Would you like to know how to reduce your daily expenses by half? Taking the time to shop wisely can save you a substantial amount of your hard-earned money. Keeping track of your expenses and sticking to a budget is still possible with a new little one in the house.
Danielle Jones from freebiesforacause.com, herself a mom of seven, shares tips on how to limit the cost of daily purchases for the family by shopping smart.
Daniela: Good morning Danielle, and welcome to Dreaming of Baby. Today we shall be continuing with our discussion on the financial and budgeting aspects to preparing for parenthood. We’re very much looking forward to speaking with you on this subject. Before we start with our discussion, it would be great if you could introduce yourself as well as your experience in this field to our readers.
Danielle Jones: Sure! My name is Danielle Jones. I am the mom of 7 busy children – ages 15 months to 13. I spent many years doing full-time humanitarian work and living on a meager budget. During that time, I learned how to pinch pennies so I could afford the things we needed as well as get extra to help others in need.
How to prevent overspending
Daniela: That is inspiring! I am sure we are in good hands today and look forward to what you have to share with us. For the couple thinking of baby but who are a bit apprehensive on the expenses-side of things, what tips can you share to prevent overspending and still be in control of their expenses?
Danielle Jones: It is most important to research your purchases. Especially when shopping online, prices will change frequently, so you want to track the items you want over a period of time to ensure you purchase at the lowest price.
Danielle Jones: Another important thing to consider is using coupons for baby purchases such as diapers or formula. It can save you a lot of money and doesn’t take much time. Many formula companies will send high-value coupons to users that sign up for them.
Tracking prices online
Daniela: Thank you for these tips. Focusing on online purchases, how can parents-to-be best track items and are there any patterns with prices that they should be aware of?
Danielle Jones: When shopping on Amazon, you can track pricing through tools such as CamelCamelCamel.com. In fact, that tool will also show you the lowest price it has ever been sold at. I use this as a gauge when shopping other retailers online as well. It gives a good basis for the price I want to wait for.
Daniela: That is very good to know. Based on your experience, would you suggest bulk buying once a product is discounted?
Danielle Jones: If it is something you will use on a regular basis, yes, otherwise it will just go to waste which won’t save you money.
Daniela: For the picky shopper, can they still find the products that they really want with this method or they have to be more open to trying on new brands?
Danielle Jones: It helps to not be brand loyal, but most things goes on sale at some point. In retail stores, most sales run on a 12-week schedule. That means when you find a sale price, you can expect that in a few months, it will be on sale again. If you are particular about a certain brand, it helps to watch their social media for special offers or reach out to them directly.
About Freebies For A Cause
Daniela: In terms of coupons, how can parents-to-be keep track of every offer and make the best choices as to which coupon to use over another. Do you have some experience-based tips that you could share with our readers?
Danielle Jones: I recommend following a blogger that breaks all the offers down for them. On my site, FreebiesforaCause.com, we list every week’s ads and the best coupons to use for each deal. We take all the work out of saving money for the readers.
Daniela: Can you tell us a little more about freebiesforacause.com and how it works?
Danielle Jones: Sure! I started the site four years ago while I was working with a homeless population. Each week, I would go to the drugstores and grab all the deals that were free with coupons. Then, I would distribute the items with the people I was working with. I found that many people wanted to help others, but didn’t have the money. I started the site so I could publish the ways to get low-cost or free items without much work. Since then, it has evolved into everything that has to do with saving money. I post 50 to 70 deals per day targeting in-store deals, freebies, and online buys as well. In addition, we cover the weekly ads of about 10 stores each week and match all the sales up with coupons to make it easy on the reader.
Daniela: Wow, that’s impressive, especially the humanitarian aspect of it all. We’re not after a specific amount here, but for curiosity’s sake, how much would you say can a family save if they follow deals and be coupon-wise?
Danielle Jones: It will be relative to the amount of time you put into it. Someone without a lot of time can easily save 25% on their daily expenses. If they have more time to invest, it is easy to save 50% or more.
Danielle Jones: “Someone without a lot of time can easily save 25% on their daily expenses. If they have more time to invest, it is easy to save 50% or more.”
Making the most of Shopping Programs
Daniela: That’s great! There is hope in terms of controlling expenses whilst also continuing with your purchases when baby comes along. Prior to our interview, you mentioned Shopping Programs. Can you elaborate a little as to how these work and which you have found best for family-related expenses?
Danielle Jones: Personally, I find Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program to be the easiest to use. You shop the program for items you purchase every day. When you have five orders coming to you in a month, you save an extra 15% off. Some baby related items such as diapers and baby food offer 20% off. On top of that, Amazon offers lots of clippable coupons that can be combined to make the prices lower than in stores. All of the items that are purchased can be canceled at any time and your orders are easy to manage through their portal. I did create a video course teaching how Amazon works and how to save money. Dreaming of Baby readers can access it for a lower price of $10 with this coupon.
Daniela: Apart from coupons and online deals, are there any other money-saving strategies that parents-to-be can employ?
Danielle Jones: Sure! I believe that shopping thrift stores for clothing is a great way to save for baby. Let’s face it… kids aren’t in the clothing long and you can find many great name-brand deals for a fraction of the cost. Many times, these stores also support a non-profit cause of some sort, so it benefits multiple people. Another way to save is making your own baby food. This also gives you more control over what your child is eating.
Daniela: It’s a win-win situation on both fronts then: supporting other causes through thrift stores, and healthy food for baby that actually runs cheaper. In your own experience, is there anything specific that parents-to-be must be spending on, or with some focus, everything can be bought cheaper?
Danielle Jones: I have found that it is possible to get a deal on most anything, if you spend the time to do the work. It all depends on if your time is worth more or you need to save the money more. Each person’s situation will dictate how much money they have time to save. When I started saving, it was out of necessity, now I do it out of passion for helping others with the money I’ve been able to save.
Daniela: Great, thank you for sharing, Danielle. On a final note, what would be that one piece of advice that you’d give to expectant parents who might be feeling slightly overwhelmed with the financial aspect of parenthood?
Danielle Jones: Don’t allow the fear of financial burden stop you from enjoying every minute of your little one’s life. There are plenty of ways to take hold of your financial situation. Children grow up fast and you don’t want to spend those years missing out on beautiful moments.
Daniela: That is beautiful, Danielle, thank you! It’s been a pleasure speaking with you today. The tips you have shared with us will make life easier for many.
Danielle Jones: Thank you for having me.
Ready to save money on Amazon? Learn more on how Amazon works and how to save on your purchases with Danielle Jones’ video lectures available for Dreaming of Baby readers at the special price of $10. Click here for your coupon.
Get insight on great deals at www.freebiesforacause.com