As a single mom, I need to set a pretty sizable chunk of my budget aside to keep my hair, nails, and clothes nice. I also need a good amount of cash for the clubs, and for cigarettes (men love a woman who smokes!). With three kids to dress and feed, this is no easy feat! So you know I got to pinch pennies whenever I can. I'm sure that I'm not alone in this, so I'm sharing my money saving secrets with you!
I've got a decent job, so I'm already in pretty good shape. I'm also taking in some significant child support checks (good thing he didn't ask for a paternity test!). But did you know that I file for welfare and food stamp assistance under my maiden name? That welfare check is like extra money! I can cash those suckers right at the grocery store service desk, and immediately purchase a carton of smokes, a three pound bag of steamed and spiced shrimp, and a six pack of Corona. The rest gets invested in scratch-off lottery tickets.
Babies today have some very expensive needs. But it's a hell of a lot worse when you pay retail for all those supplies! That's why I buy my baby formula from young thugs in the 'hood! Thieves steal cans of formula from the grocery store, and they sell those cans to other folks out on the street at significantly lower prices! Bad neighborhoods are also a great place to salvage an old dresser drawer, which you can fashion into a makeshift crib! And while I'm down there I usually go ahead and pick up a dime bag!
You can definitely save money when you eat breakfast at home, but sometimes we need something on the go! If it's morning, try sneaking in on a continental breakfast. I personally recommend the Hampton Inn. They've got all the good stuff, plus complimentary bottled waters and cookies sitting out all over the place! Just drag an empty suitcase around behind you and nobody will be the wiser!
If you feel like something quick, just pop into a small bakery and ask for your special order. While the clerk is in the back looking for the package that isn't there, you can sneak around the counter and break off a few muffin tops. Bring your own mug and you might have time to pump some "free" coffee in it on your way out the door!
I usually order in for lunch, or bring my own, because I usually have to work through. But I've definitely got the dinner solution! I send my kids to the rear kitchen door of restaurants. Most of the chefs can't resist their pathetic begging faces. Just be sure to watch over your kids from afar so you can get them out of there before social services shows up!
Sometimes you just need some quick cash, but ATM fees can really add up. Don't worry! There are a number of ways to get some easy green! You can always pick up a receipt in a parking lot, go inside, take the related item off the shelf, and bring it to the service desk as a return. This one is a bit risky. You might want to call that location's phone number and ask to be transferred to "security". If somebody picks up then you'll know for sure that someone is manning the cameras.
Another fun way to generate cash is to buy things with your food stamp card, then return those items later for cash. Just remember to accidentally tear off the part of the receipt that identifies which form of payment you used. This tip is especially handy at places that offer "double your money back" guarantees on pricey things like birthday cakes and deli meats. Mo' money, mo' money!
Holidays can be a real drag for parents. Toys are stupidly expensive, and it's just a hassle to have to shop for three kids. That's where Toys for Tots, and similar programs come in! Often times they even deliver to your home! Same goes for food banks, which have gladly delivered me full Thanksgiving meals with all the fixins! The only downside is that you have to cook it!
Now here's some relief from those damn gas prices! Stealing gas is fine, but it can be time consuming to steal license plates and have to swap them on and off of your car every time you need a fill up. I take a different approach. I just park my car in a grocery store parking lot, pop the hood, and start walking around asking everyone for a little money for gas. People are very sympathetic to a young mom, especially when I've got the kids strapped into their car seats on a hot day! Ten bucks here, five bucks there, and I've got enough to fill my tank in under a half-hours time!
If any of y'all have some tips of our own to share, please comment! We've got to stick together so we can take care of our families, and get the most out of life!