10 ways to cut costs as a parent

10 easy ways to cut costs as a parent

We all know that having children is expensive, and being a parent we are always looking for ways to cut costs, and reduce our monthly outgoings. This is true in my case as I’ve recently left my job, and at this current time I have no consistent monthly income. Although I hope this is only temporary until early next year when I hope to have set myself up as a social media freelancer.

For now as a household we’ve recently been looking at ways in which we can cut costs and save some money. So, here are 10 easy ways to cut costs as a parent, or if you’ve had a change in circumstances, or if you just want to save money.

  • Change nappy brands. This might sound obvious, and switching is something that you can do with a lot of household brands. We were previously buying a leading brand of nappies, and have now switched to supermarket brands. We are saving pounds every week by doing this, and I am amazed that I see a pack of 19 nappies for £6, when I can buy a pack of 60 for £6!
  • Consolidate your video and music streaming services. This was a difficult one to give up, as I was using my Spotify music subscription daily. However we shopped around and now use Amazon Prime for video and music, plus it gives us all the benefits of Amazon Prime shopping too. I’ve found all the music to be the same, and I’ve kept my Spotify free subscription for my playlists.
  • Meal plan. It sounds a little crazy, but meal planning is so useful. The key benefits of meal planning are that you only buy what you need for the week, and you know exactly what you are cooking and when. I wrote a blog post on meal planning earlier this year, and I can honestly say it saves us money each week, as we are not buying food that we don’t actually need.
  • Online food shop. Tied into the point above, doing an online food shop saves money. It means that you only order what you need, so there’s no wandering around the supermarket putting that pack of biscuits into the trolley. It also means that you are focused on what you need to buy, without being distracted by little ones.
  • Switch broadband and line rental. We’ve recently consolidated our broadband provider, line rental and my mobile phone contract into one provider. By doing this we saved a fair few pounds, plus we were able to negotiate a little on my mobile phone contract.
  • Reduce your weekly takeaways. I am ashamed to admit this, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one, but we were having a takeaway pretty much every Friday night. This was costing us about £120 a month. We’ve reduced this, not stopped it, as we need a break from cooking dinner every now and again. If you already have a meal plan set up, it makes it harder to reach for the phone or laptop to order your takeaway, as you already have a meal planned for that evening.
  • Free tickets to events and attractions. I’ve found this to be particularly useful especially when we’ve been on holiday to save on ticket prices. However I’ve only been able to do this through my blog in exchange for a review. Some of our most recent days out include London Zoo and Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire.
  • Goal setting. One of the things that I am trying to do is to pay for my daughter to go to nursery for 2 days a week throughout the duration of my course, and this is my goal. Your goal can be anything. It could be to save £200 a month, or to only have a takeaway once a month. But with any goal, once it’s achieved and you know you can do it, it makes it easier to stick to.
  • Go shopping in your own wardrobe. This was something I was learnt at the last Lucky Things Meet Up all about style. I have a huge range of clothes  in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn for years. So, instead of defaulting to go to the shops to buy new clothes, I’ve gone through my wardrobe to see what works with the clothes I love. This could save you a fortune and stop you from buying the latest styles every season.
  • Collect points and check your loyalty cards. There are so many loyalty cards out there. Use them. You can save money on your food shop, in Boots, and get free coffees. I recently discovered we had a full two weeks food shop budget on our Nectar card, and nearly £60 on our Boots cards. If you have these cards, it’s worth checking your current points value.

So, with some of these simple cost cutting tips it is really easy to reduce your monthly bills and save more.

Have you had to cut costs as a household or individual? I would love to hear from you, and see if I can use some of your tips to help reduce our outgoings, or increase our savings further.

Claire x


  • Nursery Whines

    I went to Folly Farm as a child! I loved it! I can still remember my cow face painting and what a fun day it was. I am so glad it still open. I must visit my aunt and take my daughter! But back to the point, great post, we can always use a few money saving tips. Definitely with you in the branded nappies. Lidl Toujours has never let us down. And I love the idea of shopping in my own wardrobe. I am going to try that. #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Heather Keet

    I love online grocery shopping, my local store just puts it into my car trunk when I arrive or the other store brings it to my door. Saves me over $100 each month to not wander the aisles! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • The Mum Reviews

    Lots of really great tips there, especially about going shopping in your own wardrobe. I need to go shopping in my dirty washing basket (read, do the washing then wear those clothes). I also never realised that online shopping might save money. I save money with food shopping by sending my husband with a list. He follows the list and doesn’t impulse buy … unlike me! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Sam - StressyMama

    Great tips. I need to make more of an effort to cut costs. I really cannot live without my Spotify subscription though. I have cancelled it and just used the free version so many times but I always end up taking the subscription out again. I love collecting my points from shopping and they do add up so fast. Probably because I am over spending. I think maybe i need to think about changing suoermarkets or shopping around. #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Angela Watling (Life, Motherhood and Everything)

    Some great tips. We already do a number of these and they do make a difference. The one thing I never did is switch to own brand nappies – and I probably won’t now my daughter only wears them for sleeping. She got irritated by everything I tried other than Pampers so we’ve stuck with them. However, if you do need to stick with branded nappies, the big supermarkets always used to have deals on so it’s worth keeping a look out.

    We save money on takeaways by often getting a ready-meal meal deal from Waitrose. You can get regularly get a full curry meal for £10 and it takes most of the effort out of cooking whilst also being healthier.

    The other way I save a bit of money is, as I think so many parents do, is buy my daughters clothes mainly from supermarket ranges where you can get t-shirts for a couple of pounds each. I’ll top-up with the odd smart piece but given most things last (for us) a max of 6 – 9 months either through her growing or covering it in paint, it’s not worth spending more.


  • Aleena

    We’ve had to do most of these since I left my full time job when our first was born. I can hand on my heart say that no matter where our financial future takes us, there are some bad financial habits that I will just never go back to! It seems so wasteful now! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Alana - Burnished Chaos

    Great tips. We used Aldi nappies and I honestly couldn’t tell the difference other than price, the same with dishwasher tablets. We also always switch insurance and utility suppliers every year as you can save hundreds on renewal costs. Another tip is to use quidco, it’s a cash back site and we have saved a fortune over the years x

  • The Squirmy Popple

    Some good tips! I’m really bad about not signing up to loyalty cards when I probably should – I bet I’d have hundreds of points with Tesco by now given how much I spend there. #BlogCrush

  • Mrs Mummy Harris

    Where I used to commute takeaways were a weekly occurance as Hubby cant cook and if i got back late then that was the last thing i wanted to do – but we’ve discovered Tesco do a £5 indian takeaway which as we cant do spice means its a fab bargain that takes 15 minutes in the microwave! Thats a happy compromise of saving pennies and still getting our food fix!
    Nappies are also great as Ben didnt get on with size 3 pampers so we use asda’s brand and genuinely think they’re better for Ben – But its very child dependant on that front! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Lucy At Home

    Some great ideas here, and I think we do many of them. Takeaways are our downfall – we love food and we’re often so tired and don’t want to cook. We’ve been trying to be good and get supermarket ready meals as a (slightly) cheaper alternative. #blogcrush

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