Mother's Day is coming up-- so what do Moms REALLY want? More time to do the things they WANT to do-- and more money to do those things with. Here are my Top 5 Ways for Moms to Save Money.
Top 5 Ways Mom Can Save Money
1. Create a Meal Plan
Making a meal plan is something we mean to do, but somewhere in the midst of working, cleaning, running errands and chasing after kids it gets lost in the shuffle. Many moms know that having a meal plan makes it easier to pass on fast food and it saves them from that 4:30 p.m. "What's for dinner" conundrum.
But did you know that meal planning can cut your grocery bill as well?
Planning your meals around your grocery store's weekly sales is the key to saving big. Also plan your meals so that you can re-purpose leftovers, what do I mean by re-purpose leftovers? For example, chicken and rice leftover from Monday night can become soup ingredients to go along with sandwiches on Wednesday night.
If you don't have time to peruse sales ads and create a plan yourself, there are great sites out there, like Food On The Table, which creates meal plans based on your local grocer's sales ad for you.
2. Sitter Swap
Anniversaries, work parties and date night all require one elusive and expensive ingredient to make them a success... a baby sitter. Finding childcare can be easier and cheaper than you ever imagined-- if you’re willing to think out of the teenage girl box.
Sitter swapping is all the rage, mostly because it's free... plus, you usually feel safer when parents you know are watching your kids. How do you start a swap? Call up a friend and dive in by asking to watch her kids so they can go out on a date night this week in exchange for the same favor returned the following week.
But be sure you lay out some ground rules, like how long you’re willing to watch the kids, if you'll be providing meals and whether you'll keep the kids home or take them on an outing.
3. Research Before You Buy
Whether it's a new computer or a fresh-to-the grocery-store type of cereal, look before you leap. Spending just a few minutes researching online or comparing sales ad prices can save you time and money. Remember that price is not the only consideration. Quality and longevity play a roll as well. I can't tell you how many bullets I've dodged by reading customer reviews. Sometimes it's better to spend a little more up front than to have to replace an item later.
Related: 10 Things to Buy Used
Just like swapping babysitting services with other moms and dads, you can swap services to save big. Why pay a gardener to mow your lawn when you can trade pet sitting services with your neighbor to get it done for free?
You’re already picking up your kid every day from school… why not give your daughter’s friend a ride too-- in exchange for her mom dropping both kids off in the morning?
A simple agreement like that one can give you an extra 30 minutes in the morning and save you gas money. Think about the things you already do, or the things you like to do and find ways to make them equitable. Whether it's giving music lessons in exchange for math tutoring for your teen, or trading timeshares, you'd be surprised what you can get for nothing.
5. Get Creative
Are your throw pillows looking a bit tired? There are tons of no-sew ways to change them up and breath fresh life into your living room.
Burnt out on throwing away broken crayons and buying new ones? Melt down the nubs and pour into fun molds (these can be found at any craft store) to make fun rainbow swirl crayons your kids will love.
Looking to update your wardrobe? Host a clothing swap with friends.
By approaching every task or problem with a "How can I do this myself... for free or cheap?" attitude, you can really save your time, your money—and maybe most importantly… your sanity. And for Moms… that’s priceless.
Hey Moms! What's your best money-saving tip? Tell us in the comments.
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- Save $$ By Stockpiling!