live_comm_6638Everyday Money-Saving Tips for Single Parents







When money is tight, you might be tempted to look for “big” ways to start saving more money each month. However, quite often, you’ll find that saving money in “little” ways every day begins to add up to considerable savings. Put these money saving tips into practice, and make a point of putting the money you save into the bank.

Tip #1: Use Coupons Effectively

If you’re going to bother to clip coupons, make sure you use them in a way that saves you the most money possible. For example, find out whether your local grocery store offers to double coupon values on a certain day. If they do, make that day of the week your regular shopping day. Also, refer to the store’s weekly flyer to find out what’s on sale. If you have coupons for items, such as cereal, that regularly go on sale, wait until the sale to use the coupon. Over time, this strategy will help you save a lot of money.

Tip #2: Use Inexpensive Toiletries

We’ve all seen the Suave commercials. I don’t know about you, but I certainly can’t tell the difference between the Suave results and the more expensive brands they use for the purposes of comparison. In addition, Suave offers a money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose by giving it a try. Another option is shopping for toiletries in a dollar store. You might be surprised to learn how many different brand name products are available for discounted prices.

Tip #3: Use Generic Laundry Detergents

You can save quite a bit of money each month just by purchasing the least expensive laundry detergent available to you. Whether you buy the generic brand or use coupon, the money you can save really adds up by the end of the month when you consider how much laundry you do. And if you’re planning to check into your local dollar store for toiletries, add laundry detergent to your shopping list. You’re likely to find several options there.

Tip #4: Do Not Have Your Clothes Professionally Dry Cleaned

There are two ways to go about this. Either don’t buy clothes that need to be dry cleaned, or use the dry cleaning fabric sheets that be used in the dryer.

Tip #5: Drink Water

How much money do we spend per week on sodas and specialty drinks? Making an effort to drink tap water during the day can really add up when you compare it’s cost –– nothing at all –– to what you typically spend on sodas, coffees, and other drinks.

Tip #6: Make Your Own Snacks

It often surprises me how much of my regular grocery shopping is convenience snack food for the kids! Instead of buying individually-wrapped snacks at $3-$4 per box, consider making your own snacks, or buying snacks in bulk and storing them in handy snack-sized Zip-loc bags. The result is just as convenient, but costs you a lot less.

Tip #7: Double Your Recipes When You Cook

When you go grocery shopping, plan to purchase twice the ingredients for one or two recipes. Specifically in regards to the meat, you’ll pay less per pound when you purchase a larger amount for doubling your recipes. Then freeze the extra batch for an evening when you don’t have time to cook a full meal. Not only will this strategy save you money on the cost of the ingredients, but it will prevent you from ordering take-out on your next harried evening. The combination can lead to significant savings.

Tip #8: Buy Generic Foods and Staples

If you don’t purchase generic breakfast cereals, snacks, and breads, consider how much money you could save each month. If you’re concerned that your kids “won’t like” the generic foods, take a couple of weeks to gradually ease them into your family’s routine. For example, mix half of a box of Cheerios with half of a box of generic O-shaped cereal. In a couple of weeks, your kids will be accustomed to any variance in flavor or texture, and they won’t know the difference.

Tip #9: Only Buy Used Cars

Do you deserve a new car? Absolutely! But it isn’t always the wisest decision. You can save more money over time by purchasing a decent “certified” used car from a dealer you trust.

Tip #10: Downgrade One Luxury Item

Think about how many luxuries we’ve become accustomed to. You probably don’t go anywhere without your cell phone, and we all seem to be convinced that we “have to have” cable TV or a satellite dish. Some of the accoutrements that we once thought of as special treats have become the staples in our monthly budgets. This is actually a big part of why there’s too much month left at the end of our paychecks. For now, choose just one luxury to downgrade or eliminate.