Raising a family can be super expensive. From clothes to food, education and everything in between, the bills can quickly add up. Did you know the cost of raising a child to 21 is currently on average £200,000? Wowzers!
But don't panic folks, whether you're planning to start a family or are already experiencing the joys of parenthood, I've found some sound advice from savvy savers who are also parents and know a trick or two about saving money.
Here are some of their best tips to help you save money in all aspects of parenting.
1. Save money on food in the reduced aisle
I don't know about you but I've been to the reduced aisle a few times at multiple supermarkets. It's always surprising to see what hidden treasures you can find in these sections of the supermarket.
Donna from Bobsy's Mum strongly recommends buying from the reduced aisle in supermarkets. Food can be so expensive, especially if you're cooking from scratch so she suggests finding out what time your nearest supermarket reduces their products and stocking up to save money on your food shopping bill.
BONUS TIP - Donna also says that bulking meals out with items like lentils and cooking in large portions and freezing leftovers is also a good way to save money on food.
2. Save money on toys
This is one of my favourite tips. If you want to treat your kids to a little toy, Paula from Hot Mess Mummy says there's no need to go to big expensive shops. Her kids love going into local charity shops, as there is always something different when they pop in and there are boxes full of bits and bobs that make it a super fun experience.
She's absolutely right when she says it makes no difference to your kids if it's second hand and you can usually pick up a bargain that keeps them amused, for a while anyway. Everyone's a winner!
3. Save money with cashback sites
Cashback sites and apps are amazing and can save you so much money on anything from a food shop to utilities and then some. I'm personally a huge fan of these sites and it seems I'm not alone. Tracey from Pack the PJs has saved a whopping £400-500 a year using TopCashback, wow!
Epril from Eps and Amy is also a fan of Quidco and apps like Receipt Hog where you can scan your receipts and earn points which convert into PayPal transactions, and CheckoutSmart, an app that features a host of freebies and exclusive discounts, meaning you can save lots of money on your regular food shop.
4. Save money with meal planning
When it comes to saving money on your food bill, both Kayley from Friendly First Foods and Emma from They Grow So Quick are huge fans of meal planning. Kayley says meal planning has saved their family an absolute fortune, as well as shopping in the right places and changing brands.
Emma has been meal planning for 7 years now. She also buys online so she can see exactly what she is spending and can stick to her budget and not be tempted by anything. You can check out her weekly meal plan every Monday on her blog.
Adam from Ask Yer Father agrees. His cooking top tip is too buy fresh ingredients and do a big cook up, then freeze portions, as this will be the cheapest and healthiest option. It's also ultimately a time saver as you can just grab a portion out of the freezer and defrost or heat it up.
Great for those family days out or long work days when you get in and haven't got the energy to cook. Win all around.
5. Save money when booking holidays
Booking holidays doesn't have to be a financial nightmare. Jon from The Money Shed has found an amazing loophole that guarantees you always get the cheapest price on holidays and can save lots of money when booking your next family trip.
ebookers will price match your service up to 48 hours before you check-in at your hotel. Check out his blog for step-by-step instructions on how to save, it's so easy!
For train trips, Jodie at Maidenhead Mum uses a 'ticket split' system, which can help you save over £30 every time you book your train tickets. It sounds crazy she says, but it helps beat the system.
For example, Reading to Birmingham might be split into 2 tickets Reading to Banbury and Banbury to Birmingham. It might take a little longer but there's plenty of money to be saved on family bookings.
6. Sell on eBay & save for a special occasion
eBay is great for bagging a bargain, but it's also amazing for selling unwanted items and making an additional income, some have even made a career out of it! Emily from A Slummy Mummy sells unwanted items on eBay all year round and saves the money in her PayPal account for Christmas.
What a fantastic idea! You can sell pretty much anything on eBay and save for a birthday, holiday, basically any upcoming event that might cost you a few extra pennies.
Great tips guys, thanks for your help!
Have you got any tips of your own? Get in touch.