Kids are great but they can be very expensive too. If you have children, you probably notices a drastic increase in your monthly budget once they arrived.
There are a lot of expenses that you just have to suck up and pay when kids are small. Things like diapers and formula are a huge drag on your finances but you just have to do what you have to do. As they get older however, there are things that we start buying them that are just complete wastes of money.
Get your budget in order by cutting out these little money wasters. Here are the top ones you can cut and what to replace them with.
These are a kid and parent favorite. Kid’s love them because juice just tastes good and parents love them because they are extremely convenient. They are also extremely expensive though.
A package of juice boxes can cost anywhere from $2 to $3 and a kid can easily get through a box in a single day. That is $60 to $90 a month that you are spending for the sake of convenience.
Juice boxes cost you a lot of money and they also come at the cost of your kids health. We all know that too much sugar is bad for your health and juice boxes are packed full of them.
Instead of juice boxes, switch to water. You can serve it in regular cups or sippy cups, depending on the age of your children. At times when juice is appropriate, use large containers of juice. You might end up with a few more dishes to wash, but you will save money and eliminate a lot of trash.
Single Serve Snacks
Another time saver for parents is the single serve snack. These are things like fruit snacks, cheese nips and raisins.
They are super convenient because you can pull out the proper serving right out of the box.
Unfortunately, single serve snacks are very expensive. For the sake of convenience you might pay twice as much as you would if you simply bought a large box of snacks.
Replace these costly treats with large, economy size boxes. Then just do the work of breaking the snacks down into smaller sizes with baggies. Taking the time to do this can easily save you an additional $20 or more a month. Not a huge savings but everything helps.
Making your own snack packages also will allow you to make healthier food choices like pretzels and raisins or cubed cheese. Things that are harder to find in pre-made small packs.
Fast Food Kids Meals
Every kid loves a happy meal but as parents, we know exactly what happens when they get it. They are more concerned about the toy than actually eating their food. This leads to a lot of frustration for parents and wasted food.
If they do eat their food, they may wind up hungry as well because happy meals and other kids meals can often have very small portions.
Do yourself a favor and cut out the happy meal at fast food restaurants, except for special occasions. Instead, buy a regular portion of food and serve it to your child. If you have multiple children, divide out a fry between them or split a sandwich.
By doing this, your kid will actually eat their meal and they will get more food while you spend less money.
Impulse Grocery Store Buys
Do you dread taking your kids grocery shopping? You should because it is probably costing you a lot of money. Grocers design stores not only for you but also for your kids. Next time you are at the store, check out how many things are within reach of a kid sitting in a shopping cart. You might be surprised.
Stores are designed to put all of those things that kids scream about in easy view. Putting an end to these temptations can save you as much as $50 a month for the average parent who can not help but give in.
But how do you put an end to these impulse buys. Easy, start shopping for your groceries online. Stores like Walmart now allow you to order your groceries online and then just pick them up at the curb. You can still take the kids with you but you never have to leave the car. Problem solved.
Does your child play on your phone or your iPad? If so, they have probably approached you because they clicked on an ad. Don’t fall for it.
There are literally hundreds of quality children apps that do not cost a dime.
Instead of purchasing apps for your children, download a few free ones and rotate the apps occasionally to keep your child from getting bored.
Apps are not extremely expensive but $2 here or $4 there can quickly add up.