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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Money-saving Tips for Parents

Believe it or not, in 2008, the term 'credit crunch' was added to the latest edition of The Oxford English Dictionary!! So this just shows how much the current economic climate is affects us all.

Luckily, there ARE loads of ways that you can save some serious wonga without having to give up the things you love.

Below are just 8 Money-Saving Tips for you paents out there.Feel free to add your own ideas to this post too!

Invest for your child’s future
By claiming Child Benefit, you’ll be sent a voucher for £250 (£500 for low income families) to be invested for your child in their own Child Trust Fund. Anyone can contribute to the fund on their behalf, so it’s a good way for family and friends to buy a present for your child without cluttering up the house with yet another stuffed bear. There are many providers of Child Trust Funds out there, so have a look at an online guide for information on where to invest.

Make your own purees
Babyfood in jars is expensive and is often not as healthy as home-made food. Buy a hand-blender (from as little as £4.18 from Tesco) and start by pureeing soft fruit such as raspberries and bananas, before going on to blending whole meals. Cook your own meals as normal (without any salt added), reserve a portion for junior, blend and voila! A nutritious meal for a fraction of the price of a jar.

Buy second-hand
Your baby doesn’t care whether its clothes are brand-new or second-hand. Babies will often wear clothes just once or twice, so skip the designer shop and look on eBay or your local charity shop. Mother-and-baby groups often have ‘nearly new’ sales too. Also, when you’ve finished with your baby clothes and maternity wear, sell those on to make some money.

Claim Childcare Vouchers
If your employer offers Childcare Vouchers, be sure to use them. The first £55 of Childcare Vouchers per week come free of income tax and National Insurance contributions which will save you a tidy sum in tax.

Recycled Items
Don't be afraid to ask your midwife and/or health visitor for help, they visit lots of mums who are only too glad to give up unwanted items, also your health visitor can help with items such as safety gates, fire guards etc. Also, join the Freecycle website http://www.freecycle.org. It’s a n
on-profit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff FOR FREE in your own towns!!

Money-off Vouchers
Supermarkets have some really good quality cheap children's clothes and their own brand nappies aren't bad either. Don't waste money when your child will grow out of clothes faster than they can wear them out. Also sign up for all the baby clubs such as Boots Parenting Club and Tesco. They send out coupons and have lots of deals to get loads of extra points on your club cards.

Buy in Bulk
Buy those basic things, like nappies and baby food, or other regular purchases in bulk. It will save you time and money. You can save over 30% on buying the things individually each time you need them, and you won't have to make as many trips to the shops either.

Have fun for free
Take advantage of the free services offered locally such as the your library, local art galleries, parks and any special events organised by your council. You'll find loads of information on fun things to see and do on your local council's website.

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