It is thought that over half of all foster carers are thinking of retiring. One of the main reasons for this is because they feel they can no longer afford to care for a foster child. The cost-of-living crisis has left them struggling to afford food and other essentials.
Thankfully, there are a few things foster carers can do to save money while fostering. In this article, we will discuss some top tips for fostering on a budget:
1. Budget Carefully
Although fostering agencies like fcascotland.co.uk provide foster families with an allowance for the children in their care, many foster families look for ways to stretch their money further. One straightforward way they can do this is by budgeting.
Before a foster child arrives in your care, list everything you need to buy for them. This includes how much money it will cost to take care of them and how much it will cost to set up your home. Some fostering agencies offer one-time payments to help with clothing and other essentials if the child has very few.
Once you’ve bought the essentials, the next step is to focus on how much it will cost to care for a foster child. Write a list, noting how much it will cost to feed and look after your foster child. When this list is complete, go through it to see if there are any areas where you can save, for example, buying decent quality second hand clothes instead of buying new ones.
2. Look Into Discount Schemes
Foster carers are able to apply for several discount schemes. One example of this is the Blue Light Card scheme. This scheme has many benefits. Not only does it have over 15,000 brand partners, but it can also help reduce costs on the things you and your foster child enjoy, such as Cineworld, Pizza Hut and Sky.
3. Plan Meals in Advance
Another great way to reduce costs is by planning meals in advance. Planning your meals in advance will save you from hoarding cooking ingredients you rarely use. On top of this, it makes it much easier to determine what foods you need to purchase each week, eliminating unnecessary items from your shopping trolley.
4. Don’t Buy Branded Items
Many people consider branded items superior to supermarket-own products; however, this is often not the case. Most supermarket-own brand products are just as good quality as branded items and are significantly cheaper.
5. Buy in Bulk
If you have the space in your home, you might want to consider buying food and other essential items, such as toilet rolls, in bulk. Buying large quantities of items often reduces the price significantly.
6. Shop Around for the Best Value
While going to your closest supermarket can help save money on fuel, it isn’t the best way to reduce costs. The best way to cut costs is by shopping around. There are some great apps that can help you find the cheapest prices on everyday essentials.
If you’re a foster carer struggling to afford to care for a foster child, try out the tips above. These tips can help significantly reduce costs.