How to Live on One Income: 27 Genius Tips

We Lived on One Income for 12 Years And Raised a Family!

Raising six kids on a budget is no easy feat.

Add in living on ONE income, and it becomes more challenging!

But no worries!

We’ve got some incredible, frugal tips and hacks that will help you live on one income without stressing about money.

Plus, we’ve added some affiliate links to resources that will help you save money! Thanks for your support!

Live on One Income Tip #1: Make a Plan with Your Spouse

Living on one income will not work unless you’re both on board.

Communicate with each other realistic expectations of living on one income.

Decide how you’re going to crush this goal together and the path to get there.

Will it be the two of you working on one business together?

Will it be one spouse working outside the home and the other managing the meals and cleaning?

Coming up with a solid strategy will help prevent any miscommunication or added stress that can come from living on one income.

Live on One Income Tip #2: Cut Your Grocery Budget Without Missing Out on Yummy Meals

Start with simple meal planning and simple money-saving tips for grocery shopping.

You can still eat really well on one income if you use the above money-saving hacks!

Soups, stir-frys, and casseroles go a long way with saving money and meal prep!

Live on One Income Tip #3: Lower Your Power Bill

  • Use a programmable thermostat. You can even control these from your iphone!
  • Replace air filters
  • Wash clothes in cold water
  • Keep blinds closed during the day
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Adjust the temperature on your water heater.

Live on One Income Tip #4: Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

Homemade glass cleaner, all purpose cleaner, and furniture polish is a huge way to save some money!

We also make a simple fabric refresher by adding 1/4 cup of our favorite liquid softener to a spray bottle of water.

Plus, baking soda and vinegar gets lots of simple things cleaned quickly!

Here’s a list of 16 DIY cleaners to help you get started!

Live on One Income Tip #5: Travel Less or Take Staycations

Travel always cost extra money for fuel, accommodations, food, and leisure activities.

Even though we can always use a vacation, staycations are a great compromise when you’re living on one income.

Here are some amazing staycation ideas that aren’t lame!

Live on One Income Tip #6: Always Check for a Coupon, Promo Code, or Sale Before You Shop

Most companies offer a promo code or coupon online.

I’ve even looked up coupons when I’m in line and saved 20-40% off a purchase!

Always do a simple web search before purchasing clothes, jewelry, home decor etc.

Live on One Income Tip #7: Make Freezer Meals

Freezer meals keep you from buying pizza last minute because you’re starving and too tired to cook.

Plus, it creates a welcome feel to your home.

When everyone gets super busy, they love knowing that they can always pop a homemade meal into the freezer for a quick, mess-free, lunch or dinner.

Live on One Income Tip #8: Stay Organized

When you’re organized you know what you have, what you need, and what needs to be fixed.

Plus, you’re less stressed!

A great place to get started organizing is your organizing your closet!

Live on One Income Tip #9: Use Only What You Need

Use just a little bit of shampoo…

A little bit of hand soap…

A little bit of toothpaste.

Being aware of how much of each item you’re actually using truly adds up in the big picture.

This includes when you’re making your meals!

Make a little less than you think you’ll eat so you’re less prone to wasting food.

Live on One Income Tip #10: Take Care of What You Have

Your furniture, your clothes, your appliances…

They all need to be taken care of so they can last your family for several years.

My kids aren’t allowed to put their feet on our couches or furniture.

They’re also not allowed to have food or drinks in the living room.

I gently remind them of the rule and say “I reeaallly want our furniture to last for 50 years, so let’s keep it clean and take care of it!”

I know 50 years is a stretch, but hey…that’d be great, right? :)

Read the care instructions when you first purchase items and teach everyone in your family to properly care for the items in your home.

The better you take care of your items, the longer they’ll last!

Live on One Income Tip #11: Avoid Debt As Much As Possible

It’s so tempting to buy all the new stuff.

New cars, new phones, new TVs etc.

Unless you have the cash in your bank account or in hand, don’t buy it.

Debt often costs you more and hurts your family’s finances.

Whatever you’re wanting to purchase, 99% of the time the purchase can wait until you have more funds available.

Live on One Income Tip #12: Order Grocery Delivery

This is a HUGE time-saver! Saving time grocery shopping gives me MORE time to get my online work completed.

I never thought I’d use grocery delivery.

I actually enjoy grocery shopping, but with homeschooling, managing a business, and trying to save time, this has been a huge help!

Orderling online also prevents you from making last minute purchases.

Another thing you may not realize is most grocery shopping apps record your purchases.

If you buy even at least 75% of the same items week after week, you can quickly choose those items nand be done grocery shopping in record time.

You can even order from discount grocery stores like Costco and Aldi from my favorite grocery delivery app…Instant Cart!

To help you get started, here’s $10 from our team towards your first order! Enjoy!

(Psst…here’s a picture my shopper sent me! She dropped it off right at my door step. Easy-peasy!)

Live on One Income Tip #13: Don’t Go to the Movie Theatre

Watch your favorite movies at home.

Make popcorn, curl up with a blankie, and watch movies at a fraction of a cost.

If it’s warm outside, make a really fun outdoor drive-in movie night for your family, neighbors, and close friends! :)

Live on One Income Tip #14: Limit Your Monthly Subscriptions

You can easily forget about your monthly subscriptions.

And they can add up fast!

We recently dug through ours and cut out a few entertainment memberships but kept Instant Cart and Glossy Box!

Live on One Income Tip #15: Keep Fridge and Pantry Organized

When you can see all your food, you tend to be less tempted to order deliver, grab fast food, or buy more groceries you already have!

Keep food in easy-to-see containers and mark them accordingly.

Even using clips with chalkboard signs helps to organize food.

Keep leftovers, fruits, and veggies in your fridge near the front so you see those items FIRST.

