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10 Ways to Save Money on Just About Everything

Filed under : Finance, YUM Connect, family

By: Maria Smith

Young Urban Moms, check out our list of ways to save money on just about everything!

1. Have an at-home date night. Babysitters, dinner, movies, and other expenses can add up quickly. Feed the kids dinner and put them to bed early (especially if you have young ones). Then, eat a leisurely “adult” dinner, watch a $1 Red Box or Blockbuster movie and just be together.

2. Do it yourself. Wash your own car. Do your own blow out, manicure and pedicure. Stop going out to eat and cook it yourself. You will save lots of money by figuring out how to do some things for yourself.

3. Go to the library. Your library may offer free story time, movie rentals, and supervised summer programs for children. Check out your local library to see all the things they offer besides books (though free books are helpful for all those bibliophiles out there).

4. Take advantage of free childcare. A lot of gym memberships include free or very affordable childcare. I belong to the Metro Atlanta YMCA and they offer up to 8 hours of free childcare each week. That’s worth about $100/week for me! Some grocery stores, like Wegman’s in New Jersey and Bashas’ in Phoenix, let customers use an in-store childcare center while they grocery shop. Even Ikea has a free supervised play area!

5. Make a shopping list. You will save money by simply writing down what you need and limiting those expensive impulse buys. You’ll also save on gas when you don’t have to make several trips to the store for those things you forgot.

6. Take advantage of coupons and promotional codes. The little things add up! Before you make an online purchase do a Google search for any promotional codes out and you may just save yourself a bundle. Coupons in the Sunday paper and online also add up, especially on things you buy weekly.

7. Pack a lunch. If you’re going to be out for a few hours, make sure you bring a lunch the kids can eat in the car and don’t forget yourself, too. Stopping for Happy Meals can add up quickly. Save the money (and the calories) and eat your own food.

8. Start a vegetable garden. You don’t have to have acres of land to grow something delicious. Use a window box or a pot in your kitchen. Try growing herbs, tomatoes, or cucumbers. Gardening can be a great teaching opportunity for your kids, too.

9. Create a babysitting co-op. Babysitters can be expensive and they aren’t always available when you need them. If you know a couple other moms who feel that way too, put together a babysitting co-op where you swap child care duties. Just make sure you have the rules written down so everyone knows what is expected.

10. Barter. Do you know how to sew? Cook? Braid hair? Talk to other moms and create a network of services you can do for each other. Give some of your time and talent and you can get the services you need for free.

Maria Smith resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and three kids. In her pre-baby days, she was a TV producer for shows like Oprah, and now fills her child-free time with freelance writing and public relations projects. You could reach her at or on Twitter @MariaRSmith.

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