Whether you’re a granola mom, a posh mom, a sporty mom, or a chill mom, every spice of mom has one thing in common. They have kids. Okay, two things. They have kids and like to save money. Moms are busy and saving money usually takes time, whether it’s researching where to get the best deals on food and clothes, planning the most cost-effective way to keep your kids entertained on the weekend, or trying to budget for a night out.
We want to give moms and their wallets a break, so we’re looking at 11 easy changes moms can make to help hang on to more of their mom-ney. It’s like regular money, except most of it goes to your kids.
CHECK YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY LISTINGS
We love the library. Not only can you get just about any book you want for free (libraries don’t get enough credit for literally giving you gifts for $free.99), they typically have tons of greatly weekly events for babies, kids and teens, from the fun to the educational to the free. All free. Freefreefree.
It’s true, you can be a mom and not be on Facebook. We know, we thought it was illegal, too. But Facebook just isn’t for #momsplaining and #momjudgement. It’s also a great resource for moms. From local kid-focused consignment sales (never buy new toys again!) to Facebook Market (yes, I will take that $500 jogging stroller for $100), Facebook is a treasure trove of events geared at parents.
ATTEND PUBLIC FESTIVALS
Check out local festivals. Even if it’s not something that you think might interest your kids, lots of local festivals have free activities for little ones. What may seem small and bare bones to you can be like Coachella for a four-year-old.
Meal planning takes some extra time at the beginning of the week (or the middle – you’re the boss, mom!), but planning out your meals for the week can cut down on frequent trips to the grocery store and picking up items you don’t need or end up wasting. There are lots of helpful apps that make meal planning easy, including grocery lists that let you tick off items as you find them. Speaking of the grocery store…
USE GROCERY APPS
Use grocery store apps. Many grocery stores have apps that include coupons that are only available through the app and pack big savings. A little bit of planning can save some serious bucks, and what were you going to do in bed at night other than stare at your phone and plan meals for the week? Sleep? Oh right, there’s that.
LIMIT YOUR LAUNDRY LOADS
Does your child really need their purple shirt on Thursday? Moms are often in charge of laundry and it can be easier to throw in small loads throughout the week instead of waiting for laundry to pile up. Resist the temptation and wait to do laundry once per week, which means bigger loads and less energy costs. We also suggest checking with your utilities provider to make sure you’re not doing laundry or running the dishwasher at peak times, which can substantially increase your energy bill.
MAKE BABYSITTING BUDDIES
Getting a night out is important for mom’s mental health, but babysitters can be expensive. If you’ve got a friend with kids of a similar age, try to use playdates as a chance to swap babysitting time. One Friday night for them, one Friday night for you, two moms who got to eat meals while their food was still hot.
SKIP BABY-SPECIFIC GEAR WHEN POSSIBLE
If you put the word ‘baby’ in front of a product it almost always automatically jumps up about 30 per cent in price. While some items designed specifically for children shouldn’t be substituted (this isn’t a Disney cartoon and your infant can’t sleep in a sock drawer), other items like designer diaper bags and pricey baby detergent can be substituted for less expensive alternatives.
BUY IN BULK
Buying in bulk almost always comes with cost savings and using in bulk is even better. What do we mean by that? Go for unscented products like moisturizer, soap, and laundry detergent that is safe for everyone in your family to use, from the babiest baby to the most adulting adult. That’s you.
KEEP YOUR REGISTRY UPDATED
Once your child has arrived you likely will forget about your baby registry, but keeping your child’s registry updated is an easy way to ensure they receive gifts they want and need. This saves you from buying everything (or most things) on their wish list. Family and friends don’t always know what to get your little one, so adding items that actually need and want, like a new backpack for school, a pair of sneakers for gym class, or the third book in their favourite series, makes birthdays and holidays easier for the special people in your child’s life and ensures your little one gets gifts they’ll use. Some registries, like Babylist, are also great for comparison shopping.
USE SUBSCRIPTIONS SERVICES
From meal kit companies likes Hello Fresh to Blue Apron to Amazon’s Pantry, buying items through subscription services can save you money in the long run. With most products, the more you buy, the less you spend per unit, so buying multiple meal kits per week or ordering all your baby’s diapers on Amazon is better than only buying things when you need them. Many small businesses also offer discounts on subscriptions services, like blow-outs and nail appointments. Splurge, but smartly.