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.
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.