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How to raise a toddler on a budget

Need to tighten your spending? Here are my top practical and achievable ways to raise your toddler while staying within your budget:

 1. One meal for the whole family

Prepare one meal for your family – no special meals for individuals. You’ll save time, money and energy. You can adapt your meal to suit their taste and our 1 recipe, 3 ways section ideas will provide plenty of inspiration. If you’re eating out, there are plenty of places that offer ‘kids eat free’ options. If your restaurant of choice doesn’t, then ask for a small side plate and share your meal with your toddler. Sharing is not only better on the pocket, but also the waistline!

2. Buy, swap, give away

Do you find yourself spending heaps of money on clothes, toys and shoes only to have your toddler grow out of them in a matter of months? Why not look into the second-hand market and check out the multitude of buy, swap and give-away Facebook pages. These offer a good selection of cheap (sometimes free) clothes, toys and shoes. You can also sell your ‘virtually new’ goods or swap them for others.

3. Start a babysitting circle

Why not form a babysitting co-op with your mothers’ group or friends? Families can take turns watching each other’s children earning ‘points’ every time they babysit. As a family earns more points they can use them to have their kids babysat by friends in the group. This can also be a great way for your kids to have play dates with other toddlers while you get a break.

4. Cut your child’s hair

Who says you have to spend $$ on getting your little one’s haircut? Buy a decent pair of scissors and cut your toddler’s hair in the comfort of your own home at no cost. Learn to cut hair here and you can get away with being a ‘backyard barber’ for a good few years.

5. Free activities for toddlers

You don’t need oodles of money to entertain your toddler. Never forget the beach, local playground or park, which offer the cheapest and healthiest options for your little one. If it’s indoor fun you’re looking for, check out Indoor games to spark your toddler’s imagination.

6. Take a camping holiday

Camping is a fantastic option for families as it’s a nature-friendly, educational vacation that little ones love and it can save lots of pennies too. If you’re a first-timer, borrow from friends before you invest in a tent etc.

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