What do you visualize when you think of self-care? Massages? Spa days? Shopping sprees?
These can all be awesome ways to enjoy some personal pampering, but they are often short-lived and expensive!
As a busy mom on a budget, it’s important to take time to take care of yourself without breaking the bank. These frugal self-care tips can help you fill your empty cup and won’t leave your bank account empty.
5 Frugal Self-Care Tips
Enjoy Staying Hydrated
We all know staying hydrated is good for us.
Drinking enough water ensures our skin stays bright and clear. Our energy levels are higher. And we just feel better overall. Ultimate Self-Care!
But tanking a gallon of plain water throughout the day isn’t always fun.
Try to make staying hydrated more enjoyable:
- Choose a fancy cup or water bottle that makes you feel good
- Mix in frozen fruits or berries to add a burst of flavor and color, along with extra vitamins
- Herbal teas (hot or cold) and flavored unsweetened carbonated waters are just as hydrating as regular water.
(Sorry, mamas, coffee, alcohol, sugary drinks, and other caffeinated beverages don’t have the same hydrating benefits)
Have fun with your daily beverages and enjoy the perks of hydration.
Get Your Body Moving
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a fortune 500 executive, or anyone in between, taking care of yourself means taking care of your body.
Get that body moving, whether it’s a full-on hour of cardio or a simple walk after dinner!
- Do simple stretches, yoga, or exercises at home, along with a free YouTube video. Use kiddos as weights, or see how many times they can make it under your plank bridge.
- Take a few minutes to get outside and go for a walk. Enjoy the fresh air, and vitamin D. Throw the kids in a stroller or on some scooters and enjoy a mini-adventure around the neighborhood.
- Find your nearest public park and join their free/low-cost Parks and Rec. exercise classes.
- Turn on some music and have a dance party in the living room or while you’re cooking/cleaning.
Whatever your comfort level is, take some time every day to get your body moving. Your future self will thank you.
Pre-Plan Healthy Meals
The most annoying question we all hear daily is, “What’s for dinner?”
Busy schedules and hungry tummies make for cranky people, both old and young.
Give yourself some care and pre-plan some healthy meals for the week.
Go through your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Then sit down for just 5-10 minutes and write out a simple meal plan for the week. (Or multiple weeks if you’re up for it.) Use the foods you already have in the house and create a shopping list for what you might still need.
Take into consideration your schedule for the week:
- Going to get home late on Monday and Wednesday due to soccer? Plan on a simple spaghetti and jar sauce with a salad that can be made up in a few minutes.
- Got a roast in the freezer to use up? Throw it in the crock pot in the morning with some onions and seasonings. Come home to a fall-off-the-bone meal after work.
- Have a quiet day at home on Sunday? Spend a few minutes to chop and prep, or even pre-cook, some meals for the week. And maybe make a big meal that will provide lots of leftovers.
Don’t forget breakfast and lunch!
- Stock your kitchen with easy grab-and-go fruits for smoothies and snacks.
- Pack leftovers in microwavable lunch containers to take to work.
- Make it easy on yourself to choose healthy meals.
Taking a few minutes to lay out a simple meal plan is like giving yourself a little gift later in the week.
You’ll be less stressed knowing the answer to “what’s for dinner?” And avoid expensive, unhealthy emergency drive-thru or delivery.
Lower Your Expectations and Delegate
Moms everywhere feel a constant need to get everything done. And do it perfectly. STOP.
Those little creatures in your home above the age of 3 are perfectly capable of helping around the house. So is the big one.
It may take some training, but once they’ve got it down, chores and household tasks can be removed from your to-do list to let you focus on other things.
- Little kids can certainly help pick up the toys they have scattered around the house. Make it easy with big baskets and fewer toys available to them on a regular basis.
- Bigger kids can help with dishes, laundry, and bathroom cleaning.
- Teens can get busy making dinner and running to the grocery store.
- And if you have a spouse, make sure they’re involved too.
Lower your expectation of how a towel should be perfectly folded. Or how bell peppers should be chopped.
Teach those little munchkins how to help out around the house and let them!
Get Real Rest
Everybody needs time to rest. Not just sleep but rest too.
- Recognize when you’re overstimulated and take a moment to breathe, even if it’s just 5 minutes with your eyes closed in a quiet room.
- Cancel plans and stay home. Read, watch your kids in the yard, or hang out with your spouse. Give yourself time to decompress.
- Put down the phone and just go to bed.
Frugal Self-Care Tips
Self-care is important and vital to living a happy, fulfilling life, and it doesn’t have to break the bank.
Massages, spa days, and weekend getaways are wonderful ways of performing self-care. (So long you’ve saved up for them and don’t put it all on a credit card.)
But small steps, each and every day, to take care of yourself are what self-care is really all about. Look deep. Figure out what your body needs. And make it happen.