These tips will help you to save and make money as a stay at home mom.
- Start a blog: I will always recommend this first. (Mostly because I did it, and I LOVE it.) So I honestly feel like everyone ever should start one! It helps me make a side income. You can read my income reports here.
- Cut your cable: We haven’t had cable in years. It’s pretty unnecessary for the most part. You can watch loads of show on Netflix & Hulu. If sports or news is a must for you too, you can always get a digital antenna. It’s a one time purchase, and you get basic channels for free. We got one a few years ago but never use it since we don’t watch sports, and get our news online.
- Unplug your electronics: Even when turned off, your electronics are still sucking out electricity. Unplugging them can save you a good chunk of money. This of course only works if you actually do it every day. We have a “house sweep” every night where we do a nightly clean up, and I go through a unplug electronics that are quick, and easy to get to. (I don’t bother with the T.V. or appliances as they are too difficult to get to.
- Open the windows: Save on electricity by keeping your windows open in spring and fall. The fresh air is good for your family and cools your house down without running the AC. We save 70-80 dollars a month during these months!
- Meal Plan: Meal Planning saves so much money! I find that most people over complicate it. Meal planning saves money because you have a PLAN. It works like this, you make a list of the meals you will make for the week. You buy everything you need for your plan, and you get to cooking. You never have to worry about what am I going to make tonight? And scrounging around the cabinets trying to figure it out. Plus you save money because you’re not eating out. A HUGE money suck. (Check out $5 dollar meal plan. For 5 bucks a month you get a list of what to cook and a grocery list of everything you’ll need for the week. Makes life so much easier! You get your first 2 weeks free to try it out!)
- Take a budget grocery course: This course is a bit of an upfront investment but will save you SO much money in the long run. This course teaches you how to make smart choices in the grocery store and save money using simple, actionable steps. There’s usually a waiting list. But if you sign up, they’ll offer you a quick course for a lower price. (Totally worth it.)
- Use your grocery App for coupons: My local grocery store (Used to be Kroger, now is a Hyvee) offers an app for your phone. I go through it when I’m killing time riding in the car. I simply add all the items I would usually buy. (They have 100’s of coupons.) Just don’t get trapped in the “I have a coupon for it, I need to buy it” trap. You’ll end up spending more.
- Create your list, and ONLY buy off that list: This goes back to the meal planning. If you are going grocery shopping, take a list and only buy the items on that list.
- No “extra” trips to the store: If you forget something, find a way to make do. DO NOT go back to the store for a quick trip. That $5 item will turn into $30-40 nearly every time. You’ll totally blow your grocery budget.
- Swagbucks: I really hate survey sites. They promise big money and it never pays out. Swagbucks is different. Yes, they offer paid surveys, but mostly I use Swagbucks to get points back on things I already plan on buying. You can get points back if you use Lyft, Hotels.com, even essential oil sites. You just install the extension into your browser and that’s it! It’ll let you know everytime they can offer you cash back. You can also earn points called SB by watching videos on your computer.
- Stay In: This is an easy one. The less you leave your house, the less likely to spend money.
- Movie night at home: Movies cost a small fortune! You can save money by renting a movie online. It’s so easy now. You don’t even need to find a Redbox anymore. You can order through your cable company, (Which you should be cutting out if you’re really trying to save money) use Netflix, rent off of Amazon, or off of your Xbox. (I usually go through Amazon and the Xbox marketplace to find the cheapest price.) P.S. If you sign up for the free trial version of Amazon Prime you can get 30 days free of movie watching.
- Buy on Facebook: You can get so many items off of your local Facebook garage sale groups. Used furniture, baby items, clothes, and shoes. It’s like craigslist, but so much easier, and actual communication. I LOVE their baby items. They are used for such a short amount of time, and so expensive. This helps cut down on the price of baby stuff for sure! (You can find other ways to save on a new baby in this post)
- Save on diapers: I find one of the best ways I save on diapers is with cloth diapers. I use these ones because they are the most affordable ones I could find, that were rated amazingly on Amazon. I have 3 sets and have used them for 2 1/2 years on my kiddos so far, except for when we go out and at night. I use disposables then. It works for us and cuts our cost down big time.
When buying disposables go through Amazon. With Amazon Family (A variation of their Prime Service) you save 20% off diaper & baby food subscriptions. I have bought organic diapers this way for super cheap when my littlest was having reactions. (You shouldn’t be paying more than 19 cents a diaper.) Amazon has great diaper prices and gives you discounts. Plus they do the math for you and tell you the price per diaper of each brand!
- Drive for Lyft or Uber: Some people are making a killing this way. Usually, this works best if you are in a larger city where demand is higher. Some people get really creative and deck their car out with goodies for their passengers such as gum sticks, water bottles, and even a mini-touch up kid with band-aids, q-tips etc. They get really high ratings this way, and are in more demand.
- Become a VA: You can actually make a full-time income by becoming a virtual assistant. (Most make $25-35 an hour, without a degree.) You have to know how to market yourself and what skills you can offer. But, what a great way to earn extra income. For more info, you can read this step by step post on how to become a virtual assistant.
- Become a freelancer: This falls into a similar category as a VA, but with writing instead of performing various tasks. This is great if you have a passion for writing or are really good at researching. (A passion of mine.) Read more about becoming a Freelance Writer here.
- Use the 2-week rule: Make yourself wait 14 days before deciding on any purchases outside of necessities. This will help curb your impulse buying. We often buy items in the heat of the moment that we don’t need, that end up being tossed aside, or just seemed like a good idea, when they weren’t. (I can’t be the only one that has found rouge miniature ceramic deer head I “HAD TO HAVE” in a Target shopping bag in the back of my closet, right?)
- Read a Dave Ramsey Book: We spent an entire year using the cash envelope system, and it was amazing. We were able to save $10,000 without really trying, and pay off our car that year. (We were making a pretty decent income too though.) But budgeting every dollar, helped pay off our debts. By reading Dave Ramsey’s book you’ll be inspired to save big, and cut out all of your debt. The envelope system takes some planning. Once you have everything sorted out though, it’s pretty easy. (If you sign up for a free audiobooks trial you get 2 free books. You can sign up and listen to it for free on your way to work. Just cancel it within that first 30 days if you don’t want to keep the subscription and they won’t charge you.)
- Check out your library: Some local libraries are awesome! Ours has books, plus a huge selection of toys, CDs, DVD’s, even laptops and tablets. It also has FREE access to books online. You just download them, no need to leave home. (extra points for gas savings!)
(P.S. If you want to learn more about being a work at home mom, there is an awesome resource here. It’s from Ultimate Bundles, and they are an incredible value. They get the best ebooks, courses and even planners from around the web, and convince the creators to put them in the bundle for a very, deeply discounted rate. I have several of the bundles and love them! It’s a great way to find all the information you need to start working at home!)