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 Money-saving

  • Share magazine subscriptions with friends, one each in a group of 5 means you have the whole rack to share each month and only pay for one! (bakingcakes)
  • If you have DD's and keep losing socks buy a multi-pack of tights instead, they don't get lost and save having to find a matching pair every morning. In cold weather they are toasty warm under trousers too. (Ilythia)
  • If you are trying to save money, throw any catalogues you receive straight into the recycling. Don't even open them. (missorinoco)
  • If, like me, you bought a baby-bath and now shake your head in bemusement wondering why??? Then convert it for outside water and sand play for toddlers. (DinahRod)
  • If you have more than one child, and pass down clothes, mark school uniform with your surname, so you don't have to re-label everything. (sockmonkey)
  • Make your own facial toner using green tea. Make a cup of green tea and leave the bag in until the tea is cool. Add one part organic apple cider vinegar to five parts green tea and Voila! clearer, smaller looking pores! One less thing to worry about in the morning (greekyogurt)
  • Cut the toes off of outgrown baby grows and put socks over their feet instead. Gives you much more wear out of their clothes (grumpalumpa)
  • save your kids old socks and let them use them as mini dusters on their hands. Mine love this and play puppets with them and also help me to dust the house. (wildmutt)
  • If you don't finish a bottle of wine then pour what is left into an ice cube tray and use in stocks and sauces...... (pixierara)
  • Money getting tight? Add grated carrot as sandwich filler. It adds bulk and is a part of their five a day. (haze36)
  • Don't bin old baby bottle brushes - they are exactly the right size and shape for washing champagne glasses. (BlueberryPancake)
  • Buy the squeeze ketchup bottle and then save and wash - now buy the glass bottles cheaper and decant to your squeeze bottle. (SecrectFarleysNibbler)
  • Make a note of what size your baby will be at different times of the year and keep it in your wallet. When you spot a summer dress or winter coat in the sales but it's not in the right size, a quick glance will tell you what size is worth buying now for next year. (swottybetty)
  • Whilst it sounds very odd, I fold the baby wipes in half three times before changing a nappy, so I can use the same wipe two or three times - much easier than trying to get another out of a packet with a wriggling baby in your hands, cheaper and better for the environment! (Vicbic)
  • Use old bathwater to water the garden. Just stick the hose in the bath, drop it out of the window and get someone (I find my sons like this job) to suck on the end until the water starts coming out. Not only does it help the garden, and teach the kids a bit of physics, but it makes us all more aware of how much water baths use. (PropertyAddict)
  • Buy disposable changing mats... most £1 shops sell them... great for nappy free time just pop them on the floor to avoid messes on the carpets! Also great for putting on changing mats to avoid putting baby on to a cold surface... it solved my problem of screaming/ fighting baby at changing time! (kri5ty)
  • I always use loeft overs from the days before meal for the next day. Such as sunday dinner pie on monday, veg pancakes if we have loads of veg left over from other meals. I have always hated waste and we find we have diffrent meals I love it x (proudarmymummyandwife)
  • After buying a new fridge or freezer etc. keep the box it came in and cut out a door and windows small children love this to play in, hours of fun and much cheaper than a well known brand. (Muzzy1971)
  • Charity shops are a great source of cheap videos and dvds... then re donate them when your kids grow out of them (wizzler)
  • Instead of taking the children to the photographers where you'll end up buying overpriced packs of photos and canvases, do it yourself. Look through the best snaps, pick them out and log on to a website like Jessops, where you can upload the photos and have them printed out in the format and size you want, cavas, framed prints, enlargements, all for a fraction of the price and delivered to you at home the next day. (JazzieJeff)
  • Visit a poundshop before a holiday/festival/day out and stock up on bubbles, glo-sticks, general tat. Then when the kids start hassling, hand them out and save a small fortune! I am superwoman after all!:) (Ilikepinkwine)
