Frugal moms know that a family doesn’t have to spend a lot to live well. Parents can keep finances in order with a little resourcefulness and strategy. From piano lessons, weekly grocery trips and the never-ending birthday parties, you can’t afford to put your finances on the back burner. And managing finances, especially as a new parent, certainly requires planning—but where to begin?
Here, we’ve collected the best money saving tips and frugal advice from some of the thriftiest moms (and dads) out there. These super parents know the ins and outs of saving money and scoring the hottest deals for their families while making the most of the family budget.
And one thing all money-savvy moms should know—when shopping with a cash back rewards program like Splender, they can find awesome deals, coupons and receive cash back every time they shop!
Get into a Routine
Raki of Outside the Box Mom recommends setting some time aside each day to look over your finances. “Every morning or right before going to bed, have a money minute. This is a sixty-second window in your day that you spend looking over your money. You balance out the day’s transactions, check off bills that have been paid, and prepare the coming day’s financial events. Performing this simple task every day will ensure that you have explicit knowledge of where your money is.”
Set a Budget
According to Matt Becker, father of two, financial planner and blogger at Mom and Dad Money, the first step to budgeting is knowing where your money goes. “When you track your spending, you can make purposeful, informed decisions about how you want to direct your money going forward,” and use that information to track progress toward your financial goals.
Thrifty Little Mom author, Kim, knows exactly what it’s like to be a super busy mom trying to keep up with the demands of family and work life while keeping the finances in check—and protecting your sanity! One way to make life easier is to pick a day of the week to plan a weekly menu. “Consider sitting down with the grocery store ad as you seek out recipes for the week ahead. Then you can plan the recipes around meats and produce that are on sale.”
Then, Kim suggests, “planning meals for the next week with any un-used, non-perishable ingredients from the month before as sometimes dinner plans change and you end up not using all your planned meal materials.”
Buy in Bulk
Crystal Paine, author of Money Saving Mom, advises families on how to stretch their dollars after trials and errors of her own. One of her tips on how to save $100 a year is to buy in bulk. “I recommend looking at what you already purchase a lot that has a long shelf life or would keep in the freezer for six months and see if you find sources for purchasing it in quantities at a discount. These will usually be things like grains, beans, canned goods and meat. But it would also include other items like toilet paper, diapers or cleaning supplies.”
Buying in bulk has the potential to save your family a lot of money (not to mention trips to the store). Bulk stores like Sam’s Club (2% cash back) and BJ’s Wholesale (2% cash back) offer major discounts to customers on name-brand items and high-quality foods and household goods.
Go Looking for Discounts
Blogger Tracie Fobes of Penny Pinchin’ Mom offers a wealth of tips on life, family and finances to help other families achieve their goal of a debt free life. One of her top tips is to keep your eye out for discounts. “The idea of your budget is to make it give away as little of your money as possible—and rightfully so. Look back on your spending. There may be items which could offer you a discount. Believe it or not, there are many utilities which offer discounts to customers.” With a little research, you can find what others pay and call the companies you’re interested in and try to negotiate your rates.
Speaking of discounts, you might also consider using a coupon database or a cash back rewards program when shopping online to make the most of your family budget. For example, when you shop through Splender you can find all of the best offers, coupon codes and cash back rewards all in one place. In addition, the Splender Plus desktop extension will alert you to coupons and available deals while doing your online shopping—no more messy coupon clippings!