No matter how rewarding the path of parenthood is, the reality is that it’s not a cheap one. With mounting pressure for parents to provide the best for their children also comes pressure financially, a pressure which increases when you have more than one child, too.

Here are 8 key steps you can take to help out your finances as a parent.

Step 1: Plan Your Meals

Implementing proper meal planning will help to avoid impulsive food spending and the temptation of ordering a family take out after a busy day. Meal preparation means you can ensure that your family always eats healthily, as well as providing the opportunity to make meals in batches and store them so that you can make your ingredients last longer.

Step 2: Think About Reusable

Most items related to childcare are disposable, due to the nature of the items, such as cleaning products and nappies. However, disposable nature means that it costs a lot in the long run to replace it. Switching to reusable wherever you can mean a one-time purchase cost, which will save you money over time. It takes more care and effort to wash reusable items, but it’s worth the effort.

Step 3: Buy Second-Hand

When children grow at such a fast pace, clothes and other items quickly become unusable. Many other parents will donate old items to charity or second-hand stores, and they can be just like new. Shopping for second-hand can save you a significant amount on clothes and child items.

Step 4: Make Use of Multibuys

If you’re buying items for a family, then you’re going to need quite a number of them. Multibuy savings can help you to stock up on key items while saving money in the long term. Look for discount codes and multibuy opportunities wherever you can, like Boots discount codes for toiletry and home items.

Step 5: Lean on Loved Ones

It’s natural to feel guilty if you’re always calling on childcare favors with loved ones, but if they’re happy to do it, you can save a lot of money on professional childcare or nanny services when needed.

Step 6: Buy Extras for Your Home

Going out socially with children can soon become expensive, so it may be more cost-effective to buy more entertainment for the home. Buy a DVD player for family movies instead of going to the cinema all the time, or think about interactive video games like bowling and racing.

Step 7: Ask for Certain Gift Items

Becoming a new parent means you’ll probably be treated to lots of gifts, but if you do not have an open discussion, you may receive items you don’t need. Instead, politely request items you do need so that you don’t have to buy them yourself.

Step 8: Speak to Other Parents

If you have friends or relatives who have young children, the chances are that they might have a bunch of baby items they no longer need and would be happy to pass along to you. You never know!