  • Let the recycling box also be the junk-modelling box. That way you don't need to worry that the DC will chop up something precious. (PrettyCandles)
  • Renew or buy a Family Railcard just before your youngest child turns 16, that way they can travel as a child for an extra year and you all get discounts. (LadyLapsang)
  • Wrapping paper costs a fortune and only gets thrown away. Buy wallpaper in nice patterns at reduced prices - looks very classy (nice and thick) and is really long! (isitmidnightalready)
  • If your income varies, when you are feeling flush put a little money aside on a supermarket 'gift card'. That way when things are a bit leaner you will always have money for food. (schneebly)
  • Mobiles to go above cots or on car seat handles don't have to be expensive, especially for newborns who can only really see red/white/black. Our DS has stripy socks tied to his car seat handle - cheap and washable. (Towanmummies)
  • Use a shower curtain as a cheap mattress protector for little ones. (TheMercurialBanana)
  • Keep all your baby's pairs of size 6mnth - 2yo shorts, they'll fit them again when they're out of nappies. (ForgetfulNess)
  • Save takeaway food containers, they are great for not only storing and freezing food, but also holding little plastic bits(like playmobile) or making bug dens/worm dens, hold crab bait, contents of pond dipping. Saves a fortune in spending of containers (redderthanred)
  • When you buy a block of Cheese, grate it and store in a Tupperware box in the fridge, it lasts a lot longer than it does when using slices. (TitsalinaBumSquash)
  • It's time to dust off that slow cooker. Use it for steamed puddings, preserves, pate, hot toddies, chutneys, soups, curry, baked ham, pot-roasts and save yourself some time. (aristocat)
  • make sandwiches the night before so you are not tempted to pay for lunches when running late (planelazy)
  • As I have four kids who eat me out of house and home and are forever raiding the fruit bowl or crisp box I now buy all my fruit and veg plus snacks at my local market. The fruit and veg cost less than any supermarket and don't go off so quickly. There's always a good variety and mostly comes from the local area. I can get a box of crisps for £2.00 and biscuits are cheap. (lizzymum)
  • Try saving all - or a small portion of your child benefit for a special savings account for your child. If you do this as soon as they are born, the money can grow to a sizeable amount very quickly (Metrobaby)
  • Got an old bike inner tube? Don't throw it away, cut it crossways and have a supply of elastic bands! (cazzakabb)
  • Don't throw away small bits of soap left over. Use one of the tiny bags that come with the laundry tablets and pop a few bits of soap in and hang round the tap. Great for kids to wash their hands. (magnolia74)
  • Save money on envelopes and aid recycling by re-using old envelopes including those that come free with bills etc. Especially when we have to use so many to send dinner money, cheques etc to school (chucky)
  • Put a clean pillowcase over plastic changing mats rather than buying an expensive cover. (AttillaTheHan)
  • For a quick, cheap and easy way to keep toddlers out of the kitchen cupboards, get some thick elastic bands and simply wind them around adjoining cupboard handles! This avoids the need to drill holes in kitchen units. (Flossytops)
  • Cooking with your child? An old adult size t-shirt makes an ideal apron. (mummyofexitedprincesses)
  • To save money while on holiday, take your own drinks bottle/s and refill with water/squash before going out for the day. (Tortoise)
  • Book your holiday yourself, its miles cheaper than going through a travel agent most of the time. (hotpotmama)
  • Be a smart shopper: Shop late at the supermarket to grab loads of bargains, buy loose and in season fruit and veg, buy online, shop around. (bila1)
  • We put our loose change in a big bottle, when we go on our caravan holiday we split the money so the children can spend it in the arcade & when its gone its gone we say to them. It works, they don't pester for more. (angiemary)
  • Buy a special towel to sew your child's swimming badges onto. That way you won't have to re-sew them every time your child grows out of their trunks. (Brollyflower)
  • sew lace or ribbon to hems of dresses to make them last a while longer (daisybooh)
