12 clever, mom-approved ways to cut your spending

food, 12 clever, mom-approved ways to cut your spending

Parenting is tough

Parenting not only takes a lot of effort but it can be expensive as well. We all know how much we do as moms. We take care of the kids, we cook, we clean, we educate and we run our houses. Feeding our children healthy meals, providing entertainment, and, especially these days, taking care of their education.

Balancing the budget on top of all these responsibilities can seem like a truly overwhelming feat. Practicing frugality on top of everything else is a lot. To do justice to this topic I turned to the experts: the moms themselves. I asked 12 money-saving moms for their best tips.

As a mother of three myself, I know what it’s like to raise a family on a budget. Even if you are not on a super tight budget, you probably are looking for money saving tips to help you as a mom.

Here are 12 awesome money saving tips for moms from moms!

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Sale items always exist

“Everything goes on sale eventually. From groceries to clothes to school supplies to household items, if you only buy things when prices are low, you’ll never have to pay full price for anything” – Miranda

Shopping sales works! If you are organized enough then you can stock up when things are on sale and buy things in advance. The amount of money you can save if you do this properly is astounding. Think about kid’s shoes — kids go through shoes so quickly. When shoes go on sale they can be half price and you can easily save $10 or $20 on one pair of shoes. Target and Old Navy have awesome savings on clearance. if you are buying a few pairs of shoes you can easily save $20 to $50 on shoes alone!

a person sitting at a table using a laptop

2. Planning

“My number one money saving tip is to plan meals!! We have 5 people and 3 dogs…if I didn’t plan out menus and meals we wouldn’t have enough to get through the entire month. Not only does it save us money but it saves me TONS of precious time!” – Leigh Ann, Blogger at Making My Abode

Meal planning can save you lots of time and if you are good at it, you will save lots of money too. Especially if fast food is your downfall, having a plan will make you less likely to run and buy food. It will also reduce the stress in your house which is always a good thing. I love creating building blocks of food to be able to throw food and meals quickly together. Having already prepared food readily available is a great way to save money and make your life easier!

an open refrigerator filled with food

3. Make freezer meals

“My best money saving tip would be to start making freezer meals. I didn’t know how much money and time I could save with just 2 hours of hard work of preparing meals for a whole week. Also, these freezer meals help you stay on a budget as you spend less money on take-out when you can make quick, delicious and easy to prepare meals at home.” – Um Mishael, blogger at All Moms Blog

This is such a great idea! When you make a meal then double it and put it in the freezer. Then on a hard day, you can grab it and heat it for a meal. This means less takeout and less expensive prepared food. I made sure to stock my freezer before I had a baby because I knew I would have to keep costs down during my unpaid maternity leave.

food, 12 clever, mom-approved ways to cut your spending

4. Find entertainment in nature

“Use nature as your primary entertainment. Kids don’t need expensive classes and activity memberships; they can have a ton of fun for free if you take them outside to a nature preserve or park.” – Kate Underwood, Blogger at Changing Our Default 

Recent events have certainly taught us the value of this statement! Kids don’t need expensive things to make them happy. There are so many free things to do in and out of the house. You can create fun and educational activities no matter where you are. When you focus on creating free and fun activities for your kids they won’t miss the expensive activities or classes. If there is one expensive thing that you want to spend money than either budget for it or see if someone (like a grandparent) can chip in instead of a physical gift.

a book on a table

1. Create and stick to a budget

“My best money saving tip for moms is this: Get on a written budget so that you know exactly how much you are making, saving and spending. A budget takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out where all your money is going.” – Chrissy, blogger at A Plan to Prosper 

Budget. Budget. Budget. With all the emotional labor that goes into being a mom — you don’t need to be counting every cent or worrying about money all the time. Having a clear, written budget can be freeing in so many ways. Deciding where your money is going beforehand will take a lot of the stress of your finances off of you so you can deal with all the millions of other things you have to deal with.

a screenshot of a cell phone

12. Do one-day gigs

“Before making a purchase, take a minute to look for a deal. Always search for “promo code” online before purchasing. If you are re-using, check your local “Buy Nothing” group on Facebook and your neighborhood classifieds on NextDoor. I’ve seen high-quality furniture, tools, kid’s bicycles, books, clothes – you name it! It’s a great way to recycle, save money and meet your neighbors.” – Jessica Yahfoufi, blogger at Money Minx 

