Raising a family isn’t cheap, but there are things you can do to save money along the way. Simple tips and tricks used consistently add up over time. Try these to start saving money right now.
Food is a major expense for any family, and meal planning can help control your grocery budget. Meal planning means you have a map to guide you through grocery shopping instead of simply walking the store throwing random items in your cart. It saves money, and meal planning can even help you eat healthier foods. Write down every meal and snack you plan to have that week and list the ingredients you will need for each one. Use the internet to find out who is offering the best prices, and go to more than one store if you need to and have time. Use coupons or stock up on items you know you will need that are on sale.
Resist the urge to impulse buy foods that aren’t on your list. That’s key when using meal planning to help you reduce your grocery budget. Meal planning is among the best ways for you to stick to your grocery budget, and it’s a habit that can permanently benefit your finances.
If you have a choice, buy used instead of new. There are plenty of second-hand stores as well as websites that offer gently used items at great prices. This is a choice that is both good for your wallet, and the world since purchasing second-hand items is better for the planet. There are even communities in your neighborhood that may offer to pass on items at a reduced price that are still in good condition. Get involved with these groups so you can receive and pay it forward when you are finished with an item.
Make Preventative Care Appointments
Spending money on healthcare appointments when you feel fine might seem counterprductive, but consistent preventative care can save you from paying more money down the road when something is wrong. Make sure you and your family members see a general practitioner, a dentist, and an eye doctor regularly. Paying the out-of-pocket fee for checkups can mean skipping expensive care that is required when a problem gets out of control. If you have insurance, seek in-network providers to lower your costs. If you don’t, find providers who will negotiate rates to help those who are paying for everything themselves.
Making memories with your family is a must, but that doesn’t mean you have to drop loads of cash on a trip. Take your family camping and avoid staying in an overpriced hotel and paying for entertainment that isn’t as fulfilling as being outdoors. With the right gear, you can find a place to camp for a decent price. Even without the gear, you can camp in style for a reasonable cost. Imagine camping in Utah state parks using tents and supplies that are already provided. Camping is a way to have an experience your kids will remember without the financial stress of a higher maintenance trip.
Take Advantage of Free
Some things in life are truly free, so take advantage of them when you can. Restaurants have nights where kids eat free, and you can plan your dining out around this to save money. Use your library card instead of buying every book your family wants. Go to a public park for a night out instead of paying to go somewhere else. Join groups that are committed to saving money by trading items with others instead of buying them. It’s also possible to borrow from friends if you need something every once in a while instead of all the time. Repay the favor by lending items to others when they ask.
Getting something for free doesn’t mean that it is too good to be true. Look for ways to avoid paying money out of your own pocket while still accomplishing the task your family wants to complete.
Saving money when you have a family is work, but it is absolutely possible. Take small steps to see big changes in your financial wellbeing.