I am not a mother (yet!), but I have watched my sister raise her 2 children on her own and also have many friends who happen to be single mothers. Finances are tight for families everywhere and ways to stretch your dollar are especially useful for those single parent (yes, single dads can apply these tips too!) households out there.
Below you will find 7 Frugal tips for Single Parents (or anyone really) that will help you save money!
1.) Don't throw away leftovers!
When you make a meal there is bound to be leftovers! Save your left overs for lunch the next day to save a little extra money. I use the extra bits of veggies that I cut up for dinner and freeze them. I use them later for stews and soups or even salsa.
2.) Enjoy cheap, easy meals with the kids.
With simple inexpensive ingredients you can make wonderful meals for you and your children. You can find meals that are not only inexpensive but kid friendly to enjoy time together. Utilize coupons and store sales to find the best deals on foods for your meals. Check out these 4 Frugal Meat Recipes to get you started.
3.) Buy clothing from thrift stores & consignment shops
Buying clothing from thrift and consignment shops is a cheaper alternative to store bought clothes. If you have a teenager you can try finding a local Plato's Closet. They sell brand name gently used clothing (and buy it too!) for teenage girls and boys. I am in my late twenties and still shop at Plato's Closet! Each year you can sell back your kids clothing to the consignment shop and use the cash to help pay for school clothes the following year.
4.) Teach how to conserve
Kids by nature use way too much of every day items, thus causing you as the parent to need to buy more faster than you need too. Teach your children how to conserve and use the correct amount of these products. Toothpaste, Toilet paper, and shampoo are common things children use in excess and more then they actually need. Show your child how much toothpaste to put on the tooth brush and how 1 paper towel (or use a cloth instead) is just as efficient.
You don't have to go crazy and have a whole room dedicated to the stuff you get at rock-bottom prices, but it's nice to keep plenty of items you use regularly in the pantry and cabinets. Save money in the long run by purchasing multiples of items you use frequently when they go on sale. I keep things like ketchup, mayo, tuna, pasta, pasta sauce, and canned foods plentiful in my pantry. Here's an article in my Extreme Couponing Beginners Guide about how to stockpile and the basics of doing it.
6.) DIY and Make at home projects
There are so many things that you should be making at home instead of buying at the store! Save your hard earned cash and include the kiddos on some great projects that you can do at home. Did you know that you can make your own laundry detergent, bug spray, bag dispenser, febreze, bread, clean with vinegar, dog treats, and many more things? Get creative and look into DIY alternatives for things you plan on purchasing.
7.) Re-purpose and find new uses!
There are so many things in your home that you could use for other purposes to help save more money. Did you know that you can use dental floss to slice hard boiled eggs, sheet cakes, and other soft foods? Dryer Sheets are great dusters for tvs and computer screens. Instead of purchasing shelves and using precious space to store canned goods, consider re-purposing empty soda cardboard fridge packs! The possibilities are endless.
There are several other ways a single parent can save money and live more frugal. Please share your tips and suggestions in the comments below!
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