Evelyn Romans | 

14 Ways I Stretch Our Family's Single Income

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With these money-saving strategies, one stay-at-home mom is able to stretch her family’s one-income budget each month and still do most of the things they love.

If you’re in the same situation or know someone who is, listen up.


1. Cut the cable cord and opt for a streaming device.

Okay, obviously the best way to save money here is to sell your TV and check out books from the library for entertainment. And maybe that works for you. But for the rest of us, it’s not really an option.

Instead, I dropped my satellite TV service and spent $35 (one-time fee) for a digital antenna. Now I get all the local channels for free, plus I get great reception.

Then I subscribed to Hulu for $5.99 a month. I was already paying $7.99 a month for Netflix and I’m an Amazon Prime member, so I have plenty of choices and ways to watch my favorite shows.

Start streaming to save $1,200 ($100 a month):

  • Netflix: Basic $7.99 a month; Standard $10.99/month; Premium $13.99 a month
  • Hulu: $5.99/month (if you sign up before January 9, 2018); $7.99 a month after that
  • Sling TV: $20 a month
  • Amazon Video: Included in your $99.00 a year Amazon Prime Membership, or $8.99/month just for Amazon Video
  • HBO Now: $14.99 a month; Student subscription $9.99 a month
  • CBS All Access: Limited commercials $4.99/month; commercial free $8.33 a month


2. Share Prime, Hulu, and Netflix subscriptions with family members.

Sharing is caring — it’s also more affordable. Share your $99.00/year Amazon Prime membership the “traditional” or “alternative” way.

While you’re at it, you can totally share your Netflix and Hulu accounts with extended family or close friends. Each of you only pays for one of them, but you get access to all three (I promise, it’s legit)!


3. Shop at Costco without a membership.

Every time I’m at Costco, I think “Is this membership worth it?!” Stop asking yourself that question and see how you can shop at warehouses without a membership.

All I do is ask a friend to pick up a Costco gift card for me and I go shop!



4. Use rebate apps like Ibotta to save even more after every purchase.

In one year, I saved about $500 by redeeming Ibotta offers for items I was already buying and using coupons for.

What’s great about rebate apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Coupons.com is the stacking capability. You can stack store sales and promotions with coupons and still get cash back. Note that you can stack Ibotta and Checkout51 or Ibotta and SavingStar, but you cannot stack Checkout51 and Coupons.com.


5. Use discounted gift cards from Gift Card Granny and save between 12%-15%.

Before I buy anything, and I mean anything… I search Gift Card Granny for a discounted gift card, and on average, I save between 12%-15%.

There are so many discounted gift cards available (especially all those unwanted gift cards after Christmas), so use that to your advantage when shopping at grocery stores, grabbing a cup of coffee, or going out to eat. It’ll save you hundreds.


RELATED: Brilliant Ways to Pay off Debt Without Getting a Second Job


6. Use Billcutterz to negotiate your cable bill and get a lower monthly rate.

These professional bill negotiators take a look at your expenses and try to get them lowered on your behalf.

Billcutterz only gets paid when they are successful at getting you a lower price, so there’s no risk. Billcutterz takes 50% of the amount they saved you for the first year.


7. Save up to 50% with a discounted gift card from Restaurant.com.

Don’t limit yourself to going out to eat or grabbing a drink Friday night after work. You can still enjoy going out while staying on budget.

I always buy a discounted gift card from Restaurant.com before we go out, and it typically saves me 50%!

One other tip: go out to dinner at a restaurant that provides free chips and salsa, bread, or fries before you order your meal. My trick — we all fill up on that and then share two meals between the four of us. Works every time.



8. Use the KCL app to cut your grocery bill in half.

Select your favorite stores, browse deals, and add deals to your shopping list. You can select “Smartphone-Only Deals” to see deals you don’t need newspaper coupons for.

If you’re new to couponing, check out the Quick Start Guide to Couponing. You’ll learn how to stack current sale prices, coupons, rebates, and discounted gift cards to slash your grocery budget in HALF.


9. Stock up on items when they’re super cheap!

If you do nothing else, at least shop around the sales and buy a 3-6 month’s supply when prices are low!

This is the best time to stock up on basics like toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, laundry detergent or garbage bags.

I’ve never paid full price for toilet paper, laundry detergent or any of these items since I started my stockpile. You don’t have to buy 99 boxes of Jello because it was a good deal. Be realistic and shop smart.


10. Use a credit card only to pay your bills.

Using a credit card to pay certain bills is my strategy for racking up points for travel and cash-back rewards. But, this only works if you pay off your credit card every month. You never, ever want to pay interest.

You’d be surprised to learn how many bills you’re paying already that can be paid with a credit card. Here’s a list of bills you can pay with a credit card to earn points.


11. Earn $364-$377 a month driving for Uber or Lyft.

Simply giving someone a ride can put money in your pocket. You decide when you’re on “duty” and where you will drive.

On average, Uber drivers make $364 a month, and Lyft drivers make $377. Drive during peak evening and weekend hours to make the most money (plus tips).

RELATED: Uber and Lyft Tricks to Save You Money on Your Next Ride


12. Pet sit through Rover for a little extra cash — like $1,000 a month.

If you’re a dog lover, become a part-time dog walker or dog sitter for Rover, and make an average of $1,000 a month.

You can opt to watch dogs only during the day (daycare), for overnight boarding, or both!


13. Deliver items for Amazon Flex and earn $18-25 an hour.

In select cities, you can deliver Amazon Now packages in your own vehicle, on your own time, and make $18.00-$25.00 an hour.


14. Get cash back on your purchases when you use Paribus.

Paribus works in your email inbox to find online purchases you’ve made and will alert you if an item goes on sale. Paribus will help you get back the difference in price (on your behalf).

Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.

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