Money Saving Tips: How to save big on your kids: A parent’s guide | Today Show Super Savings Week

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Welcome to nine.com.au‘s Super Savings Week. We’re joining forces with the Today show to bring you all the best tips and advice to help save you money and give your hip pocket a boost.

When it comes to saving money as a parent, it can often seem an unwinnable battle.

Almost everything seems like it should be bought brand new, from clothing to toys to prams, and that’s then topped by costly babysitting, childcare and school fees.

So where are the loopholes? Well, 9Honey Parenting has investigated the options to find out.

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Saving money as a parent can seem nearly impossible, but there are some handy tricks you should know. (Peter Braig)

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The saving power of buying second-hand

For starters, we’re urging you to forget your fears of buying secondhand.

Not only is buying secondhand incredibly cheap and great for the environment, but there’s also so much variety around.

From the in-person My Kids Markets gold online Facebook Marketplaceor Depop, plenty of children’s items can be found in almost perfect condition, for sometimes half the retail price.

Jennifer Harrison from My Kid’s Market NSW says for many families, buying secondhand has completely changed their lives.

“Once shoppers discover the quality items they can score — along with the savings — they are generally hooked on buying second hand and wish they started sooner!” she says.

Some great items parents should definitely opt to buy secondhand for their kids include:

  • Big-ticket items like prams, high chairs, playpens and cots
A rack full of second-hand children's clothing
There are plenty of sites online to peruse for sweet clothing options for your kids. (iStock)

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While Depop and Facebook Marketplace might be your best bet when it comes to buying toys for your child, there are some great clothing resale websites to check out when it comes to buying clothes and shoes.

Sites like Jumping-Jack, Second Childhoodand MiniMe Preloved sell clothes categorized for all ages, and everything from maternity to even designer brands.

As for big-ticket items, websites like babyish, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and even Facebook Swap and Sell groups are great places to browse — though be wary to check the items comply with the Australian Standards and come with the original safety features.

Shave costs on childcare

Often childcare can prove a major pocket-drainer for parents. Well-meaning mums and dads are often keen to spend some cash, to ensure safe, and the best possible care for their kids.

But there are some ways to hack your childcare and save some extra dollars.

Childcare apps

Swap: The childcare app Swap allows parents at the same childcare center to let other parents know when they have paid for a day’s care that they don’t intend to use.

Interested parents can then take on that day at a reduced rate — score!

kidsnest: KidNest is also another saving goodie parents should know about.

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The childcare industry is facing unprecedented staff shortages
From childcare apps to nanny-sharing, there are plenty of ways parents can drop the price of their usual childcare costs. (Getty)

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The ‘childminding’ app connects local parents with each other and allows them to share their childcare needs. Parents can then offer to mind each other children at a flexible cost, and help each other out.

If this seems like a child safety nightmare, not to fear — app requirements call all parents using the service to have a working with children check and a police check, and parents will be able to monitor their kids’ movements during the day.

Founder of the app Tim West claims his app could save parents thousands, with its main goal to make childcare more accessible to parents who can’t afford industry costs.

The app subscription costs $100 a month, but can certainly be a time and money-saver long-term.

Care for Kids: Care for Kids is a childcare comparison website so you can determine what childcare is most affordable in your area and what the price tag includes

Nanny sharing

Our last tip for parents is to consider something a little different: nanny sharing.

The concept is as simple as it sounds — parents can opt to share a nanny together, to reduce childcare costs between each other.

The idea does have some vital requirements however — parents will need to have compatible schedules and values, and their children will need to get on with each other, since they’ll be spending so much time playing together.

Costly school supplies? Say no more

School supplies like laptops, iPads and work tablets can truly bring a strain to your pay-packet which can definitely be eased with a few smart choices.

Back to school hacks school bags
School supplies can certainly add-up, but there are plenty of ways you can cut costs. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Tech and gadgets

Searching through second-hand devices advertised on Marketplace or Gumtree is definitely worth your time, and if there’s nothing available, parents can also opt for refurbished items sold at retail stores for a cheaper price.

You can browse refurbished tech at Dick Smith, Apple, Kogan.com and phonebot.com.au.

Stationary and Supplies

When it comes to pencil cases (especially those pricey Smiggle kits kids are always pining after), or expensive colored pencil and texta kits, they can often be found on Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace.

Not all parents will know that you can also totally take advantage of price match services in this department too.

Stores like Officeworks and Big W offer great price match services that should certainly be used when it comes to trying to save on your child’s pencil case costs.

Uniforms:

Finally, the second-hand school uniform shop is one most parents are definitely aware of.

As well as the in-school shops available to parents, websites such as The Uniform Exchange and Sustainable School Shop also advertise uniforms which are categorized by school, size, quality and of course, the location of the seller.

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