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25 Parents Share Their Secrets For Saving Money

Because you're saving for a lot more than just college.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

We recently asked the members of BuzzFeed Community to share their best tips for saving money with kids:

1. Make your own laundry detergent.

Flickr: 24218656@N03 / Via Creative Commons

"I can make a five-gallon bucket for just $25. I only use a tablespoon or two per load and it lasts nearly a year. Here's how to make it using items that can be found in the detergent aisle:

3 bars of fells naptha

1 box of borax

1 box of washing soda

2lb box of baking soda

Large tub of oxiclean

Purex laundry crystals (optional)"

β€” Sam Rouse, Facebook

2. You can also make your own cleaning solutions.

Flickr: ryanh / Via Creative Commons

"Vinegar is great for pretty much everything. Sprinkle baking soda on tough stains and let science do its job."

β€” Heather Quinn, Facebook

3. Shop off-season clearance sales.


"I never buy clothes at full price unless I absolutely have to. I'm going to buy summer clothes for next year when they go on clearance in a month or two. If a few items don't fit exactly right by next year, I won't be too upset about it because of all the money I saved overall."

β€” Danielle Gibson, Facebook

4. Make your own toys.


"One of the things my kid loved the most as a toddler was a liter bottle filled with rice!"

β€” Katyna Singleton, Facebook

5. Buy secondhand.

Norah Hoover /Flickr: elsewhereelsewhere / Via Creative Commons

"Hit up kids' consignment stores and thrift shops to buy clothing for cheap. You can also ask parent friends for clothes β€” most of us have some that the kid has outgrown and we're just procrastinating donating them."

β€” Jennifer Nelson, Facebook

6. Buy the big box of diapers.

Flickr: dnamichaud / Via Creative Commons

"The bigger the box of diapers, the cheaper they are!"

β€” Tyffanie Penn, Facebook

7. Get an Amazon Mom subscription.

"Sign up for Subscribe and Save for your frequent purchases like diapers and wipes. Saves a ton of money!"

β€” Amber Chrudimsky, Facebook

8. Cook from scratch.


"Processed foods are expensive and they don't fill you up for long. Buy real food. Upcycle leftovers to create multiple meals. For example, have a whole roasted chicken for dinner, chicken salad sandwiches for lunch the next day, and then put the rest of the chicken into a casserole or soup."

β€” Heather Quinn, Facebook

9. Make your own baby wipes.

Flickr: eraphernalia_vintage / Via Creative Commons

"There are tons of tutorials. It's super easy, and so much nicer on little bottoms."

β€” Marianne Douglass, Facebook

10. Use the Honey browser extension.

"It automatically applies all available coupon codes at checkout to make sure you're getting the best deal available while online shopping. It works on a ton of stores, including The Honest Company, Target, or even Macy's."

β€” ninas46aad8f12

11. Frequent the dollar store.

Flickr: jeepersmedia / Via Creative Commons

"Dollar stores have tons of stuff like school supplies, toys, crafts, birthday supplies and tons of baby/kid essentials! Try to find more than one store in your area because they all carry different items."

β€” maud8675309

12. Hit up yard sales.

Flickr: angelune / Via Creative Commons

"My parents have been able to score awesome deals on the big stuff (a pack and play for $5, a baby swing for $3, a crib for $10, a ceiling fan for $2) and a lot more. I wouldn't buy a car seat from a yard sale, but an umbrella stroller for $1? Yeah, that'll do."

β€” Colleen Coman, Facebook

13. Host a parent swap.

Flickr: meginsanity / Via Creative Commons

"I host a swap every three months. We all sort and then swap our kids' things that aren't being used anymore. Leftovers go to charity."

β€” MoeBetta

14. Don't buy snack-sized.


"Instead of getting snack-sized food items, buy in larger packages and portion into snack sizes."

β€” alsuydam83

15. Get into couponing. / Via Creative Commons

"I pay only a few bucks for diapers, wipes, and baby food with coupons. Sometimes I don't even pay anything out of pocket depending on the deal. I never used to use coupons before I had a baby. Now, it is necessary. I save hundreds and hundreds of dollars."

β€” elizabethh41f1a3fd3

16. Take advantage of free ticket opportunities.

Universal Pictures

"Check with your local library to see if they have free tickets to museums or zoos. Many cities offer this and a lot of people don't know about it. It's like checking out a pass for the museum with your library card. Also, most museums have a free day once a month anyway."

β€” Jennifer Nelson, Facebook

17. Breastfeed if you can.

Flickr: 64881109@N07 / Via Creative Commons

"You will save so much money on formula. And these days most insurances offer free breast pumps, so that's one less thing to worry about."

β€” stefaneymendivil

18. Get a membership to a big box store if you formula feed.

Flickr: dgmckelvey / Via Creative Commons

"A membership to Sam's Club or Costco will pay for itself in formula savings. For example, a month's worth of Member's Mark Baby Formula at Sam's Club costs the same as a week's worth from the regular grocery store. And it has to pass the same nutritional standards."

β€” Allison Priess Finney, Facebook

19. Try baby-led weaning.

Flickr: gail_thepinkpeppercorn / Via Creative Commons

"Baby-led weaning β€” in the most basic of terms β€” means your kids eat what you eat. By the time my daughter was seven months old I wasn't making separate meals for her any more."

β€” stephanien4611b925c

20. Dine at restaurants where kids eat free.

Warner Bros.

"There are several restaurants where kids can eat free. Sometimes two free kids' meals per adult meal!"

β€” Jessica Velasquez, Facebook

21. Make your first baby's nursery gender neutral.

Flickr: elwillo / Via Creative Commons

"We didn't have to change anything when our second came along. We just moved our oldest into the other bedroom β€” which we furnished entirely in thrifted or inherited items. No need to spend hundreds or thousands on brand new everything."

β€” Klash

22. Unisex clothes are good for the same reason.

Big Cheese Photo / Getty Images

"Unisex clothes can be an option. My bro just had to deal with wearing pink onesies."

β€” Julia Jeong Hyun Park, Facebook

23. Enjoy activities that are free.

Flickr: uscpsc / Via Creative Commons

"Most of the fun stuff we do with the kids is free. Playgrounds, water parks, pet stores, bookstores, the beach, and the train station (my boys love watching trains) are all places my kids adore, and they cost nothing."

β€” Christina K

24. Be savvy with money-saving apps and websites.

"Try Retail Me Not, Groupon, Living Social..."

β€” Amy D-Ski, Facebook

"Use cost saving apps like Cartwheel, Ibotta and Shopkick."

β€” Jaimene Gore, Facebook

25. If possible, put your income tax refunds into saving.


"Don't think of it as income and just set it aside for a rainy day."

β€” gamezb

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