Taking Care of Your Family on a Budget: 4 Swaps to Make

Some frugal strategies don't work for families. Here are some tips from a reader to save money that work for families, not just for single folk.

For many of us, providing for our families is our greatest priority and our greatest joy in life. However, times have been tough for the past few months and we all know that giving our families everything they need can be hard financially.

If you’re on a tighter budget than before and unsure of how to still take good care of those you love, here are a few places you can look towards reducing your expenses to help you make sure you’ve got it all together.

Focus on Food

If more families paid closer attention to how much money they spend on food, they would probably be shocked. Grocery, takeout and dining out budgets are usually the first to be ignored. You’ve got to live to eat, right?

This is true, but there are many ways to provide wholesome, delicious and nutritious meals for your family without breaking the bank. Try to shop seasonally, rely more on whole foods which are cheaper than processed ones, meal plan to avoid waste and even learn a few new exciting and fun meals to discourage too much dining out.

Plan Your Policies

Life policies and home, car and health insurance are crucial expenses, but a lot of us are paying more than we need to be. When you’re on a tight budget, you may need to shop around for lower rates to free up space in your income. You could speak to an insurance broker, or do some online research to find the cheapest car insurance, health insurance etc. that best suits your family’s needs.

Shop Second Hand

Don’t be put off by the idea of purchasing second-hand items. Naturally, one should be wary of where and how they shop for second-hand goods, but you can find some real gems at a fraction of retail costs.

Try to opt for second-hand when it comes to clothing and shoes for your little ones, baby gear like strollers or cots, toys and books and even furniture. By trying to find what you’re looking for second hand before you hit the stores, you might end up saving loads of money that could rather be saved or spent on more essential items.

Reduce the Rent

Housing costs often take up the majority of our budgets and the truth is that many of us can afford to downsize a little. Make sure that your housing situation is always suited to your needs at the time – perhaps you can afford more space in certain periods of your life but during other stages, it might be suitable to live a little more minimally, and that’s okay!

As long as your home has enough space for your family, excess isn’t necessary. Be on the lookout for places with lower prices where you might be able to save a little on monthly rent. If you keep your eyes open, you might even similarly sized find homes to rent for less money – the ultimate bargain!

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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