### Tips for Saving Money with Children amidst a Cost-of-Living Crisis

From the weekly grocery shopping to utility bills, families are actively seeking ways to reduce expenses. Photo / Getty Images

Tune in to The Parenting Hangover podcast hosted by Jordan Watson, known as How to Dad, and ZM’s Clint Roberts every week. Together, these two dads delve into the intricacies of raising their families in a contemporary, ever-evolving world. From addressing significant topics like navigating discussions about reproduction to exploring post-child intimacy with a certified sexologist, these modern Kiwi fathers fearlessly tackle the spectrum of parenting challenges.

The economic strain caused by the escalating costs and inflation is impacting all New Zealanders, with families bearing a significant brunt of the burden.

In light of this financial pressure, many Kiwis are exploring avenues to tighten their budgets while maintaining a sense of anticipation for the upcoming year.

So, what are some practical tips and strategies that families can employ to economize while raising children?

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Jordan Watson and Clint Roberts, hosts of The Parenting Hangover, both seasoned parents—Roberts with two daughters and Watson with three daughters—have accumulated valuable money-saving insights throughout their parenting journey.

One of Roberts’ recommendations revolves around fuel expenditure. In cities like Auckland, where petrol prices often exceed $2.80 per liter, utilizing apps like Z Sharetank can offer a solution.

“When you come across a location with lower fuel prices, you can pre-purchase petrol at that rate and use it later.”

For instance, petrol in Papamoa is priced 25 cents per liter cheaper than in Auckland. Roberts took advantage of this price difference by stockpiling fuel during his visit to Papamoa for future use.

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By leveraging this strategy, he explains, “I save nearly $50 per month by purchasing petrol at a reduced rate, rather than the minimal discounts offered by supermarket receipts, through filling up our cars twice a month.”

However, this tactic is more effective for urban residents compared to those in rural areas, so it’s essential to verify the feasibility of such savings based on your location.

Watson discovered that adopting a “bento box style” approach to lunchboxes can yield significant savings. He emphasizes avoiding pre-packaged snacks for children.

“By portioning out a handful of chips from a large pack into the lunchbox compartments, you can save a substantial amount of money.”

Watson calculated the cost-effectiveness of purchasing regular chip packets versus mini 12-pack chip packets.

“I can save around two dollars simply by opting for a larger pack and distributing small portions daily. The same principle applies to crackers.”

He advises against purchasing individual-sized snacks and encourages buying in bulk. “It only takes an extra 30 seconds in the morning to grab items in bulk and pack them.”

Roberts emphasizes leveraging off-peak electricity rates by running appliances like the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer during cheaper time frames.

“We utilize the off-peak period from 9pm to 7am to operate these appliances. Over time, the savings from daily usage can accumulate significantly.”

While Roberts benefitted from off-peak rates offered by Powershop, he highlights that most power companies provide similar options. “Simply search online for your power provider’s off-peak hours.”

Watson advocates for utilizing platforms like Facebook Marketplace to secure secondhand items at substantial savings. Whether it’s furniture, sports equipment, or items that children outgrow like cots and beds, there are ample opportunities for cost-effective purchases.

“I understand that some people may have reservations about Facebook Marketplace due to safety concerns. However, by transacting locally, paying in cash, and avoiding sharing bank details, you can mitigate risks. If needed, bring someone along when collecting the item.”

Additionally, Watson and Roberts reminisce about their parents’ money-saving techniques from their own upbringing and assess their relevance today.

  • For more insights on frugal parenting strategies, listen to the latest episode of The Parenting Hangover.
  • Stay updated with the podcast on iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast platform. New episodes are released every Thursday.
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