budget photo: budget budget.jpgWhile single moms certainly are not the only people struggling to take care of their families, no one wants to sort through a bunch of stuff they don't need in order to find what actually applies to them, so let's avoid any negative commentary about single moms, k? I'll be sharing things for other groups in the coming weeks, just wait your turn.

Now, I'm not going to give you money saving tips for single moms like "cut coupons" or "watch sales" because I'm going to assume you have common sense. Of course, having common sense also means that you are going to pay attention to the details of those sales and not end up paying more than you need to just because the word "sale" was involved. Moving right along...

Look for resources online. The Internet is a valuable tool for single moms because there is so much information you can get for free. You may need to wade through a lot of single mom sites that aren't helpful, but some, like Single Mom Parenting Help are very helpful because they offer not just ways to save money, but things like activities and basic parenting tips as well. I also happen to know that the site will be adding state specific information soon, so it's well worth the bookmark.

Apply for assistance. You can fondle your pride all you want while you worry about the bills, or you can swallow it and apply for assistance on a temporary basis. As soon as you apply, start making plans for the future so that you won't need assistance and you actually have something to look forward to. If you qualify, you are living in poverty and have nothing to be ashamed about as you use resources that can help you get out of that situation and I'm not just talking about food stamps. Apply for scholarships, grants, energy assistance programs and anything else you can find.

Enter free contests. Sounds stupid right? The thing is, that's what most people think, which means they don't apply either. Let me tell you something from experience though...and this comes from a woman with zero luck. By the time my son was 7 he had won a new bicycle and two six foot stockings. Know how many entries I had put in with all those contests combined? Less than 20 and this year I won a computer through a contest as well and only put in one entry.

Share what you have. Honestly, no one ever went broke from sharing. We're not talking about buying rounds at the bar. Share you gently used clothing. Share information. Share your meals. Whether it is Karma, the fact that your name comes up when someone else is sharing because you have shared, or the power of prayer, it does come back to you one way or another.

Use Store Programs. A lot of stores offer rewards and points. In fact, I just got a $60 table from Alcos because I use their point program and combined a limited $10 reward with two $2 rewards and a 30% off coupon. I got the table for $27.99. Programs like Bill Me Later through PayPal also offer rewards when you go to a participating site through them, which is how I got my brakes done and rotors changed for less than $30. On top of that I'm waiting for a $25 gift card the store was offering for signing up.

And of course, come back here often for more tips, parenting rants, do it yourself information, and even the soon to come recipes that are going to save you tons of money!


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