  • Always take your own drinks and snacks to amusement parks- it will save a small fortune. (mummyofexitedprincesses)
  • Check your local library for used book sales. Children's books get turned out fairly regularly (cleanandclothed)
  • I am a great believer of every little helps and here is just another tip of waste not want not. When you feel you can't get any more out of a jar of mayonnaise don't just put it straight in the recycle bin. Boil a couple of eggs and mash in the jar - you've used the very last bit of mayonnaise up and you've got tasty egg mayo with no washing up! (gemini3)
  • In winter, ironing shirts is a waste of time. Iron the collar (or not), wear a jumper and turn down the heating a notch if you're too warm, it's better for the environment too! (baiyu)
  • Keep an eye on charity shops for great dressing up items. If you have young girls snap up anything sparkly at once. (loonyrationalist)
  • buy a large sack of potatoes from farm shops/markets...these are bigger,better,last ages and cheaper all round!! (dragonfly68)
  • Washing all the sheets takes me 3 loads. Change the sheets every 9 or 10 days instead of every 7 days and you will save over 45 loads of washing and drying in the year. (JulesJules)
  • Keep the labels on all new clothes purchases, until you are ready to wear them - that way, if 2 weeks down the line you change your mind you can always exchange it.. (geordieminx)
  • To keep a toddler occupied while breastfeeding a newborn, get a job lot of books from eBay or Freecycle. Keep them in a bag down the side of the sofa and whip one out whenever you need to keep the toddler happy. (MegBusset)
  • Don't bother buying age 0-3 month clothes for your newborn if they are on the larger size, go straight to 3-6 as they soon grown into them. (sarahcmummy)
  • I find baby juice to be quite expensive so I have taken to buying 100% pure normal juice and adding filtered water. (nbrad)
  • keep your shredded paper documents, it makes great bedding for a pets cage (CHUNKYMUNKEY)
  • make your own baby wipes by cutting up pieces of fleece. They are soft, washable and cheap (CurtainTwitcher)
  • use the water from your hot water bottle the next day , to water plants. (cremolatorium)
  • Children love seeing things grow - you don't need a garden, just a pot and some carrot or tomato seeds. You never know, it might even encourage them to eat the results! (FairyFay)
  • Old margarine tubs make perfect boats for the bath - and they are a great size to float toy figures in too! (BuzzingNoise)
  • Wrapping a large awkward present??? Use a paper tablecloth instead - much easier than rolls or paper and come it lots of colours/themes etc! (grumpalumpa)
  • save money and make your own baby wipes - Mix 2 cups of boiled water, 2 tablespoons of baby wash, 1 tablespoon of baby oil into a plastic airtight container then soak strong paper towels in the solution and store - can add Aloe Vera or whatever suits your baby if you wish (grumpalumpa)
  • look out for reduced flowers in the supermarket - they are still guaranteed for 5-7 days and lots cheaper (grumpalumpa)
  • Return grout to its original, bright colour by gently rubbing it with folded sandpaper. (jochrisbryan)
  • Toilet roll tubes make cheap, biodegradable plant pots. Stand them up in a tray, fill with compost and plant seeds (works very well for sunflowers); keep moist, then when seed has sprouted, grown strong enough to be planted outside, plant the whole tube, soil and all in the garden. Your hands stay clean, plant will thrive and continue to be protected in the soil, tube will break down in a few weeks in the soil and your sunflower etc will bring endless joy. (summersnow)
  • To help yourself save money on your food budget, have a little wipe board in your kitchen and when you find yourself running low on something add it to the board and then do your shopping list based upon that. It will save you coming home with ten more tins of beans than you actually need. (Hermya321)
  • Don't waste money on magazines for the kids when travelling, just stop at service stations and let them pick up all the leaflets for days out, it entertained ours for hours!! (esp. the Alton towers one) (hotpotmama)
