Best Money Saving Tips For Moms

Cynthia Bailey, MD|June 13, 2016

I had a conversation recently that I just had to share about money saving tip for moms. I'm passionate about this subject because for me it was about raising my family with healthy eating habits and mindfullness for living within their financial means. My kids are now grown; they can cook and they support themselves.  I'm always reminded of that when we Skype and Facetime.  I am really proud of them! 

The first and in my opinion, best tip I can give moms to save money is to have the family make and take their own lunches every day.  Yep!!!  No buying lunches, Starbucks etc. That is a big, giant drain on the family budget - a drain that runs fast.  Frankly, do you think that buying lunch or Starbucks really enhances the quality of your life enough to justify the expense?  My experience is that is doesn't and it sure is expensive.  I made my lunch even while in medical school when I was barely home long enough to sleep.  My husband and I lived on a shoe string budget that we kept posted on the fridge door.  Every penny we spent we had to admit to each other.  We had our first child while I was still in medical school and our second when I was in residency, so we were poor as church mice and living on loans.  I know how to stretch a penny without sacrificing nutrition.  

When the kids were in early grade school we taught them to make their lunch every day.  It was part of our morning routine.  Sometimes being able to bring a lunch every day requires planning ahead; we would have them pack their lunches the night before if we expected a busy morning the next day.  My husband and I would make their sandwiches but the kids put the rest of the lunch together.  It had to include fruit or carrot sticks but we let them have fun with the rest.  They felt a sense of pride and competence as they picked treats we had bought from the store (on sale or at Costco) or that we made ourselves, like cookies.  They learned to successfully negotiate when they wanted to push our boundaries a little.  When carefully guided, this is an invaluable skill for kids to learn.  My kids learned from this.  They can cook and they have good budget sense to this day.  I'm proud to say they still make their own lunches today now that they are young working adults.  I can't wait until I can make lunches with my grandkids; a mom can dream........

My grown kids live on tight budgets. As they were growing up, we always talked about how buying premade food is expensive and it's usually less healthy than homemade meals.  Not to mention, it rarely holds a candle to the taste of a home-cooked meal.  Tip for moms?  Teach your kids to cook!  Let them cook with you.  Make it fun so they learn how and how important it is.  My kids took that to heart.  They are proud of their self-competence; my 26 year old son even cooks his own dinners (can you feel me beaming with pride?)!  I often see him eating his home-cooked dinner right out of the pan as we Facetime. 

I'm also very proud to say that my grown kids have taken good care of their skin since they were little. I taught them to put on sunscreen every day.  Their fair, adult skin is healthy with minimal sun damage; impressive for having grown up in California.  Teach your kids good sun protection practices.  This is also a money saving tip!  Keep quality sunscreen in their bathroom where they can easily use it.  Do not be fooled by impressive marketing techniques for low-quality sunscreens.  We used Solbar Zinc when my kids were little.  It is well priced, easy to spread and water resistant.  The tube is easy for them to pack up when they have swim lessons or a field trip in the sun.  Solbar Zinc is a great family sunscreen.  To learn more about my family's sun protection story click here To see how different that was from my own childhood skin care, read my own shocking story!

Do you have any money saving tips that you'd like to share?  What habits are you teaching your kids?  If your kids are grown, do you see them using the tips you taught them when they were little?  Please let us know in the comments below!

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