How expensive is bringing up a family? Is it even possible to parent on a budget? As the mum of four children I have to at least try and stick to some kind of a budget, although sometimes it’s difficult to say “no” when they ask for the latest gadgets and toys.
Children I find, get particularly expensive when they reach their teens! iphones, Nike trainers and designer clothes cost so much! Also, my seven year old twins are also now entering the age group when adverts on TV add to the pressure, they are literally an advertisers dream! One of their favourite past times at the moment is reading the Argos catalogue and circling toys that they simply “must have”!
Thankfully i’ve discovered that the internet has opened up a huge number of resources that give tips on frugal parenting. Being a little creative and planning activities around free things to do and searching for vouchers and coupons for days out can save oodles of cash!
It’s actually true that “the best things in life are free”!
All children really need, is lots of fresh air and time to have fun with their friends and family. Getting away from technology and enjoying the freedom of the countryside allows creativity to develop and is healthy for everyone. As a family we have joined The National Trust and for £10 a month we can get access to amazing properties all year round. We love visiting Brimham Rocks and Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire, we visit a National Trust property most weekends, so the monthly membership fee is cost effective for us. We take a picnic to save money, although the tea rooms do serve lovely cream scones!
Another excellent way to spend a day at the weekend is to head to the coast. We love Saltburn near whitby, they sell the most amazing fish and chips, but we mostly take a picnic to save money! Saltburn has a traditional pier with a few amusements. I love the fact that most of the amusements only cost 2 pence. A bucket and spade can give hours of fun.
I have managed to develop so many money saving skills since having children, mostly out of necessity!. I now hate paying full price for anything. I love searching for “freebies” such as those listed on Freebies UK and I will do an internet search on any item I’m buying in order to find the best price. I just type the item title into google and switch to “shopping” to find the price at different stores.
Much of a family’s budget is spent on the weekly food shop. I have discovered that there are savings to be made by writing a weekly meal plan and sticking to it! I also find shopping online saves money, as you are more likely to stick to your list.
My twin daughters got bikes for their recent seventh birthday. Once they get used to riding confidently we are hoping to get out cycling as a family and will be searching for discounted adult bikes from cheap bikes. We are lucky to have lots of safe cycling paths in North Yorkshire. After buying the bikes the activity will be basically free!
For rainy days we have recently discovered the new craze in our area of rock painting. Rocks are painted in a variety of designs and are then hidden in the local area. People find your rocks and then post them on a Facebook site – the kids love it! It’s fab when someone finds your rock. Rocks can literally travel all around the world as once found they are hidden in different places.
Children don’t need expensive toys in order to flourish, they just need time and love. I still need to source frugal recipes that the whole family will eat, I sometimes feel like our house is a cafe and a low cost alternative to our weekly takeaway would be amazing! Any ideas?
Do you have any money saving parenting tips?