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25 Parents Share Their Secrets For Saving Money

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

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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)"

— Sam Rouse, Facebook

3. Shop off-season clearance sales.

Paramount

"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."

— Danielle Gibson, 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 — most of us have some that the kid has outgrown and we're just procrastinating donating them."

— Jennifer Nelson, Facebook

8. Cook from scratch.

CBS

"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."

— Heather Quinn, Facebook

10. Use the Honey browser extension.

joinhoney.com

"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."

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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."

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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."

— Colleen Coman, Facebook

15. Get into couponing.

stockmonkeys.com / 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."

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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."

— Jennifer Nelson, Facebook

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."

— Allison Priess Finney, Facebook

19. Try baby-led weaning.

Flickr: gail_thepinkpeppercorn / Via Creative Commons

"Baby-led weaning — in the most basic of terms — 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."

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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 — which we furnished entirely in thrifted or inherited items. No need to spend hundreds or thousands on brand new everything."

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."

— 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."

Christina K

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