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Since having kids, money just flies out the window. Literally sometimes if my toddlers find cash in my purse. There’s always a need for more diapers, more wipes, bigger pants, new shoes and that amazing new toy they have to have. I am the frugal one in our household. I can’t stand spending money, and I like to see it grow as much as possible, but with the addition of now three kids, it’s been even harder.
Here are my best frugal tips that will help you save money as new parents.
First, get a subscription service via Amazon FREE 30 Day Trial. It took me a while to do this, because we travel frequently, so I didn’t think I could remember to change the shipping addresses around in time. One more thing on my list means one more thing to forget, usually. But I finally did it, and I am so glad I did! By signing up for the Amazon Prime Family. If you do, you can save big time, as well as have your diaper order shipped to you the same day each month. I was able to realize that we use over 150 diapers a month because we ran out the first month I guessed on how many we use. I just upped the order to make it just right for the following months. No more running to the store and buying a small pack in a hurry, then a big box at random stores I happen to be at. This saves lots and you save time and gas running around. Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial to see if you like it, and see how much you’ll save!
Offer Up: I love a stylish baby item like these swings or my AMAZING City Select Stroller, which is all super expensive if you buy brand new. Offer-Up is a fabulous app where you can find moms who are ready to let go over their nice baby items for much less. Like way less. You don’t have to resort to less-than quality items if you are on a budget, yet you are saving tons of money on the items you need for your children. I found a whole Thomas The Train table set that was $20 and only slightly loved. If I see an item I want, but it’s super expensive, I make a note to check Offer Up first.
Cartwheel App: I was behind on this a couple years ago, and it’s such an important app for shopping at Target. You can just scan the app at check out, and all the coupons available to your items get applied! You can browse deals ahead of time, or when in the thick of shopping with toddlers and a baby, just scan at the end and hope you saved something like I often do. Either way, I’ve ended up saving something at every purchase at Target. If you shop at Target the REDcard is totally worth it because it’s just a Debit Card if you don’t want another credit card (I don’t!), and you save 5%.
Buy Second-Hand Toys: I rarely by my boys new toys. I just can’t stand the thought of buying something that’s over $10.00, and they play with it for 15 minutes. I literally feel like I just threw away that money. So, I LOVE to visit the local Goodwills and kids second-hand stores. I have found amazing toys like the Mega-Formers (THE BEST TOY TO KEEP MY BOYS BUSY!), remote-control cars, legos and more for great deals.
Don’t Buy Books: Books are actually expensive brand new. I only get books at our local libraries. Sometimes I am tempted to just order a book through my Amazon Prime, which is now only $5.99 if you qualify per month Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial, but I don’t because I can get it free, then go get new books to keep things exciting. The few books I’ve actually purchased are the ones I use for homeschooling my kids. You can check those out on my post about teaching my toddler to read.
Minimal Nursery and Kids Room Decor: Because we travel back and forth frequently, this was easier for me. I didn’t want to invest in decor because we wouldn’t be in one home half the year to enjoy it. I prefer to travel and go on adventures, rather than have a Pinterest-worthy nursery. Home decor adds up fast, and if you chose a very minimal style and create some of the decor yourself, you can really save big here.
Start A Savings or College Fund for Birthdays: Rather than having family and friends by toys, have them put money in a savings account for your children. It’s a great way to invest in their future, and you won’t have to deal with more toys and more clutter at home.
Save Everything: I’ve saved all my baby items, clothes, rockers, swings, boppy billows and carriers from my first baby. Most of that was on my registry (see what I missed here), and I have all boys, so the clothes have been used over and over again. I’ve had to buy minimal newborn and infant clothes to supplement what I had to get rid of because of stains, but that’s it! If you stick to some gender neutral items, you can make them last even longer if you have boys and girls.
Re-sell Items: If you know you are done having children, and some of your swings and high chairs need to go, re-sell them or take them to a second-hand store. There are a lot of second-hand stores that will purchase your clothes and baby gear for a super low price, but at least that is something back. You can get more if you sell yourself through OfferUp or Craigslist. I sold my BOB Jogger for $150, and I bought my second-hand City Select for $250, leaving the total only $100 for upgrading to a double stroller.
It’s hard to focus on saving money when kids come into the picture. We’ve got three rascals that keep us on our toes, and I am often so tempted to just buy them new toys to keep them busy and from bugging me. It’s hard work to save money and make your kids play with what they have, but it’s so worth it in the end.