18 Money-Saving Tips That Actually Work, According to Moms
18 Money-Saving Tips That Actually Work, According to Moms
Being a mother is a demanding job! With these money saving suggestions for parents, I attempted to make your life a bit simpler!
Parenting not only requires a lot of labor, but it can also be costly. We’re all aware of how much work we put in as mothers. We look after the children, cook, clean, educate, and administer our households. Feeding our children nutritious foods, giving amusement, and, particularly these days, ensuring their education.
Balancing the budget on top of all of these obligations might seem to be an impossible task. It’s a lot to practice frugality on top of everything else. To do this issue right, I went to the experts: the mothers themselves. I asked 12 money-saving parents for their greatest money-saving advice.
As a mother of three, I understand what it’s like to raise a family on a tight budget. Even if you are not on a shoestring budget, you are undoubtedly seeking for money-saving solutions to assist you as a parent.
Saving money can be tough. After all, there are so many expenses; groceries, car and mortgage payments, new clothes for the kids, you name it. But with a few money saving tips you’ll be surprised how quickly you can pocket a little extra change, and how that pocket change can add up to meaningful savings over time.
If you’re struggling to begin your savings journey, don’t feel discouraged. After all, it’s not like they teach budgeting or how to make thoughtful purchases in school. Learning how to save money takes a little extra effort, but it has the potential to change your life. These mom-approved and mom-recommended money saving tips have helped these women make increasing their savings look easy and effortless. And they’re easy things you can implement in your life, too. With some creative thinking, dedication to tracking your goals and saving where you can, and ingenuity, you can make saving money your new way of living.
1 of 18 Cut the cord.
Watching TV can be a great way to unwind, but cable can be expensive. These days, cable isn’t necessary to watch TV. You can cut the cord and opt for a cheaper way to watch your favorite shows. Streaming services like YoutubeTV, Hulu, Netflix, HBONow, and Amazon Prime all offer amazing shows (probably more choices than you even have time to watch) and they’ll end up being significantly cheaper than what you paid for cable.
2 of 18 Rediscover your local library.
If you’re a book fiend and you can’t keep enough books stocked by your bedside before you’ve read through them all, then developing a closer relationship with your local library will be a huge money saver. Yes, you can find used books for a dollar or five, but new hardcover books can run around $25 each. Instead of paying for those books, rent them from your library. You get all the wonderfulness of having a new book to read, without paying a dime (or having another book taking up space in your house!).
3 of 18 Save your pennies.
Change can feel clunky and useless to carry around, but when you pay for something in cash, don’t let those coins you get back disappear. You’ll be amazed how quickly loose change can add up. To inspire you to keep track of your change, put it in a mason jar or tin can that you label with your savings goal — maybe you want to go on a vacation, buy some accessories for your car, or treat your daughter to a fancy prom dress — every time you deposit your change in the jar you’ll remember what you’re saving for, and after a few months you’ll be able to see how much all that change has added up.
4 of 18 Sell your old stuff online.
Instead of letting your 7-year-old’s baby clothes collect dust in the corner, turn them into cash with Ebay, or Facebook Marketplace. Diana Blinkhorn, mom of three and blogger at Gray Ruby Diaries, makes $300-$1,000/month selling items like gently used toys, books, or outgrown clothes on Marketplace. Her tip? Timing is key: “I list those items on Facebook Marketplace to declutter before the holidays, because I know these items will sell quickly.”
5 of 18 Become your own barista.
An easy way to save money every day is to skip the drive-through coffee and make your own at home. “If you’re spending anywhere from $2 to $5 a day on coffee, you’ll end up saving between $730 and $1,825 a year,” says Maria Lianos-Carbone, mom and author of Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year: Because Moms Need a Little TLC, Too!
What You’ll Need: Travel mug ($12, Amazon)
6 of 18 ever buy without a coupon.
Coupons can save you a few dollars a week on essential items. “Shop retail stores like Big Lots that have a clearance end cap for almost expired snack products for 50% or more off,” says Logan Stewart Kureczka, a PR director and mom of an 8-month-old baby. She also recommends checking the product discount carts at your local grocery stores and signing up for emails for online retailers that send out periodic coupons. N
7 of 18 Vacation with family.
Everyone deserves a break. Amanda Ponzar, mom of two and chief communications & strategy officer at Health Charities recommends vacationing with extended family to share the costs. “Whether we rent an AirBnB together (we’ve done this a few times in Maine, Shenandoah Valley, etc.) or find online discounts using website like Groupon, my family has gotten some amazing deals and had a lot of fun at places like Great Wolf Lodge and Skyland Manor Castle, without the high price tag.”
8 of 18 Don’t underestimate credit card rewards.
According Beverly Harzog, mom, consumer finance analyst, and credit card expert at U.S. News & World Report, you should always pay for meals with a credit card that gives you more points for dining out, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which gives you two points per dollar spent on dining. “Then, when the bill comes, use your inventory of rewards points to get a statement credit. You earned rewards while dining, and paid for the meal with your rewards,” she says.