  • Visit your local library! I recently started going to ours as they do a monthly 'Wriggly Readers' session, in which one of the librarians reads stories and sings songs with pre-schoolers. Having previously been known to spend a small fortune on children's books at Amazon, I have now started to borrow books from the library instead (some for me as well!), and am surprised at the quality of the books (up to date titles, all in fantastic condition!)and also at how much money I have saved! (louiespence)
  • If jumpers go bobbly simply use a throw away razor to shave away the fluff....far more effective and miles cheaper than the products on the market specifically for this problem (pixierara)
  • Use your old paddling pool water to water the plants in the garden - saves water and saves lots of trips filling up watering can from kitchen tap. (gracehedley)
  • A cheap roll of wallpaper or liner makes for great massive drawings. (sockmonkey)
  • Make home-made play-doh with your child using flour, water, veg oil, salt and cream of tartar... my littlen really felt creative especially when he add different food colourings to make different colours. You can also store in tubs in the fridge for about 4-6weeks. (XcheekychopsX)
  • Save money by getting solar panels on your roof. Big outlay initially but you generate energy and get paid for doing so by your local energy supplier! (Donkeyswife)
  • Save money by going fruit and veg picking. Kids love it and it costs you nothing as you only pay for what you pick which you'll eat! (Donkeyswife)
  • To make use of old broken wax crayons, remove the paper wrappers and break up the remaining crayons into pieces approx 2cm long. Place in silicone fairy-cake moulds on a baking tray and place in a warm oven until the wax has completely melted. Leave to cool completely before carefully removing from the cake cases. You can experiment using different colours together to create a variety of rainbow crayons. (Lilyshaw)
  • When school trousers get too short, cut them, wonderweb them (I suppose you could even sew them) -instant school shorts! (mummyofexitedprincesses)
  • If your child's black school shoes are scuffed at the front, instead of throwing them away just colour them in with a permanent black marker. It's hardly noticeable! (wingobins)
  • My mother's solution to shortage of nappies was to use tea towels, covered with cheap plastic or rubber pants you can buy in South Africa where I grew up. They are usually pure cotton and prevent nappy rash (TerryHelen)
  • The kids can keep the money of the sales of their clothes on Ebay- strangely enough now they look after their clothes. (VinoEsmeralda)
  • The knees on my daughters school trousers are perpetually wearing out - so, get the scissors out and a bit of thread and snip snip stitch stitch, they're transformed into shorts for the summer term. She loves them! (tiawomt)
  • if buying online for kids stuff, always do a search for online voucher codes first! (MaeBee)
  • Buying new leather school shoes for the kids? Household wax polish works equally well as expensive shoe protection sprays. (cherylmanc)
  • Buy your train tickets well in advance from train operators web site. Do look at all promotions to find the one that suites you best. (johnscomp)
  • To save money on your food bills have a non-buying week when you just use up everything you can from the fridge, cupboards, and freezer. Saves wastage and saves stockpiling too much stuff. (cornishgirl54)
  • I've told my boys no more lego until we sell some of the unwanted sets so now we have a jar and everytime we sell some, the money goes in there for the next set. (sarahcmummy)
  • Join your local freecycle group to get the things you need as your childs grows, and donate the ones they have grown out of that you no longer need (Leiajulie)
  • Put tights in the freezer before an important 'do' - will stop them laddering when you put them on. (grumpalumpa)
  • Don't get in a panic over Christmas. Keep a box and put a little in it every week - small gifts, wine, nibbles, napkins etc. This way, you'll be more relaxed and less skint in December! (keriku)
  • for cleaning black leather shoes! rub leather with the inside of a banana skin to bring out the dirt, wipe with a damp cloth then buff until dry and shiny. (bloodredcherrymonster)
  • Save your 12-18 month and 18-24 month baby trousers and dungarees. You'll be surprised at how many of them fit again once your child is out of nappies. (BikeRunSki)
  • Kids don't need expensive garden toys - they'll be equally happy with some water and a drop of washing up liquid in your washing up bowl. Throw in some plastic cutlery, bowls, cups, wooden spoons etc and stand back! (FrazzledFairyFay)
