From embracing wonky veg to making your own massage oil, discover how you can save more than £2,000 this year.
Consider an annual pass - save £94.80
If you’ve got a favourite attraction nearby, do your sums and see if it’s worth buying an annual pass. At national soft-play centre gambado.com, one visit costs from £7.45 and an annual pass costs £7 per month, so just going once a month means you’ll save. And a pass will give you the flexibility to pop in for half an hour whenever you feel like it, which can be a real sanity saver.
Pack lunch - save £207.48
With the average child’s meal at a soft-play centre costing £3.99, you’ll save more than £200 a year if your toddler eats out once a week – and that’s not even thinking about how much you’ll save on your own meal!
Use a combination of nappies - save £132.30
Swapping from a brand to a supermarket-own nappy can save you up to 15p per nappy. So while you might choose Pampers to keep your baby dry at night, or when you’re out and about, a cheaper option might do when you’re at home for the afternoon. You’ll soon see the saving when your baby gets through 3,528 nappies* in his first year! (*whatprice.co.uk)
Get money off as you spend - save £19.89
Sign up to Superdrug’s Health and Beauty Card and you’ll get 10 per cent off your total spend when you spend £5 or more on baby items, both on Superdrug’s My Little Star collection and other items in the baby range. Even if you only buy one pack of wipes, baby shampoo, baby bath and nappy cream each month, you’ll save nearly £20 a year. Visit superdrug.com
Buy a pre-loved pram - save £270
Mamas & Papas sell reconditioned versions of its own-brand pushchairs for a fraction of the price of brand new. They’re put through rigorous checks, so they’re as safe and clean as those coming straight out of the factory, plus you get a 30-day free-return option and manufacturing guarantee. M&B found an Armadillo Flip XT pushchair for £229 in the pre-loved section, which is less than half the price of a £499 new one. Visit mamasandpapas.com
Make your own play dough - save £2
Making a batch of your own play dough is far cheaper than buying ready-made pots and it has a longer shelf life too. Find our tried-and-tested play-dough recipe here.
Go to toddler cinema screenings - save £19
Attending a toddler screening at your local Picturehouse cinema lets you and your partner go free when you buy a £3 toddler ticket, so you could save £11 each, picturehouses.com
Go basic on the basics - save £17.99
Save money on practical essentials such as potties by buying a basic version. The Ikea Lilla Potty costs £2 and does exactly the same job as more expensive counterparts.
Switch from fresh to frozen - save £37.20
If your toddler loves strawberries, and you buy a punnet of fresh ones every week, switch to frozen instead for his purées and to add to his yoghurt. A 350g bag of frozen strawberries costs £2 from Tesco, saving £3.10 per kilo.
Register for NHS Healthy Start vouchers - save £322.40
Check if you can get NHS vouchers for free milk, fresh fruit and veg, infant formula and vitamins. You’re entitled if your family gets Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income-related Employment Support Allowance. If you’re eligible, depending on your circumstances, you could get from £3.10 to £6.20 a week. Apply at healthystart.nhs.uk
Embrace wonky veg - save £76.44
Morrisons’ not-quite-big-enough carrots, parsnips and potatoes are just the right size for your toddler. They taste no different to their regular-sized counterparts, and you’ll only use what you need. A 2.5kg bag of Wonky Veg potatoes costs £1.12, compared to £2 for the regular version.
Leave batteries out of toys - save £19.20
Bought a new toy for your child? He’ll still love playing with it even if you don’t put the batteries in. When he gets bored, add the batteries to turn it into a new toy! You’ll save money on buying new toys, and halve your battery bill.
Make the most of your baby’s birthday - save £12.64
Join My Mothercare Baby Club and you’ll get get 20 per cent off toys for your baby’s birthday. Parents spend an average £63.20* on their baby’s first-birthday presents, meaning you’ll save over £12! Visit mothercare.com to find out more. (*Survey by Posh Tiger and OnePoll)
Lower the temperature - save £75.20
How warm is your house? Lowering your thermostat by one degree will knock 10 per cent off your gas bill. The ideal temperature for your baby’s room is 18°C, but the average UK home is set at 23°C. The average yearly family fuel bill costs £752 a year, so this switch will save money and keep your baby well.
Join the library - save £32.40
By taking books out of the library rather than buying new ones, your child will get to listen to lots of different stories and you’ll find out what he likes without spending money. Children’s books cost £5.40* each on average, so if you usually buy six books a year, this could save you over £30. (*thebookseller.com)
Download nursery rhymes - save £47.92
Download his favourites to your phone for free using nurseryrhymesapp.com and access over 80 songs offline. The average nursery rhyme CD costs £5.99, so instead of buying a new CD every six weeks, you’ll save cash and hopefully won’t have to hear the same songs over and over!
Shop for frozen broccoli - save £9.36
Switch to frozen broccoli, so you can buy this toddler favourite in bulk and use just what you need. It retains more of its nutrients too, as it’s frozen straight after harvesting.
Visit comparison sites - save £130.99
Buy a second-hand buggy and a new buggy liner - save £270
The buggy liner is the part that comes into contact with your baby, so buy the liner new, and get your buggy frame second hand. M&B found a good-as-new Silver Cross Surf for £150 on preloved.co.uk, and a compatible new buggy liner for £30 at mothercare.com. That’s a £270 saving versus brand new.
Switch your cleanser - save £118.26
Share your baby’s bottle of lotion, and use it instead of your usual cleanser to take off your make-up. A 500ml bottle of Boots Baby Lotion costs £1.29, compared to £10 for a bottle of cleanser, and it works a treat!
Cut your toddler’s hair yourself - £59.61
Instead of taking your little one to get a haircut every six weeks, save yourself the average £9.95 cost each time, and the fuss, by trimming his hair yourself. The Babytrim, £19.99,
babytrim.com, makes it easy, and keeps the sharp bits safely out of the way.
Unplug electrical items - save £80
By simply unplugging your TV, phone charger and other electrical items, instead of leaving them on standby, you could save £80 a year on your electricity bill*. To motivate yourself to make the change, put this money straight into your baby’s savings account. (*uswitch.com)
Open a Junior ISA - save £122.40
If you’re saving money for your baby’s future, consider opening a Junior ISA. You can save up to £4,080 a year without paying tax on the interest, which will earn you £122.40 extra per year.
Make your own baby massage oil - save £120.43
Instead of buying a bottle of baby massage oil, make your own from your usual brand of baby oil and a few drops of Miaroma Lavender Pure Essential Oil, £5.19, hollandandbarrett.com
Subscribe to Mother&Baby Magazine - save £12.93
Save money and receive your favourite magazine by subscribing to seven issues a year for almost half the cost. Plus you’ll get a subscription gift too!
Have a speedy shower - save £120
You can save £60 per person per year by switching from a five to a three-minute shower, according to the Energy Saving Trust. So be quick about it and bank a bundle!
Use reusable nappies and disposable liners - save £215.35
This offers convenience and saves money. Ten reusable Totsbots nappies are £110; a year’s worth of disposable liners adds up to £70.36 from Tesco; and it typically costs £104.29 in total if you wash the nappies at 90°C twice a week. Using disposables, you could end up spending more than £500 in your baby’s first year.
Switch to re-usable baby wipes - save £116.01
You could save more than £100 a year if you switch from disposable to reusable baby wipes. A washable wipes kit from cheekywipes.com will set you back £39.99 a year, compared
to spending £3 per week on three packs of disposable wipes.