To say it is not easy being a single mom is the understatement of the century. Instead, ways to make life a little bit easier is the topic of the day. Single moms have to worry about how to juggle every expense they have into their budget each week/month. You want to provide everything for your family and there are some valuable frugal ideas that can help you out.
Stop throwing out leftovers after each meal! Those tasty morsels can be used to create a whole new meal later in the week. Creative cooking is the order of the day from now on. You can even freeze things like leftover vegetables to make vegetable soup or a beef stew in the future. Leftover mashed potatoes make great potato cakes too! Saving leftovers saves you money because you do not have to buy as many groceries.
Wear clothing items more than once. If clothing is not stained or dirty, simply hang them up and wear them again another day. This will save on laundry because there will not be a stack of clothes for each person in the home before laundry day ever arrives!
*Re-use bath towels
If you think about it, it is a little silly to wash a bath towel after each bath/shower, after all you are clean after bathing right? It is a waste of water and laundry soap, which cost money. Try washing all of the used towels once a week. Simply hang up the towel(s) after each shower so they can air out and dry. When the weather is nice outside, hang your wet towels on a line to dry in between laundry days.
*Grow a garden
Gardening is something the whole family can help with. Teaching your kids about gardening can lead to years of memorable moments. If you know very little about gardening, then it can be an activity you and your kids can learn about together. One more benefit to growing your own fresh veggies is that you can stop paying the high prices at your grocery store!
*Shut the lights off
This is a really important thing to teach kids: the value of turning the light off when they leave a room. This will lower your electric bill as well as save on having to replace light bulbs as often. It is a good habit to get the whole family into, starting very young.
Stop going to the movies or fee based parks and attractions. Go on trips to free attractions in your area like the library and state parks. Start a family sports team and play against other families in the neighborhood. Play board games and read books together, put on little plays for each other and invite friends and family to watch. All of these activities will help bring out your kids natural talents and let them shine. Have craft days where everyone sits down and creates something unique.
*Holidays and special occasions
Make the holidays about family time together and not about gifts of material things. Every mom knows how expensive the holidays can be, figure out ways to make them more fun and less store bought “fluff”. Gather the kids together and create homemade decorations and gifts. Sit around and sing songs and play games together. Teach yourself and your kids that the joy of the holidays does not come from stores but from the love of family.
*Home cooked meals
Avoid going out to eat. The only exception might be a very special occasion, otherwise, make meals at home. The kids can get involved with the preparation such as putting bread on a plate or setting the table. You can easily turn meal time into a fun family event. Older children can learn the basic of cooking, which they can carry with them into adulthood.
This means everything from food to toys. Instead of heading to the big box stores or malls, check out the dollar stores and thrift shops. You might be amazed at the great deals you can find by exploring these alternatives shops. Another potential gold mine is a good yard sale. You can find tons of nice kids clothing and toys at yard sales. One more idea is to get together with moms in the neighborhood and have an “item swap” where you all bring items that are still in great usable condition and trade with each other.
*Recycle and reuse items
There are so many items that can be cleaned and used for alternative purposes rather than just tossed in the trash can. Examples include glass food jars (make flower and plant vases among other things), plastic milks jugs (make great sun tea jugs) and plastic bags (make fabulous trash bags for small cans). If you buy butter in plastic containers, then wash them and use for storing leftovers or random things like small toys or buttons. Instead of throwing away worn out clothing, cut them up and use for cleaning rags which saves you money on paper towels! Worn out, thin towels make great end table covers or dresser drawer liners.
*Learn to sew
This one can save you a ton of money on kids clothes. Besides the money saving benefit, sewing can be a fun and relaxing activity to do during nap times or in the evenings after everyone goes to bed. You can get together with other moms and have a little sewing party where you exchange patterns, material and knowledge about sewing.
Frugality is not a new fad; in fact moms have been living the frugal life for centuries. Mothers through the ages have managed to provide for their families by learning how to save money and cut corners. Frugality can become a very comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle for you, as well as help teach your children very valuable skills for later in their lives.