I’ve been at this for a while now – this single mom thing – and the reason why I have some extra cash now for savings plans and all of that fun stuff is thanks to the thrifty measures I took during that first year just to survive.
1. Cancel your cable.
If you’re reading this, you probably have high-speed internet. I haven’t had a television in two years now so I’ve been forced to seek out all of my favorite TV shows online. At first the pickings were slim. But Hulu.com is adding TV shows to their roster faster than you can say Hulu. Find the Office, Heroes, Ghost Hunters, Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and the Colbert Report there and all of your other favorites are probably on the network’s website.
Worried about the kids and their nasty little TV habits?
Rent DVDs from the library or buy episodes on iTunes for $1.99 a piece. Better yet, find DVDs at garage sales and used children’s toy stores for less than $5.00 each. If you can’t live without it, renew your cable after you’ve cancelled and you’ll probably get a discounted sign up fee for the first three months. So what’s the harm in trying? Read more on why I think you should kill your TV here.
Savings = $60 – $100 (depending on your cable package)
2. Take your lunch to work.
Every day, no matter what. If you really need to convince yourself to do this, go through your checking account or debit card account and add up all of those little meals. You will be amazed at how the total. And besides, not eating out will cut the pounds too.
Savings = $70.00 – $200.00 a month (depending on how much you eat out).
3. Buy Target diapers and baby wipes.
They’re the best. Really. I prefer Target over all of the other diaper brands. And they’re 1/3 of the price.
Savings = $20.00 – $60.00 a month (depending on how many kids you have).
4. Buy energy efficient light bulbs.
They’re more expensive, but they really work. My electric bill went down by 40% last month because of my efficient bulbs and my compulsion to turn off the lights in every room. Candles are also nice. The power went out here for about one week after Ike hit. I realized how much energy I waste every day. Read more on how to cut your electric bill.
Savings = $10.00 – $30.00 a month (depending on the time of year).
5. Find another single mom, and share baby sitting.
Babysitting bills can add up. I’ve been trading with Mia consistently now at least every other weekend. We have a loose schedule and it saves a ton of money. If you don’t have another single mom friend yet look on Craigslist.com or post an ad yourself. Just be careful, exchange e-mails first and then talk on the phone before meeting.
Savings = $60.00 – $120.00 a month (depending on how often you go out).
6. Share hi-speed internet.
Talk to your neighbors, someone near you probably has wireless internet. Work out a deal to split the bill.
Savings = $15.00 – $30.00 a month (depending on your internet rates).
7. Make your own bread.
Yeah right. Just put that in there to be funny. I couldn’t make bread if someone had a gun to my head. Tree Mama may know how though. She rocks by the way! LOVE her.
Savings = $10.00 a month
8. Take shorter showers.
Save water, save the environment and save some cash.
Savings = not sure, don’t have to pay a water bill because I rent! Woo Hoo.
9. Sell your old clothes.
Take them to a consignment shop or sell them on eBay. I also buy 90% of my clothes and Benjamin’s clothes at thrift and consignment shops.
Profits = $50.00 – ? (depending on how much you sell).
10. Cancel your magazine subscriptions.
Seriously. Read blogs instead, they’re way better.
Savings = $10.00 a month
11. Winterize your place.
Seal up those windows babes. Not sure how much you’ll save because I haven’t done it before, but Mr. Man is coming over tomorrow to winterize my place while I’m at work! Yes, some men are so very, very useful.
Do you have any money saving secrets to add? Please, please, I could always use more…