Tips for Saving Money as a Single Mom

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Scared. That was my first initial feeling, first memory, of the thought of being a single mom. Could I hold down the fort financially? Could I afford a decent living and provide for my kids well? Could I manage to scrape together enough on my own? Here are a few tips on how to save money as a single mom

Tips for “Saving the Money” as a Single Mom

Being a single mom is rewarding, though it can come with financial challenges.  That’s because one third of families ran by a single parent live in poverty. Without the full support of a second parent, it can be hard to get by. Thankfully, there are easy ways to live on a tighter budget that you might not have thought of. Single mothers can benefit from being frugal when it comes to their living expenses, since they’re often already strapped for cash. You won’t be able to cut out every expense that comes with raising a child, but these frugal living tips can make being a single mom more affordable.


Tips on How to Save Money

1. Replace Cable with Netflix or Amazon Video

Netflix has plenty of movies and TV shows for a fraction of the cost of cable! The average American spends around $107/month on their cable bill. Meanwhile, your family can watch shows on Netflix for just $15.99/month for their most exclusive package. If your family doesn’t stream entertainment on multiple devices, get their most basic plan for $8.99/month.

Amazon Video has a 30 day Free Trial and it’s $12.99 after that.

Did you know Amazon Prime is discounted for those that sign up with their EBT or Medicaid card? It’s only $5.99 per month and you can cancel anytime. That’s a great deal!

2. Buy Generic Over-The-Counter Medicine

Saving money on medicine. When your family is sick, over-the-counter medicine can feel like a lifesaver. Don’t spend more on brand name medicine when you can get the same exact product in a generic form! Walmart, Target, and some pharmacies have generic versions of common over-the-counter medications, like Benadryl. A 48-count package of Benadryl will cost you $8.50 at Walmart, but Walmart’s generic version contains 100 capsules for just $4.00.

We regularly use generic brands and our doctor approves! 

3. Free and Cheap Family Activities

How to save money on entertainment. Outings with your kids can get expensive quickly. Cut back on the cost without cutting out the fun by using Groupon! Save on your family’s favorite restaurants and find new activities for less than what you’re used to paying. There’s even a section for children’s activities! For even more local deals, look for free coupon books at libraries and nearby grocery stores. Check out your local library, your child’s school, Meetup, your local community Facebook groups and local city festivals. Most festivals are free to get in, will have fun activities for the kids and things for adults to enjoy as well

Free activities will save you money while keeping your kids entertained at the same time! During warmer months your local parks, walking trails, splash pads and public swimming areas are a great option for outdoor play. Meet other parents while your children enjoy themselves, pack your own sack lunches and enjoy the day. 

Best Ways to Save Money

4. Buy in Bulk – The Right Way

Save money on groceries. Even when it’s cheaper to buy in bulk, it’s not always worth it! Avoid buying perishables in bulk, for example, if you don’t have a place to safely store it. Your food will likely spoil before your family finishes it. There’s also no need to invest in a Sam’s Club or Costco membership when grocery stores sell bulk quantities with no annual fee. Check on-line for bulk food orders too! Compare those prices! Most importantly, compare the price tags to make sure you’re actually saving money by buying more!

I have often gone to my local grocery store and bought their reduced meat and stashed it in the deep freezer, saving me lots of money on my grocery budget.

5. Find Savings on Baby Formula

Save money on infant supplies. A baby’s formula can cost as much as $2,000 in their first year alone! To avoid spending too much on formula, look for coupons and deals wherever you can find them. Gerber and Similac have customer programs that send you samples and coupons. Sign up for both, especially if you have a baby on the way. Don’t forget to check supermarket circulars and coupon websites for savings! Don’t forget to check on-line prices vs your local store prices. 

How To Save Money

6. Buy Generic School Supplies

Save money on school supplies. Back-to-school shopping lists can be extensive and expensive! Your children’s teachers want a green binder, a yellow binder, a purple binder; a black marbled notebook…the list goes on, literally. Buy generic or off-brand school supplies – your child’s teacher either won’t notice or won’t care. Buy writing utensils in bulk, since we all know how easily kids lose pens and pencils. Walmart has tons of back-to-school savings in their stores during the summer months! Check the dollar stores as well. Check  Amazon for Back to School Supplies sales and deals too!

7. Buy Secondhand Clothing

Saving money on your kids clothes. Buy your family high-quality, secondhand clothing instead of paying full price! If your local thrift store doesn’t have anything that catches your eye, hop on secondhand selling apps like Vinted and Mercari for more up-to-date options. You can also sell and swap your old clothes on those apps, which will help bring in some extra spending money! If you are really hard pressed for clothes, see if your local thrift store has a program to help you. Our local thrift store, if approved, will give you up to $100 in store credit for clothing for you and your children. 

