32+ Effective Money-Saving Tips for Moms on a Tight Budget

Having kids can be expensive, and money can be one of a mom’s most significant stresses. We all want to provide our children with the best, but we also want to spend as much time with them as possible, which means working less.

But how can working moms save money, or how can you save enough money so that you can be a stay-at-home mom?

Whether you’re a first-time mom or a seasoned mother of multiples, there are some nifty tips and tricks that will help keep your tight budget in check.

With schools, extra murals, clothing, toys, nappies, food, and much more to think about, the below money-saving tips may also be life-saving.

How to Save Money for Moms

You and your family can stick to a budget with a bit of planning and resourcefulness. This doesn’t necessarily mean skimping on the essential things, but just redirecting your finances into those things that really matter.

Who knows, with the below tips, you may even be able to put some cash aside for that ultimate splurge, such as a new car or a family vacation.

1. Cut out the Nonessentials 

Have a good hard look at what you’re spending your money on and consider what nonessentials you can cut from your life. Can you trade in a gym membership for a long run in the park, or can you do your nails at home rather than visiting an expensive nail salon? 

Magazine subscriptions, cable TV, and dining out are other nonessentials you can probably live without. Try and cut out nonessentials gradually as you change your family’s lifestyle, rather than doing it all at once. You’ll be more likely to stick to it that way.

2. Order Online 

You can save money by doing your groceries and clothing shopping online. You are more likely to stick to your shopping list, avoid impulse buys, and have longer to plan and think about your decisions, making your spending more deliberate. 

You can also shop around for the best deals when you buy online. It’s also easier to apply coupons and edit your cart if you go over your budget. You’ll also never end up paying more for an item than the price marked on the shelf!

3. Do Price-Matching

A woman, on her laptop, with a girl
A mom doing price matching

Technology can help you save time and money when it comes to something like price matching.

Use online sites like Idealo or price matching browser extensions to search for the best price on a specific item you want to buy or try and see if your grocery store will match prices you find in flyers from elsewhere.

4. Use Apps, Discount Sites, Online Coupons, and Promo Codes 

Coupons and promo codes are a great way to save money. There are a variety of resources to find coupons, including numerous websites and apps, as well as local newspapers, flyers, and in-store coupon machines.

These coupons and promo codes can save you money on everything from groceries to household decor, clothes, and toys.

5. Buy Sale Items in Bulk 

Use coupons and shop at sales to buy items in bulk. Non-perishable goods and household essentials are excellent items to buy in bulk, such as shampoo, toothpaste, dishwashing liquid, and toilet paper.

That said, meats like chicken, pork, and beef also offer much better value if you buy in bulk as long as you have somewhere to freeze and store it.

6. Build Your Weekly Menu Plan Around Grocery Store Sales

A woman and a girl doing grocery shopping
A mother and her daughter bond while grocery shopping

Planning your weekly menu will save you both time and money. Try and map your menu around what is currently on sale at your local supermarket and plan the rest of your groceries accordingly.

Try to buy in bulk where it makes sense to do so and avoid any impulse buys as this could lead to more waste and unnecessary spending. 

Also, be sure never to go to the shop hungry or with ravenous children in tow.

7. Dine out Smart

It’s no secret that eating at home is a more affordable option for families, but there’s nothing wrong with dining out now and again if you can afford the splurge. When you eat out, look for kids-eat-free days at restaurants where your children’s meal is free. 

Most major chain restaurants, such as Applebee’s, T.G.I. Fridays and Denny’s offer kids-eat-free days, most of them being on a Tuesday.

What are Other Good Money-Saving Tips for Moms?

A woman sitting in the kitchen, on a laptop
A woman assessing her budget and expenses

Whether you’re a new frugal mom or a lifelong saver with a burgeoning family, here are some more money-saving tips that every mom needs to know.

8. Create a budget 

Making a budget is the first step in getting a handle on your family’s finances. Draw up a spreadsheet of your income verse your expenses and your goals for savings. 

9. Pay yourself first

It’s a good idea to take a little bit of your budget every month as a payment to yourself. You can use this money to buy those items you want or, better yet, invest it in a high-interest-bearing account so you can see your money grow.

10. Make an extra mortgage payment

Imagine how much money you would have if you didn’t have to pay your mortgage every month. Try and make just one additional mortgage payment each year.

This will help you get your principal amount down, thus saving you money on interest and allowing you to pay your home off quicker.

11. Buy life insurance

If an unexpected event will leave your family financially insecure, then it’s a good idea to invest in life insurance. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and you don’t want to leave your family in the lurch if you can’t be there to provide for them anymore.

12. Audit your spending

Auditing your spending may sound like a painful process, but it’s as simple as creating a list of exactly what you’re spending your money on.

There are a variety of apps and websites that you can connect your cards and bank accounts to that will help you categorize your expenditure. 