  • Keep a record of every penny you spend for a whole month, it will make it easier to see where you could make savings. (kslatts)
  • Fill a thermos flask with boiling water first thing in the morning. Then whenever you get the chance for a cup of tea you don't have to wait for the kettle to boil. It saves energy too! (ntysrja)
  • Save money on drinks at the theme parks. Take powder sachets of fruit flavouring with you. They all have water fountains and the sachets cost 79p for 3 which make a litre each. (kelliec)
  • If you have baby sick on a carpet and can't get rid of the smell, mix bicarbonate of soda with a small amount of water until it is a paste. Spread it on the sicky patch and leave to dry. Vacuum up and the smell will disappear as if by magic! (Popsycal)
  • You can revive dried-out playdough by putting a babywipe at the bottom of the tub overnight. Just don't ask how we discovered this! (Tufty)
  • If you are trying to save money then vow to fill your child's stocking this year with only toys from second hand sales or charity shops. It becomes a challenge and the children are just as happy (certainly when small). (Mousie)
  • Get together with a group of friends and set up a toy library for your children. This saves you money and means your child gets new toys to play with every month (Esme)
  • Keep a record of every penny you spend for a whole month, it will make it easier to see where you could make savings. (kslatts)
  • When buying your first pushchair, try borrowing a toddler. Most pushchairs feel light and easy to push when empty or with a tiny baby on board, but can prove difficult to manoeuvre with a bigger child. (ernest)
  • Don't throw away your bottle brushes. they are just the right size for cleaning mud (or worse) from tiny shoes and wellies. (notsoteenagemum)
  • If you're planning a trip to a tourist attraction or theme park, make sure to search the internet for ticket discounts and deals. (Tigermoth)
  • Get chickens - they rock. (electricbarbarella)
  • Buy new packed-lunch bags/boxes now ready for September. There are loads of picnic cool bags around for those not wanting characters, and the prices will by hiked up in August. (Posey)
  • Laminating machines can be bought really cheaply from supermarkets, and you can make your own wipe-clean sheets for the children (forkhandles)
  • Get a battery tester ? they're cheap and they will let you know at once if any odd batteries you find lying around the house are live or dead. (PeterandLucy)
  • Don?t bin broken crayons, make rainbow crayons instead. Break them into small bits and pop into a microwave safe container. Melt down and let them cool and harden. (LemonTart)
  • A helium-filled foil balloon is a great alternative to a mobile over a cot. (Just make sure they can't get wrapped up in the string!) (hollyhobbie)
  • Buy neutral coloured wellies - orange, green, yellow - so that younger siblings can inherit them. They are rarely worn out on one child. (Gem13)
  • If you're short on cash and need some entertainment for the kids, blow up ballons and scatter them all over the floor - the fun could last for hours! (YellowBrickRoad)
  • Keep a diary for writing down details of any low-cost events as you see them. There is nearly always something to do which doesn't involve huge amounts of money. (slotnicki)
  • Buy a few metres of PVC from your local fabric supplier. For less than £2 a metre you need never be without a painting mat, splash mat, picnic mat etc. It's versatile and easily cleaned. (Keb)
  • Don't pay extra for maternity tights - tall and fuller figure sized tights will do the job without costing a fortune. (Degserella)
  • If your teenager gets through opaque tights at a rate of knots, buy adult multi packs. They're much cheaper than the children's section, so it's less painful on the pocket if they fall to pieces after just a couple of wears! (janeitebus)
  • Revive much loved, much washed bobbly clothes and soft toys by giving them a quick shave with a disposable razor. (Mumbleboo)
  • Keep tester pots of house paint to hand. You never know when you may have to touch up walls with pen marks and sticky hand marks! (poppyh)
  • A large men's cotton hanky works well as a bib, covers more surface area and is soft and gentle for babies' faces. They're easy to wash and once you're past the bib stage can be used as hankies again. (Cll)
