Read these 20 Saving Money Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Parent tips and hundreds of other topics.
After walking up and down the aisle at the grocery store with a frustrated child, it's easy to start giving in to "gimmie that" and "gimmie this." Bored kids can wear you down and make you do just about anything for a moment, a millisecond of peace, but many of us can't give into the gimmies because it's a strain on our pocketbooks, so here are a few tips to decrease the "I wants" at the store.
(1) Just like any good eating plan, don't take the kids to the store hungry. You're only asking for trouble. If you know you're going to be at the store during snack or meal times, bring snacks. If you buy them at the store, it sends a message that "I can get my treats when I'm there" instead of we brought this and don't need to get extra. Try to avoid naptime as well since their whining could be related to needing sleep.
(2) Set boundries. Before going into the store, explain to a school aged child and older, "We're going to the store for ____, that's it." Then STICK TO IT! If you give in once, they will know you'll do it again so tough it out and just say no!
(3) Have a list. I know it sounds boring, but having a grocery list not only speeds up your shopping time, therefore getting everyone home faster, it keeps you from wandering through the store, guessing what you do and don't need. It also keeps costs down. Go through the circulars for the grocery store before going as well to see if there are specials.
(4) Play the "I Spy" or "You find it" game. Tell the children you're going to play a game in the store and have them practice their shapes, colors, math, healthy foods and any other creative thing you can think of. Give them rewards of stickers (you purchase before hand), or a crayon for each right answer (bring a little baggie for them to put it in or you'll be picking up crayons all over the store), or you drawing a smiley face on their hands. It keeps them distracted and helps them learn.
Going to the store can be stressful and easier without children, but if you do have to go with kids, these things should help tame the grocery gimmes.
Keep track of the prices of items that you regularly buy in a "price book". Write down the regular price and the best sale price that each supermarket tends to offer. Then if you see an item on sale, you can check your book to see if it really is a good buy. You will not be tricked into buying something that is not really a good deal, and you will know when is a good time to stock up and save.
For an inexpensive source of drawing paper, contact your local newspaper. Many newspapers make the end rolls of blank newsprint available for a few dollars, or even for free. These wide, blank newsprint rolls are perfect for arts and crafts and homemade wrapping paper. The large roll ensures that you will always have paper on hand.
To help teach your kids how to save their money and spend wisely, put them in charge of saving your coupons, then after shopping, give them the amount of money that was saved. This should encourage them to search wisely for coupons, and help the learn the value of finding a great deal.
Whenever you have a small amount of leftover food after a meal, such as a cupful of peas, a small amount of rice, potatoes, meat, etc., place it in a plastic container and freeze it. Rather than throwing the food away, continue adding to the container whenever you have leftovers that are not large enough to keep for another meal. When your container is full, use the leftovers as a base for a savory homemade soup. This will give you an entire meal that you would have otherwise thrown out.
You can find some great bargains if you look. First look and see if you have any children's (or any)consignment stores in your area. You can find some great buys and the items are usually in great condition. You can also make some money when your child outgrows something by bringing it to the store. When they sell it you get part of the money. Next, look into dollar stores. You can get bottles, socks, pacifiers, spoons,etc. for a dollar a piece. Also look through clearance racks and buy ahead. Old Navy and Baby Gap have great clearance prices(you can get separates for $3.99 or less most of the time) you just have look.
With the economy tight and people still recovering or out of work, it's essential to teach children good money management. Problem is, if the parents don't know it, then how to teach the kids?
Start with this simple rule: 7-1-1.
Whenever your child (or you) wants to buy something with their money, have them wait 7 days. During that time, get them to come up with 1 alterntive to the item (less expensive brand or toy or saving for something else).
Then, ask one other person (an adult or other child who has made a similar purchase).
It should stop a lot of impulse buying for both the parents and children.
It seems simple, but some of the most effective methods are.
If your kids squeeze too much toothpaste on to their toothbrush, leaving a mess in your bathroom and wasting toothpaste, try this fun way to limit the amount they can squeeze out. Attach a cake decorating tool onto the end of the tube. Pick one with a small hole, and the kids will love the design it makes when squirting, and they will not use as much toothpaste.
Shopping at a huge Super store that carries large bulk items may seem like a great deal, but people tend to spend much more than they had planned to when shopping in these stores. If you stick to the smaller stores, the prices are often as good or cheaper, and you aren't as likely to buy things you don't need, like clothing, yummy looking gourmet food or huge quantities of items that you end up throwing away.
Kids outgrow their clothing quickly, so it's a good idea to try and save money on buying kids clothes whenever you can. With these simple tips, it will be super easy to save money on your kids clothes so you can spend it on other fun things for your family!
Check out resale shops for super bargains. Some specialty children's resale shops carry brand name only clothing that is like new, and sometimes you can even find brand new clothing that has never been worn for a fraction of what the items cost in retail stores.
Buy out of season. At the end of each season, stores put unsold clothing on clearance racks for up to 90 percent off. Of course, your child may not be able to wear the items until the next year, so you will need to plan ahead and buy the appropriate larger size, but a little planning and patience can save you hundreds of dollars a year on kids clothes.
Swap with friends and family. If you know your friend's kids that are the same age as yours or older, arrange a swap party. Each person brings gently used clothing that they don't want or need, and swap for items that they do. This works with grownup clothing, too! It can be a great way to save money and help each other out. Any clothing that isn't swapped can then be taken to a charity shop such as Goodwill, or donated to a shelter or church that provides services to families. This saves you money, and could help out a family who needs it.
Instead of spending money on dryer sheets, you can make your own. In a spray bottle mix one part fabric softener and one part water, then shake to mix. Spray a clean, old washcloth about five or six times and use in your dryer to prevent static cling. You may use the same cloth over and over again.
When shopping for birthday party presents, buy multiples of a gift that is suitable for boys or girls (blocks, puppets, bath toys, books, etc.) of your child's age. Buy them all at once and ask the manager for a discount. Wrap them at once and you will be ready for the parties. Make cards on the computer to save even more.