Tightwad Tips to Raising Kids

These tightwad tips can help you save some money while raising kids. Everyone knows kids are an expense. You're feeding and clothing them, then there's the dance and karate lessons, and there's the math tutor when your kid is failing Algebra, etc. Raising just one kid to age 18 can run in the six figures category.

Baby Center has a great cost of raising a kid calculator in the following link if you really want to see the six figure costs associated with raising your kids. Cost of raising a child.

After that rude dollar awakening you're going to need the following survival tightwad tips that allow you to not only raise happy healthy kids, but as cheaply as possible too.

Organize Yourself

Hands down, one of the best tightwad tips if you have kids or not is to organize yourself. Think about it, how do you know what you need if you don't know what you have? How can you buy groceries if you don't know what you already have in the fridge or pantry, or what you're going to cook for the week? So, save yourself time, money, and the hassle of duplicate items and several trips to the store and get organized now. There's tons of resources on this site to do so.

Tightwad Tips

Specifically, if you want to get your kids organized, be sure to check out how to organize kids.

This page will show you how to organize every aspect of your kids from their closets to their schoolwork.

Here are some other ways to save money raising kids.

Shop Wisely and Stock Up on Most Used Items

Some great tightwad tips to save money on babies are to buy diapers and wipes from a warehouse store such as Costco using their coupon fliers.

Don't underestimate Amazon. Check out the links below for some great diaper and wipes deals.

I've used Amazon's subscribe and save to save 15% off household products for my family and you can cancel your subscription anytime!

Use Coupons, but Use Them Wisely

I know most of us have seen those extreme coupon shows on TLC, and I tried using coupons in the past only to find myself feeding my family more junk food and actually spending more than saving. I've change my tightwad tips strategy with coupons so now I'm actually saving money while my family eats better. I now have a subscription to five Sunday papers which yields me five coupon inserts each. Each week prior to shopping I log onto Coupon Mom which lays out the weekly sales by state and store. I then stock only on items my family uses. It's simple, having only one coupon of an item my family uses frequently doesn't yield as much savings as having five coupons for that item.

Have a Menu Planned Out

Menu planning the way I do it is another excellent tightwad tip. Menu planning sites are great and I have used a couple and recommend one on this site, but lately, I've been so busy, I simply don't have time to download a weekly menu, write out what I need, then shop. I now make my family's favorites and rotate them. For instance, Monday is meatloaf night, Tuesday is taco night, Wednesday is leftover night, etc. This method of planning and shopping for the same meals over and over again has simplified my life, saves money, and my family is happy. What more could you ask for?

Feeding Your Baby

Breastfeeding is the cheapest way to feed your baby as it doesn't cost anything. If you can't breastfeed because of medical reasons or you're just exhausted and you're baby is hungry all the time, don't feel guilty and talk to your pediatrician and look at formula feeding.

Hands down Costco has the cheapest price on baby formula around!

Baby food in jars is a good option for your infant, but view it as a convenience only. Baby food sold stores is expensive and you can save a lot of money if you use a baby food mill to make your own.

If you're pressed for time during the week, you can make your baby food in batches on the weekend, then freeze in ice cube trays. Just pull out a cube and heat when your baby is ready to eat.

Cheap Diaper Pails

I don't bother with a fancy expensive diaper pail. Use plastic grocery bags to bag and tie up each dirty diaper and take them straight to the outside trash. If I'm super pressed for time, I keep a paper grocery bag outside the back door, throw the bagged diapers in, and throw them out when the kids are napping.

Once your baby gets on solid food, those expensive diaper pails just don't work that good.

Tightwad Tips

Another of the great tightwad tips to raising kids is to potty train early!

I don't like those pull up training pants. They just prolong the potty training phase. After my second child, I've decided not to buy these again. There is no reason a walking, talking two year old who shows all the signs of being ready to potty train can't go from diapers to regular underwear. This includes night time too!

Sure there will be accidents, but if you potty train correctly, they will be minimal, not willful, and will subside very shortly after potty training.

Clothing Inventory

If you have more than one child of the same gender close in age, it is imperative to organize yourself by keeping a clothing inventory. Nothing fancy, just a post-it on the inside of the closet door listing clothing type & sizes on hand works and always accept hand me downs gratefully with open arms.

Thrift and Second Hand Stores

Thrift stores are wonderful for kid's clothes. The items at thrift stores are seasonal. For example, during the summer you may find winter items and during the winter you may find summer items. It's a good idea to keep track of your child's growth and factor in any possible growth spurts when you buy their clothes a season ahead.

When buying kid's clothes from a second hand store wash with a good detergent like Tide and use an all color bleach. Hang dry as much as possible and iron items like girl's dresses. It's amazing how crisp and fresh these clothes turn out with a little care. Most of the stains come out and an item that was slightly shabby or frumpy looks fresh again.

If I am unable to get to the thrift stores for kid's clothes, I'll order them online at Old Navy.com, but I wait for great end of the season sales I can combine with their 20-40% off coupon codes they offer from time to time. On top of that, I use EBATES and earn a percentage back for every purchase. EBATES sends me a check every quarter for money earned from my online purchases.

Tightwad Tips


My husband always tells me to wrap up the kid's toys and give them again as birthday and Christmas presents. Re-gifting can be considered tops among most tightwads and it's okay as long as you follow some simple rules such as...

  • make sure all the wrapping from the original gift is off (we've received gifts with pieces of the original wrapping paper on them)
  • the recipient would actually want the item (you're not just dumping it on them)

My preference is to rotate kid's toys. Purchase plastic storage boxes to keep kid's toys stored away. Every six months or so go through their toys and store away the ones they aren't playing with. When you pull the toys out again in another six months, your kids will be delighted with toys that are "new" to them. This also helps control the toy storage dilemma, which you can read more about in Kid's Toy Storage Solutions.

These are just a few of the quick tightwad tips I utilize to save our nest egg while raising happy healthy kids. Utilize these tightwad tips and you will begin to discover more opportunities to save money while your raising kids.

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