8. Take Mass Transit

Save money by carpooling or taking the bus. If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area with public transportation, use it! Monthly bus passes are cheaper than weekly gasoline refills. Your children may get a discount on bus fares due to their age, and students may be able to get a discount with a student ID. To save even more money, walk wherever you can (when the weather allows it) and avoid using rideshare apps. If your neighborhood doesn’t have public transportation, consider carpooling with other families. Transportation costs add up, but they don’t have to break your bank account! Call up that friend or neighbor and organize a carpool rotation. 

What is the Best Way to Save Money

9. Eat at Home

Save money on the grocery bill. Restaurants are expensive. Even fast food can add up quick if your family eats it every day. Making meals at home will help your family save money, and it gives your kids something to help out with! Getting your whole family involved with meal preparation will make it so exciting that they’ll forget that TGI Friday’s even exists! Get your kids opinion on what to make for meals. Getting your kids involved may help them be excited about what’s for dinner. Home is my favorite restaurant!

10. Sign Up for Amazon Family

Amazon Family offers savings on the products your family uses the most, including 20% off diapers. Sign up today for a 30-day trial. If you don’t like what you see, you can always cancel! Keep an eye out for other savings from Amazon, like Prime Day and Cyber Monday.

11. Get Rid of Your Landline Phone

Fewer families are using landline phones than ever before. In fact, 52.5% of American homes don’t have a landline. If your family has a cell phone plan, don’t spend the extra money on a landline! A cell phone can handle everything and more. Not to mention, having a cell phone as your primary mode of contact is the most effective way to get a hold of you in an emergency. If your child’s school calls the house, you might not know what’s up for hours! Be sure to take advantage of your cell phone providers family plan, it may save you money. 

12. Cut Down on Your Utility Bills

Turn those lights off to save money! Watch how much electricity and water you all are using. Turn lights off after leaving a room. Turn water off if not immediately using it. Turn the air conditioning up a few degrees. All these little steps will help save a few dollars on your next bill. Every little bit adds up. Contact your local utility providers or check out their websites for money saving tips!

Tips for Saving Money Everyday

Frugal living will set you up for more financial security without having to ditch the things your family enjoys. Your children may even learn some smart spending skills by watching you save on necessities! The bottom line is don’t spend more than you make. Save as much as you can, sacrificing when and wherever you can. Always pay cash, if at all possible. Being a single mom is hard, but smarter spending can make things a little bit easier. 

Pray! Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you manage your money and time in a way that pleases Him. Everyday. Bring your needs before our Heavenly Father, be a wise steward of your money and help others. 

What is you best tip for saving money as a single mom? Leave a comment below or PM me. I may just add it here to my list. 


Here are additional Single Mom Budgeting tips that I loved!

What is the easiest way to save money?

Use these money-saving tips to generate ideas about the best ways to save money in your day-to-day life.

  1. Eliminate Your Debt.
  2. Set Savings Goals.
  3. Pay Yourself First.
  4. Stop Smoking.
  5. Take a “Staycation”
  6. Spend to Save.
  7. Utility Savings.
  8. Pack Your Lunch.
  9. Cut out extras.

How can I save more money in 2020?

  1. Pay down credit card debt.
  2. Create a family budget and stick to it.
  3. Look for higher returns for cash investments.
  4. Contribute more to your retirement accounts.
  5. Build an Emergency Fund.
  6. Pay Your Bills On Time.
  7. Don’t react to current stock market volatility.
  8. Cut out extras, even it you love them.

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  1. Rosie

    July 9, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Starla, you are an amazing woman. Thank you for you let post on single mom savings. I too ama single mom and it was tough in the beginning but also my faith in God and his plans have brought me and my boys through time and time again. Know you are being prayed for and thank you for continuing to post, so many live in shame-aka evil ones lies-it’s good to voice where you are at in your walk and encourage others.

  2. 8 Self Care Ideas for Single Moms ~ Coffee With Starla

    December 7, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    […] We all have to say “no” to someone or something from time to time. Sometimes, it’s telling your children that unfortunately, you can’t bring them to the mall on short notice because there’s too much going on. Other times, it’s telling your church or school’s PTA that you can’t volunteer at their event. If you can work out a compromise, do so, but you’re by no means obligated to. Don’t let others take advantage of your kindness when you already have enough to worry about. This also includes telling ourselves no. No to that new outfit, car, vacation or whatever and you’ll simply have to plan and save the money to pay for it in cash. […]

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