I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “kids are expensive!” The USDA states it will cost over $222,000 to raise one child until they turn 18! Holy cow! I get it. You have an extra mouth to feed, more clothes to buy, and more butts to wipe… Yeah I went there. But today I want to share with you some tips that will help you save some dough on you little ones.
I hate buying clothes for myself or anyone in fact. Here are some ways I save money on clothes.
1. Clothing swap: this is my favorite! My friends will swap clothes that our little ones out grow and we know someone else can use them. Libby is constantly giving me her baby girl’s clothes that she out grows. Just puts her initials in them and when my baby girl out grows them I will return the clothes back to her. This has been so helpful.
2. Hand me downs: who doesn’t love free clothes?
3. Thrift stores and garage sales
4. Cloth diaper and wipes: I love cloth diapering. Not only is it better for the environment, but it also will save you a ton of money. Here is my list of cloth diapering essentials.
5. Don’t be a short order cook: what you see is what you get and if you don’t like it then you don’t have to eat it is my motto. Kids will not starve themselves and if they are hungry enough they will eat. By not making them special foods you save money and don’t have to by them something different. Eventually they will learn and will put up less of a fight.
6. Breastfeed if you can: Not only is it free (well unless you have to go back to work, pump, and give bottles like myself then there is an expense), but it is also best for baby and formula is expensive! Plus, your child is less likely to be sick so you will save on doctors visits.
7. Grow your own food: not only is this a healthy options, but kids will love to help, are more likely to eat their veggies, and will feel more connected to the earth.
8. Limit snacks and processed foods: Not only are these foods expensive, but they are also usually unhealthy. Stick to real nutrient dense foods.
9. Use coupons for things you will actually buy: My store even offers fresh fruits and vegetable coupons.
Kids toys ahh what a topic. Do kids really need as many toys as they have? And man they are expensive! So I will keep this short. Get toys second-hand.
10. Garage Sales/Craigslist and/or swap pages
11. Hand me downs: I know lots of people who can’t wait to get rid of toys and are usually willing to just get rid of them.
12. Rotate toys: my next door neighbor did this. Every month or so she would move some of the toys into storage boxes and then pull new ones out for her kids to play with. It was like they were getting new toys all over again!
13. Limit the amount of toys you have: For christmas, I’ve already asked my parents to please not give August a bunch of toys. For one, we don’t have room in the car to bring them back home and two they are such a temporary thing. So they’ve agreed to get her one toy, maybe some books, and then a donation to her college fund.
14. Employ a friend: Usually you can have a friend to watch your kids for less than a daycare. We have a friend watch our baby girl. We pay her slightly less than daycare, but we also know August is in amazing hands.
15. Offer to switch: You scratch my back I scratch yours type of deal. I watch your kid for free one day and then you can watch my kid free one day. Perfecto.
There you have it 15 ways to save money raising kids! What kinds of things do you do to save money?