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5 Easy Ways to Save Money as a Single Mom

– Posted in: Finance For Women, Managing Your Finances, Money Management

When you find yourself parenting a child alone, every dollar seems to take on a new importance. Finding new and unique ways to save money becomes a way of life and new ideas are at a premium. You can never have too many savings ideas. That said, here are some easy ways to save money as a single mom…some that are unusual and some that are standard fare in the world of saving money.

5 Easy Ways to Save Money as a Single Mom

Plan Out Your Meals

Planning your meals is a fairly common way of saving cash because it allows for you to take advantage of several things at once. By planning ahead, you can budget and limit your spending. You also can maximize your usage by planning out leftovers and such. The biggest benefits however, is in the way you can save money through coupons. If you know what you are eating for the next month, clipping coupons becomes much easier. You can also plan out the sales and shop all at one time.

Purchase Full-sized Snacks and Break Them Down

When you buy individually wrapped items you are almost always paying extra. The weight of the extra packaging alone eats into your dollar per food costs. Instead, buy the items in bulk that you use often and package them yourself for your kids. Some small plastic bags can do wonders and save you money.

Embrace the Thrift Stores

Buying from a thrift store can save you a ton of cash over the period of a year. From kid’s clothes to your own, costs will dramatically begin to shrink. Housewares can often be found cheaply as well. Getting over the thrift store stigma is not easy for some, but you will save copious amounts of cash doing so.

Review Your Activity Schedules

If your kids have an active social schedule, reviewing it can save you tons of cash as well. By all means, allow them to have hobbies. Try to find solutions that will allow you to combine schedules. If you can carpool, by all means do so. Try to organize and combine these hobbies so that you can do them in one trip instead of several.

Create a Trusted Sharing Network

One of my most powerful and easy way to save money as a single mom is to create a trusted sharing network. This means getting a core group of trusted friends and families together and sharing resources. This can be handy for rides, clothes, baby equipment, toys and even food in emergency situations. This group can be a source of support that goes in many directions. Single parents need to think outside the box in most cases. These ideas are a great way to get started.


24 Comments… add one
Terry January 18, 2014, 9:14 pm

I have found so many neat things at thrift stores. I was in our local one and found this wooden wine bottle holder. My Hubs and I took it home and now it is in his bathroom holding extra towels that we roll.

Tough Cookie Mommy January 18, 2014, 10:55 pm

It’s so important to have a financial plan in place because one never knows what curveball life is going to throw at you.

Robin (Masshole Mommy) January 19, 2014, 7:20 am

These are all great tips. I have actually taken to buying my boys jeans at thrift shops. They are CONSTANTLY coming home with holes in their knees, and it kills me when it’s a brand new pair that they have only worn once or twice!

Cher January 19, 2014, 11:05 am

It is so hard “making it” as a single parent but you have offered some fabulous tips, Vinma! Thanks for sharing!

Healy Harpster January 19, 2014, 11:11 am

Great tips and what will really works the best is embracing the thrift stores.

Teresa Mccluskey January 19, 2014, 11:18 am

These are some really great points! That even as a married mother I will start doing! I am going to start them today!

Veronica January 19, 2014, 3:51 pm

All really great tips. One important one to add is saving for college by using a 529 plan. I did for my kids 12 years ago, and boy if I hadn’t I don’t know how I would pay for college now. DO IT without question

Chubskulit Rose January 19, 2014, 6:48 pm

Thrift stores can really save you money. I am not a single parent but I shop there once in a while.

Joanna Sormunen January 19, 2014, 7:15 pm

Thank you! These are great ideas. It is hard to be only on one salary and have to take care of a growing boy. Just the food alone can be quite expensive.

Aisha Kristine Chong January 19, 2014, 7:27 pm

These are totally great tips especially for single moms or even if their not a single mom – I do think a lot of people can benefit from these ideas.

Jennifer Williams January 19, 2014, 7:35 pm

Great tips, I also used coupons and paid attention to sales so I could make sure to stock up on enough of an item to get us through to the next sale – never pay full price.