When you have a family you need stuff. As minimalistic as you’d love to be, raising kids means that you will need to buy things for them. Getting great deals or free stuff from your others is the best way to save money on all that expensive gear. There are many parents whose kids are grown who would love to help another parent out! So try to find them and score some free stuff. This works particularly well when you are preparing for a baby on a budget since baby gear is so expensive and used for such a short time.

a woman sitting at a table using a laptop computer

1. Social selling

“Join local Facebook Buy Nothing, pay it forward and frugal parent groups! I have scored so much for free online, from nappies to toys to books and more. It’s also a great thing for the earth if you want to live more sustainably.” – NZ Muse

Frugality and being eco-friendly work hand-in-hand! I love tips that not only save you money (yay!) but help save the earth as well. What could be better?

food, 12 clever, mom-approved ways to cut your spending

8. Buy used if you can

“Buying used kids’ items saves money, but some items you want to purchase new. We always plan around discounts and sales for new items like shoes and underwear. Often, buy one, get one sales allows us to buy a current size and the next size up at the same time. This gives us some breathing room for when kids hit a growth spurt so that we don’t have to run out and purchase whatever we can find in a pinch, often at premium prices.” – Eryn, blogger at Frugal Twins

Buying clothing or shoes last minute usually means having to shell out some serious cash. Being organized and preparing in advance means you can shop for the deals you want and get everything you need. No running to the store when it starts raining to buy expensive boots. Buy them before you need them and when they are on sale!

a close up of a coffee cup

9. Make coffee at home

“My best money saving tip is to make coffee at home! I got in the habit of going to buy a coffee to treat myself and decided to stop when I wanted to cut down on unnecessary expenses. I save an average of $50 a month just by making my own coffee.” – Alice,  Blogger at Mommy to Mom

It’s so hard to resist spending money when you are out and about and running errands. Making your own coffee and investing in a good reusable mug can save you some real money if you are a coffee lover. Maybe consider investing in a good machine or flavorings so you can have the coffee you crave at a price that you can afford.

a calculator on a table

1. Use credit cards in conjunction with your budget

“I think it’s very helpful when you lay out all your expenses and see how much you’re spending on what. The little things can really add up and can surprise you! Lastly, if you’re in debt and budgeting, make it a priority to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate.” – Janette, blogger at Joyful Jay 

Being a mom means putting your family first. We all want to do what is best for our families and provide for their future. Making sure that you are not overspending and that you are staying within budget can help your family down the line. Make sure to set aside money for savings and pay off debt when you can and make sure that you are setting your family up for the best possible financial future.

a car parked in front of a building

5. Shopping

“My best money saving mom tip is to do curbside grocery pick up. I was a little skeptical at first but I find that I don’t buy impulse items and I know my exact total before check out. I also save a ton of time and I don’t have to go back to the store because I forgot something.” – Audrey, blogger at Two Pink Peonies

Impulse shopping is a huge budget-buster! This money saving tip is also great because I HATE TAKING KIDS SHOPPING. I don’t think I’m the only one! When you do curbside pickup you don’t have to deal with screaming children and you don’t need to deal with car seats and seatbelt hassles. Save energy and help save you money? I am in! When you reduce the amount of time you are spending on tedious errands you can focus more on yourself and your family.

food, 12 clever, mom-approved ways to cut your spending

45. Sell your clothes

“Clothing swaps are a great way to save money on clothes for your little ones. This works perfectly if you have friends, family, or coworkers who have kids that are different ages than yours. The person with an older child packs up a box of appropriate sized clothing and lends it to you for as long as your little one needs it. Then when you kid outgrows the clothes you can send the box back to its original owner. To make it easier you can put a small mark on the tag of the clothes so that you know who they belong to. Clothing swaps especially work great if you are doing it with someone who eventually wants to have more kids because they get their clothes back.” – Maria, blogger at Handful of Thoughts 

Hand-me-downs are the best for so many reasons! Save money on clothes. Reduce consumption by reusing clothing. Help another family out by helping them clear out their house (having extra stuff is stressful and costs money). If you can find a family with similar age kids this can be great. Don’t forget that play clothes and pajamas can be more worn and can be unfashionable (if you care about that). If you are very particular about the clothing your children wear, then consider spending money on some clothes but save money on clothes that no one sees.

a young girl standing in front of a window

2. Financial literacy

Being a mother is one of the hardest jobs in the world. There are so many responsibilities and things you have to take care of. I hope that some of these money-saving tips for moms can help some mothers out there have a bit of an easier time so they can focus on what matters most: your children.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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Shift your mindset, make a plan, and the rest will follow

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