Seeing your spending in this way can open your eyes to where your money is going and where you can cut back.

13. Negotiate your bills

Your alarm service, cable provider, cell phone company, and insurance provider may all be able to give you better deals on your contracts. Make it a habit of getting in touch with these providers at least once a year to see if you can get a better offer on your bills. 

You might also look for alternative service providers if the one you have is just getting too expensive.

14. Use credit card rewards

Credit cards are convenient, but they also give you rewards through points, savings, and even cashback on your groceries, fuel, and in-store purchases. Just be sure to pay back your credit card regularly, or you’ll end up paying more in interest than you end up saving.

15. Think of saving like paying a bill

Investing your savings should be as high on your priorities list as paying a bill. Add a small amount of savings to your monthly budget and make this payment like you would pay your utilities. This will shift your mindset and help you develop a consistent habit of saving.

A woman putting a coin in a piggy bank
A woman saving money

16. Consider a spending fast

A spending fast can be a very effective way to save money. It’s effectively a ban on any expenditure and can be just for a day, a week, or even a month. You can also put a fast on specific categories such as buying new clothes or toys or paying for fuel.

Make clear rules that are easy for the whole family to follow and know in advance what constitutes an emergency where you can break the fast, for example, rushing your kid to the doctor in the car rather than taking the bus.

17. Keep an eye out for sales

Check your local grocery store flyers and websites for deals on those all-important essentials. By joining the loyalty clubs of your local stores, you will also be kept up to date on any sales that are happening. 

Keep in mind annual sales when planning big purchases, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

18. Look for yard sales

Yard sales can be a great place to get household decor, clothes, and kid’s toys for a fraction of the price than what it would cost to buy everything new. 

Get in early if there’s something you want, but the seller is more likely to mark things down or negotiate the price at the end of the day. You might also be able to get a better deal if you buy more than one item.

19. Don’t fear generics

You don’t always need to buy brand-name products; sometimes, the generics can be just as good. You can especially buy generics for household basics like flour, spices, and toilet paper.

20. Buy last year’s model

This year’s models will attract a premium price, especially for things like cars. These assets can also depreciate very quickly.

Instead of buying the latest option, opt for last year’s model, which is likely very similar, if not identical, but will be significantly cheaper.

21. Shop the off-seasons

Shop in the off-season to get good deals on expensive essentials like winter boots and coats. Just remember to buy items a size or two too big for your child so that it will still fit them when the right season does come around.

22. Say ‘yes’ to hand-me-downs

Put away your pride and say yes to second-hand clothes and toys. Accepting these gently used items can save you a lot of money, and if you get hand-me-downs you don’t want, you can simply donate them to a good cause.

23. Don’t order off the kid’s menu

Instead of ordering overpriced items off the kid’s menu, consider bringing snacks from home for your toddlers or young children. 

Adult’s meals are often oversized, so you could also consider sharing what you order with your child. The chances are that they’ll instead want to eat what’s on your plate is high anyway.

A woman and a boy bonding over snacks
A mom prepares breakfast and school snacks for her boy

24. Maintain your car, home, appliances, and clothes

Preventative maintenance on expensive items like cars can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. 

Cleaning your gutters, fixing leaking faucets, and doing your oil and brake changes may seem like a hassle and unwanted expense at the time. Still, these small things can save you a lot of money by avoiding more significant, more costly problems later on.

25. Seek out free fun

There are plenty of things you can do for free with your kids. Visit the beach, take a walk in the park, or go for a hike. Also, be sure to check your community social media pages, museums, and libraries, for free events or get-togethers happening in your area.

26. Use it up or make do

Be sure to use what you have so you avoid any waste. Freeze your leftovers or get creative with the ingredients that remain in your fridge.

Broken toys might be able to be repaired, or perhaps you don’t need to buy a replacement and can instead embrace the minimalist life.

27. Use half the amount of lotions, detergent, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.

You’d be surprised to discover how little lotion, shampoo, and toothpaste you need. Try halving the amount of these products you use each day, and you will find that a little goes a long way.

28. Make a Holiday Budget and stick to it

Christmas and birthdays can be expensive, so it’s a good idea to set aside a little bit of money each month for these special occasions. When it comes to holidays, handmade, baked, or DIY gifts are often more meaningful than expensive presents. 

29. Promote an eco-friendly lifestyle

Using reusable water bottles, coffee cups, and napkins will save you money. As will swapping out your light bulbs for LED lights which use less electricity and last longer. Also, encourage your family to turn off lights and appliances whenever they leave a room.

You should also keep your water heater turned down or off when you’re not using it to save money further while also encouraging your family to take quicker showers and save water by installing a low-flow showerhead.

30. Carpool

Carting your kids to school and extramural activities can be expensive. Save money by sharing rides with other moms who are also going to the same place. As a bonus, your kids will make some new friends, and you’ll save some time on lifts.

