It can be really hard to try to figure out if you can afford to be a stay at home mom. While it is impossible, at times, there are many families that are up for the challenge of making it work and I would love to share some money-saving tips to help! You can go from working mom to stay at home mom with the right plan.
Saving Money as a stay at home mom:
1. Use Coupons.
I wait for our local grocery stores offer triple coupons (they triple the coupon amount) or super doubles (where the store will double your coupon up to $1 now, so if you have a $1.00 coupon for toothpaste, they will double it to $2.00, making thetoothpaste free.)
I always get our toiletries for free using coupons. These coupons come every week, so it is easy to use them for freebies. When you hear that your local store is having one of these sales, just check out a coupon blog (they are all over the place!)
2. Organize your coupons.
I put mine (uncut) into a file folder and then I put that folder into a clear file-holding container. It makes it very easy to just grab them. You could organize them by date or by category. I find that organizing by date is much easier when following a coupon blog, because they will tell you the date that the coupon came out. Example: “Find the RedHot coupon that came out in the Southern Savers flyer on 10/14/14.
3. Buy without coupons.
– Buy produce from the day-old rack.
– Buy meats that have the “sell today” sticker on it (reduced)
– Buy your bread from the bakery on the “Oops! We over-baked” rack.- Go grocery shopping in the evening. This is when everything from the day is marked down. I get a TON of great deals on produce, fresh-made meals at the deli and meats when I shop in the evening at our local grocery stores. Breakfast foods (muffins, etc ¦) are marked down after dinner. I usually get them at around 50-75% off. (Harris Teeter is my favorite one for this!)
– Take in flyers from other grocery stores and let your store do a price-match. Most stores do this now.
– Check the clearance bins. Usually they will have baby food, gravy, soup and makeup marked down to 50% off or more.
-You don’t need name brand. There are a lot of items (cereal, granola bars, oatmeal) where I just like the name brand, because I am used to it. The kids, on the other hand, will eat any brands, so I just buy them the store brand and they save money on each purchase.
– Buy fresh produce (in season- while its cheap) and freeze it.
– Give the kids vegetables (here is my trick to get them to WANT to eat them) before giving them snacks. I know that we all thing that eating healthy is more expensive, but think of it like this: A bag of apples is $4. Two bags of chips are $4. One apple is a snack, so that bag will last a while. Chips are a snack that we just keep eating & eating, so we tend to go through it quicker. In the long run, you have saved money (and gained vitamins) but eating the apple.
4. Save money on other things.
I use coupons to save money on baby wipes. (I get them for free when I wait for super or triple coupons.)
I don’t even pay for antibiotics, prenatal vitamins or many other medicines.
5- Ask for scholarships.
Did you know that most preschools and fitness facilities will give you a scholarship or a discount? You can just call and ask them or go in and ask in person.
6- Hold toy swaps and clothing swaps.
This is an awesome way to save a TON of money. I go to both of these every year and I can tell you that it easily saves me hundreds of dollars. You can host your own right around the holidays and get rid of toys that your kids don’t play with and bring in toys that will be new to them!
7- Have your date nights at home.
8- Potty train your kids early.
I love saving money on diapers. Seriously. It saves a ton of money!
Find real tips for potty training your toddler here.
9. Make things yourself.
My dad and husband built and awesome DIY wall bed for me. I had wanted one, but didn’t want to spend the $2000 on a kit, so they just figured out how to make a murphy bed for $75 and they even added built in shelves for around $75 more. I love it! You can make almost anything yourself- kid toys and even teacher gifts.
10. Do research!
I have found so much information that I didn’t know just by doing a little research. There are a lot of great websites on saving money. You can even get books to teach you how to save enough to stay home. Here is a book about how You can be a stay at home mom on one income. Check out this book – It literally helped my friend go from working parent to stay at home mom, so I can’t say enough about it.