8 a.m. Before you take your recycling out, snag any clean containers: Cereal boxes, plastic bottles and egg cartons make great craft supplies.
9 a.m. Heading out for the day? Turn down the heat (or air conditioning, in summer months). No point in spending money to make the house comfortable when no one’s home.
9:30 a.m. At your baby’s doctor’s appointment, ask the receptionist for any samples the office might have on hand. You could score free baby food, formula, children’s pain medication or hand sanitizer.
11 a.m. Heading to Starbucks? Pack a snack for your kid that can compete with the pricey treats. And don’t buy her a bottle of water—ask for tap water in a cup with a lid and straw. For yourself, maybe order a short instead of a tall. You won’t find “short” on the menu, but it’s available, and for many people, it’s enough.
1 p.m. Before you head out shopping, make sure you’ve signed up for your favourite retailers’ email lists, and then check your inbox for offers and coupon codes.
2 p.m. At the mall, keep an eye out for toys and books on sale. You can keep them on hand for birthday party gifts. Check the clearance racks for end-of-season sales and buy clothes in advance for next year.
3:30 p.m. Turn your afternoon playdate into a toy swap. Ask guests to bring a toy their kids are bored of, and everyone gets to go home with a new (free) toy.
5 p.m. Save those pre-dinner drawings and turn them into cards for birthdays and holidays.
7:30 p.m. Stick the kids in the bath together. You’ll save on water, and it’s a great time for siblings to bond at the end of a busy day.
8:30 p.m. Peruse Kijiji, Craigslist and Facebook buy-and-sell groups for clothes and sturdy big-ticket items, like wagons or exersaucers.
10:30 p.m. Looking for a book to read before bed? Use your library card to check books out electronically to use on your tablet or e-reader.
A version of this article appeared in our March 2016 issue, titled “58 ways to save money on everything,” pp. 62-67.
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