I am all for money saving, but sometimes I feel like money saving posts are always designed towards students? Not sure if others feel this way… anyway, I thought I’d do a different post, where you could find loads of money saving apps and freebies for parents all in one place. Hope this ultimate money saving guide for parents is useful for you!
The Frugal Frenchie
Many shops and companies have apps to go alongside their “baby clubs.” Not only do they sometimes provide you with freebies, it’s also a great way to get first knowledge of sales, coupons and access to private events.
My Mothercare – advantages include:
- £100 worth of discount vouchers
- Early access to their sales
- Exclusive events instore outside of opening hours
- 20% off maternity clothing
- 24/7 medical advice
Tesco Baby Club – advantages include:
- Offers specifically aimed for your baby’s age
- Told about sales in advance
Boots Parenting Club – you need an advantage card to join up. Advantages include:
- Free Boots magazines
- 10 advantages points for every £1 spent on baby items (higher than the normal “rate”)
- The possibility of free gifts
Asda Baby & Toddler Club – advantages include
- Heads up on events and sales
Bounty pregnancy app– advantages include
- Free mum-to-be packs (see below)
- A whole section on the app filled with exclusive offers and “Free Stuff”
- Allows you to receive notifications about discounts when you’re instore
- See the below picture for those options
Emma’s Diary – advantages include
- Get £200 worth of Argos vouchers
- I myself have actually seen in the past that one of these vouchers, added to an item that Argos had on sale, ended up in a £20 freebie! Always worth a look
- Offers from top mum and baby brands
- 3 packs of free goodies (see below)
Cow & Gate Baby Club – advantages include
- Before 30 weeks of pregnancy:
- Free cuddly cow toy
- Pregnancy diary
- Regular freebies
- Offers sent by post
For children 1-5 years old there’s also Early Learning Centre’s Birthday Club:
- Gives 20% off your child’s birthday presents
- Has downloadable party invites and thank you cards
We’ve already mentioned the free cow toy from Cow & Gate, but here’s a few others:
- At the moment, when you sign up for Netmum’s New Baby Club, you will receive free samples of Aldi’s Mamia newborn nappies and sensitive wipes
- If you’re in Scotland, everyone is allowed to apply for a baby box
- If you’re in England, you don’t have to miss out though. When you take part in “Baby University,” you can also get a baby box upon completion
- When you download the Bounty Pregnancy and Baby app, you can collect a free pack of goodies. They are available to collect from Tesco, Asda, Superdrug and Boots, so content may vary slightly. They will all include samples, exclusive offers and coupons
- With Emma’s Diary you can get 3 packs of free goodies, each containing similar contents to the Bounty one, except they’re more “specialised.” There is one for “Mum to be,” one for “Bump to baby,” and then “New family.”
- There are lots of freebie sites, which can be used by everyone, however also have a kids/baby section. Useful sites to check regularly (or register to get emails) are:
- You can often find lots of free “paper” products. By that, I mean anything that can be printed or downloaded
- E.g. Potty training chart or guide to X, Y, Z etc.
- You can get a free pack of booklets for your newborn, which are often given by health visitors, midwives or registrars
- You can get different Bookstart books from babies to young children. There are three different packs.
- The “Bookstart Baby Pack”: you’ll receive a purple bag filled with stories, rhymes, songs and notes for the parents
- “Bookstart Treasure Pack”: for preschoolers, they’ll receive a picture book and a friendly booklet with tips and ideas for reading together
- “Bookstart Corner Pack”: includes two free books and guidance for parents on how to share books, stories and rhymes
Be in contact with companies
For this, and everything mentioned above actually, I’d start a new email, just to make your life easier and to ensure you don’t miss out on anything.
Companies thrive on feedback so are often grateful when you write to them with a question or compliment their services. They’ll sometimes send you coupons or freebies in the post, to say thank you. Alternatively, although these should be genuine, you can complain to companies if something is not up to scratch. You often hear this in cases of broadband etc., but why not the smaller purchases? Everything adds up and if you’re genuinely not happy with a service or product, you should say so.
There are many ways to raise to make this more successful:
- Include pictures of you enjoying the product
- Get creative: ask your children to draw pictures or maybe send them a letter instead
- Be humorous
- I’ve heard somebody take a slogan of a cat’s company and argue against it. They got loads of goodies back and actually a funny response in return!
now your entitlements
An important thing to think about is tax credits. These are payments made to you by the state, to support parents, those working or who earn a low income. There’s two types, child tax credits and working tax credits. The latter can be claimed by anyone who works, whether they have kids or not.
