21 Frugal Living Tips for Single Moms and Dads

Updated on July 15, 2016

Frugal Living for Single Parents

My mom was single for part of the time I was growing up. Even when she was married, she was frugal. With four kids, our family couldn’t be extravagant. Sure, we grew up relatively poor, but we had a lot of fun and were happy and healthy kids. My mom was—and still is—very frugal, and I’m proud to have learned those skills and values from her. Here are 21 thrifty things I saw my mother do, many of which I practice myself. These frugal living tips aren't just for single moms--or single dads--but they work for everybody!

My raised vegetable garden
My raised vegetable garden | Source

Tips for Living Frugally

1. Enlist help from your kids, if they’re old enough. I remember mowing, cleaning house, helping in the garden, and doing my own laundry. And when we got old enough, we all got part-time jobs to help with our miscellaneous expenses. I was even able to save some money for college!

2. Make cheap meals. To this day, I still love pinto beans and cornbread. Mom would fry potatoes or okra, or serve some other vegetable from the garden. While we didn't eat expensive foods, we always had wholesome and tasty meals.

3. Cook simple meals with the children. Do it together, make it fun, and, chances are, they’ll carry on this tradition into their adult lives. Collect simple recipes from other moms, family, and friends. Or google some!

4. Grow your own vegetables. If you have little time, consider growing a few of your favorites. My mom was a superwoman who kept up a pretty big garden, which saved us a ton of money. She canned or froze whatever we couldn't eat fresh. As for me, while I don't go all out like my mother did, I do try to keep up with a raised vegetable bed.

More tips on saving money on food . . . .

5. Rarely eat out. I didn’t have much fast food as a kid. Occasionally, Mom would treat us to a pizza. These days, however, you can find some really good frozen or deli pizzas that cost much less and are often just as good. Kids who have regular homemade meals are healthier and grow up appreciating "real" food.

6. Don’t throw out leftovers. Get creative with them. Freeze bits of veggies together to make stew later. Many foods freeze well. One of my favorite leftover meals were the “tater cakes” that my mom made from leftover mashed potatoes. Yummy!

7. Teach kids to eat the proper amount of food. Don’t let them get more food on their plates than they can eat. And don’t let them gorge. Besides costing more in groceries, letting kids eat more than they need can lead to weight issues.

8. Get creative with snacks. Kids don’t need sugary, salty, or fatty snacks in excess. Besides being unhealthy, they’re expensive. Give them peanut butter on crackers or bread with a touch of honey. Apple slices with peanut butter are good. Give them a piece of dark chocolate between two graham crackers (melted in the microwave) for a snack much healthier and cheaper than cookies.

More Thrifty Living Tips

9. Stock up on sale items. It wasn’t unusual for Mom to have several bottles of ketchup in the pantry if she caught it on sale. Or extra meat in the deep freeze. I still do the same thing. It can save a lot of money on items that you use regularly.

10. Consider going to the dentist only once a year. Get your kids on a regular schedule of tooth-brushing and flossing in order to be able to stretch out dental check-ups. We used to have a chart where we would check off when we brushed our teeth, and it was fun!

11. Teach kids to conserve. Show them how little shampoo or toothpaste they actually need. Try this with various items. Kids usually pull out way too much toilet paper, for instance. Try reducing or eliminating paper towel usage altogether by using cloth. Most families go through common household items too fast; many of these items can be replaced or done away with completely. See how you can get your kids to cut back. It all adds up!

12. Don’t go to the movie theater. If you do, let it be for a special occasion. We didn’t even rent movies but found what we could on our three—yes, three—television stations that we got. Sure, the world is different today, but there’s still nothing more fun than sitting on the couch with three brothers, eating popcorn, and watching a scary movie together. Lots of squeals, laughter…and now, memories!

13. Cut your kids' hair yourself. It’s easy enough to trim off some dead ends here and there. I even experimented on my brother’s hair in college, and it turned out fine. Just cut where it’s been cut before; if you mess up, it will grow back. Watch one of the tutorials I've included if you need to. I didn’t have a professional haircut until I was out on my own. My mom even cut and dyed her own hair.

