In these dire economic times, having a stay-home parent for full time childcare seems almost like an unobtainable luxury to many families. Two paycheck households are certainly the norm, but with a few key tips from your friends at SaveCabbage.com perhaps you too can have the ability to stay home with your child during those oh-so-fleeting first few years of life.
First and foremost, kids are (lovable but) messy and need a lot of stuff. Though this does not sound like a money saving equation, there are plenty of opportunities to save a few dollars along the way. The best way to do this is to BUY IN BULK, BUY IN BULK BUY IN BULK. Infants and toddlers are always going to need diapers, formula and baby food, items that never go bad or spoil. Best prices for these common items are at a wholesale club such as BJ’s or Sam Club where savings can be as much as 20% (!) compared to grocery store prices. Though these clubs generally have initiation fees, the money saved on baby items plus common household goods (napkins, paper towels, cleaning supplies (remember those messy kids?) will more than make up for the initiation fee. Just be careful when buying the 10 quart jar of mayonnaise….
Next best bet for low prices for common baby items are your local Target and Wal-Mart. Again, buying the 180 box of diapers will be much cheaper than buying ten 18-packs. And if absolutely necessary to buy these items from a grocery store or CVS, make sure to sign up for the savings cards most national chain retailers offer.
Next area to target for savings is toys and entertainment. Kids love toys, but children grow up fast, so even today’s favorite toys can be forgotten about within months. That being said, why buy every toy brand new? Try switching toys with neighbors and friends or finding a clothing / toy co-op in your town. Also, if looking to earn a little extra cash for out-of-favor toys, many people sell toys on ebay or craigslist.
As for Disney / Pixar type movies (a lifesaver on a rainy afternoon) all the current favorites can be bought used at Amazon.com. Many libraries also have great collections of movies and books to borrow for free (the best price of all).
Instead of just saving money, why not earn a little cash while at home? Many stay-home parents have small side businesses that do not interfere with childcare at all. The two best examples of this are The Pampered Chef, where a Mom will host a party to display kitchen cookery, gadgets and utensils and gets to keep a percentage of the sales. Another popular home-selling idea is UsborneBooks, where the Mom or Dads sells award-winning children’s books through home parties, town fair booths, direct sales or via a web site.
Last tip for the brave folks – giving your child a haircut at home can save $20.00 right off the bat. At six haircuts a year that is a $120.00 savings! Just make sure to have sharp scissors, a fully-charged hair trimmer, and a lollipop / cookie on hand – trust me on this one. An understanding partner doesn’t hurt the home haircut
All in all, with a few cost-cutting measures, staying home with a child is an obtainable goal for many families. Feel free to share any additional money saving tips with us here at SaveCabbage.com And remember…buy in bulk!!!!!!!
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