November 16, 2016

Creative Money Saving Tips for Families

The cost of raising a child is no joke. From food to clothing, gadgets and daycare, it all adds up and news flash, it's not cheap! Are you a family on a budget? Check out these creative money saving tips for families.

Money Saving Tips for Families

I am in no way a financial guru. Thankfully, I have my brother for that. But, as a family that is currently living off one income while trying to save money for some significant purchases, I do know a thing or two about getting creative with our savings.

This past year has been a bit draining on our bank accounts. Between having a baby, saving for a condo that is nearing completion and registering the little one for day care, we knew we had our savings cut out for us and we jumped head first into the challenge. I know that pinching pennies is part of life, but when you don't expect it or see it coming, it makes it especially difficult - like most recently having to buy a new car that we had zero intentions of needing any time soon. Safe to say we've now been forced get creative with how we both spend and save our money.

With these creative money saving tips, you don't need to completely overhaul your lifestyle to save money. By taking baby steps to make small changes in your spending habits, its possible for you to still enjoy the things you love and even treat yourself once in a while.

10 Creative Money Saving Tips for Families

1. Unsubscribe from all retail emails.
If you're like me, your inbox is flooded with emails from retailers sharing their latest sales and coupon codes. While tempting to click and take advantage of the "great deal", chances are, you'll just end up buying more than you need and spending way more money in the process. The safest thing to do is to scroll down to the bottom of the email and hit "unsubscribe".

Pro tip: If you are making an online purchase, instead search "store x coupon codes". Chances are, you'll find the coupon code online, without having to subscribe to the store's email list.

2. Take advantage of the baby clubs and free samples.
We've found a lot of savings by making our own baby food, but one thing that we could not avoid was the cost of baby formula. Luckily, many of the formula brands have clubs and coupons to help you out. By signing up for their clubs, companies like Nestle, Enfamil and Similac will send you monthly samples, coupons and other great deals to help save you money. 

Pro tip: When you join these clubs, sign up everyone in your immediate family so that they also get the samples and coupons.

3. Use ebates.
When you do need to make a purchase, do it online through ebates. works with over 650 stores that ship to Canada including Joe Fresh,,, Old Navy, Forever21 and Groupon, and shopping through them gives you cash back on your purchases (percentage dependent on retailer).  It definitely adds up!

Sign up for HERE to start earning cash back now!

4. Sell your belongings.
Do you have unwanted items in your house that are just taking up space and collecting dust? Take advantage of websites like Ebay, Kijiji, Craigslist and VarageSale, among many others. List your items with a good quality photo, description and fair price for people in your area to see. You get rid of your unwanted goods, and make some money in the process. Win, win.

5. Shop second hand.
There is nothing wrong with shopping second hand at local thrift stores. Successful thrift store shopping may take a bit of effort, but you can almost always find beautiful, functional items for your home and wardrobe without breaking the bank. Go in with an idea of what you are looking for, but also an open mind - maybe that table you're eying just needs a coat of paint, or those jeans you tried on just need to be hemmed. 

It's true what they say, one person's trash is another person's treasure. I found this rocking chair for $30 at my local Goodwill, and with a little coat of paint it looked brand new and has done its job rocking my little girl to sleep. 

Pro tip: If you do purchase new, shop end of season sales for the following year. You'll get items at a fraction of the price compared to if you bought them in season.

6. Family fun on the cheap.
As much fun as it can be to head out on a day trip, it can also be costly. Instead of nixing family time all together, why not take advantage of free events, parks, hikes, etc. in your area? If the outdoors aren't your thing, why not stay inside with popcorn and a movie or board games? For younger children, take advantage of your local library or community centre. They often offer free educational programs for children, such as story time, and some may even have swimming pools with free open swim.

Pro tip: If you are a fan of paid attractions, such as local zoo, aquariums or museums, look into their annual passes. An annual pass often pays for itself in just a few visits, and will offer you discounts on other parts of the attraction, such as the cafe and educational programs. Also, some attractions will offer discounts when you purchase your tickets online in advance of your visit.

7. Plan ahead.
When grocery shopping, go with a plan. Sit down and hash out meals for the coming week. Go through your cupboards to see what you already have and what you can use. For the items you need to buy, make a list. The worst thing for you budget can be walking into the grocery store with no plan in mind - you will most definitely over spend.

Pro tip: If you are like me, also make sure you visit the grocery store on a full stomach. No joke. If I go hungry, I tend to shop with my stomach and always buy items we do not need. Leave your cards at home and do your grocery shopping with cash. Having a set amount to spend on groceries, will also eliminate unwanted items in your cart.

8. Become a price match queen.
When we go grocery shopping, my husband knows to stand back because I am the "price matching queen" (his words, not mine). I have developed a strategy that works for me, and end up saving between $5-20 a week on groceries. It may not seem like much at the time, but if you can save on average $10 a week, over a year you're saving approximately $500. For us, that is almost two months worth of car payments!

For all of those interested, I plan on sharing my price matching strategy in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!

9. Loyalty and rewards cards.
While it seems like every store and their mother has a loyalty card these days, chose a few that fit your purchasing habits. For example, the grocery store and gas stations that you frequent the most. Gone are the days of hanging a tag on your keychain or keeping a card in your wallet - most loyalty cards now have apps, so scanning your card is as easy as opening the app on your smart phone. Points can add up quickly, and give you cash back on your purchases, discounts on gas and even a cheaper price just for having the card.

Pro tip: If you do frequently pay with a credit card, talk to your bank about the Rewards cards they offer. Rewards can often be redeemed for gift cards, gas, air miles and more. Make sure to look for the card with no annual fee!

10. Be energy smart.
With winter weather looming on the horizon, everyone's first reaction is to crank up the heat. Increasing the temperature in your home will also mean an increase in your energy bills. There are so many creative ways to save energy and money, from switching to LED light bulbs to taking shorter showers. Check out these 10 winter energy savings tips.

See, saving money with your family doesn’t require drastic measures! With a few simple and creative changes, you will see the savings in your bank increase, while still enjoying the things that you love. It may take some getting used to, but getting your family on board with your money-saving efforts will ultimately benefit everyone.

Keep in mind, these tips are great regardless of your home situation.

What are your creative money saving tips? I'd love to hear!

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