14. Buy clothing from thrift stores. While my mom sewed a lot of our clothing, that craft actually became more expensive over time than buying clothing on sale or in thrift stores. With more thrift stores around, buying even name-brand clothing there is a growing trend, even with those picky teenagers! If you have more than one child, there are always hand-me-downs, too. Even as the only girl in the family, I still wore them whenever possible.

15. Don’t wash clothing every time you wear it. If it’s not dirty or stinky, hang the item back up. No need to wash kids’ pajamas every day, either.

16. Take showers at night instead of in the morning. Getting clean before you go to bed will help your sheets to stay cleaner longer.

17. Turn off the water in the shower while shaving. Reduce electric and water usage by turning off the water when you shave your legs. Limit shower time, as well. Set a timer for the kids if you have to.

18. Re-use your bath towel. There's no need to wash a bath towel after every shower just because it's wet. Wash everyone’s towels once a week. You can even air them out in the sun between washings to kill any potential bacteria and keep them smelling fresh.

19. Turn lights out in rooms that you’re not using. Teach your kids to do the same. This practice quickly becomes habit.

20. Don't buy so many toys and gadgets. Kids don’t need every high-tech creation that comes out. Get your kids to play outside! And what’s wrong with board games or puzzles...or books? Saturdays are great for trips to the library to pick up free books to read for the next two weeks. When kids really insist on having an expensive item, teach them to be responsible with money by saving up allowances or birthday money to purchase the item.

21. Don’t be extravagant on holidays. Be creative. Consider homemade gifts. Make your own birthday cakes to save. Kids that are old enough to bake enjoy helping with this. Limit gifts to one or two. The most memorable Christmas I’ve ever had—and my little brothers would agree—was the year that my mom made us a homemade Christmas. She decorated jars to make piggy banks and jewelry boxes. She sewed up several things, including a five-foot long snake from scrap materials that she had. Thirty years later, that ratty snake is still a prized possession of my youngest brother.

Be creative in finding ways to save. I find it a challenge to continually find new ways. If you have additional ideas, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.

© 2012 Victoria Lynn

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    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Audrey--That's a great idea bout the tip jar! I'm glad you like the tips in this hub. I learned them all as I was growing up with my mom!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      ThatMommyBlogger--That's great to stock up for families! And you can always share with the zombies! :-)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I enjoy this hub so much I had to come back and read through it again. These tips are just terrific! Really timeless and true. I save all my money from my 'tip jar' sitting on my piano at the restaurant I perform for. It may not be much at one time but it does add up! Thanks so much.

      Audrey

    • ThatMommyBlogger profile image

      Missy 2 years ago from The Midwest

      Stocking up saves us a ton of money. Whenever something we eat regularly is on sale, I buy as many as 10 packages/containers/cans/pouches. It's also a good way to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. ;)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You're welcome, starstream! Glad you enjoyed the hub and the ideas--and the apple slices and peanut butter. :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      vocalcoach (dear Audrey)--I'm sure you were just as amazing a single mother as my mother was. She worked hard for us, played hard with us. And she was very frugal. She did all the thing in this hub. Even though I don't have kids, I have pets and a mortgage etc . . . and I do most of the things on this list. Thank to my mother! I just wish I had the green thumb that she did. I try, but I'm nowhere near where she was in that area--and still is. I'm glad you like this hub!

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 3 years ago from Northern California

      I enjoyed your tips for saving money here. The peanut butter on apple slices was one of my favorite discoveries as an adult quite recently. It is a great way to eat some healthy fruit. Thanks for your ideas!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hi Vicki - Being a single mother is no easy task. I raised three on my own and with little to no child-support. I wish I would have known about these excellent tips. I started to list my favorites here, but I was listing them all :)

      I do really like #4, 14, 16, 18 and 19. So kind of you to write this hub as many single mothers and fathers can save some money and educate their kids at the same time. Up and across and sharing. ~ Audrey

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      cmoneyspinner1tf - You have a great point there! We played lots of games when I was a kid!

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

      You can find free entertainment on YouTube and there's absolutely nothing wrong with board games or card games!! As long I win!! :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      ccdursina--I'm glad you enjoyed it and hope the tips are helpful!

    • ccdursina profile image

      Carolina Dursina 4 years ago from Spring Green WI

      Enjoyed reading it; great job, lots of good points!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      joym7--Yes, I see what you mean!