Your eligibility for either tax credits depends on many factors:
- Your income
- Number of children
- The amount you’re working
- Whether you’re considered disabled or not
- Whether you’re single or in a couple
Press here for a guide on how to calculate how much you could potentially receive depending on the above factors. Crucially, however, you must renew these tax credits every year and it’s essential to keep the tax office up-to-date of your circumstances and personal details.
There are many benefits out there that one could receive if they meet the criteria. It’s important to research these as you could otherwise be missing out on additional support or free childcare etc.
There are other government schemes that you could claim, that could earn you extra money every year! Here are a few that aren’t commonly known about as an example:
- Marriage tax allowance for those married/in a civil partnership
- This is the idea of transferring money to your partner who earns less than you in order to save on your tax
- Uniform tax refund/ other job expenses
- Claim up to 5 years of expenses for having to wash or repair work uniform yourself- this is easily done
- Not a benefit as such, but make sure you are on the correct tax code. I myself in the past have been on the wrong code, and I was later refunded hundreds of pounds!
From baby food to feeding a hungry teenager, you’ll see an impact on your grocery bill. There are a number of methods to reduce your grocery bills, which take mere seconds and when all added up, could potentially save you hundreds a month!
Through sites such as MySupermarket, enable you to compare prices amongst the most common online or instore grocery stores. This is useful if you’re looking for particular products or ingredients or you’re looking for deals (which they keep updated too) on a particular item. You can also find their favourite deals in “Offers” on the search bar, or be able to search quickly, by leaving a heart by your favourite items and finding them under “My Favs.”
It also allows you to save a potentially wasted journey if you have a coupon and then they don’t even stock it. Asda and Tesco may often stock items that Sainsbury’s or Morrisons may not. This is not generic either, as it checks the stores closest to you, which is why they encourage you to sign up when using the site.
My favourite feature, which I think is just unbelievably clever, is that when you do put something in your “shopping list” and it finds cheaper alternatives from other stores, it’ll offer you that information, and ask if you’d rather be interested in that! Imagine how much you could save, when every little £1 or £2 adds up weekly etc.
Here you can see that the nappy pants would normally be cheapest in Asda, at £7, however, they are on sale for £4 at both Tesco and Asda. Saving you 50% off than had you gone to Morrisons or Waitrose etc.
On items where good quality isn’t “essential,” there is good money to be saved in buying own brand products rather than well-known, branded companies. Some good examples are:
- Tinned goods e.g. baked beans
- Washing up soup
- Sweet treats e.g. chocolate bars
- Some meats (although bare in mind these won’t be as healthy/ good quality)
- Some are better than others, e.g. corned beef
- Jam or chocolate spread
I am a huge fan of cashback apps. These are apps, which reward you for purchasing certain products, sometimes in specific stores, by giving you either 100% cashback or a certain percentage that was agreed upon beforehand.
These apps include CheckoutSmart, ClickSnap, Shopmium and GreenJinn. They are very simple to use and require you to only scan the barcode of the product and the receipt as proof of purchase. You can then let the money gather up and can claim it through different methods afterwards.
Exclusive: If you sign up to Shopmium through the above link and enter the code KMMMUAHF you will earn a free tub of Nutella!
On a larger scale, there is also Quidco and TopCashback as two major cashback websites. By a larger scale, I mean that they go further than just your normal food or household items. If you’re paying for a trip, buying clothes or even service providers, you can earn a certain % cashback from them. They both also have an exclusive 100% cashback deals for new members, so that’s something to look at. In the past, I’ve seen 100% cashback on £15 purchases at MotherCare so it’s definitely worth looking out for these offers.
To get the cashback, you just shop online like normal, but you need to access the retailers’ site through Quidco or TopCashback first. It then takes a few weeks to get the money through (in case you need to make returns etc.) and then you can withdraw the money.
Earn or save money going second hand
I’ve recently developed a new obsession: facebook marketplace and other selling sites.
Facebook marketplace, Schpock, Vinted, eBay (although these have fees) are amazing places to not only find free items or discounted, second-hand items, but also to sell your old items!
Kids toys go particularly well if you’re looking to sell things for a quick buck, but clothes also sell really well, especially when it’s tagged or clearly not been worn. On the flip side, it’s a great way to bulk buy clothes for different ages, you often see big job lots of newborn clothes etc. for around £20, when you can see that there’s clearly a jumper in there that’s worth £10 by itself!
eBay is, of course, a much more common website, but it’s important to familiarise yourself with fees. Once you have passed your 20 free listings a month, you do have to pay to list something, and when it is sold, they will take a 10% fee. This is worth noting if you put things on to bid and start at 99p, is it worth your time?
Local selling places like Facebook marketplace, or Gumtree, where you can search for things by town may be much easier- saves you on postage too!
I hope this guide has helped you, leave any feedback or any suggestions down below! xx