Saving Money While Raising Kids – What Works for Cassie

Recently, Michelle, Mary Ellen and Alex all posted about ways they save money while raising their kids.

In our community, it isn’t always a priority to save money. Many of our friends and neighbors have a two-income household or have a little extra in their bank accounts. So sometimes it can feel a little embarrassing to be ‘saving money’ while other families with small kids are often eating out at restaurants or splurging on things that your family just doesn’t add into the budget.

I loved reading about other MSW mamas’ money saving tips and it made me feel more willing to share how we save money in our single-income family as well.

Breastfeeding: Any formula-feeding mama will tell you, formula is expensive! Breastfeeding has saved us so much money, not to mention all the health benefits of breastmilk and bonding opportunities that come with breastfeeding your child. On top of that, breastfed babies tend to get sick less often than formula-fed babies, which means fewer trips to the doctor and less medication.

Borrowed/second-hand/hand-me-down clothing: Pretty much all of my second child’s clothing is borrowed from friends or are hand-me-downs from his big sister. Most of my daughter’s clothes come from second-hand shops like The Children’s Orchard. The cool thing is that so much of it is either brand new or practically brand new. Kids only fit into a certain size for a short time, so a lot of things are worn only once or twice. Nice clothes for baby+savings for mama= perfect!

Cloth diapering: Cloth diapering can be expensive at the start, but you can literally save thousands of dollars in the long run. Disposable diapers go fast and you always have to buy more. With cloth, you’ll always have a diaper handy in your home. And I’ll admit— cloth diapering does take a little more time than using disposable diapers, but it’s worth seeing how adorable your little one looks in cloth!

Cooking at home: We only eat out about two to three times a year— special celebrations and when family or friends are visiting. Even for most special celebrations, like birthdays or anniversaries, we go the extra mile for a special home cooked-meal. We save so much money by cooking at home and it’s always nice to sit down all together as a family at the end of the day and enjoy a meal while we relax— sometimes even in pajamas!

Baby-led weaning: Baby eats what we eat. It’s really as simple as that. No special blender to buy to puree food, no costly jars of baby food to buy. We practiced Baby Led Weaning with both of my kids and it was fantastically successful, on top of saving us tons of money each week on baby food.

Off-Brand buys: Name brand, schname brand. For most products, we don’t mind the grocery store brand! Don’t get me wrong, I love Philadelphia cream cheese and some other choice brand-name products, but for most general items, the store brand tastes just the same and you get even more of it for your money!

New ‘splurges’: Splurging means something different now than it did pre-kids. We don’t spend extra money on splurges like massages and manicures anymore. Instead, we ‘splurge’ on family vacations– and save money by staying in a family room hostel instead of a hotel and taking road trips to our destination instead of flying. We ‘splurge’ on a year pass to the zoo or the public swimming pool, that way we can go as often as we want instead of worrying about ticket costs each time we want to go.

DIY: Just because we save doesn’t mean we skimp on the cool stuff. We have DIYd most of the décor in my daughter’s butterfly themed room ourselves, saving lots of money. We DIY pretty much all the elements to every birthday party we throw. We DIY family member birthday gifts and cards. Having homemade things around your home and things to give make it all the more special, and it saves lots of dough.

TV and books: We have a TV, but we don’t have any channels. We have a Netflix subscription and an old laptop hooked up to our TV. Everything we watch is either on Netflix or streamed online. This is a huge saver! We also take a lot of trips to the library for kids books. Buying kids books can be very expensive, so we only buy ones we know the kids love after they’ve returned them to the library. We also use our library’s e-book lending system for our Kindles.

Electricity saving times: Our electricity company offers discounted electricity between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., so we run the high-electricity appliances during those times. I fill the dishwasher after dinner and have it ready to go so I can just turn it on before I go to bed. I fill the washer or transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer at nighttime too, while I take our dog outside. Check with your local electric company to see if you have a similar deal!

2 Responses to Saving Money While Raising Kids – What Works for Cassie

  1. With #4 otw I need any tips for saving money! Thanks for this!

  2. Jeanette Delijani Reply

    We do a lot of these things already, but will have to try the others!

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