If you have a family then you will be very aware of how expensive it can be. There seem to be so many things that cost money that you may feel that you are always struggling to find enough to pay for everything. However, there may be ways that you can spend less money that you might not be aware of.
Compare all prices
When you are buying anything it is wise to always compare the prices. This is on everything form food to insurance. Doing this should help you to make sure that you are getting good value for money from the things that you are buying. You should be able to save money because you will not only be able to pick cheaper options but you will realise how much things cost and you may even decide to do without them or to have them less often.
Buy second hand
Many people would not consider buying second hand items but it can really help to save money. Whether you buy second hand school uniform, other clothes, books, toys or other things, you will find that you can save a considerable amount of money. You may feel that you would rather not buy things than resort to second hand but children grow and you cannot avoid buying them new clothes. Second hand goods can sometimes be unused or they can easily be sterilized in a dishwasher or washed at a high temperature. It is worth taking a look and starting to open your mind up to the possibility of second hand even if it is just books, you can save money.
Cook more from scratch
Eating out, getting take away food and buying pre prepared foods, will cost more money than cooking your meals from scratch. It is often seen as quite a chore to cook form scratch but it can make a massive difference and you can prepare food in advance. At the weekend you can quickly make a batch of granola or muesli that will set you up for the whole week and will be very much cheaper than buying the packaged version. You can also make batches of food to put in the fridge or freezer to warm up in the week. Also planning quick to cook meals such as pasta dishes and stir fries which will not take long to cook as long as you have the ingredients available in the house. So, get your food shopping organised as well. While your food is cooking in the evenings prepare a quick packed lunch for the day after and that will save you money on buying sandwiches too.
Try to ignore pester power
It can be very hard to ignore children when they demand certain things. They might want to be like their friends or have things that they see advertised or in shops. It can be very difficult to say no to children and it can feel like you are not showing your love to them if you do not buy them the things that they want. However, there is no need to buy your children lots of things to demonstrate how much you care for them, just being there for them, playing with them and looking after them is enough. You may also feel pressure for other parents or families that you should be doing the things they are. Some will have lots of holidays, pay for their child to do lots of extra-curricular activities or buy them all of the latest things and it can make you feel inadequate as a parent. It is important to be confident in your parenting ability and realise that it is not these things that you should be judged on.
Plan free activities
Doing activities with children can be really expensive. Whether you take them out to the cinema, zoos or safari parks, museums and art galleries, swimming lessons or whatever, they all come with a price. Even if entry is free you will have to pay to get there unless you live within walking distance and it is likely that you will buy food and drinks there, perhaps buy something form the gift shop and other extras as well. There are free activities that you can do which will help to save money. Picnics, playing in your local park, walking in the local area and things like this can be a lot of fun and cost nothing at all.
So, there are ways that money can be saved and these are just a few ideas. It is worth thinking about what sorts of things you spend a lot of money on and whether there are any alternatives that you can buy which will still work for you but will save a lot of money. Get the children involved in coming up with ideas and that should help you as well.