  • Join a children's book club and opt for the editor's choice each month - you'll always have a handy supply of lovely presents at a fraction of their usual price. (numptysmummy)
  • If you're taking the kids to the cinema, visit Woolworth's first for pick n mix, popcorn and drinks. It will save you a fortune. (Monty)
  • A plastic syringe costing 13p from the chemist is by far the best bath toy we have ever had. (FrannyandZooey)
  • Keep all those junk mail order catalogues and use them on rainy days to make a scrap book. It's cheaper than stickers and you can make some entertaining monstrosities. (Bundle)
  • Never turn your nose up at a charity shop - they are great places to find cheap, hardly worn/new children's clothes. (Pamina)
  • Don't buy a sledge for the snow we're supposedly getting. An old kitchen tray or black bin bag is much cheaper and just as much fun! (smeeinit)
  • A child's waterproof swimming bag makes a great container for dirty real nappies when out and about. Back home the bag can be wiped out and re-used. (unfitmummy)
  • Wrap pressies in old pages of comics and magazines, or even pictures your children have done. Saves money and keeps the house tidy! (mustrunmore)
  • Never pay full price for baby wipes - there are so many special offers now that you can simply stock up when they're two-for-one or similar deals. (tiredandgrumpy)
  • For a cheap and cheerful bath toy, buy a plastic tea set (from the local pound shop). Your toddler will have great fun in the bath filling and pouring... (tealady)
  • If you're struggling to keep your baby cool at night, cut the legs off old babygrows to make shorties. (WishICouldGiveUpWork)
  • If your kids are doing loads of art over the summer holidays, keep the pictures and use them as wrapping paper. (amebee)
  • Don't ditch old muslins. Boil wash them, then use them with cleanser to remove your make-up, Eve Lom style. (Willow2)
  • A bag of plastic clothes clips makes a cheap and practical way to teach your children colours and counting. (jampost)
  • Keep your newborn's clothes to dress up their first big baby doll. (chalkie)
  • Soak tired bibs in sterilizing solution to remove stubbon stains. (Bafreem)
  • Old washing up sponges cut up are a great alternative to paint brushes. You can have one for each colour and so do without a water pot avoiding the oh-so-frequent spillages. They easy to clean by rinsing under the tap or can be thrown away afterwards. (ManchesterMum)
  • If you have life insurance that your kids could benefit from, put it 'in trust' (involves filling in a simple form and getting guardians to sign it) to avoid them paying inheritance tax in the unfortunate event that they inherit it. (hmonty)
  • As cot sheets are so expensive, I use single bed sheets or duvet covers. They are much cheaper and come in a lot of different colours and patterns. (Juliettesmum)
  • Buy a baby bath that sits over the top of an adult bath. They are so much easier to use than normal baby baths, and are bigger and deeper, and should last longer. (Dibooth)
  • Put plastic bath toys that have become covered in limescale, mildew or soapscum over time, in an old pillowcase and run them through a 60 degree wash with plenty of washing powder. Remove before fast spin cycle and allow to air dry. (Suzyj)
  • Old plastic vitamin containers with safety lids make wonderful rattles. Just add some chickpeas/lentils or anything that rattles for lots of noise and entertainment! (Sallie)
  • Set up a clothes bank with your friends. Everyone can deposit old clothes and make withdrawals. You need someone with a dry garage or similar to store the clothes in. (katzguk)
  • To get wax off a carpet get a brown paper bag, put over the offending mark, heat up your iron, then iron over the mark. It also removes wax crayons and chewing gum. However, beware: my friend tried this and ruined her carpet - it melted, as she didn't realise it had a Nylon content. (Badger7)
  • Need to give the kids a treat but no money? Visit your local charity shop and give you kids a pound each. You will be amazed by what they can get for the money, you won't be to stressed if they lose interest after a week and to top it all the money goes to a good cause! (Alysonguy)
  • Continue to use Summer t'shirts and tops in Winter by buying some cheap long sleeved vests and putting them on underneath. Looks cool as well. (Hayls)
