5 WAYS TO CUT COSTS AS A STAY AT HOME MOM
It's not easy living off of one income. To be honest, it takes a lot of faith & prayer, strategic planning & hard work, on all accounts. There are a lot times when I have to explain the kids why we can't get happy meals or go to see a flick, or whatever 'extras' don't make sense in the budget for the week.
We've learned a lot from our mistakes & I'm hoping our story encourages yours.
Overall, I'm extremely grateful for my hard working husband & God's wisdom & direction. Our family, means our standards & goals, which may look completely different from yours.
If you are wanting to stay home & are unsure how to get started, I suggest sitting down as a family & deciding what your family goals are. If this is not the reality for you, I say pray & grow where you're planted. Sometimes it's unclear why God has us in certain places, at certain seasons but you may be a blessing to a company or a co-worker. I like that scripture that says, Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord. Colossians 3:23.
I'm extremely grateful that I live in a country with an abundance & I have the ability to earn money blogging while my kids play at my feet.
I recently had the opportunity to guest post on the Tried and True Mom Jobs blog. Here, I share some more resourceful tips on how we survive off of one income. You may find this article useful as well & you can find it here.
Money saving tip #1 // drive less.
When I worked I didn't have any other choice but to pay for car maintenance, gas & higher car insurance premiums because I had to commute to and from work. Initially, as a stay-at-home mom I felt the need to have my kids at every other story time & play date possible. After story time, I'd find myself at the store or running an errand & then stopping to get the kids happy meals because hello, no one wants to hear the screams of a hungry toddler.
I did the math & realized I could save about $20/week in gas (or more), plus the cost of eating out, if I stayed home a few days a week. I'm an introvert so this is no problem for me, ha! But the kids have school & activities so not realistic to stay home all day, every day.
We try & walk to the park to save gas & get some exercise. Also, the kids like the adventure. I try & explain to them that by walking we save money & it's better for the environment.
Money saving tip #2 // don't go to Target.
I've saved about $500 in the last few months by not going to Target. Yes, that's right, $500. It's my fault for overspending when I'm there, but it wasn't that I was doing it on purpose, I really thought I was buying things we needed. After staying away, it was obvious that my kids could actually survive without juice boxes, goldfish & fruit snacks. First world problems, sigh.
Money savings tip #3 // get a Prime membership.
I know what you're thinking, you're crazy. Let me convince you otherwise. You can get pretty much anything you need on Amazon, heck you can buy cars & even a tiny house. This can be bad if you're a shopper, but good because it alleviates going to different stores. Hello gas money!! Also, you avoid spending extra money on things your kids just had to have, a new nail polish color you had to have, or that bag of popcorn you worked up an appetite for, cause shopping!! In the end, you can leave your Amazon cart alone overnight & come back with a fresh set of eyes in the morning. You'd be surprised at how your emotions shift away from things you thought you just had to have.
It's also a really good platform to buy gifts. Why? You can have the gift shipped directly to your friend or family member at no cost to either of you, if you're a prime member. This works extremely well with family that lives out of state, or even local friends & family. We can't always make every event & it's nice to know that I won't have to sit on their gift until I see them again. Amazon also has gift registries now.
The ultimate benefit is that I can shop online, while sticking to our budget, in the comfort of my own home.
If you use their subscribe & save feature, you can add 5 items to your monthly delivery & save 20% per item!! You can also choose to space your shipments out, like I have hand soap shipped every 2 months. Things are cheaper when you buy them in bulk. Examples are some Amazon branded items below.
Amazon brands are great quality & have competitive pricing.
Like these bulk items:
We like this toilet paper
These paper towels are sturdy
For sensitive bums, we love these baby wipes!
Money saving tip #4 // eat similar items all week.
I see it everywhere and hear it often, having a meal plan & going to the store with a list are mandatory when it comes to sticking to your budget & saving money. While you're writing your list & plan, try to incorporate the same items into different meals. We love rice & beans & think they're absolutely life saving at the end of the month when we've blown the budget. We can buy 2 cans of beans for about a dollar each, a bag of rice for about $4 & a bag of chicken for $7. These are rough estimates, but it comes to about $15. Have a theme for the week. For example, on fiesta week, we'll make burritos, salads, or have nachos & it usually these items will usually last for the week. Another option would be to use the leftovers & take them for lunch.
Money savings tip #5 // only buy produce that it's in season.
If you buy produce that's in season, then most likely it will be on sale. We like to look at the ads & decide which items we'll be putting into our meal plan because they're on sale. If we want cantaloupe, but it's not on sale, we don't buy it. Plus changing things up week x week is always fun!
We started shopping at two different stores recently & it saved us about $200/month. We buy produce at one store & only get what's on sale & in season. On a good shopping day, I can usually walk out of the store with two full bags of produce for $20. I have to really strategize before I get there, only get what is on the list & don't have the kids with me, ha!
Don't forget to give.
We may not have control over things that come up like having to buy a new tire or pay to have the washing machine fixed, but we can give. We can give in many different capacities & I think this is a good way to remind ourselves that there are always people with less.
If you haven't already, download the Ibotta app.
Make a quick $10, just sign up. You're welcome, lol. This app is a great way to make some extra happy meal money. I've made almost $5 in the last 2 days just by scanning my receipts. You can get $10 just for signing up by clicking here.
These are very basic money saving tips & if you have others you'd like to share, please put them in the comments below.
With grace & coffee,
Disclaimer: There are affiliate links embedded in this post. At no cost to you by shopping the images it may result in a small commission to me. Enjoy!