8 Simple Ways For Single Parents to Keep Cash in Your Pocket
Money is one of the greatest struggles for single moms. These Money Saving Tips for Single Moms will help take the stress out of your spending decisions.
You earn it, then you burn it. That’s how it works, isn’t it?
Related Article: The Single Mom Struggle
Money is the root of stress for a lot of parents. So many things that determine our safety, security and well-being come from money. Where to get it? How much you need? How to save it?
I can’t help with everything, but I can share ways in which you can make smarter choices that will keep a little more money in your wallet.
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8 Ways for Single Moms to Save
1. Tap into Your Network
This is a great one for baby/ kid stuff!
Parents, you know how fast kids grow ! So much money is wasted on things either gently used or worse, never used!
In the moment, it all seems so necessary. But, in practice, you don’t use half of the things you bring home for a new baby.
As much as you might want to dress your kids up in the latest looks, they may only rock that look once or twice. The little stinkers grow past sizes so often that you’ll just end up wasting your money.
Add to that the baby gear. Things like cribs, changing tables, car seats, pack-n-plays, baby swings, toys… and on and on. Like clothing, the little ones are only able to use these items for a very short time in their lives. But the price tag reflects something that you’d keep for years.
Put the word out among friends, family, church, that you are in the market for baby items. Chances are someone is holding on to things from their young kids that could use a new home.
If they’re not saving things for future children, they may be willing to either gift it, allow you to borrow it or pay a greatly discounted rate.
This is what I did and it saved me so much money. In turn, I paid it forward and sent my daughter’s things on down the line to the next family.
Related Article: How to Make Friends as a Stay-at-Home Mom
2. Location, Location, Location
Where you shop has a direct impact on cost. The more luxe your surroundings, the more expensive the food on the shelves will be.
Avoid high-ticket/end grocery stores for your everyday needs. Sure, you can treat yourself. But if money is an issue, you have to change your thinking.
Think of food as sustenance and not an indulgence. Shop for the basics in discount grocery stores and even warehouse super stores (i.e.. Aldi, Grocery Outlet, Winco). Changing where you shop for food will allow you to get more for money without compromising quality.
For kids, shop consignment and thrift stores (charity shops). Shopping name brands in retail stores is more expensive than looking for deals elsewhere.
Kids, especially younger kids, have very little wear and tear on their clothes. More times than not, I’ve found clothing with the tags still on them.
If you think about it, people (friends, family) enjoy buying cute, little outfits for babies and toddlers. So much so, that you have far more than you will ever use.
Look for local groups like Just Between Friends. Make buying retail the last resort.
3. Plan Ahead
Do you love lists as much as I do? They’re great! They help get all of the stuff in your head down on ‘paper’ to help keep you organized. Even written only a few minutes in advance, lists help keeps things on track.
Shopping for things at the last minute can be more expensive. Once you have a clock ticking, you end up making a quick decision, rather than a wise one. That can be costly.
Impulse buying is a surefire way to spend more than you intended. It’s best to stick to your list. Keep a list for groceries and for other needs (birthday presents, kids clothing/ shoes w/ needed sizes, bedding, etc.)
Don’t buy because, “it was a great deal!” That thinking will get you into trouble every single time.
Keep an eye on sales and save your buying until then.
4. Buy in Season
Seasonal fruit/ produce not only tastes better, it’s cheaper! While you can get almost anything year round, the further the store/ market has to go to have that produce available to you, the more it’s going to cost.
You can even buy directly from local farms. Some co-ops and farms have delivery box subscriptions that are great! You can have the items you always need delivered on a weekly, bi-weekly schedule. You can also add some “surprise me” elements that will introduce you to something you’ve never tried before.
Not only is it healthy, it’s in season and delivered straight to your door!
If you don’t mind getting ugly veggies, I also suggest giving Imperfect Foods a try. It doesn’t matter how it looks if you’re just going to cut it up, right? They not be lookers, but the price is right and again, they come to you.
5. Grow Your Own
If you have the space, growing your own fruit, herbs and vegetables is a money saver.
Grow the things you love the most. Save money on your kitchen staples, like garlic, peppers, herbs and onions.
As long as you stick to the fruits and vegetables that thrive in your environment, you can have your own harvest in your very own backyard. Extend the life of your produce beyond the vine by jarring your own jam, tomato sauce and even pickling your veggies!
The time spent in the garden is also good for the well-being. It’s a great way to manage stress and really get back to nature.
6. Sales Are Your Friend
This one’s easy. When shopping retail, look for discounts before paying full price.
Subscribe to your favorite store newsletters and download the app. Stores reward their subscribers with insider deals, coupons and sale notifications.
Unlike the recommendation for produce, for clothing, especially kid’s clothing, buy off-season. Stores will be making room for the current season so deep discounts are to be discovered. It might feel strange to buy winter clothing in warm weather, but the savings will be worth it.
Hint to Target shoppers: Check out the perimeter end caps for clearance items you may otherwise overlook.
7. Shop Early
Take advantage of Black Friday/ Cyber Monday sales by shopping for the things you need in the coming year. Think through your social and parental calendar (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, teacher appreciation, etc.).
Make note of what’s going on in your life and buy early. Don’t think of it as a means for just buying gifts either, practical items can be purchased during this time.
For Christmas, I purchase a set of something for example, and give the kiddo part over the holiday and the rest in her Easter basket. It can be a set or a theme that flows through.
Between that and inexpensive stocking stuffers I also buy in the fall, her Easter basket is done by December. By spring, the only thing needed are a couple of sweets.
The key is not to go crazy or any potential savings will be wasted.
8. Review Your Bills
When was the last time you audited your cable, cell phone or insurance bills? You may not realize it, but you are not locked in to the amount you are currently paying indefinitely. I’m guilty of this myself.
But, after any contractual obligations have been met, give your service providers a call and see whether they can do better by you. Think of it like bargaining at a market.
Come armed with the pricing of competitors. Tell them you are giving your business to the company that has the best offer for you.
They want to keep your business and will work with you in order to make that happen.
Money Saving Apps for Single Moms
When you’re trying to find ways to save, check the app store. You will find ways to save money before you purchase as well as ideas on how to budget before you spend.
- Rakuten and Honey – Earn cash back shopping online
- OfferUp – Connect with local buyers and sellers for great deals
- Budget Saving Apps – A selection of apps to help make budgeting easier
Related Article: Managing One Income to be a Stay-at-Home Mom
Concluding Money Saving Tips for Single Moms
Doesn’t it feel good to know that there are practical ways to save money that you can use every day? It is possible to support the family on one income and live quite happily.
When it comes to Money Saving Tips for Single Moms, just remember the following:
- Tap Into Your Network
- Location, Location, Location
- Plan Ahead
- Buy In Season
- Grown Your Own
- Sales Are Your Friend
- Shop Early
- Review Your Bills
When the weather is nice, you can find a garage or yard sale on almost every corner. If you’re looking for more, estate sales are yard sales in a much grander scale.
Don’t forget to tap into the resources you already have available to you, like earning frequent flyer miles and getting cash back on your credit card.
You are surrounded by temptation. But, you are also surrounded with options to spend more wisely. Happy shopping!
What’s your favorite way to save money? Share your favorite tip in the comments below!