31. Hire an au pair

Au pairs or live-in nannies can be a cheaper alternative to daycare. You will also spend money on gas driving to and from daycare every day, and your au pair may also be able to assist in cleaning and other household chores.

32. Resell your kid’s stuff

You can make cash by selling books, toys, and clothes your kids don’t use anymore. Amazon, eBay, and Swap.com provide spaces for setting up your stores.

If your children are reluctant to part ways with their old things, try giving them some of the profit. That way, they will see the benefit.

How Can Moms Teach Their Kids to Save Money?

A woman and a girl putting money in a piggy bank
A mom teaching her daughter how to save money

Teaching your child how to live within their means from an early age is one of the best things you can do as a parent. A child that understands fiscal responsibility will be less likely to incur debt as they grow up.

There are numerous ways to nurture a healthy relationship between your child and money.

  • Talk to your kids about money: Be open and honest with your children about money and teach them sound financial skills from a young age so that they too can avoid going into debt in the future. Kids need to hear parents talking about stocks, savings, and investments from a young age so that their interest in these things is also stimulated.
  • Give children an allowance: Giving children an allowance allows them to set their own budgets and establish between needs and wants. This also helps to avoid any battles in-store and helps you to save on impulse buys.
  • Give your kids their own debit card: Giving your child his or her own debit card will teach your child financial responsibility as well as good math. Any money your kid makes or receives as gifts can then go into their bank account, and they can start to budget how to spend their own earnings.

What are Good Money-Making Tips for Moms?

A woman, on a laptop and phone, with her sleeping baby
A mom working from home with her sleeping baby

Being a mom is a full-time job, but sometimes we want to have a little extra cash to spend on ourselves or feel like we are also contributing to the family income. Thankfully, there are many ways that moms can make money at home.

  • Get a side job: You can bring in extra money by getting a side job. These jobs can be fun and straightforward, such as shuttling people around, delivering groceries, or doing personal shopping. You can also work online as a virtual assistant or freelance writer. Perhaps you are creative and can even sell your art of photographs online.
  • Become a work-at-home mom: You can save money and earn money by becoming a work-from-home mom. There are various jobs you can do from anywhere in the world, at your own pace, so that you can earn extra cash while doing something you love while still being at home to care for your kids.
  • Do daycare out of your home: You can earn some extra cash by running a daycare or playgroup out of your home. You will also save the money you would have spent sending your own kids to daycare, and your little ones will make some new friends. 
  • Block out time for your own projects: It’s easy for mom-life to feel like a never-ending list of errands, so be sure to block out some time for your own projects. That way, you can turn all those creative ideas into actual cash.
  • Invest in groceries: We all know you can invest in the stock market, but did you know you can also invest in groceries? You do this by thinking like an investor when you shop. Use coupons and buy one get one free deals to stock your pantry and your freezer, essentially creating a half-price store at your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

A woman with pen and paper in a supermarket aisle
A wise woman checking her shopping list

How much money do stay-at-home moms save?

Stay at home moms can save a lot of money, with some moms saying they have saved around $17,000 a year.

These savings come from things like buying formula as a stay-at-home mom can continue to breastfeed for longer, savings on fuel transporting your children to and from daycare, then there’s also the daycare costs themselves.

Stay-at-home moms typically also have more time to cook and clean and save money on domestic services and eating out or ordering fast food. Stay-at-home moms might also have more time to search for great bargains online, sew their own clothes, or start couponing.

While there are definitely ways to save money becoming a stay at home, costs like childcare and gas are only savings in the very early years.

As your children grow older, they go off to school, and you will have more hours to yourself. If you have exited the workforce when your children are young, it can be challenging to reenter it later on.

What is the 30-day rule for saving money?

The 30-day rule is a simple way to save money. The rule goes that if you see something you want, wait 30 days before buying it. After 30 days, it will no longer be an impulse buy, and you will know if you really want the item. 

You might also have been able to find the item cheaper elsewhere during this time as you would have time to price match or look for coupons.

Focus on All that You Have!

A man, woman, boy, and girl in a park
A happy family having a day together in the park

Remember that you don’t need to go out or buy a new toy to have fun. You can have great family time at home in the garden, or watching an old movie on TV. Game night or a craft’s day is also a fabulous way to enjoy time as a family. 

The critical thing to remember is that there’s always going to be something you or your kids want, and they’ll always be people richer than you, but the secret to spending less is to be content with what you have.

Focus on appreciating all that you have and try not to get suckered in my good advertising campaigns.

We hope that the above tips will help you save money so that you can better enjoy your time with your precious bundles and beat those money worries away.

Are you a mom with some money-saving tips and tricks we haven’t mentioned here? Let us know your advice for saving money in the comments below.

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