9 of 18 Increase your retirement savings every year.
With electricity bills, mortgage and car payments, and grocery shopping to take care of, it’s hard to imagine putting away more money for the future. But it’s important to have a comfortable cushion of savings to rely on once you retire. Mother of two and certified financial planner, Allison Vanaski, recommends increasing your 401(K) contribution by 1% or more right now if you can. “If you are saving 5% of your salary, bump it up to 6%. Most people won’t even notice the difference in their take-home pay,” she says.
10 of 18 Organize with repurposed items.
You know the old saying: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Organization expert Susan Santoro recommends turning throw-away items, like an empty tuna can box and a glass food jar, into stationary organizers and snack containers. According to Santoro, this will keep your home organized at no cost — but you’re also saving them from adding to a landfill.
11 of 18 Make a grocery list.
Having a grocery list can save you both time and money, according to mom of three and certified yoga teacher and meditation coach, Veronica Parker. “It helps me get organized and know in advance what I’m making for dinner for the week,” she says. It also helps her stick to the items on her list — instead of wanting to buy everything in the store.
12 of 18 Save a dollar every week.
Saving can be a slow, frustrating process for some, including in California native Kassondra Perry-Moreland’s experience. “I had been depressed about not being able to save: No matter how much overtime I put in, the money was gone instantly!” Until Perry-Moreland came across a chart online called The 52-Week Money Challenge. “You put away one dollar the first week, two the next, three after that, and so on — and at the end of the year, you have $1,378!” she says. She credits her success to being able to ease into saving and posting about the challenge on Facebook to gain support from her friends.
13 of 18 Buy produce in season.
Buying fruits and vegetables that are in season will not only taste more fresh, but they’ll also save you money. According to Reader’s Digest, it costs less for companies to distribute seasonal food to grocery store than if they have to ship it from outside the country. “This often means being more flexible with purchases and not going to whatever attractive packaging catches my eye,” says Jennifer Lipsitt-McLean, mother of three and blogger at Mom Bible. It also saves her hundreds of dollars each year. NBD.
14 of 18 Walk when you can.
The benefits of walking are countless: It’s good for your health, saves you gas money, and helps you be present. “In addition to saving money and improving my health, I see so much more of the riches of my environment,” says Maria Leonard Olsen, civil litigation attorney, radio host, and author of 50 After 50: Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life. “For example, I noticed a beautiful meditation labyrinth in a church garden that I have passed numerous times in my car, but only noticed when I slowed down and walked by it.”
15 of 18 Sort your groceries.
Break your groceries up into two categories: Need and want. After going through the supermarket, Julie Cowart from Stevenson, Washington pulls up a second cart and takes out all the ‘want’ items — like ice cream, soda, cookies — as opposed to the ‘need’ items. Then she adds up how much she would have spent buying the want items, and she puts the savings in her travel fund. “It’s like window shopping: I get to savor the idea of buying these things, but then I use the money to travel instead,” she says. Some stores, like Stop & Shop, offer handheld bar code scanners, but you can also purchase your own to tally your grocery bill as you go.
What You’ll Need: Mini bar code scanner ($50, Amazon)
16 of 18 Downsize your car.
Though it may be a difficult adjustment, reducing your car size or having one car per family can increase your savings. “It was the hardest thing I ever did, but a couple of years ago, we gave up our second car,” says Cindy Smith from Courtice, Ontario. “It had been costing us $8,000 a year just to sit in a commuter parking lot all day while I was at work. But I started taking the bus to my train, and I kept my eye on the benefits: I’m saving $675 a month! The money goes to my retirement savings and to doing more with my husband and daughter.”
17 of 18 Photograph your receipts.
Who knew you could earn cash from saving your receipts? “The Receipt Hog app gives you ‘coins’ for submitting photos of grocery and superstore receipts, and for filling out surveys,” says Kimberly Porter from Buford, Georgia. “Then you can redeem the coins through PayPal for cash or as an Amazon gift card. This money is my savings. I made about $80 in the first few months. Every once in a while, I surprise my husband by putting gas in his truck.”
18 of 18 Name your savings accounts.
Online-only banks like Alliant will let you name multiple accounts. Jackie Cummings Koski of Dayton, Ohio says “I promised my daughter that if she saved half the money she needed to buy a used car when she turned 16, I’d match it.” “Well, by age 15, she had $4,000! To catch up, I set up an automatic transfer into an online savings account every month. But the key was calling the account “Happy Sweet 16.” Every time I saw that pop up on my statement, I smiled — which made saving much more fun. “
Being a mother is one of the most difficult occupations on the planet. You have a lot of tasks and stuff to take care of. I hope that some of these money saving techniques for parents make life a little simpler for some women out there so they can concentrate on what matters most: their children.