Finding deals for the family is crucial to living well on a budget, since each child adds expenses while the family income remains largely the same. Fortunately, parents hold more power than they realize when searching for deals to preserve the family bank account. For consumer products, entertainment and dining, parents can save money by doing very little homework.
For whatever that the family home needs, FatWallet and Ebates compile the best deals on anything money can buy. In addition, savvy users share the best deals and freebies they find via forums and get cash back on purchases from hundreds of retailers. Dealcatcher includes a featured deal each day in addition to the coupons, discounts and deals.
If you consider yourself an involved shopper and enjoy visiting retail sites, completing surveys, leaving feedback and referring friends, MyPoints will reward you with points for all of these actions. These points can be redeemed as gift cards, travel miles or cash back.
Deals can be delivered directly to your inbox with Groupon, Groupon Goods and Groupon Getaways. Discounts for products, hotel stays and dining for a fraction of the regular price are offered during a limited time frame. If you need a replacement for a product and the need is not immediate, or if you’re looking to upgrade a big-ticket item, you may be able to get just the product you want at a much lower price than you could find anywhere else. Groupon purchases also make great gifts. Your gift can impress the recipient without leaving an impression on your bank account.
Eating out as a family can be a luxury without being expensive. Many restaurants offer promotions for kids to eat free or at reduced prices on certain nights of the week. Finding these deals is easier than asking at every restaurant in town. At kidseat4free.com, you can search by city and state or by zip code to find promotions near you. As a feel-good bonus, the site works with the humanitarian organization WorldVision to sponsor children in impoverished nations.
Do you expect to be treated and lavished with gifts on your birthday? Many businesses will send you discount coupons or freebie offers on your birthday, and almost any restaurant will offer at least a free dessert, maybe even a free entrée as a birthday gift.
A tight budget doesn’t have to mean skipping the family vacation. Just forget pricey hotels and the chlorine-filled waterparks. A home swap can offer great advantages for families while saving money. Instead of cramming the whole family into one hotel room, you can enjoy the separation of space and have use of a full kitchen to cook meals rather than eating out for every meal. If you vacation to find adventure and learning, try a working farm vacation. Kids and adults stay in a bed-and-breakfast style lodging, help with chores and learn about the daily operations of the farm.
Raising a family doesn’t have to mean sacrificing little luxuries, vacations, dining and the occasional splurge on something frivolous. Shop smart and you can keep up with the Joneses no matter what your budget.