      KatNance--I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. I'm going to try to grow more veggies this year, as well. :-)

    • KatNance profile image

      KatNance 4 years ago

      enjoyed reading your hub..very helpful..we need to start growing our food and use these tips start saving money..times are really tough right now

    • joym7 profile image

      Joy 4 years ago from United States

      I meant was - Be frugal but don't be miser at all.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      joym--I think we can eat healthy foods that aren't expensive. We can find balance, I think. Yes, food waste is definitely something to avoid! Thanks for your input!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      pstraubie--I like what you said about your mom being frugal before "frugal was cool." That is so true! :-)

    • joym7 profile image

      Joy 4 years ago from United States

      well explained tips. we may save lots of money if we regularly follow these tips. we should be frugal but in my opinion we shouldn't compromise with food. We should always take best quality food but also avoid food waste.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      You mentioned that you learned frugality by watching your Mom. Me too. My Mother was not a single parent but she was frugal before being 'frugal was cool.' She taught us many of the things you have mentioned---growing our food, eating out rarely, eating leftovers, and waste nothing if possible.

      These are very helpful and important tips for all of us to use.

      thanks for sharing

      Sending Angels to you this evening :) ps

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      My Moments--I left a good-paying job, too, so the frugal things I learned young in life have surely come in handy! That's so neat about the community garden you were a part of! Neat! Thanks for the comments. :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Kristinmer--I know lots of people who don't go to the dentist for years. Once a year is pretty good for most folks, I would think. I could count on one time how many times I eat out in a year. It's just not my thing--and so expensive. Thank for the input!

    • My Moments profile image

      My Moments 4 years ago

      Some great tips! I love to learn new ways to save money. I left a cushy 9-5 office job a year ago and have had to learn to simplfy. And I am happy to do it.

      I have never really been a person to eat out. I understand how busy some can be, but wow, not only does it cost a lot to eat out, it really is not all that healthy for you.

      It's important to get the kids involoved in cooking. And regardless of how much money one has, having a garden where kids can grow some veggies is truly a learning experience for them, as well. I wrote a grant for a local community garden, for a very poor local neighborhood and I was surprise at the number of kids that had no idea where a tomato even came from.

      Anyway, great hub! :)

    • Kristinmcr profile image

      Kristinmcr 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great information! I do a lot of those things already, but never thought of going to the denist only once a year - I like that idea! I am always amazed at the number of people who eat out all of the time. My husband and I eat out maybe once or twice a month, so when we do we truly enjoy it.

      Voted up!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Sheri Faye--glad you can relate! Thanks!

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Really good tips here. I raised my kids alone and used some of these ideas. Great hub!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      MissJamie, you make some great points. So many people have all the gadgets there are yet complain of not being able to save money. My cell phone is Straight Talk, and I don't have an iPad. I still have my old heavy TV and will until it goes out. I hardly buy anything full price. I don't go shopping, really, unless I just have to have something that I can't find a a yard sale or thrift store. I could go on . . . . Thanks for the comments!

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 4 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      Very good ideas! Being a stay at home mom of 3 I had to employ most of these money saving tips into my lifestyle. There are always ways to save money so anybody that complains and is being lavish, is wasting their time trying to get my sympathy. Like the funny quotes on Facebook say, "So, you have an iphone, ipad, internet, wifi, and a Coach purse and you're on welfare?" I love those quotes because I often wonder the same things. How do these people think it's ok to live off of other people's hard work, and waste it for what they want instead of their needs. It's ridiculous. If they use even half of the ideas you have here, it wouldn't seem so rash for them to pamper themselves a little bit but it's crazy these days. I voted this hub up, great job!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Vietnambeautiful--I'm so glad this is helpful for you! :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Elizabeth--Yep, I always leave the oven door open after baking (in cold weather!) I do that with the dishwasher, too. Good idea about road maps! I haven't bought wrapping paper or bags in years, either! Thanks for the input!!

    • Vietnambeautiful profile image

      Minmax Travel 4 years ago from Vietnam

      It is a post good and useful for me.

