Money-saving tips we have tried for ourselves! They will be a game changer for your child-related section of the budget.
This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.
A child is so tiny, but at the same time so demanding! Isn’t that right? In all aspects actually, but today we’re talking moneywise! They need all sorts of things that sometimes we can’t even name. When it comes to spending money on the boys, my husband and I try to save in everything that we can. Otherwise, we know it can add up pretty quickly!
When we had Sam, our first born, we bought everything new, and we bought a lot of things that we didn’t even use. This time around not only do we evaluate if something is really necessary, but we have also developed some strategies to save when spending is inevitable.
I have gathered 15 money-saving tips for moms, that my husband and I use to save money on stuff for our own kids.
Here we go…
15 money-saving tips for moms
#1. Buy products from cheaper brands
Obviously, you wanna buy products from cheaper brands, without compromising on quality. For some products, quality is not a big deal and any will do the job. But when quality is important, look for cheaper brands that do not compromise on that!
One thing we used to buy from the leading brands was diapers. That was until Sam’s diapers started leaking every night. We tried every diaper in this world! We tried the most expensive night diapers available and nothing worked. So we ended up deciding we would stick to a cheaper brand since the most expensive ones weren’t doing the job.
That’s when we tried Parent’s Choice diapers and actually discovered they were leaking less than diapers from leading brands.
We certainly learned our lesson: the most expensive product is not always the best!
#2. Buy second-hand clothes, especially season specifics
We took a long time to start buying second-hand clothing for the boys. I thought second-hand stores would sell old clothes and toys that were in terrible condition!
When I walked in a second-hand store for the first time, I was really impressed with all the nice brands they had available! The large majority of clothes were in great condition, clean, and looking just like they were still hanging in the store from the original brand!
I was so happy I had finally given it a try! Oh…and the best of all is that everything costs a fraction of the price they’re sold at when they’re brand new. If you walk in a brand store during summer to buy summer clothes, they will be extremely expensive, but not in second-hand stores! Also, season-specific clothing isn’t used for as long as others clothes are, so they usually look new!
If you walk in a brand store during summer to buy summer clothes, they will be extremely expensive, but not in second-hand stores! Also, season-specific clothing isn’t used for as long as others clothes are, so they usually look new!
You better not spend full-price on them!
#3. Make their lunch at home instead of buying it from school
Most schools offer really affordable lunches, and that’s great. But it’s an every-day thing that really adds up at the end of the month.
Planning ahead and making their lunches at home can save you hundreds of dollars/month, especially if you have a large family with lots of kids!
This could also be a great family bonding time. Every evening, you and the kids can get together to make their lunches for the following morning! It’s a win situation for everybody! Literally.
#4. Buy food in bulk, especially snacks
When you buy food in bulk, it’s usually a lot cheaper than buying them individually packed. I’m well aware individually-packed snacks are the most practical choice for your family. But seriously, it’s just so much more expensive!
If you think about trail mixes, you can buy almonds, peanuts, raisins, pretzels… All of these in bulk, add them together, and pack them in zip-lock baggies! Depending on the amount of food, it doesn’t even take 10 minutes to get it all done.
If you get all the kids together to help, even better!
#5. Potty training
Potty training can save you hundreds of dollars in diapers every year. Obviously, you wanna wait for you and your child to be ready to take on this new challenge!
Just don’t postpone it out of laziness or fear! In this post, I talk all about how we potty trained Sam. I also talk about why training diapers didn’t work for us, and why we chose to just substitute regular diapers for underwear right from the start of the potty training process.
#6. Buy second-hand toys
Most children second-hand stores have clothes and toys! The toys, most of the time, are in great condition! I bring them home, sanitize them, and boom!
They boys get super excited, and my husband and I even more (because we saved like champs and brought home a lot more toys than we would’ve otherwise)!
They cost a ridiculously low amount of money compared to new toys, and if you think about it… they will be just as fun and interesting to the kids as new ones are! At the end of the day, they work as good as new!
#7. Sell clothes that don’t fit the kids anymore
Donating is amazing and we always donate some of the kids’ clothing as well. But we also sell a lot of them! Or depending on the store, we trade them for store credit. Doing this has allowed us to save more than (I would say) $100 per year.
Every time we bring in a bag, it’s about $10 or more in-store credit or cash.
#8. Sell toys they don’t play with anymore
This might be one of my favorite money-saving tips for moms yet! You can sell the toys your kids don’t use anymore at second-hand stores… or what I love doing is selling them on local “garage sale” Facebook groups.
There are tons of local Facebook groups intended for the sale of kids stuff, furniture, etc. If you sell them in these groups, you can get a lot more money for them than in second-hand stores, since whoever buys them is not going to resell. It will be for personal use.