  • Keep all those mail order catalogues that you get bombarded with and cut out heads/legs/arms so your little artists can make some lovely collages on a rainy day. (Bundle)
  • In the sales buy a stock of toys and store away in a cupboard. It will mean no more last minute shopping trips whenever your child is invited to a birthday party. (tiptop)
  • If there is a chance you may go on to have more than one child, don't buy cute gender-specific vests,sleepsuits, sleeping bags and bedding for your first. It's hard to think of number two when you haven't had your first child, but it will save you loads of money in the long run. (BearintheBigBlueHouse)
  • Rather than buying expensive plasters for those bumps and grazes, buy the cheap shiny ones and draw faces/patterns on them with felt pens before putting them on your child's wound. (Bundle)
  • Video wildlife programmes that are on in the evening and keep them for a rainy day. Children love nothing more than to look at real animals. (buttercup)
  • When your children grow out of trousers/jeans - if the waist still fits cut them down into shorts to save money. (Reah0607)
  • Keep the hangers and packaging for all the baby clothes, toys and equipment you buy or are given - its helps with selling things secondhand once you're done with them. (JeniN)
  • To get wax off a carpet get a brown paper bag, put over the offending mark, heat up your iron, then iron over the mark. It also removes wax crayons and chewing gum (bacardiandcoke)
  • Invest in wipeable paint for your walls - as when they are little and start scribbling they tend to do it on the wall (Dulux do one). (Secretperson)
  • Use heavy duty zip-lock plastic document wallets to store jigsaws with lift out pieces. (OckRd)
  • When your baby grows too big for the baby bath, lie some thick towels in it, maybe also a pillow at one end and sit them up in it with their toys. It supports them well and you have a bargain early playpen! (Celandine)
  • Never leave a gameboy under a study lamp. If the lamp is angled towards the gameboy, the gamboy plastic case can melt. We learned this the hard way. (Tigermoth)
  • Use disposable plastic spoons for yoghurts in packed lunch boxes. I've lost count of the proper spoons that I've packed that have never returned from school. (Wings)
  • Don't buy expensive bath tints: food colouring works just as well, is a lot cheaper (about 50p a bottle) and amazingly, doesn't stain children or plastic baths. (wickedwaterwitch)
  • An empty shower gel bottle )one with a rubbery one-way opening) makes a great bath toy. When full of water and squeezed it makes a fantastic raspberry and gives a hearty squirt. (Toots)
  • Save pounds off your cinema trip by making you own microwave popcorn at home and packing a small (sandwich-size) plastic bag per child and a box a fruit juice per child. (RuthWarrens)
  • Keep old equipment such as telephones, old radios (anything with buttons) to give to your toddler. Much better if it looks like Mummy's! (Tia)
  • Collect empty toothpaste boxes, mini cereal packets etc, for your child to play shops with instead of buying expensive playsets. (Happycat)
  • If you insist on only using the best branded nappies, save money by using shop's own brand during the day - when you're around to change them quickly - and save the branded ones for night time when they really need to work well! (sunflowerz)
  • Record Teletubbies/ Tweenies onto a blank video tape, it saves a fortune and because they don't last long, kids don't sitting glued to the goggle box all day. (Nelly1)
  • If you don't have a slip mat for the bath, use a hand towel instead - it will work just the same. (Suzie333)
  • Stock up with cotton flannels. They're great for cleaning up after mealtimes, mopping up spills, washing, and even nappy changes if your baby has sensitive skin. It saves a fortune on babywipes (and creates less rubbish), and they can be bleached if they look grubby. (spanna)
  • To help keep children amused in the summer - keep any kitchen-cleaner-type spray bottles; give them a really good wash out and then fill with water for the ultimate in water spraying fun in the garden! (Finbar)
  • A garlic press and cookie cutters make good tools for playdough. (mammya)
  • Don't buy expensive bath tints: food colouring works just as well, is a lot cheaper (about 50p a bottle) and amazingly, doesn't stain children or plastic baths. (wickedwaterwitch)
