While New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone, it is during this time of the year where most of us tend to take an inventory of our lives to see what needs change and improvement.
There are plenty of simple ways to cut unnecessary spending without having to make a huge sacrifice in terms of lifestyle.
Ten Ways Simple Toddler-Friendly Money Saving Tips
- Eat What You Have: Do you have a habit of heading to the grocery store to buy more food before finishing what’s in your fridge or pantry? How about your freezer? Try and challenge the family to cook foods in the fridge or freezer and to check what’s in your pantry.
- Choose Breakfast over Dinner: There’s no need to do a major face-lift to your lifestyle. If you like going out to restaurants once in awhile for meals, go out for breakfast instead of dinner. Breakfasts tend to cost less. Depending on your budget, some families choose to make it a goal to eat only at home for an entire month. If you’re one that really enjoys going out for meals maybe cut back from once a week to once every two weeks.
- Share Meals: Sharing meals helps cut down on cost, plus sharing means half the calories. Whether you’re going out to eat or making a meal at home, sharing your food makes life simpler. You don’t need to make your child something extra or order them their own plate. This is especially true for picky eaters who won’t eat everything on their plate.
- Free vs. Paid: When looking for activities to do, there are plenty of membership-types of services. Some are more expensive than others. If you tend to go to an indoor play park because the winter weather is bad, try going somewhere that offers free admission. Your local public library is a great place to go with your toddler. Almost all public libraries have a children’s area and many of them offer free storytimes. It’s never too early to start reading to your little one. Plus reading early is statistically proven help build their vocabulary. According to Ferst Readers, by age 3 roughly 85 percent of a child’s brain is formed.
- Go For Bulk: When grocery shopping, it’s good to buy in bulk, even if you have a small family. Make sure you’re purchasing foods that will go a long way. Large bags of frozen chicken breasts and bulk bags of frozen vegetables help stretch the dollar. If you switch up the sauces you use on your chicken breast (teriyaki, barbeque, lemon pepper, spicy), it helps reduce redundancy so the family isn’t bored of the same tasting dish. After baking chicken breast, try cutting it up and adding it to salad, as salad is inexpensive and another bulk item that should make the list.
- Save Money On Date Day/Night: Depending upon your child’s age there are some indoor play places that let you drop-off (day or night) your kid for 3-4 hours for a more affordable fee than hiring a babysitter to come to your own home.
- Cut Out Unnecessary Subscriptions: There are some apps that say they’re free on your phone, but after downloading they cost. There are some great and fun toddler learning games, especially as they get older and into preschool where they start learning shapes, colors, and their ABC’s. To cut cost, hold back the urge to pay for such apps, especially if they aren’t necessary. Likewise, hold back from buying movies. You’ll have plenty of time to collect favorite Disney movies plus medical experts recommend to avoid “screen time” until the age of two, and even then screen time is advised to keep to a minimum. If you do have subscriptions like Netflix, it’s yet another reason why buying extra movies is an unnecessary cost. This is especially true with Redbox. Why buy, when you can rent cheaply and save your cash?
- Say Yes To Hand-Me-Downs: If you don’t have siblings with older kids, then you might have mommy friends whose baby is no longer a baby. There are also garage sales, second-hand, and consignment stores with cute but super inexpensive clothes. Babies grow so quickly doubling his or her weight by 5 months, so why buy expensive brand-new clothes they’ll likely outgrow in a couple of months? You can still find like-new but used clothes at a fraction of the cost.
- Try A Meatless Monday: Let’s face it, produce is way less expensive than meat. You don’t have to become vegetarian overnight. But your wallet and your body can reap the benefits of a veggie meal. Vegetarian meals are often high in fiber with lots of greens and vegetables that contain the vitamins your body requires. High-fiber meals help the body detox backed-up waste. Plus, you can get your kiddo trained early to enjoy healthier foods.
- Switch & Save To HLC Monthly Box: Why purchase synthetic, chemical-laden diapers and wipes that can enter your baby’s bloodstream in 26 seconds, potentially affecting vital organs? Not only are most popular commercial diaper brands not telling you what’s in their diapers, they’re also costly when you buy them one-by-one off store shelves. So, why trust a non-natural diaper brand when you can subscribe to Happy Little Camper monthly diapers + wipes box. Not only will you save up to 35 percent off retail price, but you’ll be providing a healthier hygiene product to your baby. Plus, you won’t need to rush to the store, instead you can have hypoallergenic, made with natural ingredients diapers + wipes delivered straight to your door.
There are plenty of ways to save your family money, little cut-backs here and there adds up quickly. By the end of the year, you’ll have more money saved and less wasted.