    • Elizabeth Mara profile image

      Elizabeth Mara 4 years ago from New Hampshire

      Hello, Victoria Lynn,

      Thanks for the great ideas listed in your hub! I've recently seen advice articles online touting the benefits of washing clothes less often; it's as good for the clothes as for the laundry budget! I find a lot of great ideas for saving money in articles encouraging a greener lifestyle. For example, I've read of using old road maps and newspapers as gift wrap. If one is in the habit of watching pennies and looking for opportunity to watch a bit more of them, I think it is easier to 'think outside the box' and try different things. I'd never thought of opening the oven door after baking, but I'm going to remember that one! Thanks again.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Radcliff--You are so right. Thanks for your comments. You make some good points! :-)

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Great tips! Nutritious foods keep you full, too, much more so than empty calories. If you're not in the habit of eating junk foods, healthy foods are much tastier!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Nicole--Creativity is often key in living frugally--you are right! Thanks for the input!

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Wonderful tips here. When money is tight, you gotta get creative!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      LeanneSmith--I know what you mean. The heat killed most of my tomato plants last summer. Maybe this year will be better. Thanks for reading!

    • LeanneSmith profile image

      Leanne Smith 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for the hub tips. We have just set up a vegetable patch in the garden so we should be planting some plants this spring. Fingers crossed we get some good crops!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      sallybea--I'm glad you can relate! And I love your Mum's saying! :-)

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      A reminder of what it was like growing up in a large family. Our parents were an inspiration and grew almost everything we ate, including the meat and eggs and sometimes even the fish we all caught! All our fruit and vegetables came from the garden and all the pickles and jams were home made too. An expression my Mum would use was that 'she could live off the smell of an oil rag'

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      LauraV--I can't imagine gardening year round! I need to get better at my own gardening skills! Good for you for couponing!

    • LauraVerderber profile image

      Power Ball Pythons 4 years ago from Mobile, AL

      I recently have learned how to coupon and boy has it saved a lot of money. I wish I could garden more to grow more fresh fruit and vegetables. That's what I miss about living in Florida; you could garden year round!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Andrea--I agree--very encouraging! It's a very do-able lifestyle that doesn't leave one feeling deprived at all, in my opinion! Thanks for the input!

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      Andrea Serie 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York

      Victoria, I so enjoyed your post. My grandmother, who grew up during the depression, lived by many of your suggestions and they have been passed down for generations. I am living the same way and it is encouraging to see so many people out there think the same way!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      celeste inscribed--Write that first hub!! Recycling is a great idea! Glad you liked my article!

    • celeste inscribed profile image

      Celeste Wilson 4 years ago

      I just signed up a few days ago and I am bursting at the seams to write my first hub. I have so many ideas and have jotted them down in my little note pad. I love to recycle so it will probably run along that theme. That is why I loved your article.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      celeste--"a la carte scrap"--that's great!!! I love leftovers. Nothing should go to waste, right? And leftovers are easy! Thanks for reading. Welcome to HubPages! I see you haven't written a hub yet; do you plan to soon? :-)

    • celeste inscribed profile image

      Celeste Wilson 4 years ago

      I am a single Mom and I simple adore your article. My grandmother was the Queen of leftovers. We often ate a la carte scrap as she called it and it was delicious!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      carlajbehr--My mom never went overboard, and I have learned from her. I'm thinking about giving practical or sentimental gifts this year.

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      Carla J Behr 5 years ago from NW PA

      As a single mom - love the ideas! I especially like the one about not overspending for the holiday. This is something we are keeping in mind this year.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      msmandybunny--I agree! Every penny counts--for anyone!!!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      LauraV--That's great what your husband and you do with picking all the fruit in the wild. That is wonderful! My mom fished with us, too, when we were kids. Great tip about consolidating errands! Great comments. Thanks!

    • msmandybunny profile image

      msmandybunny 5 years ago from Canada

      I really like your tips. As a family living on a budget, every penny counts!

