Raising kids is an expensive business. There is always something, food, clothes, shoes, toys, the list goes on. Let’s face it, life in general is expensive and I believe that no matter how much you have, you will always live with what you’ve got. When I was on my own I really didn’t earn a lot, but I managed ok. With both mine and hubby’s salaries we did save some, but we were a lot more generous with gifts, and we treated ourselves more and had more luxuries.
We are obviously in a very lucky position in that we can live just off of my husband’s salary as this means that I don’t have to work, and I can be a stay at home mum. But we are not so well off that this is always easy. We live to our means, we manage to save a bit each month in case of unforeseen expenses, such as new car tyres, MOT’s etc. but we never manage to save as much as we would like to. We could absolutely manage on less if we had to, we have a nice house so our mortgage is expensive and the cost of upkeep can be high, and if we were really that strapped downsizing would help. But we love our house and we aren’t in the situation where we would need to do that.
Nevertheless it isn’t always easy to manage off just one salary. The seasons are changing, it’s getting colder so we are having to think about what Monkey needs, a new coat, warmer clothes, a new sleepy bag (you know the gro bag type things) etc. We were lucky that we had a load of hand-me-down clothes from a friend over the summer, which saved us loads of money! But shorts and t-shirts are not what he needs right now so it’s time to go bargain hunting.
I am a bit tight when it comes to his clothes. There are so many cute clothes that I just love, but I really find it hard to justify spending a lot of money on clothes that are only going to get a few months wear out of them. With a few outfit changes a day due to dribbles, spillages and just generally having fun with dirt, water and anything else he can get his hands on, we need a selection of clothes. So its time to hunt out some bargains! I personally like clothes from supermarkets. They are cheap and generally can be tumble dried – especially useful in the cold weather. I bought a 3 pack of long sleeve tops for £5 from Tesco yesterday, bargain! Some places, which are only middle range, can charge £10-11 for one long sleeved top so that really is good value.
Sales are also good as then you get the cute and good quality clothes for much cheaper. My neighbour just told me about Pumpkin Patch’s latest offer (ends today I think) where you get a further 30% off sale prices and free delivery! Hello! There wasn’t a lot left in Monkey’s size but I did manage to get a lovely fleece for £6.30 with free delivery! Can’t be bad eh? I passed the info on to another friend and I think she has got the same fleece for her little one so they will be matching hehe
I’m also spending a lot of time on ebay, especially for toys. As he is getting bigger he does need some different toys to help him use his imagination etc, but we can’t afford to spend a fortune on toys all the time. Second hand toys though are bargainous! A couple of weeks ago I managed to get a push along car (you know the type they sit in and can move along with their feet, or you can push with the parent handle) for £4.70! And yesterday I bought a Fisher Price Little People Garage (he is really interested in playing with cars at the moment) for just £5. Both were local collection only so no postage and so what if stickers are missing or it isn’t pristine, it saves you so much money when you add it all up and Monkey is just as happy either way.
With Christmas coming up I am sure that I am going to be looking out for lots of bargains and offers and have started trying to get in early with some things. Anyone else have any tips for bargain hunting?