11 Super Smart Ways to Save Money as a Parent


Times are tough for families all across the country. Inflation has hit hard. Gas prices are still prohibitive. And talks of an oncoming recession have left many people feeling nervous. It’s a great time to start looking for ways to save money. 

In this article, we focus on relatively easy ways parents can cut back on their expenses and potentially enjoy big savings. 

Budget Grocery Stores

Most towns have an off-brand grocery store or two. Places where you won’t see Coca Cola, but something of a much more generic variety. Cola Drink. There is a certain stigma around buying off-brand — the feeling, perhaps, that it’s something only the financially distressed do. 

That’s not the case. Off-brand stores cater to large segments of the population. They have most of the same items that you will get at the stores down the street, and the savings can be pretty significant —around 40% off each bill. In other words, if you would have spent $100 at your brand-name supermarket, you could get the same stuff at Aldi for $60. 

Scale that to the entire year, and you’re looking at something like $2000 in savings. That’s a nice chunk of change that could go towards a college savings account or even a family vacation. 

Pay Attention to Inflation

Oh boy. Inflation. We’ve all heard more than enough about it, but if you want to really save money, you’ll need to listen a little more. Understanding what prices are surging on any given week can help you make smarter choices at the store. 

Are meat prices on the rise? Maybe this is a good week to try out some of those vegetarian recipes you found online. You don’t necessarily have to completely avoid high-ticket items, but just being aware of what they are can make it easier to stick with a budget. 

Second-Hand Clothes

Another mildly stigmatized behavior: buying secondhand clothes. Many people resist this measure, either because they believe thrift stores to be intended for lower-income families, or because they’re simply unsure they can find good items there. 

Admittedly, results will vary from shop to shop. However, it is very possible to find high-quality items for every member of your family. The savings tend to be enormous — easily in the 80-90% range — and there are even ethical reasons to consider secondhand stores. 

The fashion industry is an enormous culprit for carbon emissions. In fact, many people switch to secondhand clothing, not as a financial decision, but because they want to live a more sustainable lifestyle. 

Look for Cash-Back Opportunities

Credit card companies frequently run promos on cash-back opportunities. Make a specific purchase, and they kick back a small percentage of the money your way. It’s not usually a ton of money, but if you were already planning on making the purchase, it can help. 

Find Free Fun

Depending on where you live, you may find that there are many ways to have free family fun. Parks are always a winner. Some public institutions — museums for example — may provide free admission on certain days. And most libraries offer a range of free services, including classes, and the ever-popular storytime.

Limit Restaurant Outings

A no-brainer: going out to dinner with a family can become very pricey. The eighty dollars you spend at a local eatery can buy a lot of groceries. Occasional outings are fine, but try to limit eating out if you are focused on savings.

Let Your Friends and Family Help

We aren’t suggesting you ask for a loan. But, if you have friends and family members who are willing to babysit, consider taking them up on it. Childcare expenses are notoriously high, costing hundreds of dollars a week in some parts of the country. 

If you have the opportunity to cut that cost, do it. 

Consider the Help of an Accountant/Financial Planner

Financial planners do cost money, but for families that are struggling to get on top of their finances, it’s usually a worthwhile investment. A planner will be able to look at your income, your spending habits, and your financial goals to help you create a plan that comfortably balances them. 

You may also think about having a professional accountant do your taxes. They typically produce larger tax returns, and they don’t cost much more than your average tax software. 

Coupon Codes

This is silly, but it’s true. The majority of online transactions can be reduced in price at least a little bit by digital coupon codes. You can Google search to find the codes, or install an app (like Honey) to generate them automatically. 

This probably won’t revolutionize your finances but it will save you a few dollars on each transaction. That can add up pretty significantly over time. 


Sometimes it costs money to save money. IoT (Internet of Things) technology automates functions throughout your home making it easier to save money on power costs. An IoT thermostat, for example, will regulate the temperature in your home to keep your family comfortable while also saving money on power costs. 

These devices can be a good deal more expensive than their plainer alternatives. However, there are ways to get them on the cheap. Look for rebate or discount opportunities. It’s even possible to find these devices offered for free by power companies or sustainability-focused groups. 

When You Spend, Spend Smart

Sometimes you will want to take the family out for an outing that isn’t the park, or the library. When you do wish to opt for outings that cost money, think about smart ways to do it. Most museums and amusement parks offer season passes. 

For the cost of two or three visits, you and your family can get unlimited access to a fun location that, over the course of several visits, transitions into the category of “free fun.” Of course, you should choose your membership wisely. Pick something the whole family will be happy to keep coming back to.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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1 year ago

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1 year ago

I think that you can also save some money when buying clothes. What do you think about some stuff like custom apparel screen printing, for example? I think it is great that you can make your own designs and the clothes will be very cool too! You can find something for everyone there 😉

1 year ago

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1 year ago

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