SLIDER

Our top tips for saving money with a kid



1. Get a piggy bank & open a bank account

We were given a piggy bank at my baby shower which was swiftly added to the nursery so that I could empty my change into it whenever I had some rattling around at the bottom of my bag. Soon after Aria arrived my parents made it a tradition that whenever they come up to visit they put a few quid in it! After a few months I emptied it out and we'd saved up £35 without really trying!

Once we'd registered Aria's birth we headed to the bank to set up a children's account for her; although we don't pay into it regularly we've had family pay money in occasionally; at Christmas for example when we didn't really need anything for a three month old baby! In the future I'm hoping to set up a direct debit to pay in each month..even if its just a tenner.

There's lots of information on Junior ISA's and children's saving accounts over at Money SuperMarket

2Breastfeed

The amount of money we've saved because I've managed to breastfeed for nearly a year is insane! I did some research and a few rough calculations and found that I've saved us around £900; this includes the cost of formula, bottles and equipment like bottle preparation machines which I'm sure I would have had if I'd not breastfed.

I've had to buy clothes that allow me to have easy access to my boobs but I always hunt for sale bargains mainly in the Topshop, New Look and ASOS maternity and nursing sections.



3. Find local Facebook selling groups

My boyfriend can vouch for the fact I'm somewhat obsessed with Facebook selling groups; on a weekly basis I'm either selling stuff Aria has grown out of or picking up new items of clothing or toys.

The two main groups I buy from are local to Sheffield; one being just for mum's who sling their babies and the other is just a general local selling group for furniture, baby clothes, toys and whatever else people have to sell on.

I wish I'd kept track of how much I'd spent and compared it to the money I'd have spent should I have bought it all new.. at a guess I must have saved around £500 buying second hand.

The selling sites are really hand too if your looking for something in particular and want to see whether anyone has it to sell on before you buy brand new; I quite often post ISO (In search of) posts and save so much money; for example I spotted a Joules outfit I wanted for Aria that retails new at £32 and decided to post ISO; within minutes a lady got in touch and offered it to me for £8. Yeah its second hand but as long as it's in good condition then I'm happy to save myself £24! Knowing Aria and her eating habits I'm sure within a few weeks it'll be covered in stains anyway.


4. Use loyalty schemes

I mentioned this in a post I did back last year about saving money when preparing for your new arrival and it's totally worth doing even once the little bundle arrives.

We use our M&S Sparks card alot so I get priority access to the sales 24 hours before non Sparks card holders do. Also, on a monthly basis I get 20% off baby clothes so when I want to buy new sleep suits or vests it works out a lot cheaper for us.

We've also found our Boots Advantage card really handy when buying baby related items; we get money of vouchers sent to us every couple of months to cover items.

5. Find local free or cheap baby groups

I'm a bit of a tight wad when it comes to paying out for baby classes; we went to a few in the first few months of Aria being here but in all honesty I didn't think they were worth the money (and time getting ready to leave the house!) so now I tend to seek out the free groups or ones that allow you to pay per session rather than parting with £60+ per term upfront.

Our local libraries have some fantastic baby time sessions on each week where they combine reading time with singing and playing musical instruments- these sessions are totally free and you don't get charged if you return children's books late.

We also find playgroups based at churches nice; although we aren't religious at all I find the groups really friendly, welcoming and well equip with clean toys. Plus their story time always teaches good morals. The ones we go to are only £1 which includes tea and cake...perfect!

It's also worth checking out local museums and art galleries too as most of them have a baby/toddler session on during term time and then tons of activities over the summer holidays.

Check out your local shopping centre website, you'll probably find they have toddler or baby sessions on too; this week we're heading up to Meadowhall shopping centre for their baby group which is totally free!

Because I save money by going to cheap/free groups it means when I find a class I think Aria would like that does require upfront payment I'm in the financial position to be able to pay for it...we love going to Music Bugs which we pay per term for!

6.  Take weekly trips to the second hand shops


Totally a favourite weekday activity of mine; I actually plan a day per week to tour round all the local charity shops in the hope of finding a bargain.. quite often I'll find next to new clothes for as little as 50p!  Charity shops are a great place to buy cheap children's toys and books too.

The charity shops around our area are so busy they seem to put new stock out each day so I could actually do a daily tour but I'm not sure the little one would enjoy that so much. 


7. Try Baby Led Weaning and meal plan

As well as baby led weaning being super fun it's helped us avoid spending money unnecessarily on pre-made baby food.

Our food bills haven't really increased a lot; each week we spend between £40-50 on fresh ingredients for some rather delicious meals (check out my post on BLW if you haven't already) and it also saves me so much time just cooking one meal for us all. We plan our weekly meals in advance so we don't waste food and it means I don't have to stress about what I'm going to cook for dinner in the evening.


8. Always check the reduced sections

When out in town picking up baby essentials I always head to the reduced section first.  Here's a few examples of items we've picked up in the reduced sections-

Boots-A couple of weeks ago I managed to pick up 5 bottles of Earth Friendly Baby Lavender Bubble Bath for 25p per bottle! They are normally £5.25 each so that would be £26.25 but I got them all for £1.25. They were still in date and in perfect condition so not sure why they were reduced but I wasn't going to question it!

Boots- When Aria was only a few weeks old I was browsing and found some Medela feeding shields for £1; they are usually £8.99. I haven't had to use them but I've added them to my breastfeeding kit incase I need them when we have our next baby.

Tesco-  We picked up a Nuby Teether from the reduced section for 50p a couple of weeks ago; they are normally £3.39!


Having kids can be expensive if you let it...but if you take your time to shop around, hunt out bargains and don't buy on impulse it really doesn't have to cost a fortune.  New parents sometimes worry about needing lots of gadgets but really all your baby needs is loving parents, a few outfits and lots of cuddles! 

How have you saved money when buying things for your children? Are there any tips you want to pass on to me for saving with the baby?

XOXO


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