With only one household income, single parents are at a higher risk of falling into poverty or facing financial hardship. Even if you receive child support, raising kids on one person’s salary isn’t easy. Whether it’s paying for back-to-school supplies or struggling to put enough food in the fridge, single parents always need to have a plan B. These simple money-saving suggestions are meant to be incorporated into your daily life. They may not provide thousands of dollars a year, but you’ll be able to cut down on the cost of your biggest expenses and put more away each month.
Do Your Grocery Shopping in Bulk
Bulk shopping seems more expensive, but it actually saves you more time and money. The trick is to time your shopping differently. Rather than weekly trips, aim to go to the store twice or even once a month if you can afford it. Buying all your staples in bulk will cut back on gas, time and energy going to the store multiple times a week. You can also find certain items you usually can’t afford individually for a better deal at a bulk store. Make sure that you also use your store’s coupons to save even more each trip. Buy what’s most practical and on sale first. Keep an eye out on home goods and clothing at the bulk stores, too. Costco, for example, often sells kids clothes like PJs, winter coats and jeans for half the cost of a regular store.
Make Crockpot Meals
You are likely already familiar with meal planning. Thinking ahead, writing out a list and buying items to make enough for leftovers is a simple way you can stretch your groceries to the max. But think about how you can also condense what you buy to save on food costs and reduce time spent cooking. Crockpot meals are an easy way to make diverse dishes that can be eaten later or even packed into a lunch. Chili, pot roast, stews and more cost less to make large portions of and last longer in the freezer.
Do you find yourself dreading your student loan or car payment more each month? Refinancing can help lower the costs by extending the length of your loan and possibly even giving you some cash back right away. When you refinance student loans, you are able to reduce the risk of falling behind or defaulting. It’s also a fast, easy process that doesn’t cost anything.
Look for Alternative Brands
Generic brands at the store are meant for people who need to save money. While you do have to comparison shop, most alternative, cheaper brands taste just as good as the more expensive products. Going off-brand for bigger purchases isn’t recommended, but when it comes to basic things like cereal and toilet paper, go for it. Keep track of how much you save, and dedicate that amount to your savings account.
Start Reducing Your Digital Consumption
Do you pay for Hulu Premium when you could just watch a couple of ads and save $6? Maybe you’re overpaying for internet or cable when you rarely watch TV, or you bought some applications on your phone that you’re routinely paying for without ever using. There are many ways we overspend unconsciously online; reevaluate how simple costs are impacting your budget and cut back accordingly.
You don’t have to go without entirely, but consider reducing subscriptions to the most basic packages and work with the slight limitations for greater savings.