There’s no doubt about it – having children is expensive business. According to the Child Poverty Action Group’s annual Cost of a Child report 2020, the basic cost of a child from birth up to the age of 18 is £71,611 for a couple family and £97,862 for a lone-parent family, and that’s before you’ve even factored in childcare and housing costs!
So it’s not surprising parents are looking to save a bit of money where they can, whether it’s through buying second hand toys or seeking out discounts on anything from nappies to clothes. The good news is that it’s easier than you may think to save a bit of cash; here are six ideas to get you started…
New and expecting parents can sign up for discounts on a number of leading brands with Sprout, which costs £1 a month or £10 a year for membership. From 25% off Mamma Mio skincare to 20% off Nuby, there’s a lot to choose from for both parents and children, and new brands are signing up all the time. See more at sproutperks.com.
Sign up for discount event deals
Supermarkets including Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Asda all have baby and kids events throughout the year, where you can save on clothing, shoes and other essentials. Sign up for notifications from the retailers so you’re first in the know when the offers are going to be available, as some items sell out fast.
Boots Parenting Club
If you often pick up toiletries, nappies and the like at Boots, it’s well worth joining their Parenting Club. You’ll receive eight advantage points for every pound you spend on baby products instead of the usual four, as well as special offers and baby events. Those points soon mount up and can be used to pay for your shopping, saving you cash long-term.
Shop ahead in the sales
Children are constantly going to need bigger clothes, and an easy way to save money on their ever-revolving wardrobes if you have the storage space is to buy ahead in the sales. Invest in winter coats, knits and the like for the following year in the Christmas sales, it’s likely you’ll see very similar items back in stock the next winter at twice the price and be very glad you did! Next is great for this; if you have an account you’ll also have access to their VIP sale preview to shop before it launches to everyone else too.
While it’s so tempting to order toys, books and everything else that springs to mind on Amazon, you can find some great buys second hand on platforms like Facebook Marketplace or in your local charity shop. These items are used for such a short time you can typically find them in good condition at a fraction of the retail price, and you’ll be doing your bit for the planet too. Set up an alert for Facebook if there’s something in particular you’re after, and you’ll be notified if it becomes available in your area.
Buy in bulk or invest in long-lasting items
Another thing to do if you have the room or initial money to invest is to buy things in bulk or spend a little more on reusable items.
It may seem more economical to spend £5 here and there on things like nappies and wipes, for example, but buying ahead in bulk could help save you a couple of pence per nappy, which would mount up over time.
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Better yet, switch to cloth nappies and wipes. You may have more of an initial outlay, but parents are estimated to save £1,475 or more over the course of two-and-a-half years by using cloth nappies, according to the Money Advice Service. Use them again for any subsequent children and you’re quids in!
What are your top money saving tips for parents?