It now costs around £230,000 to raise a child from birth until the age of 21, according to the Guardian. You can expect to spend around £74,000 on school expenses and around £19,000 on food, plus around £10,000 on clothing. That amount can be challenging enough when you have two parents earning income and supporting their kids.
It’s a lot tougher when there’s just one of you. But, providing for your kids isn’t an impossible task. With coupons and vouchers, there are ways to save money and keep your kids fed, clothed and happy throughout their childhood.
For a few years, couponing, especially something called “extreme couponing” was all the rage over the US. While it didn’t really catch on in the UK to the same degree, there are some people who have made a habit of getting hundreds of pounds worth of groceries for less than a fiver. Jordon Cox is a good example of an extreme couponer in action. During one of his biggest hauls, he got £600 worth of groceries for just 4p.
Here’s what you can do to get the most out of coupons:
- Combine sales with coupons. You’ll save the most if you wait for the item you have a coupon for to go on sale.
- Shop around. You don’t have to go to the same grocery store each week. In fact, using coupons and sales at several stores weekly will help you save the most.
- Keep track of your coupons. Use a spreadsheet or other system so that you don’t let valuable coupons expire.
- Look high and low for coupons. The best place to find coupons these days is online, but you can also find paper coupons at stores and in flyers.
Look for Deals
Coupons aren’t the only way to save money. Taking part in sweepstakes is another great way to receive goods for free. These range from mugs and t-shirts to cars and houses. Groupon and similar sites provide access to deals that offer you reduced price admission to movie theaters and other family-friendly activities. Keep in mind that there are often many free or cheap things to do, as well. Museums are free, for example, as are many parks and outdoor areas.
Shop at Cheaper Stores
Discount grocery stores like Aldi and Lidl offer lower prices on food and other products, but not lower quality. A study from Nielsen showed that bargain stores like Poundland offer even lower prices on groceries, letting you get a lot more for a lot less money. If you’ve been loyal to Tesco or Waitrose, give Poundland, Aldi or Lidl a try and see how much you end up saving.