That way you use the freshest items first and throw less food away.

Live on One Income Tip #16:Use Leftovers in Creative Ways

Instead of just re-heating leftovers, use them in creative ways so you actually want to eat the extra, uneaten food.

Use leftover chicken in casseroles, soups, and stirfrys.

Learn how to use leftover meatloaf in a yummy, creative way!

Live on One Income Tip #17: Avoid Buying Bottled Water and Save $150 a Month

Bottled water is extremely pricey! It costs $150 a month per person to drink the recommended amount of water from a bottle.

How does that compare to a water filter on your sink?

Approximately $4/month per person. Now, that’s HUGE savings!

Buy a water filter to ensure clean, drinking water is available and stop buying bottled water!

There, I’ll get off my soap box now…ha!

Live on One Income Tip #18: Buy in Bulk

We started shopping at Costco once a month and it’s helped our busy family in more ways than we thought!

When we bulk shop, we spend less time shopping and driving to the grocery store.

We save money on spices, baking ingredients, cleaning products, storage solutions and more.

Plus, we can buy organic groceries on a budget!

We noticed a huge difference in the quality of Costco vs. Aldi.

The store brand has been top notch in terms of quality and price.

You can even order Costco and get items delivered to your house via Instant Cart so you don’t have to make a trip to the store.

But, we noticed that several items were $3-4 cheaper in store than on the app.

Live on One Income Tip #19: Make More Meals and Food From Scratch

It’sa common trap to think that cooking instant macaroni and cheese or a frozen pizza is cheaper than making your own.

But, the majority of the time, you actually save money when you make simple foods from scratch.

It takes fewer ingredinets than you think to make popular meals and snacks!

Here’s some homemade recipes to get you started:

Stove top Macaroni and Cheese (Or Shells and Cheese)

Chicken Salad

Homemade Pretzels

Bolognese Sauce

Live on One Income Tip #20: Make Iced Specialty Coffee at Home

Buy an espresso machine that comes with a frother and keep your favorite syrups and milk on hand.

When I reazlied my husband, me, and my oldest son were all buying a Starbucks coffee once a day, every day, I ddi the math for a monthly basis and it was scary.

Buying a Breville espresso machine is a super smart investment because it delivers a velvety smooth coffee and rich taste.

Keep your favorite syrups on hand to make the perfect cup of hot or iced coffee!

My favorite?

An iced flat white with almond milk!

Live on One Income Tip #21: Use Instant Cart

This has been a stress saver for us!

If you spend at least $35 per grocery order you pay no delivery fee, if you purchase the one year membership.

A yearly membership is $99 a year.

This app keeps adding more stores every two weeks and even delivers Bed, Bath, and Beyond items, plus Target!

It’s a money-saving option for parents because it helps them invest time into building a side hustle, or helps them get home from work earlier so they can rest, relax, and spend time with the kids.

Either way, for this mom, it’s a game-changer.

Live on One Income Tip #22: Skip the Gym and Use Youtube Workout Videos

A yearly gym membership costs an average of $500.

Youtube workout videos are FREE.

Plus, you can even download workout apps for a fraction of the cost of a gym membership.

Plus, they have no equipment workout videos you can use if you don’t have the extra funds for workout equipment.

And, a lot of people find workout videos more convenient, time-saving, and somewhat motivational.

It’s not as motivating as going to the gym with a friend, but it’s a close second!

Live on One Income Tip #23: Sell What you Don’t Use

Facebook marketplace is an awesome place to sell that dining room table, dresser, or artificial Christmas tree you never use.

Selling your unused items and cleaning out clutter is a win-win!

Live on One Income Tip #24: Shop Facebook Marketplace FIRST for Large Items

Need a massage chair?

A new dining room table?

A new outdoor dining set?

Marketplace has new/gently used items for a fraction of the cost.

One of my friends bought her entire, new kitchen on marketplace!

Seriously…she bought an island, new cabinets, fridge, dishwasher, and oven all from one seller.

We bought a gorgeous, farmhouse dining room table from Marketplace!

It had two small scratches on it and it’s one of our favorite pieces of furniture to date!

The tiny scratches give it character. :)

Just be sure to check on reviews of each individual seller.

Plus, don’t commit to buying anything before you’ve seen it in person.

Live on One Income Tip #25: When You Travel, Travel During Off Season

Traveling when there’s less of a crowd saves you on hotel and entertainment costs.

Popular destinations often offer bundled hotel/attraction deals during the off season.

Plus, traffic is less stressful as well as shorter lines!

So it’s a time-saving option as well.

Win-win for everyone on your vacation!

Live on One Income Tip #26 :Get a Library Card

Movies, video games, audio books, books are all available at your local library.

It’s perfect for all types of research and entertainment!

Plus, it’s a great, quiet place to work.

Live on One Income Tip #27 : Get a Makeup/Skin Subscription

This is a fun, but sneaky tip!

Investing in a reasonable makeup and skincare subscription keeps us from buying too much makeup and skincare products.

I love Glossy Box because the items are hand-picked, come with a description leaflet, and pretty reusable boxes I use to organize my closet and bathroom.

You can even pause certain months if you need too!

My skincare routine and products have greatly improved since I started using Glossy Box. They even send me sunglasses, vitamin drink mixes, and sunscreen! It’s perfect for a busy mom who doesn’t have time to shop for those items.

Plus, it’s always a perk to my busy mom day to get happy, surprise mail delivered to my front porch. Plus, I know that I’m spending less and less on skincare and beauty products, while getting getter products than I use to snag from Target!

More Moneysaving Ideas:

How We’re Wasting Money on Clothes

Feed Your Family $40 Per Week!

How to Save Money on Groceries

Kitchen Hacks that Save Money

Clothes Shopping Hacks

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