As moms, between our Amazon Prime shopping sprees, trips to Target and Starbucks selfies, it’s easy to spend a little here and a little there. We convince ourselves “But we got such a great deal!” or “It was on sale!,” but all these items add up. Just filling up a tank of gas and one stop at Walgreens, and it’s easy to have spent $100 before noon! So, I’m here today to share some money saving tips you’ll love, especially if you’re a stay-at-home mom, like I am.
You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” —Dave Ramsey
In many households both parents work. They do so sometimes because they choose to, but often because they have to.
They’ve committed to big car payments, and even bigger mortgages. There are tuitions, kids activities, and family vacations.
Being a stay-at-home mom can be viewed as a luxury, and for some it is.
For my husband and me, it was important for us that I be able to stay home with our kids; but it wasn’t without sacrifice.
To name a few, we’ve created a budget; my husband and I talk about finances and don’t make big purchases without consulting each other. We also utilize most of these money saving tips on a regular basis.
We sold my BMW and bought a sensible no-frills car which we share, and we don’t splurge on little luxuries like regularly buying coffee.
And the twice a month trips that I used to make to the nail salon happen maybe once or twice a year now.
If you’re a stay-at-home mom and don’t think you’re good at saving money or don’t know how to save money, these small and specific money saving tips can really help you save money (or even make a little), contributing to the financial health of your family.
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Money saving tips as a Stay-at-Home Mom
Home/Budget Money Saving Tips
While this doesn’t sound like fun, it’s often necessary. Especially when you have kids, expenses can add up quickly.
Make a budget with your spouse and stick to it.
This way, you’re both working as a team and on the same page with your finances. Budgets can help you see where you’re wasting money and help hold you accountable to stick to your plan.
Run appliances at night:
Running your dishwasher at night and tossing clothes in the dryer before bed may help reduce your utility bills.
You can always check rates with your utility companies and see if off-peak hours are in the evening.
Meal plan for the week or month to make sure you don’t overspend at the grocery store or waste food. Making the most of leftovers (using them or freezing them) can also help to stretch your grocery bill.
Planning ahead will make you more efficient and set you up for having a great day or week ahead!
Utilize You Tube and Pinterest:
Watch YouTube for tutorials for how to fix or make things. Pinterest is filled with DIY tips and ideas. You can save money by not paying for services that you can do yourself.
I was able to learn how to take links out of a watch on a YouTube video, my dad was able to fix his iphone, and my mom figured how to keep her straw hat from blowing off (so she didn’t have to buy a new one.)
My sister also learned how to fix her own kitchen disposal from watching a video, thereby saving a call to the repairman.
Pinterest is a great resource, especially for Holiday and DIY ideas. Last year, I used an idea I found on Pinterest to make my daughter’s Halloween costume instead of buying one.
Save on electricity:
Keep lights/appliances off in the home when not using them. I used to roll my eyes at my parents for yelling “Turn the light off upstairs!” once we came downstairs to play or hang out. Now that I’m an adult with my own family, I get it.
Keep the water off while brushing teeth. This simple action, especially in large families, can add up to a lot of savings.
Clip coupons in ads or use coupons in the store. Also compare prices of items at the grocery store vs. drugstore, as the grocery store pricing is often cheaper. Pro Tip: keep paper coupons in your car so you don’t forget them!
And shopping for gifts and everyday items, I often compare store prices to Amazon prices. I saved $10 on a book by purchasing it on Amazon instead of the department store where I initially found it.
Make a list and stick to it when grocery shopping. This will prevent overbuying or impulse buying, which is so easy to do in the grocery store with so many goodies staring at you while you stroll the aisles.
Save plastic grocery bags:
We use these to line waste baskets in the bathrooms and other rooms of home so you don’t buy small trash bags.
Before potty training, we used these plastic bags to tie up poopy diapers, too.
Grow an herb garden:
You can spend and waste a lot of money on fresh herbs. Parsley and basil are staples in our kitchen, so we keep them in potted plants on our patio and snip them when needed.
Money Saving Auto Tips
Share a car:
Share a car (if feasible) with your spouse, or at least keep your car longer if you own it. My husband and I have shared a car for 4 years, saving money on the car payment and insurance which having a second car would cost. This isn’t always easy, but it’s doable, with careful planning, communication, and some sacrifice. On rare occasions when we both really need the car, he will catch an Uber.
Compare car insurance rates:
Every few years, compare the rates and coverage of different insurance companies for car insurance. We did this and have saved hundreds of dollars a year.
Save on gas:
Group your errands together so you save on gas instead of driving all over town.
Lifestyle Money Saving Tips
Trips to the salon:
Make trips to the salon a special occasion not a regular occurence.
Make coffee at home vs. buying out on your way somewhere.
Have on-the-go snacks in your purse:
A few minutes of planning at home can keep you from stopping at the drive through and spending extra cash.
