For many single parents, saving money is not an option. It is actually a necessity. Balancing your time with your job and raising your kids alone is hard enough task. Learning how to save money can help prevent any additional burden and tension within the family.
Most of the time, you won’t notice any difference with branded products compared to generics or store brands. For example, whenever shopping for toiletries or detergents, buy the cheapest product that is closest to the one you prefer to use.
Plan Your Meals Ahead
Planning is so powerful that it can save you both time and money, two things which you are likely short of as a single parent. Take a pen and paper and sit down to plan your meals everyday for at least two weeks or up to a month. Make sure that you create your menu based on the items you already have on hand, the items on sale, and the products on season, as they are the cheapest. By doing this, you can save a whole lot of time from thinking of what to cook the next day and you can also avoid frequent store visits, which can also save you fuel.
Cook and Freeze
Again, this can save you a lot of time and money. Schedule your cooking before those days when you’ll likely have no time so you can avoid ordering takeaways during busy nights. By cooking a lot and freezing the leftovers, you can avoid wastage and spoiling of unused ingredients.
Start an Allowance for the Kids
Rather than giving them money every day or every time that they ask for it, provide them allowance that should last within a certain period. Not only is this more convenient for you, but it can help them teach the value of money and how important it is to save, which they won’t exactly realize when they’re expecting to receive money every day.
Bag Your Snacks
Instead of shopping for individual snack-sized food for you and the kids, consider buying them in huge boxes, wherein you can possibly apply coupons and get significant discounts. Bag them in smaller zip loc containers so everyone can just grab them for snacks, even you.
Eliminate One Luxury
Most of us cannot live without our cell phone, internet, or cable TV, and it’s even harder to make sacrifices when your kids have become accustomed to them. If you can’t eliminate, at least downgrade one of your services. Consider disconnecting your cable especially when you and the kids aren’t home most of the time, or inquire about combined services to at least reduce the cost of subscription.
Find New Activities to Get Involved In
While it could be hard to bond with the kids without bringing up older memories, it doesn’t mean that you have to lock them up inside the house all day because you are emotionally and financially struggling. By being creative, you can discover a ton of fun activities, which are cheap or even free. Bring them to your relatives and especially to cousins within their age group, visit free town events, etc. The last thing that you want them to feel is that everything has changed.