  • Babywear catalogues are ideal if your toddler requires entertainment in order to sit still in a high chair for more than a couple of minutes. They love looking at the photos of babies and it doesn't matter if the catalogues get covered in food. (bossykate)
  • If your child is struggling to make sandwiches of slidey plastic play-food stick together properly use small squares of self-adhesive velcro - it's much cheaper than buying a whole new set of 'sliceable' plastic food. (FrancesJ)
  • Save old greetings cards, wrapping paper, catalogues and magazines so you have an instant supply of scrapbook fodder when the cut and stick mood strikes! A great activity for toddlers and older children alike. (NickyD)
  • Buy this years toys/ gifts for the kids in the sales. I've found some of the online toy retailers e.g. etoys are discounting as much as 50%. (Robbie)
  • Instead of buying more toys for a baby, give them a basket of household objects of different shapes, colours and textures. They'll find it just as fun. (Ra)
  • Used wooden wine cases make great toy boxes for older children (the risk of splinters can make them less suitable for younger ones). Ask your friendly off-licence for their cast-offs. (Tigermoth)
  • Use the millions of paintings and drawings your child does as wrapping paper for presents - it's a nice personal touch and it saves money too. (Gilly)
  • During the Easter holidays, cut the bottoms off old pairs of school trousers to make shorts for the summer - no doubt they'd be be too short next winter. (Rhiannon)
  • Rather than spending lots of money on creams etc for your baby's skin, use olive oil to massage her after the bath. It's a great way of bonding, it calms her down for bed, and it really works for dry skin. (Fp.)
  • To save money, time and stress at the hairdressers we bought some electronic clippers (approx £20). Now our kids regularly get a number 8 all over. They are worth buying just for the cheesy training video that is included!
  • Scour second hand shops for children's books. We've found some great ones - some old classics and some new - all in good condition and are putting together a big box each for our children's Christmas presents. They are too young to be worried that they're not new - and it's our way of recycling!
  • If you buy children's sweatshirts, make sure the sleeeves have ribbing at the end so you can buy a bigger size (think skateboard style) and hitch the sleeves up - makes them last longer. (Tigermoth)
  • Don't buy a baby bath. You won't use it for long and they're a pain to fill and empty. You're better off with a bowl or adult bath with a small amount of water in it. (angie677)
  • Instead of buying small tubs of vaseline, ask the chemist for the biggest tub of petroleum jelly that they stock - 500ml for less than £3! Lasts forever! (JanZ)
  • Dilute liquid soap in pump dispensers by half with water. Children always use far too much, and it will go twice as far and still get their hands clean! (Alibubbles)
  • An old worn out snow suit makes an ideal bodywarmer on a british beach after your little one has been chilled by the sea and invariably chilly breeze. (Boo321)
  • Use old terry nappies as bibs for older children. Secure around neck with a peg. It's much easier to wash a terry than a whole outfit/school uniform! (HMD)
  • An empty wine box (available free from supermarkets) is just the right size for storing nappies. You can brighten it up with wrapping paper. (DIANEG)
  • If you have worn, discoloured old towels, pop them in the machine with a machine colour dye. Brings new life to them yet.
  • An empty shower gel bottle of the kind with a rubbery one-way opening, makes a great bath toy. When full of water and squeezed it makes a fantastic raspberry and gives a hearty squirt. (toots)
  • Arrange a temporary toy swap with friends with similar aged children. Not only do your children get to play with new toys, but when they get their old toys back they're so much more interested in them. (MG)
  • Convert old or stained T shirts into over-the-head bibs. Cut up the sides to the sleeve holes to make a bib that covers the whole front. (gilly)
  • Use pillow cases for moses basket mattress covers, they're the perfect size! (deedledum)
More tips
 
Behaviour and Development Birthday parties Breast and bottle
Childcare Christmas Education
Food Good Housekeeping Health
Money-saving Parenting and Family Life Potty training
Pregnancy and Birth Relationships Sleep
Teenagers Teething Things to do
Travel Twins and Multiples