Limit dining out:
Dining out is fun. But eating at restaurants should be treated more like a splurge or special treat, especially if you’re paying for a family.
When you do go to a restaurant, check to see if there are specials like “Kids eat free. . “ or any other deals for families.
Or dine out when you get your kids a sitter and take that overdue date night you’ve been dreaming about.
Buy Self tanner vs spray tan:
Being super pale skinned, I love a good self tanner, especially in the summer months. Spray tans at salons aren’t cheap, and if you get them regularly it can get expensive.
I found a self tanner I LOVE, and it’s so easy to apply with this mitt.
One bottle is the same cost as only one spray tan, and you will get multiple uses from the bottle.
Get a side hustle:
There are countless ways to earn some money on the side while you’re at home with the kids. Look online for stay-at-home mom jobs like freelance writing, website testing, or by selling items on Poshmark & Ebay.
As a stay-at-home mom, my mom was ahead of her time back in the early 1980’s before the term ‘side hustle’ was even a thing.
She was pulling in anywhere from $50-$100 a month doing coupons/rebates here and there when she had some free time.
PIN IT FOR LATER
Breathe new life into your clothes:
Make old clothes new again by finding different ways to style them.
A new scarf, pair of shoes, or new jewelry can update a look instantly. Hey, if Duchess Kate can do it, so can you!
Save on food during family outings:
Bring your own food or drink for trips to the zoo, ballpark or other family outing.
When we took the kids to a local baseball game, we looked online ahead of time to see what was allowed. We brought snacks and bottled water for the kids, saving a lot in concessions.
Money Saving Tips When Shopping
Get a Target Red card:
“Honey, you got the Red card?!” That’s what you’ll hear my husband yelling to me as I’m hustling out the door for a Target Run.
Having a Target card has saved us so much money. Signing up for a Target Red card (debit or credit card) gets you 5% off of your purchases in the stores and online.
We signed up for the Target Red card debit card so the money comes right out of our account. You also get other perks such as free 2-day shipping and extended returns with the Red card.
Buy fresh & freeze:
Buy fresh meats you use a lot (for us it’s chicken) at the grocery store when on sale and freeze for when you need. We get amazing deals when we look for the managers’ specials and buy what they have on sale.
Stick to the Classics:
Buy classic wardrobe pieces that will be staples in your closet for several years instead of trendy pieces you won’t wear next season.
You can always find inexpensive pieces at places like Target and Amazon to supplement your wardrobe with some trendier items when you feel like spicing things up.
Buy in bulk:
Buy certain items in bulk depending on size of your family may save your family money. Raising 5 kids, my parents would buy milk and other certain items in bulk at Costco, but would use the regular grocery store for the rest.
Not all the prices made sense to buy in bulk so check to see what’s more reasonable.
Buying store brand vs. the brand name items will often save a lot.
Money Saving Tips Regarding the Kids
If there’s a place you frequent as a family like your local zoo or children’s museum, see if they offer family memberships.
Calculate how many trips you’d need to make per year to make the membership worth it. If you go there at least that many times (or more), then a membership is definitely the way to save money.
Find free activities for kids to keep them occupied. Besides the usual playing outside with friends, in parks, writing on the sidewalks with chalk or bike riding, check your local township website or newsletter.
See what free activities are going on for the month–you can usually find holiday or seasonal activities that are kid or family friendly.
Visit your local library:
Besides checking out free books, we use our local library for playing. The library has a special section for kids to play with toys.
My kids really love the toy kitchen, puzzles and cars they have there. They also enjoy being entertained on the special kids’ computers that offer many learning programs.
Kids often tire quickly playing with their own toys, so this keeps it new and fun for them. It saves parents money on buying new toys and saves space in your house.
It’s a great family outing where the kids aren’t messing up your house, for once!
Keep the kids at home:
If you stay at home, don’t send kids to daycare. Although daycare can be useful if you need to get things done or want to help your child socialize, it can also get costly quickly.
Maybe, consider starting your own playgroup with a group of moms. Or take turns with a good friend watching each others’ kids if you need an hour or two to run errands.
Using hand-me-down clothing for your kids will save you loads of money. Ask relatives/friends if you can take their kids’ old clothing off their hands.
Shopping at your local Goodwill is also a great place to find gently used kids clothing for a fraction of store prices.
Kids grow so fast and don’t wear sizes usually for very long, so you don’t want to invest a lot of money into clothing they won’t wear for long.
Shop at Dollar Tree or Dollar Store:
Shopping Dollar Tree or Dollar store is a great place to save money anytime, but is especially great for holiday savings. I like to find stocking stuffers or items for the kids’ Easter baskets there. I also shop there for holiday decorations that the kids can help make or help me display.
How do you save money for your family? Which money saving tips did you find most helpful?
Leave me a comment and let me know!
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