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Our Favourite Ways to Save Money Once You Have Kids

Debating the financial impact of having children or the realization of how much they cost once you have them can be enough to knock you off your feet, yet the benefits usually outweigh the costs


Experts claim it can cost up to 234k to raise a child to the age of 21 in the UK. But there are ways to save money when you have children, and while they may seem like common sense now, we find parents often get caught up in the moment and circumstances and lose sight of them when the time comes.

Once you've been through it once, you will have learned a few money saving tricks too!

The best ways to save money when you have children

Below you'll find our favourite ways to save but we'd like to know what tricks you've found work!

Come join our discussion on our Work+Family Facebook page.

Need vs Want

Become acquainted with the question, do I need this? Or do I want it? We all need to treat ourselves now and then, but when you add children to the mix there aren't always the same number of pennies to go around!

Avoid impulse buying - make a list and stick to it! This will help you budget your shopping list and you won't be shocked when you get to the till. Having a list means you aren't under pressure to decide what you need and what you want while you're putting things in your cart! If the bottle of wine and the bag of chocolate buttons are not on your list then the answer is you don't need them this week! Shopping in between activities is also a good way to stick to your list as you'll have a reason to get in and out of there as fast as you can.

Note: Having a list is also a great way to engage children at the super market. Have them looking out for something on the list and they are less likely to pop the expensive sugary cereal into your cart.

Brand names - As we all know, big name brands are more expensive than their lesser known counterparts, so avoiding brand names can save a lot of money. Remember that your child needs a pair of trainers, they want the flashy new Nike ones in the shop window. You can always turn to places like Sportsdirect.com or TK Maxx when brand names are a must as they can be found at a discounted price.

Second hand

Think about how fast your children grow, do you need everything to be brand new? No. Of course there are varying degrees of second hand but just like driving a new car off the lot, items depreciate in value very quickly! Even an almost new item is cheaper than its brand new equivalent. With the rise of the internet, it has become easier to find quality second hand items online.

It's also important to remember that you'll need some items for a very short time. In this case it pays to evaluate the situation before buying something new. There will be a time when you insist on something new, like a breast pump or reusable nappies, but Which.co.uk has rounded up a list of places to find second hand baby products when it makes sense.

Bulk buying

Buying in bulk only works if you have the space, but if you have cupboards or fridge space to spare, it will save you money on food and household products. Look out for the £/kg(lt) that appears on the shelf label in front of a product to make sure you are getting a better deal.

For example at Asda, if you buy 1 pint of semi-skimmed milk it will cost you (86.3p/lt), if you buy 2 pints it costs (78.8p/lt) but if you have the space for 4 pints the price drops to (44.0p/lt). That's almost half price! While not every product will save you a whopping 50%, having a keen eye can help you save pennies every time you shop.

Make your own

We live in a ready-made society where we can buy anything from prepared meals, clothes and most often our morning coffees. Historically most of these things were made by hand or at least at home. Time restraints and a lack of knowledge or skills may limit our ability to make our own clothes, but making our own meals is a good place to start saving money. If you have bought in bulk, when you make something like spaghetti sauce or chilli, make double and freeze one so that you have homemade sauce for another day.

Think about your morning coffee, invest in a good thermal mug and buy yourself some decent instant or filter coffee and start making your own! Buying a coffee every morning can cost between £10 and £20 a week depending on whether your outlet of choice is a local café or a multinational like Starbucks. After the first week you'll already be saving money!

Taking a packed lunch to the office can save you loads! A sandwich mean can cost you between £3.50 and £5 in a shop now, that's up to £25 per week! A loaf of bread (£1.50), butter (£2), sandwich meat (£5) and lettuce (£1) provides sandwiches for a week, for under a tenner and some of those ingredients will last for weeks!

Waste not, want not

We live in a generation that wastes a lot of food! Portion sizes are too big and we buy perishable food that we don't use and end up throwing it into the bin. With the help of a blender, a freezer, a fry pan and a little imagination, there are so many ways to make them last a little longer.

Are your vegetables on the verge of turning? Roast them and pop them in the freezer for another day! With vegetables make sure you cook them before freezing in order to keep in as much of the flavour as possible, and to avoid them going too mushy when they defrost. The Vegetables are perfect for adding to stews and sauces.

Fruit going too soft, why not blend it into a puree and freeze it or warm it up and drizzle over vanilla ice cream for a winter treat. You can also turn your fruits and vegetables into a baked loaf. Be it banana bread or carrot cake, baking them gives them another 3-7 days shelf life!

Our favourite ideas is to have a mystery meal night, usually the night before you go shopping and a chance to be creative and use up some of the odds and ends in the fridge. Whether you turn it into stew, or a pasta bake, the left overs can come together to make many surprisingly delicious dishes. This is a great night to get the kids helping in the kitchen, as it's one big experiment!

Days out

Make use of family days out while the family is eligible!

There are so many websites offering deals and vouchers that it seems silly to pay full price to do anything! For days out with the family, why not look at websites like Moneysavingexpert, Daysoutuk or Daysoutguide as they all offer discounts, advice and offers to their communities.

Alternatively, take a look at memberships you already have, for example if you collect Tesco Club Card points, you can use your points for free or discounted entry to different attractions.

Websites and membership schemes are also a great place to find dinner deals or even half price movie tickets (orange customers) if you are lucky enough to have a date night! If you have people lining up to take care of your little cherub(s) for the night that's brilliant, but if not these deal will help offset the cost of a babysitter.


Do you have multiple credit cards? Loans? Or bank accounts? Having money coming in and out of one place makes it easier to budget and keep an eye on how much you're spending.

Some people are good at checking their statements regularly, but a lot of us go from month to month without really knowing the state of our finances, especially if we've done our bit for the environment and turned off our paper statements from banks and other service providers.

Without an envelope coming through the letter box, one needs to consciously remember to download them. Making sure that everything is together, in one place means you only need to check the one place, and in an instant know if you can afford that cute plush toy you saw in the window or if you need to wait till next month.

This also helps you to keep track of what's coming in and going out on a regular basis, as well as discovering anomalies!

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Tinies really did make our day and I would recommend your services to anybody else in a heartbeat. We have just landed home after a truly amazing couple of days at Cain Manor and I can honestly say that one of the things that really made our day was the work your team put in.

You understood our vision so perfectly and did such an incredible job; we just can't thank you enough. Without exception, the parents were just blown away by how easily you engaged the children from the minute you arrived and continued to do so throughout the day. The team were so lovely that the children just gravitated towards them instantly!

The measure of this was that Lottie (my bridesmaid and best friend's daughter who normally refuses to leave her Mum's hip if she's anywhere within a 2 mile radius!) actually went off with you! Please don't underestimate what an incredible achievement that was! I know you're all professionals and are therefore really good at knowing how to win the little ones over but Lottie is a particularly difficult customer.

I just want to thank you all so much.
Yeomans Family, Cain Manor in Hampshire & Surrey, Wedding Crèche