For example, you come to a second-hand store and bring a kid bike that sells for $50 at Walmart. The second-hand store will sell it for $25 to their customers. But for them to make a profit, they have to buy it from you for 30% of the $25, which would be $7.50.
So if you sell the bike directly to the buyer, you’ll make $25. If you sell it to the second-hand store, you’ll make $7.50. Which is better? Ha.
Now, I wouldn’t advise you to try and sell every tiny piece of toy or clothing direct to the buyers. That would be too much work! But selling the larger and most expensive toys or gear directly to the buyer is certainly worth it!
#9. Make food from scratch instead of buying ready-to-eat meals
This is basically the same concept of making your kids’ school lunch! Making food from scratch, instead of buying ready-to-eat meals, can save tons of money.
If you think about it, if you cook rice or pasta for the whole family, it will cost you cents. Adding vegetables, sauce, and meat might increase your meal by $5.00, depending on the size of your family. That’s for a whole meal, for everyone in the house, that will usually result on leftovers for another entire meal!
Now, if you buy ready-to-eat food, it’s going to cost you at least double the price with not even half of the nutrients homemade food can provide you with! And the portion size? Half of what you’d usually eat.
Of course, sometimes frozen meals or fast food are necessary. But don’t make it an every-day thing. Plan ahead.
#10. Use coupons as much as possible
If you bring a coupon in every shopping trip you make, you’ll save tons of money. Websites like Coupons and Coupon Mom have coupons in basically every category you can think of. Baby, apparel, automotive, travel, food. You name it!
It takes seconds to find a new coupon, and you save big time in the long run!
#11. Use rebate apps
I love cash back apps and use them even more than I use coupons.
I love using Ibotta and one of my favorite things about it is that I don’t need to present the coupons to the cashier. All I need to do is quickly browse through their inventory to see if they have something I’m interested in. Then, I’ll buy the products and scan the receipt.
That’s it! The money is then added to your account and you can transfer it via PayPal when you reach $20. Plus, as soon as you sign up for Ibotta and redeem your first rebate, you’ll receive a $10 bonus!
All you have to do is, when you buy online, start every purchase through their app/website, and you’ll get cash back on that purchase. Isn’t that one of the easiest ways of saving?
You can also add their web browser extension, and every time you buy online, the extension will remind you to add your cash back! You don’t even have to remember it on your own. I love that.
#12. Research online before buying in store
When I bought Daniel’s stuff before he was born, I researched everything online! The thing about purchasing online is that you get to compare the products, colors, prices, all in different stores without even lifting anything other than (literally) a finger.
I bought a lot of things, like baby gear or even furniture, from websites like Amazon, Jet, and Walmart (especially now with the FREE 2-day shipping). By doing my research online and choosing to buy from stores that were selling the products cheaper than others, I was able to save as high as $50/product, at times!
#13. When buying clothes, plan ahead
Always make a list of the necessities before you leave the house or start selecting items online! It’s very easy to get carried away by the numerous cute options available out there.
Making a list, allows you to keep your focus on what the kids actually need, not on what you find!
You should do this every time you buy clothes for them, especially if you have more than one child, which could add up even more! Make sure you look through their drawers and through the entire closet, so you can make an accurate list. Check the shoes and accessories as well.
#14. Buy toys and gifts for birthdays, holidays, or special occasions
My husband and I used to buy toys whenever we felt like doing it, and that was a lot! We realized we were buying too many toys just because the boys “had to have” them. So we decided we were going to leave them for special occasions, like birthdays or holidays!
If we see a really good deal or a toy the boys had been asking for a lot, we might make an exception. A couple of months ago, Sam started asking for a watch. He saw that mommy and daddy had one and he really wanted to have his own, so we found a $6 Paw Patrol watch at Walmart and got him one! But that’s not the rule, it’s the exception, and it doesn’t happen often!
Now last, but not the least of the money-saving tips for moms:
#15. Set a budget for gift giving
Are you letting the kids choose their gifts? If so, make sure you set a budget for that so they won’t go above what you can afford.
Another option is to offer a couple of choices within your budget for them to choose from!
All of these money-saving tips for moms will save you tons of money! All you have to do is actually follow them!
I hope you’ll implement these tips, and that by doing so you can actually see a huge change in your budget. We’re all about providing our kids with the best of the best that we can! But saving is smart and will actually help you provide them with the best later.
So don’t be sad if you can’t buy them all the toys in the world today. At least you’re saving and making sure they have an incredible future ahead of them. Also, the example you’re setting now will be incredibly beneficial for them when they’re adults making their own financial choices!
By seeing mommy and daddy making smart financial choices, they’ll most likely start to make smart financial choices for themselves too.
I’d love to hear in the comments if you have any awesome tips on how to save money on kid-related stuff!