Money Savers and Makers for the Stay at Home Mom

 
As a stay at home I know that I contribute to our family.  Even though I do not bring home a paycheck there are still ways that I contribute to our finances.  

Recently my sister in law posted on her facebook page the amount of money that she and her husband spend each year on day care alone for their children and it absolutely blew my mind.  With two children in daycare full time and one through the summer they spend over $14,000.00 each year. 

Anyway, this got me to thinking about how much money that my husband and I have saved over the years because I have been able to be a stay at home mom.  And I started thinking of other ways we as stay at home mom's can save or make our family some money?

Here is what I came up with.  This list is actually mostly all things I do.  I am sure there are others that I just haven't thought of but here it is.

  • Rummage Sale - When you declutter your home have a rummage sale with the items that you no longer love.
  • Consignment - Consign your clothes and household items.
  • Limit Driving -  I stay home most days of the week.  On my errand day I plan my trip so that I am making a circle and working my way back home so that I am not driving back and forth all of the time.  I do not make unneccesary trips to town just because and when I need to go to a store or somewhere that is a ways off I wait until I have several things I need to do in that area of town before I go.
  • DIY - I make my own laundry detergent, softner, dryer sheets, window cleaner, all purpose cleaners and toilet and shower cleaners.
  • Conserve - Keep things unplugged when not in use.  Turn off light switches.  Limit the amount of water used when washing clothes, take shorter showers, etc...
  • Downgrade - My husband and I switched to a pre-paid cell phone a year ago and it was one of the best thinga we have done to help with our finances.  We did not have smart phones but were paying nearly $95 per month for our 2 phones.  Now we simply add minutes when needed.  For our phones now I pay about $15 per month average and we have more than enough talk/text time.
  • Coupon - I am not talking extreme couponing but saving 50 cents off a tube of toothpaste or 25 cents off of your dish soap adds up over time.
  • Price Match - Watch your Sunday paper.  Walmart will price match even store brand items.
  • Shop Sales - Only buy certain items like the more expensive ones when they are on sale and stock up.
  • Goodwill or Thrift Stores - Most of my clothes in my closet come from either Goodwill or they are hand-me-downs.  Very few articles of my clothing have I bought at a Department store and even the few of those that I have I got when they were on sale or clearance.
  • Clothes Swap - I do not do this but wish I had someone close that wore my same size clothing that I could do this with.  I think it would be fun! 
  • Meal Planning - This is a biggie!  Plan your meals, make your grocery list from your menu and cook at home.  Eating out costs a LOT - so limit eating out and cook at home. 
  • Pre Packaged Items are a NO NO - I am not saying that I never buy these things but I will say that I rarely buy them.  I tell my kids often (and my husband) that I bought stuff to cook.  :)  Pre packaged cookies, or already made snacks or foods can really make your grocery bill high (I know from experience).  Now I bake my own cookies or sweets at home.  I buy one bag of cereal every 2 weeks for my boys for breakfast after that is gone they have to eat homemade pancakes, gravy and biscuits, eggs or something else less expensive that I can make myself.  
  • Offer services - If you have a special talent or something you love to do then why not get paid for it?  I have friends who decorate cakes, make homemade bags, diaper bags, purses, etc..., cater parties, make and sell candles, babysit and the list could go on and on.  The best part is they do this while tending to their home and children.
  • Recycle - currently I save my aluminum pop cans. 
None of these items alone will make or save you a ton of money but when you put these together and do them regularly they really will make a difference in your budget.

If you are a stay at home mom, what are some ways that you save or make money to help with your families finances?

To Read Part 2, My Readers Suggestions click here.


    31 comments:

    1. Jen,
      I love your tips, I meet a lady that saved enough money for a family of four to vacation in Disney all paid. Just with the money for the taking back the bottles and cans. It took her a few years but she stated it was like found money.

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      1. Inez, that is Awesome! Thanks for commenting.

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    2. I really love your blog and I enjoyed this post very much. As a mother of adult children, I look back to when they were young and I did a lot of these things so I could stay home with my children. I had lots of yard sales, sold jewelry I no longer needed, bought a great book, The Tightwad Gazette, and learned how to live on less. Thanks for the reminder that we can get by with less than we think by being thrifty and smart!!

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      1. Thank you Tracey for your comment.

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    3. Great tips! I do a lot of them, but a few I haven't started or really thought about. Especially making your own detergents, soaps, etc.
      Thanks for sharing :)

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    4. I love this post, and am always looking for ways to save. We are currently looking at getting netflix and dropping cable. I'm excited to save $$, it's my contribution to our income.

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    5. Excellent post! I treasure my time as a SAHM and now that our kids are in college, they tell me often how much they loved having one of the few moms who was around after school or during the day for school projects. No amount of income could pay for the gift you're giving your children.

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    6. Thanks for you post. I've really become aware of our electricity use. Even now, though there's perfectly good daylight coming through my window, there's a light on -- left on long after I needed it to see in the dark. I appreciate the reminders to think rather than just turn on, or drive, or consume.

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    7. These are great ideas!!!

      We consign a LOT. my kids are growing fast, and so I feel like I'm always at the consignment store!!!

      I like how you point out how much you are saving in childcare!!! it's like you are making that much $ and contributing it to your family! I feel down on myself for not contributing financially sometimes and that's such a neat perspective! loved this post!!!

      <3 paula from
      www.beautythroughimperfection.com

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    8. I used to spend hours couponing and driving around to get that one great deal. It took a while, but I finally figured out that a frugal life is the best way for me as a stay-at-home mom to save money. I also price match and didn't know that they will price match store brand items. Thanks for the tip!

