The secret is out and it’s been out for some time, raising children is expensive. Parents today are a little bit more challenged and making ends meet is much harder than it was for their parents and grandparents. The good news is that there ARE ways to becoming a frugal parent to make parenting less expensive. Saving money is probably easier than you think. Just follow a few of these tips and save for a rainy day.
How To Become a Frugal Parent
Teaching Value to Children
Did you grow up hearing “Money doesn’t grow on trees? Well, I did and I don’t want to be the parent who continues that saying. I want my child to learn the value of a dollar.
Don’t wait until your children are older to teach them that money doesn’t grow on trees. Say no without feeling guilty when they constantly ask for things. Consider giving them an age-appropriate allowance, in exchange for doing chores (without being asked) around the house. They will have their own money on shopping trips and break the habit of asking. Well, once they have saved enough.
Price Matching and Apps
There really is a lot to be said about price matching and taking advantage of sales and discount days and of course grocery apps. Obviously, this takes more time than just running into the store really quick to pick something up. But, if you have time to shop around, you’ll generally save big time. I like to use an app called Flipp. You can price match, add items to a shopping list and it now gives cash back.
With your kids constantly growing, remember that there’s nothing wrong with buying certain things in “gently used” condition. Shopping at thrift stores doesn’t mean that you’re poor; it means that you’re a smart shopper.
Cooking at home is so much more affordable. If your schedule is hectic, try freezer meals one or two days a week. Pull something out of the freezer the night before. You be surprised at the money you’ll save. This makes life so much simpler. Add a monthly take out into the budget for a treat. It’s ok to splurge every now and then.
When it comes to things like childcare, try to create a support network. Talk to two or three other moms about swapping childcare duties. The more you can trade off with other moms, the less you have to pay for expensive day-to-day care. This allows you (as parents) to enjoy an occasional “date night” when the mood hits.
After School Programs
After-school activities can be quite expensive. Look for alternatives offered by your local park and recs, the library or even the YMCA. Many times, you’ll find listings for free concerts, classes, and other family-related activities at schools. My daughter currently attends an afterschool program that helps them with homework, has play time and a variety of healthy snacks and it is free.
Taking advantage of some of these tips should make parenting a bit less expensive. You can even go one step further and create a budget if you like. By sticking to it as much as possible, you’ll probably be able to save money and still be able to buy little surprises every now and then. Why not get started today? Become a Frugal Parent.