Amanda Love January 19, 2014, 8:23 pm

Those are great tips and not just for the single moms but also the married ones too. Basically anyone with kids. I really like that tip about breaking down snacks. I need to really start doing that.

becca January 19, 2014, 8:31 pm

these are great tips nd they work for all families not just single moms

Ashley Gill January 19, 2014, 8:38 pm

I feel like all single parents feel like their children have to do activities. I don’t agree with this. My children will do activities, but not soccor on monday, ballet on tuesday, clarinet on wednesday, play date on thursday, basketball on friday and saturday mornings and crazy catchup/homework on Sunday. My children will never see a schedule like this. These are some great tips to saving money!

Lady Lilith January 19, 2014, 8:57 pm

Agreed. For the snacks, I actually by the plastic bags at the 99 cent stores. They do not need to be good quality as the children will end up throwing it out. I use the expensive ones for long term use and the others for day to day. In the long run I save even more.

Pam January 19, 2014, 8:59 pm

Really great advice. Especially finding or even starting your own network. I was never a single parent but I worked for a major school district and I know the struggles single parents can have.

Lawna January 20, 2014, 12:58 am

Growing up, even though we didn’t need to my grandma and mom still liked shopping at the good will and it saved them money. Now that I am older I don’t go but I use to love the grab bags when I was a kid! I am not a single mom but I think my hub would save a lot of money if he was a single parent,lol!

amanda January 20, 2014, 11:43 am

I not a single mom but for activities find the tax dollar supported community centers. Usually they are less expensive out of pocket.

Rachee January 20, 2014, 1:07 pm

These are good tips for all parents. I think we get so caught up in doing what we think we should that we often overlook the simplest thing. I have been making food and packing snacks and it makes such a difference to my wallet.

Ronnie January 20, 2014, 3:01 pm

Great ideas! It’s so important to be responsible with what you have. I know my blog partner Ave manages to find great toys that are hand-me-downs but the toys are practically new!

Laura Brewer February 23, 2014, 8:14 pm

You certainly covered a few good ideas. But as a single mom, I am here to tell you first hand, its not enough! I wish that people would walk in my shoes for 1 lousy month! It is NOT easy. I am NOT a college graduate, I do NOT have a HIGH paying job, I dont qualify for them. I dont qualify for Govt. help either. 1 income is NOT enough. My rent is outrageous and yes I live in Poverty. There is nothing cheaper!! The Gas bills for this winter were 350 a month and my rent is 400. We have gone without food for awhile because I had to pay the bills. Yes I have been sleeping in my car for awhile last year and I will NOT do that again!! I had to send my daughter to another state to stay with her friends family until I could get back on my feet, NOPE NEVER do that again. Yea, you guys come here and walk in my shoes and see just exactly how hard it is. Nopwe that is not gonna happen cause EVERYONE knows how hard it is and they dont want to live this way. I am not angry, I am blessed to have what I do. I just feel like there is so many people out there who DONT understand how difficult it really is! Ya think hey now I can have money to buy ME some decent shoes, and the fridgerator goes out..$155 to fix that. Then the car brakes went totally out with NO warning, (a spring broke) yea Mechanics got our grocery money cause I gotta have the car to work. This all happened this month! (Feb) Oh thats not all, my daughter wants go to Aquire the fire in a few weeks. (Church thing for teens) And ALL the bills are due. GOD has never failed me tho, but I just dont want people who are not single to read this and think, yea they can make it, when theres alot of us who struggle DAILY!

Vinma February 24, 2014, 8:57 am

Laura! I dont know what to say.. I am sad that you are going through this. I certainly cannot fully understand the difficulties you are facing every day. I hope and pray to God that things turn out better for you and for your daughter. Thank you for sharing a bit about your life. Please know that your time in writing this for us is greatly appreciated.

Shannon February 26, 2014, 6:55 pm

These tips would apply to most people, thank you for sharing with us.

jenn August 7, 2014, 12:04 am

Great tips. Im a single mom and a stay at home mom. I do surveys online for extra cash. Ive been doing this for years. I make around $200 to $300 monthly and it helps alot. Check out Cashcrate Ithey are very dependable and easy,

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