I love a good bargain and being able to save a few pennies all add up when you have children. So here are my 5 simple ways to save money that I find helps our family. Hopefully they’ll help yours too.
1. Shop for baby clothes when it’s sales. Zara, Next and Gap give massive savings when it’s sales. Their range of baby/children’s wear is stylish and of good quality. Buy bigger sizes. I tend to buy clothes 6 months in advance so I just make sure I’m buying the correct garment for the season in 6 months. I picked up some cute pieces recently for when E is 12-18 months old. She’ll be going through Autumn,Winter and Spring at that age, so I picked up a few cardigans and sweaters. I’ll keep those packed away, ready to wash when her 9-12 month old clothes get too small and I have to make room for her new clothes.
2. Get creative with everyday objects as toys. Since E was born, we haven’t really bought her any toys. We’ve been very lucky that our friends have wanted to buy toys for her. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to want to play with them. She prefers empty plastic bottles, the box the toys came in, a packet of pocket tissues or just a wrapper of some sort. You can fill up an empty plastic bottle with buttons or a few mixed coins to give it a bit more interest, or even just leave a bit of water in it. Her latest thing is a ball inside an empty tissue box. She loves to shake/throw it around.
3. Use cotton pads and water instead of wipes. We went on holiday a few months ago and realised how bad frequent use of wipes were at nappy changes. E’s tooshie was red and she cried at every nappy change. When we’re at home, I just use warm water and cotton pads to clean her. As we were always out and about on holiday, we thought wipes were convenient as not everywhere we went had baby facilities. After seeing the damage wipes did, my solution was simple. I filled a travel size 100ml bottle with water and carried a packet of cotton pads in her nappy bag. Seriously…. it was that simple! We save a ton on wipes cause we don’t really use them. The only wipes we do use are WaterWipes for her face and hands (99.9% water 0.01% fruit extract). They’re usually £2.70 per pack, but of course I stock up when they’re on offer. We probably go through one packet a month (if we aren’t using it sparingly). Otherwise it’s just water and cotton pads on her face and hands too.
4. Use washable breast pads at night. If you’re a breastfeeding mama like me, you’ll know that breastpads can cost quite a bit when you use disposable ones. I do wish I could use washable breastpads all the time, but for me personally, it’s a hygiene thing as well as a comfort thing using disposable ones. After my evening shower I’ll use washable breast pads through the night, until after I have my morning shower. Then I’ll switch to disposable breast pads for the rest of the day. You can get quite good quality washable breastpads from eBay for a reasonable price. For disposable breast pads, I find the Boots brand (ultra slim breast pads) just as good quality as the Lansinoh brand. Both brands come individually wrapped and with the plastic backing to avoid any leakage. The Boots brand ones are always on 3 for 2 offer as well.
5. Home make babies meal enough to cover 3 days worth of lunch and dinner. Not only does this help save money, it also saves time too. I tend to use organic produce for E’s meals, occasionally she might have a bit of non organic food in her meal, but as I only make 6 meals in one go, it’s very minimal. I used to make her home made food and freeze it in ice cube trays, defrosting it in time for when she needs it. But I found she prefers her meals freshly cooked, so six meals is the most I’ll make in one go as I can still keep it relatively fresh in the fridge. I cook her meals and store it in small plastic tubs so it’s all portioned out in advance. I heat her meal in a normal bowl rather than the plastic tub when she’s ready to eat. I only use the tubs to store her food. She’ll have the same meal for lunch and dinner, for three days in a row. Her breakfast and snacks will vary and if I decide to make her a meal containing fish, she’ll have it cooked and eaten straight away. I don’t cook her fish for more than one meal at a time. Save even more money and time by using the same ingredients for your own meal. Today I made cauliflower cheese with broccoli and breadcrumbs. She’ll have it for her meals whereas my husband and I will have it for our side dish. Yum!
So there you have it. My top 5 tips on how to save money. I’d love to hear your ideas on saving money. Do you have any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments box below.