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Trying to raise a family on a tight budget?
I can relate all too well.
When I first became a stay-at-home mom, I had absolutely NO idea how to save money while raising a family.
I was a new mom and I really had no idea how to budget (well) and live frugally.
Fortunately, as time went by (and with a whole lot of trial-and-error), I slowly started to pick up some tips that made it much more doable to survive on one income.
Today, I want to share some of those tips with you.
How to afford to be a stay-at-home mom
1. Make a budget
You know what’s not fun? Paying a $30+ late fee because a certain due date slipped your mind.
All the more reason to organize your finances.
Whether you go the spreadsheet route or you’re a pen-and-paper kind of girl, your bank account (and your sanity) will thank you.
2. Use Amazon Prime to your advantage
As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of racking up subscriptions. Too many of them can eat up your budget– UNLESS they end up paying for themselves.
As an Amazon Prime member, you can save 20% on diapers, baby food, etc. And you can’t beat the fast and free shipping.
Plus, you’ll have access to Prime Video– A great alternative if you’ve kicked your cable service.
3. Reduce your expenses
Sounds like a no brainer, right? But have you actually taken the time to sit down, list out ALL your expenses and really try to reduce them as much as you can?
Here are some ideas to start with:
- Shop for cheaper insurance rates
- See if you can lower your phone bill
- Can you turn off a service altogether?
- Downsize to a cheaper car?
- List all your debt and make a plan to start knocking it out
4. Start planning your meals
This is one tip I kept hearing over and over that I would roll my eyes at in the beginning. But that’s because I was overthinking it.
You don’t have to plan fancy meals, cook everything from scratch, or turn into a 1950’s housewife in order to reap the benefits of meal planning.
After I finally learned how to rock at meal planning, I quickly realized that it was indeed a money + timer saver after all.
5. Stick to a grocery budget
Creating a grocery budget and sticking to it will also help you save (LOTS OF) money while raising a family.
Not sure what your grocery budget should be? Find out now!
When I first started taking this budgeting thing seriously, I was blown away at how much money we were spending on food– groceries, eating out, snacks, etc.
I share more tips in this post for saving money on groceries specifically.
6. Use a grocery pickup service
We all know how tempting it is to toss other things into the cart even if we don’t necessarily NEED them while we’re at the grocery store, right?
There’s a simple solution, and it’s called a grocery pickup and delivery service.
Using a service like this will help you avoid buying extra items that are not on your list, making it much easier to stick to your budget.
You also won’t have to worry about little grabby hands at the checkout counter. 🙂
7. Get cash back on purchases
If you want to maximize your savings when shopping online– Always always always use a cash back tool like Rakuten (formerly Ebates).
Rakuten gives you percentage of your purchase back. It may not seem like much at once, but it adds up after several shopping trips.
Sign up through my special link and get $10 back after your first qualifying purchase!
8. Turn off your cable
With so many cheaper alternatives available, cable is one service that I 100% feel is not necessary.
We haven’t paid for cable in years and have not missed it one bit!
Some cheaper alternatives you might consider:
- Prime Video
- YouTube (Free!)
9. Build an emergency fund
If you don’t already have an emergency savings fund in place, now is the perfect time to start building one.
The best way to start a savings fund when your budget is super tight is to declutter your home and sell the things you no longer need and use.
10. Find free + cheap things to do for fun
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a ton of money in order to have fun as a family.
- Pack some lunches and go to the park
- Find some trails in your area and go hiking
- Have a movie night at home & pop some popcorn or have a dessert night
This may take some brainstorming and research up front, but the sky is the limit.
11. Avoid buying unnecessary baby items
Do you see a new baby in the near future?
Take note of the lists of unnecessary baby items floating around out there. There are numerous baby items you can live without.
Read my own personal list of unnecessary baby items.
12. Grow your own produce
Now, I realize that starting a garden may not be for everyone– Especially if you have a farmer’s market nearby. (And if you do, please support your local farmers!)
But if you’re even the least bit interested, it’s an excellent way to shave off a few extra dollars from your grocery bill.
13. Save money by buying in bulk
Certain household items are cheaper to buy in larger quantities.
If you are already an Amazon Prime member, you can save money by purchasing diapers, coffee, light bulbs, feminine products, and more.
Wondering what else to buy in bulk? Be sure to read over this post!
14. Avoid shopping with credit cards
I’ve come to realize that credit cards can be either a blessing or a curse.
While they are great for building your credit, it’s best to keep your balances small and always pay off your statement balance monthly so that you avoid paying interest.
Another great money-saving tip for stay-at-home moms is to breastfeed your babies.
Formula is indeed expensive– Even more so if baby has allergies.
If this is something you really want to do, I recommend taking a breastfeeding class to learn everything you can.
16. Quit drinking soda
Soda is packed with added sugars and empty calories. And it’s not doing helping your grocery bill either.
If drinking soda has become a habit for your family, it may be a hard transition at first, but it’s one that’s totally worth it.
Want to give it a try? Stay on track with a free printable water tracker.
17. Make coffee at home
I love my Starbucks coffee as much as the next mom, but my pocketbook feels a bit differently.
One “fancy” coffee costs almost as much as big container of my favorite coffee.
So, get yourself a nice new travel mug and start saving!
From laundry detergent to doing your nails– You can cut down on extra expenses simply by learning to DIY.
All it takes is a quick search for a tutorial or recipe and a little extra time.
19. Find cheaper alternatives for everyday items
Especially items that require refills.
Here are a few examples:
- Instead of continuing to buy dryer sheets and fabric softener, you might try wool dryer balls to keep your clothes soft and and wrinkle-free.
- Rather than continually buying air fresheners that don’t last long, you could try charcoal air-purifying bags (These last up to two years).
- Or maybe consider buying toys that don’t require batteries rather than expensive electronic toys.
20. Choose generic brands vs. name brands
Another simple way to save money is to always buy the store brands.
If you’ve ever compared labels and ingredients, you’ve probably noticed how there isn’t much difference between the cheaper brands and the more expensive brands anyways.
21. Start a blog
Finally, start a blog to ultimately save more as a stay-at-home mom.
Now, you’re probably wondering what blogging could possibly have to do with saving money.
Starting a blog will not help you save money right away– True.
However, it can turn into a solid income stream which would make saving money a lot easier. Wouldn’t you agree?
There are SO many stay-at-home moms out there who are on the hunt for tips to make their lives easier.
Why not share your own tips and make a little extra coin on the side too?
Don’t think blogging is for you? Check out other side hustle ideas that are perfect for stay-at-home moms.
What are your best tips for saving money as a stay-at-home mom?
Feel free to leave them in the comments to help other mamas out!
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