10 Save Money Tips for a Single Parent

September 14, 2013

According to Single Parent Magazine, in a 2011 post, there were approximately 13.6 million single parents in the United States, and 60% of those parents are single fathers. As far as children whose parents are divorced, 1.4 million live in a home with grandparents where no single parents were present.

Not all single parents receive the benefits for which they are financially eligible. One problem with single parents who receive multiple work supports is that they can lose assistance before they ever reach self-sufficiency. Single parents, even those who work two jobs, often struggle with buying basic daily living items and paying bills. They find themselves living paycheck to paycheck along side families with two parents. Single parents often don’t have any savings accounts and are in debt far beyond their means.

Save Money TipsPhoto: Wikimedia Commons

Save Money Tips
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

10 Save Money Tips

1. Buy a used car. You can buy or trade in your current car for a used car with a cheaper note and lower insurance and taxes. This will either eliminate your car note or save you $50 to $200 a month on your car payment plus insurance.

2. Use coupons. Buy whatever items are on sale or buy items with coupons. Extreme couponing is becoming more and more common and if done correctly, you monthly food bill could be next to nothing. Even if extreme couponing isn’t your thing, you can save $50 to $300 a month if you stay on top of things. There have been instances where shoppers had a total bill of $200 and ended up paying $5 using coupons. You can find out more about this by doing a search on Google or on Youtube.

3. Buy generic brands when possible. Buy everything generic: cereals and other foods, household items, clothing, prescriptions, toiletries, dry goods, canned goods, paper products, soft drinks, juices, etc. This will save you up to $70 a month.

4. Buy clothes that are washable. Buy clothes that does not need to dry cleaned. Always check the washing instructions before buying. This will save you on average $50 to $150 a month.

5. Hair, nails and makeup. Do you own hair and nails. It’s easier than you think. If needed, ask your regular beautician what she suggests. Buy your makeup from a drugstore, such as CVS or Rite Aid instead of name brand products. This will save you on average $40 to $100 a month. Guys can cut their own hair at home buy purchasing $25 clippers from Wal-mart or Kmart.

6. Gas. Buy regular gas for your car unless the owner’s manual suggests otherwise. Always check your receipts for gas coupons. Lately, Kmart has been issuing $.30 off a gallon where we live and you can use up to 3 coupons at once making it $.90 off a gallon. Find the cheapest gas in your neighborhood to purchase. This could save you anywhere between $.05 to $.20 per gallon.

7. Shop at discount or thrift stores. Buy household items in bulk, such as paper products, cleaning supplies at discount stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, Sam’s Club, and so on. This will save you on average $5 to $50 a month. You can also buy great looking clothes, shoes, purses, hats, and jewelry at thrift stores. Sometimes, these items still have the original price tags.

8. Reduce expenses where you can. Reduce or cancel your cable plan, cell phone or Internet service, or get the cheapest plan available. This can save you $20 to $150 a month. Opt for watching DVDs. You can pick up your kids favorite shows on DVDs at flea markets, yard sales or even on the clearance racks.

9. Buy groceries at local superstores. Buy your groceries at superstores or wholesale stores such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Sam’s Club, and so on. Buy nuts, grains, spices, legumes at wholesale or health food stores. These lasts a long time and can be used as needed. This will save you $30 to $200 a month on processing costs charged at regular grocery stores or local hometown stores that charge more to stay in business.

10. Fun activities for you and the kids. There are many free activities and outings you and your kids can do that will make you grow closer as a family. Check your local library or newspaper to find free activities that you can do to with your kids. This can save anywhere from $5-$100 a month. For trips that you want to take that will cost more, start a savings account and add $5 to $10 dollars to it when you can.

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