by Erin Sweeten
Watching my five-year-old boys eat is akin to watching someone putting money through a shredder. They have breakfast. Then a snack on the way to school. Then a snack at preschool. Then lunch. Then two more snacks before dinner. Then dinner. Then a bedtime snack. Every few months I mentally revise downward the estimated date we will have to buy a second fridge. Don’t even get me started on how fast they wear out the knees of their pants and the toes of their shoes. For fun, I daydream about how much life will change when we don’t pay two preschool tuitions.
Kids are expensive. The Department of Agriculture estimates that it now costs $233,610 to raise a child to age 17. With multiples, those annual costs of nearly $14,000 are not staggered as they would be with singletons. We have double (or more!) the baby gear, the diapers, the child care, the preschool tuitions. But it doesn’t have to be a bank-account-crushing experience. There are always workarounds and ways to cut costs.
This, week, we’ll cover food, diapers, and clothing and gear. Next week, check in for ways to save money on child care, education, and enrichment activities. First off, here are some general money-saving tips.
Feeding Infants and Children
Clothing and Gear
There are very few items that you need to buy new. Many of our toy acquisitions come from the stuff piled on top of the clothing racks at Goodwill. In addition to your Swip Swap groups, take advantage of children’s consignment shops and thrift stores. One of our PVmoms owns Once Upon a Child Scottsdale and is a club sponsor. Her store has high quality items at good prices. Here is a map of child consignment shops in the Valley, where parents buy and sell gently used goods:
Now go forth, and raise those babies on a budget! May the wind be ever at your back. We'll have more tips next week.
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