Guest post from Melanie of Only A Breath
As a busy, full-time working mom, I often see countless great ideas for saving money. However, many of these ideas can be time and labor intensive, and I need a simple plan for saving money. I simply don’t have the time necessary to research ads, clip coupons from multiple sources, or visit more than one grocery store each week.
If you are a working mom like me, don’t despair! It is possible – and even enjoyable! – to save money as a working mom. All it takes is FOCUS!
F – Form a plan!
- Create a meal plan, grocery list, and organize the grocery list by store “section” to make shopping as fast as possible!
- Shop alone. Grocery shopping with children can be challenging and much slower than shopping alone. Examine your schedule to see if you can shop during your lunch break or before you pick up the kids in the afternoon.
- Stick with the plan! Resist the urge to add extras to the cart.
O – Online shopping
- Shopping online saves me both time and money! It is very easy to compare prices online and is much faster than driving to multiple stores.
- Coupon codes are readily available for most online stores. Never buy online without first “googling” for a coupon code!
- Amazon Prime has been a good option for our family because it allows us to watch movies online, rent Kindle books, and have free shipping on all items.
C – Use CASH when Shopping
- Using cash rather than credit cards allows you to more easily keep track of what you are spending, and track spending in your budget.
- If you’ve never made a budget, set aside time to make one today!
U – Utilize a Few Key Fashion Pieces
- To cut down on costs for your “work” wardrobe, examine your closet and “remix” items to create new outfits from what you already own.
- When you do buy clothing, buy only a few key pieces of clothing that have multiple functions. For example:
A nice sweater or blouse can pair with dress pants for work or a nice skirt for church.
A sleeveless silk shell looks great alone in the summer, or layered under a cardigan or jacket in the fall and spring.
Dark-washed jeans in a trouser cut look dressy when paired with heels, but also look great at school functions when worn with cute flats.
S – Skip Eating Out at Lunch
- Eating lunch out every day at work can be an expensive habit.
- If the average lunch costs $7.50 each day, that adds up to $37.50 per week, $150 per month, or $1800 per year!
- Packed lunches are inexpensive and generally healthier than fast food!
As you can see, the savings really do add up over time!
Melanie is a full-time industrial software developer and mom of two boys. She lives in the beautiful Appalachian mountains with her husband and children and writes at Only A Breath about faith, giveaways, family, budgeting, and resources and encouragement for women.