I used to find babysitters to be the biggest strain on our budget. I have found paying a babysitter can be quite expensive. We would typically pay our babysitters $10 an hour to take care of our precious cargo. The cost of a babysitter can add up quickly after only a few hours.
However, our family and friends have found a simple solution to the high cost of babysitters. We began a babysitting co-op with several of our friends from church.
We have four families that participate in our babysitting co-op. These are families we trust deeply with our children. We set up a babysitting schedule for Friday nights at a certain time. While we have to babysit all the children at our home one Friday night a month, we have three other Friday nights of free babysitting services at our disposal. I have found that this a winning situation for the entire family. Not only does this allow my husband and I to have a date night, my children also have a great time hanging out with their friends.
Going out to eat
Going out to eat is another area that can cost you a fortune if you have children. However, it to does not have to be a budget buster.
A tip I received from a reader was to set up a calendar of area restaurants that offer kids eat free nights. When the mood hits your family to go out to eat, look at the calendar and base your dinner selection off the restaurant that offers your children the free meal. You can save a bundle and enjoy time out with the family. You can find which restaurants offer these specials on several different websites.
Thanks to readers
I would like to thank the readers who continue to send in their tips for saving money. My tip of the week comes from Gerry Probert who recommends that readers type up a list of their coupons and take it with them to the store with the coupons. This will make your shopping experience far less stressful.
Do you have suggestions for our Frugal Family columnist? Send your suggestions and questions to Stephanie Eaton Harvie at email@example.com.