Money saving tips for parents
posted on August 17, 2023
We are all feeling it -- the pinch of inflation and price gouging in Canada is real. Being a Canadian is expensive, and being a parent is already quite expensive. Here are some great ways to save money when caring for children in Canada.
Buy in bulk
Food and household items are a major expense for many parents. You can save on food and household items by buying more items in bulk. Everything from grains, beans, nuts and seeds, spices and nut butter to dish soap, detergent, and shampoo can be purchased in bulk at bulk food, health food and bulk supply stores. Buying in bulk is also better for the environment if you fill up your items in reusable containers.
Wholesale stores like Costco are a great option for affordable grocery and household shopping. You will have to buy a lot of whatever you’re buying, but you’ll enjoy deep discounts and will need to go shopping less frequently since your supplies will be plentiful. If you’re feeding a big family, you might need a lot of everything anyway!
A lot of money goes down the drain when you buy and cook more food than you need to eat because you’re not sure how much you’ll consume. Meal prepping is a fantastic solution to this problem. You follow detailed recipes and portion control and prep your food for days. This helps you buy exactly what you’ll need to prepare the meals you intend to eat. Planning ahead like this also helps you stay healthy and fit and save even more money because you’ll avoid falling into the expensive and unhealthy takeout trap and eating out regularly for convenience.
Eat more vegan and vegetarian meals
You may have noticed that the prices for meat, chicken, dairy and eggs have gone up significantly in Canada. Luckily you don’t need them to thrive and enjoy delicious meals. Vegan food can be a nutritious and affordable alternative way of eating. If you fill your plate with starches like rice, protein like beans, and vegetables, you’ll save money and eating vegan may even improve your health significantly. If you enjoy eating this way, an Instant Pot is a great tool to use. This multifunctional cooker can help you put nutritious and hearty vegan meals together with ease.
Buy second hand
Fast furniture and fast fashion are killing the planet and your wallet. If you need to constantly put clothes on growing kids and find yourself constantly shopping for them, consider shopping second hand. You’d be amazed what you can find online and in-store at vintage, thrift and charity shops these days for very little money! From designer clothing to nearly new pieces, second-hand shopping is a fun adventure and a win for your wallet.
Head to the library
If you’re always hitting the bookstore for new magazines, books, games and toys for you and your kids, plan a trip to your local library instead! You can borrow books, toys, magazines, games, videos and more. Need a hammer or want to try 3D printing? Many libraries have tool libraries and workshops! The library is such an underestimated resource in your community and will keep you and your family entertained for nothing at all.
Trade with other parents
Have friends or family members with children of similar ages? Why not get together to trade items like clothes and toys that they’ve outgrown or grown tired of. This will let you snag some new-to-them toys for your kids at no cost at all, plus help you declutter what you no longer need.
Be a minimalist
We need much less than we may think to be happy and feel fulfilled. Many of us act on the impulse to buy things we don’t really need, but we can shut this down in its tracks and be better for it. Buying less obviously has the potential to save us a lot of money! Before you hit the shops or checkout, check in with yourself about why you’re buying the items in your cart. Do you need them? Did you come to the store intending to buy those things because you need them or are some of the items impulse buys you don’t actually need? Does your kid need another toy or sweater, or are they just a little bored with what they have already? These questions can help you nip your unnecessary spending habits in the bud. It’s important to teach lessons like this to your children as well, so they don’t perpetuate the cycle in their own lives. Buying less also means you’ll drain fewer resources and produce less waste, so the planet wins, too!
We hope that these tips help you save money as a parent! You can do it, you just need to plan ahead and think strategically.