    • LauraVerderber profile image

      Power Ball Pythons 5 years ago from Mobile, AL

      Great tips, especially the garden. That really can save a ton of money and even be relaxing way to spend time. One tip I learned from my dad was to plan a trip to include all your chores in the most efficient way, mileage and time wise. That saves a lot of gas and cuts down on extra trips. My mom would take me fishing. She would catch a whole bunch of fish, more than we could eat immediately. We would barbeque some during the picnic and freeze the rest for later. One habit my husband and I do is to forage. We are both outdoor types who love to take hikes in the woods. We go out there for exercise and to take photos of wildlife. But we also know where all the good and free wild fruits are! We have eaten blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, persimmons, pears, apples, tangerines, and grapes from the wild. Some of it is so abundant we end up taking baskets of fruit home and all of it is pesticide free.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Dreamjar, you're right! I never felt poor, and i learned a lot of valuable lessons from the lifestyle we lived growing up. Thanks for the great comments.

    • Dreamjar profile image

      Dreamjar 5 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for taking the time to list some good ol' practical advice. Despite the current idea that being 'poor' is not the worst thing that can happen to a kid. You are an encourager.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      HoneyBB--that homemade stuff is good--and cheaper, too!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Southernmapart--LOL! Yeah, towels do need to be washed before put back in the cabinet. :-)

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Helen Laxner 5 years ago from Illinois

      Great tips! I grew up with 6 brothers and 3 sisters. We ate a lot of homemade soups, stews, and pasta.

    • profile image

      Southernmapart 5 years ago

      About re-using bath towels, a friend at a family reunion heard his mother say she had saved many a wash day by drying towels without washing and then refolded them. He said, "That's why the towels always smelled funny."

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Hey, Michael Tully, that's a great comment, and I think you're right! Thanks!

    • Michael Tully profile image

      Michael Tully 5 years ago

      Very sound and useful suggestions, Victoria Lynn. Thumbs up, interesting and useful. And for what it's worth, it doesn't sound like you were poor growing up at all. You were rich in the things that really count.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Pinkchic! This list would work for anyone, not just single moms. Thanks for reading!

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Great tips here! You've created a good list!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      monica--I think that stocking up on sale items does save money. I have to be careful not to stock up TOO much so that stuff goes to waste. Then it totally defeats the purpose! Thanks for the input!

    • monicamelendez profile image

      monicamelendez 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      I need to do a much better job of stocking up on sale items. I am uptight about spending too much in one shopping session and in the end, it's just going to end up costing me. Not a good mentality. Thanks for the advice Victoria!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Green Art--I agree. Why pay more? There are plenty of good, used items out there! Thanks for the input! :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      sfshine--You're right. Just those little habits can turn into a lot of money saved!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      B Lucy! Glad you like the lists. I like comparing what I do to lists I see, too. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      pbsandwichofdoom--It's amazing to me how many people buy birthday cakes instead of making them. Homemade is so good and so cheap. Thanks for the input!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Darrell Roberts--That's fine about the movies! The theater can be a treat for a lot of people. We all have our things we enjoy spending money on! Thanks for the input. I appreciate it!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great comments, novascotiamiss! I think living frugally IS something to be proud of. Thanks! Will check out your hub!

    • Green Art profile image

      Green Art 5 years ago

      Your Mom certainly passed on some great life lessons to her children and now your doing the same with yours and through hub pages.

      I grew up with a thrifty mom too. With six kids in the house she had to be. We'd add water to shampoo and conditioner to make it go further. She'd mix powdered milk to whole milk to cut costs. We'd shop for school clothes at the church dollar a bag sales and thought we'd hit the lottery! I still shop at Salvation Army, Goodwill and go to garage sales. Why pay more for things when you don't have too. Voted UP!!

    • sfshine profile image

      sfshine 5 years ago from Michigan

      Great advice. I do practice some of these, like turning off the lights, using less water during shower, buying on sale or dollar items. It saves a lot.

    • B Lucy profile image

      B Lucy 5 years ago from Podunk, Virginia

      Awesome list! I was pleasantly surprised to see how many of those I do and am going to try the ones I don't!!

    • pbsandwichofdoom profile image

      Kathryn Lamoreux 5 years ago

      This is a wonderful list. My boyfriend and I are also addicted to the movies, but we could stand to use a lot of these ideas when we get around to getting married and having kids. I especially like the idea of homemade cakes, because it's sentimental to me. My parents used to make my brother and my birthday cakes at home, but as we got older and they started making more money, we switched to the store bought ones-- No matter how skilled those bakers are, it's just not the same as something fresh from the oven. Voting up and useful.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      VNelson--that's what I see--it pays off! Thanks for the input.

