Photo (cc) by Jaro Larnos
Cha-ching! That’s the sound of having children.
Of course, I say that (partly) in jest. But raising kids is expensive, making it all the more important to take advantage of all money-saving opportunities.
So do yourself — and your bank account — a favor and check out these five money-saving tips before you plan your next shopping trip for the family:
- Buy in bulk: “Besides saving you time, buying in bigger batches is a great way to get what you need without breaking the bank,” writes Lexi Tollefsen in The Huffington Post. She recommends purchasing nonperishable items that you know you’ll use, like toilet paper, plastic storage bags, paper towels, trash bags and laundry detergent. I do my bulk shopping at Costco a few times a year, and the savings really add up. Other warehouse stores and some restaurant supply stores offer similar deals on large quantities.
- Shop end-of-season sales: This is one of my favorite ways to save money on kids’ clothes. I hit up end-of-season sales and purchase clothes for my children for the next year at hugely discounted prices. “If you’re concerned your picks won’t fit by next season, look for versatile clothing that can work in any season,” recommends coupon destination site RetailMeNot.
- Clip those coupons: No matter what you’re shopping for, you can most likely find a coupon for it. You can check online for coupons or download apps for your favorite supermarkets and retailers and access their coupons there. “If you can hold off on a purchase you don’t have a coupon for, give it another week or two to see if a deal turns up,” suggests RetailMeNot. Get tips for finding coupons for fresh fruits and veggies here.
- Don’t buy new: You can find great gently used kids’ clothing items on the cheap at secondhand stores, garage sales and online consignment stores (I like thredUP). Kids tend to outgrow their clothes quickly, so you can often find like-new items for a fraction of what retailers charge.
- Generic: Skipping name-brands for their lower-cost generic alternatives is a great way to cut your shopping bill. Most foods, baby products, and health and beauty items have generic options. “It’s true that some generics are inferior to the name-brand alternative, but you won’t know until you try,” says RetailMeNot
How do you save money when shopping for your family? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.