and frozen goods. Weekly shop for things like milk and fresh fruit and vegetables. Clip coupons, both printed and digital. Many loyalty cards let you download coupons, so you never forget to bring them along.
Shop the farmer’s market to help the local economy while saving on fresh fruits and vegetables. Then, use that fresh produce and make your meals at home. Cook in large batches and freeze leftovers for a future meal. If you do eat out, try finding less expensive restaurants with kid-friendly menus. You can also make your own baby food by pureeing fresh produce. And don’t buy those cute, kid-packaged food. Cut up your own fruits and vegetables or put cereal in a container that fits little hands.
There are many ways to save money and savvy moms know where to look for bargains. Clipping coupons, buying local, and shopping at resale shops all help you stay within your budget.