As a single parent, either a single mother or single father, there is still only one income, and it has a long way to go. Some of the things I’ve done over the years seemed like a good idea at the time. Other times, if I had just a little more time, I could have done better. And saving money is directly related to how much time you have to spend and how organized you are.
It helps if you are not trying to impress your neighbors or friends. Real friends do not need impressing, they are your support for your efforts. And your neighbors – who cares?
My list of odd things I’ve done that could help you too:
- any leftovers can be soup, ie: spaghetti and that coleslaw with a can of beans = minestrone!
- more good but inexpensive meals here
- painting furniture – buy the mis-tints, even those weird colors will look fabulous, I’ve painted countless dressers, shelves and side tables.
- reuse those lunch bags – you better be packing a lunch!
- reuse those ziplock-style baggies – I have one right now in my pile of dishes that has held rice cakes all week.
- being a vegetarian – okay, I always was one, but looking at those prices, yikes, do Asian-style cooking with one piece of meat sliced up with veggies and gravy
- hand-me-down clothes – yes, my boys wore their sisters pink and white Minnie Mouse pajamas, the knee finally got a hole in it during my third kid wearing them, and I kept that set as a memento <sniffle>
some of the healthiest foods are also the cheapest – cabbage, onions, turnips, oatmeal, rice.
- hit the thrift stores in the off season for those bathing suits or winter coats
- same re sporting goods, once that season starts finding used anything gets more difficult
- I generally bought everything used except computers and gaming systems, everything else is usually safe from malfunction after some use, such as microwaves or TV’s
- all my washers and dryers have been bought used, and lasted for years, there are a lot of home based business guys that repair these and resale
- and yes, I bought used beds, because I could never afford a new $3,000 bed otherwise (got it for $400)(you should be more concerned about motel beds)(just saying…..)
- make sure you gather all school supplies at the end of the year! I lost lots of money this way, by not making sure I got every pencil and paper for the next year, when I finally did the big bedroom clean – I found all of it! I’d offer a bounty for the safe return of supplies, like $5.
- you can resize sheets, I just added elastic strips to my 8 inch sheet corners to better fit and stay on a 10 inch mattress
renovating? a newly painted floor with gloss paint looks amazing!
- consider learning how to sew – I’ve been teaching myself, at basic level, but I’ve added sleeves, added fabric strips to enlarge a shirt, added to the bottom of a short shirt, made a skirt out of a dress, taken in sides of pants
- also with sewing, you can cut and edge large towels into smaller, make curtains from sheets or similar
- being organized actually saves you money, I’ve bought duplicates of things because I couldn’t find the first one, like packing tape, paint brushes, tensor bandages
- my daughter would give me her old makeup, that stuff is ridiculously over-priced!
- google or pinterest whatever you are considering, like updating a lamp
- drive your vehicle till it won’t drive anymore. I had a van for 11 years, the engine light was on for the last two, I simply wouldn’t be able to get enough money out of it to buy something else, so I drove it and drove it, I definitely got my money out of that ford.
- oh, and this might seem callous, but stop donating, pick something where it goes semi-directly to the recipient, for instance, I worked at a women’s center, and they were so wasteful! They had a large supply of donated hotel size shampoos, conditioners and soaps, that would be given to safe house people or hamper people. It was taking up some room and the manager wanted to throw it all out, so I suggested taking it to the food bank, and the manager’s response was “but who is going to take it there?”. OMG! she shrugs and walks away, like it was too much effort or wasn’t in anyone’s job description. Oh, and the foodbank? it was about seven blocks away.
Here’s a link to a site that has some very nice recycling craft ideas.
So you do whatever you need to do to save some money and please don’t worry what other people think – that will cost you.
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