How to save a ton on child-related merchandise

We are sure most parents would agree that we often end up buying more things than we should for our children – clothes, shoes, toys, food; the list goes on. Before we had kids, we could never fathom why such a tiny outfit made with so little cloth could cost more than some of the outfits we buy for ourselves. Also, what is commonly said about spending less on a second child does not always hold true – even though we have a four-year-old (nicknamed Barnacles) and a one-year-old (nicknamed Kwazii), kids stores keep coming up with new and better stuff, and therein you have it: Temptation. To. Buy.

So to help parents save some money, here are 10 items costing $2 each at Daiso that have come in very useful for us, especially if you have little ones. Most of these items are also available at other kids stores – we know because we had previously bought several – albeit at higher prices.

Baby snack cup

1.     Baby Snack Cup

While a multitude of brands carry baby snack cups with silicone lids to keep snacks in and prevent little baby hands from spilling snacks all over the floor, Daiso’s baby snack cup works just as well, with a cover to go along. It also takes up less space in the diaper bag than several other cups we have tried. Apart from snacks, you could also use the cup to play sorting games with your child – for example, getting him or her to sort small toys by colour or shape.

Corner protectors, cabinet locks and stabilising boards to make your home more child-friendly.

2.     Corner protectors and cabinet locks

If you have a baby just starting to explore and are looking to make your home more baby-friendly, Daiso sells a set of four corner protectors for $2. We like that they are translucent so they are not too noticeable, and they even come in different shapes to suit your furniture. There are also cabinet locks available.

 

3.     Mini stabilising boards for furniture

Our latest find was a stabilising furniture board, which is great for added kid safety in the home. If you have a piece of furniture that you don’t want your kids to tip over, the safest option is to attach it to the wall. However, if you are unable to or do not want to do so, remember to load heavier items at the base, and add these small stabilising boards underneath as an added safety measure. We used these boards under our chest of drawers in Barnacles’ bedroom.

Cute hanging hand towels make bathroom time fun.

4.     Hanging hand towels

We have several of these cute hand towels that we hang in the bathroom for Barnacles to wipe his hands and mouth after he brushes his teeth. While the towels faded a little after several machine washes, the print was still pretty visible and is still a great find at the price.

Instead of expensive fake pots and pans, you could save money by using the real thing.

5.     Pots, pans and bowls

If you frequent Toys”R”Us, IKEA, or just about any children’s toy store, you will be sure to spot role play cooking toys – because for some reason, most children love to “cook”. We have spotted several great-looking toy pots and pans priced between $25 and $40, excluding the play food. A better option? Get real pots and pans from the cooking section at Daiso, at just $2 each. The size of the pots and pans are the perfect size for childrens’ hands, and although they are slightly heavier than typical toy pots and pans, our one-year-old had no problem playing with them. We paired these utensils with wooden toy food from Melissa & Doug.

Organising containers are a real boon for keeping bric-a-brac tidy.

6.     Mini organising containers

Our children love to play with containers. When we head out on weekends, Barnacles often brings along some small toys to play with, and these mini organising containers from Daiso are ideal for carrying them in. We use two of these with removable dividers inside a Jujube Be Ready carrying case. We have also seen these sold at Japan Home, and both stores have several different sizes to suit your needs.

If you drive, here are four items that would be useful in the car:

In-car accessories to make your life that much easier.

7.     Plastic seat back protector

If you don’t want your child’s dirty shoes kicking the back of the driver’s seat, this is an ideal option. We have seen a very similar item sold at a children’s store for more than triple the price. This does the trick just as well!

8.     Seatback hanging pouch

While not ideal for heavy items such as full water bottles, this hanging pouch is great for holding knick-knacks like small toys, or packets of tissue.

9.     Car convenience hooks

It may be hard to imagine why small children need so many things, but as other parents would know, having convenience hooks in the car is absolutely essential for groceries, schoolbags and other essentials. Before we found these hooks at Daiso, we purchased hooks that looked just about identical, but at triple the price from a petrol station. Arguably, the quality could possibly be different, but our $2 car hooks have held up just as well as any other hooks we paid much more for.

10.   Car window shade

Before we discovered car window shades at $2, we had spent far more on pricey window shades to block out the glare for our two children when in the car. The Daiso window shades work just as well, and in addition, car window curtains are also available. However, we prefer the window shades as we found that the curtain could obstruct the driver’s view when reversing.

There you have it – 10 useful things costing just $2 each. Some of these would be useful even if you do not have kids. Happy (budget) shopping!

Mummy and Daddy Daycare are a Singaporean husband and wife who are raising two young boys aged four and one, nicknamed Barnacles and Kwazii, respectively, after characters from the “Octonauts” children’s series. Get into the minds of this couple who describe parenthood as a lifetime adventure – you are always learning something new! Whoever said parenting was a walk in the park?

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