Are you looking for ways to save on family expenses? Read on for frugal living tips for families.
Bringing up a family is not a walk in the park. The expenses of everything double up and can quickly get overwhelming.
As a parent, you want to give your children the best and most healthy experiences without compromising your finances. Most importantly, you want a robust emergency fund for you and your children. Raising a family is not the time to take risks of not having an emergency fund.
To pull this off, you are better off embracing the frugal living tips for families discussed below.
1. Budget Planning
Family budgeting is best done communally. Let everyone old enough communicate and participate in budget planning and money management. It is best to ensure everyone is working towards the same goals.
Family budget planning should ensure all necessary expenses are met, money is set aside for unexpected expenditures, and money is saved for the future. To succeed, you should start by ensuring the monthly expenditure always stays below the monthly income. This is the only way to meet expenditures and save for the future.
Plan a budget wisely that will help you live frugally and secure your future.
2. Meal Prepping
Meals take up a considerable percentage of families’ income. If not planned well, the cost of meals can get overwhelmingly high for your family.
Meal prepping helps you ensure the costs stay within your budget. First, it will help you use what you already have in the house instead of spending more money buying more food.
Secondly, meal planning will help you stick to the goal. Sometimes coming home not being sure what to eat ends up in ordering take-out, which is very cost ineffective.
Thirdly, the process helps you monitor and watch the nutritional value of what your family consumes. If you plan, you can always ensure you prepare highly nutritious meals on a budget.
While it is excellent at saving costs and time, it undoubtedly has numerous other advantages.
3. Bulk Buying
Bulk buying goes a long way in helping cut your grocery costs. To begin with, the costs of most of the items reduce drastically when bought in bulk. Instead of buying one smaller piece, you are better off checking how much value larger quantities offer.
Besides, bulk buying helps consumers be more mindful of shopping and spending. Before you pick that item in larger quantities, calculate how much value it offers you and how long your family will use it. Using the item as sparingly as possible will become a goal to ensure it lasts the intended period.
Lastly, mindful bulk buying typically means fewer trips to the grocery stores. This directly translates to less fuel expenditure and reduced risk of impulse purchases.
4. Secondhand Shopping
Secondhand shopping is such a money saver for families. You do not need to buy expensive new things when you can get good quality second-hand items for a way cheaper price.
There are a lot of items you should always consider buying secondhand, such as clothes, books, furniture, toys, kitchenware, and even appliances.
There are a lot of places where you can find good second-hand items, such as thrift stores, yard sales, Facebook marketplace, and other social media platforms.
You can even ask friends and family if they would like to dispose of what you need.
5. DIY Cleaning Supplies
A Verve A Credit Union study revealed that the average American family of 4 uses at least $680 annually on commercial cleaning products.
This cost does not have to be this high. Making your cleaning products at home can reduce this cost by over 90%
You can make many cleaning products from home, such as laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, toilet cleaners, bleach, fabric softeners, window cleaners, and floor cleaners.
Of course, you have to learn, but it will be worth your time and effort. Find online tutorials and get started on making your DIY cleaning supplies.
6. Energy Efficiency
According to the US Department of Energy, families can save up to 25% on their utility bills if they embrace an energy-efficient lifestyle.
The small things you do in your house can escalate or reduce your utility bills.
For instance, switching off lights and appliances on standby will take seconds but can save you hundreds of dollars annually.
But you can do more if you want to take things a notch higher. For instance, you can air dry your clothes and avoid the tumble dryer, lower your thermostat settings, take showers instead of baths, spend less time in the shower, boil just needed quantity of water, run full loads of washing machine and dishwasher, replace or clean your air filters, wash clothes in cold water.
7. Minimalist Lifestyle
Learn to embrace the less is more lifestyle as a family.
Let your children have fewer toys and fewer clothes. You do not have to go out and buy every toy that trends on social media.
Also, when they outgrow anything, sell it. You will not only get money from it but also declutter your house.