      We have saved quite a bit of money by cutting our sons' hair myself and borrowing books and DVDs from the library. One thing that I started doing just this year was buying groceries with cash instead of using the debit card and this summer we are hoping to have a larger garden instead of just the container garden that we usually have.

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      1. Vanessa, I didn't think about it when I wrote this post but I too cut my boys (and my husbands) hair. Great tip! Thanks for your other ideas as well.

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    9. I love this! Currently I have to work, but we don't have kids either. But I'm always looking for ways to save, and on our small income we have been able to put a lot away for later, as well as saving for vacation. The gal who mentioned the mom saving for vacation: We just went on a very nice vacation, funded by cash that I saved from recycling, babysitting, selling old stuff. It's very rewarding to deny yourself little things here and there in order to have something wonderful later!

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    10. We do a lot of things on your list, and it's always good for me to read it over and make sure I'm still being frugally mineded.

      I would love for you to link up your post on my Fabulously Frugal Thursday linky. I'm also looking for guest posters if you're interested in sharing more about your tips.

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      1. Barb, I would love to link up. Thank you. If you would like email me about guest posting with what it is you would want. Jensjourney (at) frontier (dot) com.
        Thank you for stopping by!

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    11. Just found you on teach me tuesday, the blog hop at Growing Home. Fancy swapping buttons with me? Loved the frugal tip reminders - one of mine is to mend and alter clothes whenever possible, instead of buying new. It's often possible to turn something old into something else wearable or useful round the house. Like these oven mitts I made for free: http://mumtopia.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/no-thumbs-no-frills-no-spend-oven-mitts.html :)

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      1. Sure we can swap buttons. Whats your blog address?

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    12. Love your post. I will be back to look around more when I have more time. Thank you for sharing such good advice.
      Blessings

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    13. Love this post! Im a fan of bartering. It makes things much more afforable
      :-)

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    14. We dropped cable and just do Netflix and get movies free from the library. We also use cash only, so when the money runs out each week, it's gone. This has really helped us from overspending.

      Thanks for these great tips!

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    15. Thank you for this post. I work outside the home, yet, we could still buckle down on a lot of things on this list to help with our finances.

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    16. Great ideas, I do most of them myself! I work full time but out of my home, and my husband works opposite shifts from me so we don't have day care expenses, but life in general just gets expensive! Another big money saver I do is I don't use paper products (besides cheap TP) in my house-we use cloth napkins, rags, real silverware, plates and cups. This saves hundreds a year and I've done this for over three years. IF it's really a mess I take out the TP-towels work great for grease too! And the cleaner I use costs me pennies per bottle-it's even cheaper than making it yourself! Lots of things to do to save money, great post :)

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    17. Congrats on being featured at Titus Tuesdays! You have alot of great ideas that I used when I was raising the little ones at home. I am in the next stage of life...empty nester..back to work full time outside of the home...sigh! Wishing I was back to saving/scrimping days with the babies:)

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    18. You said you wished you had someone close to you to exchange clothes with... I have found this website that allows you to sell your closet items and purchase from others!!! I have sold almost $900 in 6 weeks!!! Hi there,
      I want you to join my fashion shopping network on Poshmark. The more people who join our network, the more closets we can shop together! Download the free iPhone app today and sign up with code HGCSG to get started with a $5 shopping credit. bit.ly/poshmark

      See you in the app!

      -Eileen

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    19. For years we didn't have cable but then my mom moved in with us and she wanted cable so she offered to pay for it. Then her medical expenses got too high so we are now paying for the cable that we don't want, lol! (We have told her that we are dropping it and are getting netflix instead.

      I will have to check out the rest of your cleaning supplies. I'd really like to see the toilet cleaning one! ;) Thanks so much for linking up to "Making Your Home Sing Monday" today! :)

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    20. I couldn't find the toilet cleaner under "household cleaners" or "DIY." Did you blog about it?

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      1. Hi, I am sorry. There are several that I haven't yet blogged about that I mentioned in this post. For my toilets though as well as for fabric softner in the wash I just use plain white vinegar. For my toilets I use about a cup and leave it to sit a little while then scrub like normal. Cleans and deodorizes AND it's CHEAP. I will get busy working on those posts. :)

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    21. Great tips! We buy as much as we can second hand and we're just kinda cheap all around. :)

      As far as saving on groceries we shop at Aldi, skip out on snack foods, menu plan, eat leftovers for lunch and skip out on meat several nights per week.

      Blessings,
      Missy

      http://gracefullittlehoneybee.blogspot.com

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    22. I found your link on the Women Living Well Link Up.
      Good ideas and thoughts for stay at home wifes/moms.
      Thanks for sharing.
      ~Mrs. Lopez of lovinglifeinpink.blogspot.com

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    23. these are some great tips! we do a lot of them at our home too!! the biggie is having the discipline to do it! :)

      Brianna
      http://teatimewithbri.blogspot.ca/

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    24. Hi! Found you on Pin It Party. Great tips! Thanks for sharing! When I became a SAHM 2 major things we did to reduce our bills was we sold our cars that cost us about $700 a month in loans; we now have a mini van and an SUV we paid for cash. My husband is a master mechanic, so he fixes our cars :) My husband also called our cable provider and told them he was putting notice in to cancel our derive, a few days before it was set to be canceled they called and negotiated out bill down from $200 a month to $99 a month. Now following on FB.
      ~Jackie @ The Non-Martha Momma

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