    • Darrell Roberts profile image

      Darrell Roberts 5 years ago

      This is a great hub, with the exception of don't go to the movie theater :) (i really agree with you I am just addicted to movies). What you write is so practical this is great advice, well done!

    • novascotiamiss profile image

      novascotiamiss 5 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      Congratulations! This is a really great hub that doesn't only concern single moms. If everybody applied these rules, kids would grow up to be environment friendly, creative, loving, appreciative adults. One tip re. movies. We had our TV switched off to save 50 bucks a month (and we hate TV ads anyway). So instead we get DVD's from the library (absolutely free of charge). What I really like about your attitude is the fact that you involve the kids and do many things together, making your family a very loving environment. This is of course especially important for single moms. Also, another important thing is pride. Be proud to do things differently. Teach your children at an early age that it's better not to have every gadget but be happy and sleep well rather than having a huge credit card bill and lots of things you don't need. Peer pressure is terrible these days but if your kids understand the whole concept of frugal living and all its good sides, they will be more understanding. PS: You may also be interested in reading my hub about frugal living.

    • VNelson profile image

      VNelson 5 years ago

      Great ideas, not just for single moms but for everyone. Now, with no children left at home, I find I continue the frugality I had to practice while raising children. It's paying off- my husband and I can travel, and hopefully not wait until we are 80 to retire.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Scribenet-- I grew up that way, too, never feeling deprived. Thanks for the comment!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      ksnll--I'm like you in that I'm thrilled when I find some way to save that I haven't thought of. Glad you found that here. :-)

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I follow all these tips since I grew up "poor" but never felt that way since Mom managed to keep us well fed with tasty food and we were creative with everything else...we were happy and that speaks to the fact we can all spend less and save more by using our noggins. Great practical tips!

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      ksinll 5 years ago

      Great tips, I consider myself to be very thrifty so when I saw some things that I hadn't thought about or tried I found myself to be pleasantly surprised. Good job!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Jenna! I do hope your daughters appreciate the tips. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Shona, you said it exactly right. That is so, so true!

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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You're right, kissayer. I think it's for everyone. Thanks!

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      Jenna Pope 5 years ago from Southern California

      Victoria,

      I don't have kids at home any longer, but I am sending this to my daughters -- both are single moms with kids. Great article! Voted up.

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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Sethughes--Glad you found it helpful, as the tips are good for anyone!

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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, kiwi gal. Glad this brought back some memories for you. I hope that more parents are passing on these lessons, too.

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      Shona Venter 5 years ago from South Africa

      Excellent advice. If more people would learn to live simply, there would be a lot less debt and stress in the world today. People are too busy running after material goods and not spending enough time on what really matters to them...

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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, dobo! I agree. Most of us are always looking for ways to save. Thanks!

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      Kristy Sayer 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Excellent hub, this is perfect for all people, not just single Moms! :)

    • Sethughes profile image

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      I am not a single mom, but I found this very interesting and helpful! Thanks for sharing.

    • kiwi gal profile image

      kiwi gal 5 years ago

      Great hub.

      It is amazing how we do learn many things from our parents and so great to see these lessons in life passed down along the way. Really enjoyed reading brought back many memories thank you for sharing.

    • dobo700 profile image

      dobo700 5 years ago from Australia

      Some really good tips here and I think we arte all looking for a way to save money.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Exactly, Robert. That's what I think. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      Robert Kempster 5 years ago from New York, New York

      Thanks for the hub, I have always believed in not wasting anything. There is no point to wastefulness and like you said, being frugal allows you to easily afford those things you really want.

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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Hi, job-for-you-2012, the reason I see living frugally as a value rather than just a need is because many people are so wasteful. I think it's good to try to save where we can, conserve resources where we can, and just not be wasteful with what we have. Living this way, by not wasting, we can often afford what we really want. I just think it's a win-win situation. It makes me feel good to live that way. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Peter Geekie, for the input! I'm glad the hub was a breath of fresh air. Many people, whether they have money or not, are so wasteful. Thanks!

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      job-for-you-2012 5 years ago from Jerusalem and London

      I do not know to be honest. I think children should not be taught to disrespect money, but on the other hand- i do not see Living Frugally as a value in itself. Living Frugally cannot be a value but need