Shop intentionally, have declutter sessions, and only get and keep what you need and not what you hope to have a chance to use again.
8. Free and Low-cost Activities
There are a lot of free and low-cost activities you can do as a family. According to The Ascent, the average American family spends $2912 annually on entertainment. This figure can go outrageously high depending on your family activities and the number of people in the family.
Fun and entertainment do not have to be expensive. You can cut entertainment costs by visiting free or cheap museums and art galleries, attending community and family-friendly festivals, organizing playdates, and other free activities at home.
9. Garden and Grow
A recent study revealed that spending $70 on a 3-foot vegetable garden can yield produce that will save you not less than $600.
Vegetables and fruits can cost you a fortune; take the step and start growing them at home.
You can always maximize space using hanging crates and sacks and grow vegetables you frequently use.
Besides directly saving you money, gardening activities are an excellent family bonding task. I’m sure your kids will love it when they finally harvest the cucumbers or leafy vegetables they have nurtured.
10. Digital Coupons and Cashback
Whatever platform you are shopping on, whether a grocery store, Amazon, or your favorite clothes store, there is almost always a chance to use coupons.
Before you checkout, ensure the site offers coupons and take advantage of them.
Also, check out websites specifically dedicated to giving consumers coupons. Use sites such as DealPlus, Coupon Cabin, Slickdeals, and RetailMeNot.
Sign up for cashback apps that give back a percentage of your money when you purchase on select sites.
11. Repurpose and Upcycle
Repurposing and upcycling will help you give a new life to items you no longer use.
It will not only save you money; it will also help nurture your creativity.
For instance, you can redecorate glass bottles as your flower vases instead of buying new ones.
There are a lot of upcycling ideas you can find online and even do as a family.
Again, this is another activity that your kids will most probably like. Involve them in repurposing clothes, toys, furniture, and decor.
12. Reduce Disposable Items
Giving up those single-use plastic items can save you a lot of money. Invest in reusable items for the sake of your family finances and the planet.
Some non-reusable things you may want to drop include paper towels, single-use fridge ziplock bags and containers, foil paper, cling film, disposable plates, and party cups.
You can embrace reusable fridge containers, cloth towels, sanitary towels and menstrual cups, and reusable shopping baskets.
13. Family Entertainment Nights
Organize family entertainment nights to catch up with everyone and bond.
If well done, it can be an excellent replacement for the expensive entertainment that involves going to expensive places.
You can organize game and trivia nights, home picnics, backyard camping, fort building, dance party, or even a cooking class session.
Family entertainment nights will not only save you money. They will go a long way in allowing you to bond over different activities, especially if everyone has busy days.
14. Financial Education for Kids
Start giving your children financial education from a young age. Involve them in budget planning, let them understand the importance of saving money, and have them be actively involved in it.
You also want to expose them to investment education from an early age.
You may also want to consider making them earn their allowances by helping with house chores, helping them get part-time gigs when they are of age, opening a savings account for them, and just having honest money conversations with them.
Weigh what money conversation and lesson is age-appropriate, and have your children exposed to it as early as possible.
15. Carpooling and Public Transport
According to Value Penguin, the average monthly cost of transportation for the average American family is $819. They translated this to be approximately 12% of an average family’s income.
This cost definitely goes higher if you have more than one car in the family.
Another American Public Transportation Association study revealed that 93% of transport costs go to buying, maintaining, and operating cars.
You can save that 93% of transport money today by using public transport. This way, you will forget the costs of maintaining and operating your car, parking fees, and car insurance expenses.
You may also consider carpooling with friends, colleagues and family to reduce transportation charges.
Frugal Living Tips for Families
Saving money as a family can be easy if you are intentional about it. Plan everything about income generating, spending, and saving. Involve everyone in the frugal living journey, and always take any opportunity to save money. This way, you are assured of saving for your future goals, retirement, and an emergency fund.
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.