If you aren’t careful, your home daycare expenses can eat up a huge chunk of your take-home pay. While you can’t do anything about your fixed home daycare expenses like your business license, you can lower your variable expenses.
Here are our best money-saving tips for home daycare expenses.
Providing healthy, nutritious meals is an important part of running a successful home daycare.
Inevitably, it costs more to buy fresh produce and lean meats than processed foods. Foods that have little nutritional value but are a lot less expensive. There are ways for daycare providers on a budget to provide healthfully without cutting into their revenue. Meal planning is one way to do this: allocating your weekly grocery money into specific meals can help you avoid overspending and still provide delicious foods!
Every week, have a set meal plan for your home daycare. At the beginning of the week, look at how many kids you have each day and what meals you will be serving. Do you need to provide breakfast every day or just lunches? Then, plan out what you plan on serving. Some government subsidies may have certain requirements. As well as they may require you to submit your meal plans to receive a credit.
Research the prices of your home daycare pantry staples. And stock up when the items are on sale. As well as try to meal plan around items that are in season to save money.
Coupon clipping can be a great way to save money on groceries. First, take a look at the weekly circulars in your area. Determine which store or stores are offering the best deals on the items you regularly buy. Try to only shop at stores with the best reward programs in your local area. Driving across town is going to eat up your savings in gas. Take advantage of any savings you can by signing up for the store’s email newsletter. You can save money on home daycare food costs by buying in bulk or using coupons where possible.
Grow your own veggies
Depending on where you live, you can try your hand at growing your own veggies. Did you know that the vegetables you buy in the grocery store can cost way more than what it costs you to grow them at home? And not only does growing your own food saves money, but there are other benefits as well, like knowing exactly where your food comes from and how it was grown. Plus, it’s a fun activity for the kids. Make it into an educational activity.
So, if this sounds like something you want to do, just follow these simple steps:
- Pick a space in your house or yard for planting;
- Plan out what type of plants will work best in that spot (examples include corn, tomatoes, peppers);
- Buy seeds or seedlings;
- Plant the seeds/seedlings and water them every day, and
- Harvest the vegetables once they’re ready.
Buy used to save on home daycare expenses
Try to buy second-hand items whenever possible. There is no need to go out and buy new when you can find a ton of kid’s supplies used in nearly new conditions. Try to shop at thrift stores that give you receipts so you can claim the expense on your taxes. Free is even better than used. So, keep an eye out for free items in the swap and buy Facebook groups or Buy Nothing Groups in your area.
No need to spend a ton of money on toys and craft supplies. Use what you have available to make things like play dough and finger paint with everyday kitchen ingredients. Or upcycle boxes into magical forts. Check out this post on How to Save Money on Toys
Save money on home daycare expenses by applying for grants
Research available grants, subsidies, or government credits for home daycare in your local area. Grants are a great way to lower your home daycare expenses and put more money in your pocket.
Spend lots of time outside.
The outdoors is free entertainment, so let the kids explore. Try to spend time outside every day to avoid cabin fever from being cooped up inside all day. e. Visit parks and playgrounds in your area.
Find free programs in your area.
Visit your local library and sign up for any free classes. Storytime at the library is a great, usually free educational activity. The kids will love it. Also, check out your local community center for any upcoming programs.