Best money saving ideas

  1. As a new single parent...can no longer manage shifts and have to work regular hours. With afterschool care to pay for...plus all other child/house related expenses...money is tight.
    So for those of you who have to...how do you make the dollar stretch? Thanks, Zig.
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   JailRN
    I don't buy anything that we don't absolutely need.
  4. by   lindagio
    When I go to the grocery store, most of the time I buy the store brand and there is really no difference. I love discount stores and especially thrift stores,. i once bought a 200 dollar suit for only 10 dollars. IN ga we now have a good cents store where everything is only one dollar. I am addicted to this strore especially if I need a new purse or bookbag. My husband taught me how to shop in thrift stores. I use the library alot instead of buying books and we sometimes have to eat Ramen noodles or mac and cheese for supper. The kids don't mind I just think that stuff is kind of fattening. Best wishes and I know you can do it. Day care is a big issue, but try an in-home person or even place an ad in a church bulletin or local elememtary school that you are a single mom looking for help with child care( I find the community to be very helpfull) I switch out with my neighbor we try to work our schedules.
  5. by   Brownms46
    I also never bought anything I didn't need. I cooked from scratch rather than buying process foods, and frozen them. I made meal stretchers like hamburger, pork and beans over rice. I made this with honey, spices, green peppers, and onions...and kids usually love it!

    I also used the library...but I would go to book sales they would have at the library. You could get books for less than a dollar. I also would visit thrift stores on the day that first got things in...early in the morning. I would go to all the best flea market sales. One church would have one every year, and on the first day...early in the morning they would have a brown bag sale. You have so much time to put anything that could fit in a brown bag, and paid only a $$1.00 for that bag!

    A friend of mine who is a farmer with kids from both marriages...would go to pawn shops, and buy gifts for the kids! In order to save money on utilites...you can have the utility company come out, and show you how to reduce costs. Some of the suggestions are inexpensive.

    Another way is to do laundry, and cooking during off hours,( usually before 0900, and after 2100hrs)... and on weekends and holidays!

    Swap babysitting with someone you trust...when possible.

    Play games, or spend time talking to children ...telling stories rather than going out to the movies.

    Have your friends tape movies for you...rather than renting. Tape songs off the radio...rather than buying CDs.

    There is a store in most towns I have traveled to that have a dollar or $.99 cent store. I can buy just about everything there. Lotion, food, toiletries, detergent, coffee, cooking oil.....oooh just all kinds of things!!

    Another friend needed a laptop for her daugher in college, and barely had the money to get her there, and paid everything she had out to do it. She ran an ad in the newspaper for anyone who had a laptop...as that was the only thing her daughter could fit in the space she had. She got a top of the line...laptop...from a wonderfully, kind soul...for nothing within days of placing the ad.
    The thing is the person was afraid that they hadn't seen her ad in time to help out..!
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Sep 7, '02
  6. by   dawngloves
    Coupons, sales at brick and mortar stores and the internet.
    I look around at different sites and they give you a heads up.
    I never spend more than $100 a year buying new toys for the kids in my family, birthday and Christmas. After Christmas and summer are the best times to get things 75% off.
    Same for clothes. If it ain't more than 50% off, I'll wait until it is!
    Also peruse eBay. I can get a lot of clothes for my kids there, some never worn, for pennies!
    It takes a while, but you'll learn to be a Bargain Betty and sniff out those deals

    Here is a good site:
    http://www.clevermoms.com/
  7. by   futurecdrn
    Monitor and cut down on "latte factor". We're just not talking about the premiumly priced OTC of Starbucks but all the little things we buy. I read several personal finance books and one of the exercises is to write down all your expenses for the whole week. Then, evaluate if any of those expenses were due to impulsive buying, or unnecessary.

    Think for 24 hours before spending $50 or $100 on something. Do you really need that dress, furniture, or equiptment? Finally, remember that "it's your money" so respect your money by saving and spending it well.

    Happy weekend!
  8. by   Lacey
    I feel for you, Ziggy. I remember being a single mom with two little ones. I ended up working steady night shift as it was easier for my mom or other sitter to sleep over my house while my kids were asleep and I was at work. I would have my two nights off and my ex would get the kids two different nights, so I needed a sitter only 3 nites a week. This system worked out better financialy, but I never got enough sleep! I don't know how I did it, but I guess a lot of folks had things a lot worse! Good Luck-Lacey
    PS: Brownms, What is Swamp Baby sitting? I really got a chuckle out of that typo! :chuckle
    Last edit by Lacey on Sep 7, '02
  9. by   ziggyRn
    Thanks for your ideas...problem with nursing in NZ is that it pays so badly. I have heaps of experience, a BSN and nearly finished masters...yet salary is NZ$38,000. That's US$17,000 [before tax] Pathetic eh? and nursing jobs generally come with no benefits...no health insurance, savings plans etc. Even though I have become very frugal it still doesn't balance.
    I am seriously considering leaving nursing but am very sad to do so.
    Anyway have found that this is very hard on my kids...having to say no to treats that they previously enjoyed eg Mcdonalds, movies. Having a Dad that earns much more than me, means that the kids swing from rich Dad to poor Mum all the time.
    Anyway, have found that thinking about every cent helps...now know how those lattes add up [2 a day at $3 each means $30 per week and $120 per month...holy cow!]
    I don't buy magazines, only two newspapers a week, have basic TV, don't spend any $ on myself, only buy generic brands, don't go to the gym or play golf anymore, don't go out... Have become imaginative with rice and pasta. Yet it's still not enough.
    Am thinking about either leaving nursing or finding a second income.
  10. by   RNforLongTime
    Too bad you can't move to the States! If I tallied up what I spend $$ on, I'd shoot myself! I buy WAY too many magazines and Nursing reference books. My problem is that I WANT children but havent had any luck in the conception dept.
  11. by   Lausana
    (((Ziggy))) sounds like you're doing a pretty good job with cutting costs...how's their dad doing about helping you financially? Sounds like he could chip in a little extra while your getting settled for childcare, etc...but that's probably the last thing you want to do though

    I'm not sure how it works in NZ, but here in the states there are lots of different programs that can help mom's get discounts on childcare, etc...is there any such thing there? Since you're a newly single mom, you may be able to get a lot of help from church or community groups to help you with the big adjustment...

    Hang in there, let us know how it's going! :kiss
  12. by   Brownms46
    I'm sorry ziggyRN...I didn't even notice that you weren't in the states!! I think it's time for you to take your ex back to court for more support money! Is that possible there??? Are there any advocacy groups there to help single moms...get their fair share of support money??

    And Lacey...:chuckle....I didn't even realized I had screwed that up...:chuckle. I meant to say swap. Thanks for giving me a clue..
  13. by   shay
    The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. Here is a link:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...494410-7930552

    BUY IT. Make it your thrift Bible. Dh and I, as you may or may not know, were very poor when we first got married. This book helped us A LOT. I highly recommend it.
  14. by   RNforLongTime
    Shay,

    I remember hearing about Amy Dacyczyn years ago. Does she have a website? Cause I could sure use a few money saving tips myself. I waste too much money on stupid things like magazines for instance.

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