Kids are expensive! You have to feed them, dress them, and stimulate their little brain with activities. We love them to death and would give them the world. But giving them the world is a tall order with a big price tag. It might be a better option to teach them some fiscal responsibility and save a little cash to put towards college. Here are 5 ways to save on children’s expenses.
- Make lunch snacks at home – Yes it does take more time but it is overall much healthier and more cost effective to make your child’s lunch snacks then to purchase pre-packaged ones. The cost for ingredients in comparison is significant. Really don’t you feel better in general knowing your kids are eating something that you can pronounce. If found some great lunch box snack options like chocolate graham crackers and fruit bars at Weelicious.com. Here is a recipe for my Go-To Lunchbox Cookies.
- By kids clothes at end of season and save them for the next year- I have been doing this since my kids where born and it has saved me a ton of money. Instead of spending $15 on a children’s shirt at the full retail price, wait until the end of the season and buy the next size up and save it for next year. I have gotten clothing for as low as $2 and dresses for as low as $5. Plus when next year comes around, you are full stocked for in the next size. This works great if your children wear a uniform which cost a lot if you buy them before the start of school.
- Pre-buy school supplies – School supplies have become a bill that has grown with my child’s age. To keep this expense from smacking you in the face come the start of school, watch for sales on school supplies throughout the year. Several times a year Staples and Office Depot will run sales on various school supplies. Stock up when these items are on sale and you will be all set come back to school.
- Save on books and videos by going to the library – This is something we started to do a few summers ago when my daughters voracious reading started to take a toll on out Amazon budget. We began visiting the library every week and instead of spending $9 a pop to rent a movie and $5 a pop to download a book. The cost was free. (Just make sure you bring them back on time. We are not so good at that part.)
- Take advantage of coupons and special deals for attractions in your area – About 2x a year the pubic library by me gives out free tickets to the local zoo if you have a library card. The local art museum lets kids in for free on Tuesdays thanks to a generous grant from a patron. Nature centers are usually free or request a small donation. There are deals like this in every community if you keep your eye out for them. Watch your local newspaper’s calander section, check with your Parks and Recreation Department, and keep an eye out at your local colleges and universities to catch these deals.