10 Spring Super-Savers Every Parent Should Know

Being that I'm a first-time parent, I feel like each season we start over with buying new clothes and season appropriate budget busters, which sucks becuse we are a family that lives on a budget. So, I've had to get crafty. Really crafty.

Today I'm sharing seven years worth of experience 'gettin' crafty'. I present, my Top 10 Spring Super-Savers Every Parent Should Know...

1. Make a list: I learned very early that kids do not need half as much stuff as I think they do. Before my baby was born, he had enough clothes to go for a month without wearing a new outfit. Most of which, he never wore because he grew too fast! I quickly learned that I need to make a reasonable list of what I actually need each new season for my son. I cannot recommend this enough, make a list of the number of shorts, shirts, and shoes that you actually need to start the season, then buy everything one size up to leave room for a mid-season growth spurt. STICK TO THE LIST!

2. Shred those winter clothes: When it comes to outside playtime, kids get to get dirty. The last thing you want them to do is grime-up the nice new clothes splashing through spring-rain mud puddles. Go through the winter clothes and pulls the ones that have holes in the knees or tears in the sleeves and turn them into after-school and weekend shorts and tees.

3. Borrow Budget Busters: For those one-off seasonal family portraits or special occasions, you normally buy an incredibly expensive outfit your child will most likely only wear once, check out your friend's closets, first.  

4. Secondhand Staples: Children's secondhand shops/facebook groups/ Next Door... are full of clothes and everything else you need to cover an entire wardrobe for under $50. 

5. Facebook Finds: Every city has at least one Facebook mommy group that has the low-down on local clothes exchanges and lists where big family sales are taking place. To find them, ask your FB-friends if they know any great mommy groups on Facebook. I bet you'll get plenty of replies!

6. Garage Sale Heaven: Garage sales are a great place to pick up the big toys that people want to get rid of because their kid is over it and it takes up too much space. TIP: On Fridays, go to Craigslist or wherever your city list garage sales, and find ones close by. Look for multi-family sales then grab a friend and some coffee and start shopping!

7. Priced-to-Sell-FAST Retailers: I love Groupon, ZuLily, Amazon, JET, and department store 'clearance' racks that can offer well-made stuff at a huge discount. NOTE: Retailers thrive on seasonal sales and try to move merchandise like it's on a conveyor belt, which means huge clearance sales on last season stuff, so make sure to check the racks and website 'Sale' tab to pick up pants, jackets and boots two sizes too big for next season at 70-90% off.

8. Daily Deals: Did you know there are hundreds of websites that crawl the Internet daily for the best online daily deals then list them in an easy to search format so you can quickly search for items on your must-have list? My favorite is DealNews.com. SO worth checking out!

9. Grow Food For Family Health: When it comes to springtime treats and healthy fruit snacks, the budget can bust very quickly. I make smoothie-popsicles with fruit and veggies we grow! If you have a sunny spot in your yard, patio or balcony, you have a place to grow your own food. For real.  Did you know strawberries grow well in a pot? So does spinach, tomatoes, Meyer lemon and many others. TIP: Go to your local nursery and see what they have that looks good and pick TWO favorites to start - in my case, the local nursery is cheaper and the plants are healthier and hardier than big box store nurseries.

But first, know your zone and when it's safe to start an outdoor garden. (Grower's Zone).

10. Never Buy Online Without Searching For a Coupon Code AND Getting Cold Hard Cash Back For Your Purchase.  There are way too many apps and websites available today that list coupon-codes for major and small online retailers not to at least search for one. It's a simple as Googling: "The retailer's name + coupon code" (Target Coupon Code). But first, sign-up for Ebates to get a percentage in cash back for your online purchases. It's real, swear. Below is a screenshot of my Ebates account. I've had $421.09 deposited in my PayPal account over the past two-and-a-half years shopping online! MENTAL. If you've never checked out Ebates, GO NOW!

If you have any great tips, please leave a comment below, or join my Facebook discussion, here. 

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com