(BPT) - While becoming a new mom brings a variety of joyful new experiences, it can also be a challenging adjustment. Paired with an ongoing pandemic, balancing parenthood on top of work and other responsibilities has left many women feeling overwhelmed.
In fact, a recent survey conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Store Brand Infant Formula revealed that 68% of moms stated 2020 was the most stressful year they have ever experienced. Money is at the heart of this stress, as 64% of moms admitted to making sacrifices because of financial reasons, with nearly two in three (65%) cutting costs just to feed their family. Three in 10 moms said the ability to afford enough food for the family was causing the most financial stress, and 30% revealed they have skipped meals so their children could eat.
Fortunately, financial expert and founder of Clever Girl Finance, Bola Sokunbi, has a few tips on ways parents can save while feeding their families, safely.
"Now is the time to re-assess our budgets and de-stress our households,” Sokunbi said “There’s no better way to relieve stress than by getting control of your finances. Having twins myself, I know the difficulty of balancing a budget and providing children what they need to be healthy. However, there are simple ways that parents can save to stretch the family paycheck."
Maximize your budget by shopping sales and using coupons. This is especially great for shelf-stable items such as canned baby food, cereal and infant formula that can be stored safely for future use. For fresh foods, shop items that are in season because they are usually cheaper and fresher.
Choose store brands
“I always recommend shopping for store brands since they are very similar to the name brands but cost less. For example, infant formula can be expensive for families and many don’t realize that Store Brand Infant Formulas provide the same complete nutrition and meet the same FDA standards as the big-name brands but cost up to 50% less. That’s an average of $64 a month! Plus, Store Brand Infant Formulas were recently featured as top picks in ‘The Best Baby Formula,’ guide by the New York Times!” Sokunbi said. Parents can learn more about the benefits of switching to generic options at www.storebrandformula.com.
Maximize SNAP dollars and other federal assistance support
Families can turn to a patchwork of resources for help, such as the local food bank or charity, The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Forty percent of moms surveyed applied for WIC or SNAP to help support their family within the last year. While WIC and SNAP are amazing programs that help millions of families across the country, benefits can run out before the end of the month. It is so important for families to understand their options and make informed financial decisions so they don’t resort to unsafe practices. There are a variety of ways to maximize these supplemental benefits. For example, when using SNAP dollars to buy Store Brand Infant Formula instead of the nationally advertised brands, you can get twice as many days of safe, complete nutrition. That means you can buy more of the other nutritious foods you need to feed your whole family.
Swap meat for plant-based proteins
When considering your options for protein, it is cheaper to go plant-based since meat is one of the most expensive things you can add to your cart. To save money, stock up on plant-based dry goods like beans, grains and whatever is in season. Pay attention to when plant-based proteins go on sale at your market or check out the aisle that has all the bulk beans, nuts, seeds, lentils or grains.
"The pandemic has hit moms hard, leaving many struggling to make ends meet," added Sokunbi. "Just know there are some simple steps new moms can take to relieve stress and support their families. From shopping sales to opting for store brands, there are a variety of ways to give your family what they need to grow and flourish.”