I became a stay at home mom after my oldest son was born. I have had jobs in between up until about the beginning of 2016 due to a terrible divorce. But sometimes the longing to stay and raise those babies is far greater than that comfy corporate job.
I am now a stay at home mom of 7 children. Yes 7. Let that sink in for a moment. The expenses that come with that many children adds up quickly. So how do I save money so I can continue staying home?
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Here are 10 ways I have found to cut costs for my family and I hope they help you too!
1. Cut cable
Seriously. Just do it. There are plenty of free or less expensive options out there like pbs.org, Netflix, or even Prime video!
2. Use Amazon Prime
A lot of people, including us, do the majority of their shopping online these days. Why not save money by getting free shipping! Also, we get Prime for a reduced price of only $5.99! Click here to see if you qualify! That includes Prime Video as well!
3. Monthly Meal Plan
I wrote a helpful post on this very topic. You can read that here. But the idea here is to plan out your meals and shop accordingly. Shopping from your cupboards and pantry first will save you from buying items you don't need.
I plan out the entire month's dinners only. My kiddos get free hot lunch which includes breakfast, so they eat breakfast and lunch at school for free. If you receive any EBT or TANF benefits you should qualify for free or reduced meals at school!
4. Downsize Clothing to save on Laundry
I got tired of the mountains and mountains of laundry that kept invading my laundry room and decided to come up with a plan. You can read more about that in this post. I limited the number of clothing items my children were allowed to have. For example, I said they could only have 10 pairs of socks, 10 undies, 8 t-shirts, etc. By doing this, it has reduced the amount of laundry that needs to be done each week and saves us money on laundry soap and supplies! Plus helps keep items off the floor!!
5. Don't Buy Brand Name Items
One of the biggest savers is buying the "off" brand or store brand. Being a large family we consume a lot of supplies. Think toilet paper, laundry supplies, garbage bags, food, etc. These costs can add up quickly. I recently found that Amazon even has their own brands! I switched my son to their Mamma Bear diapers and have been buying our vitamins from their Solimo brand. The quality is great!
6. Shop Thrift or Consignment for Clothing
Children grow so fast! There are plenty of second hand stores that offer really nice clothing for kids. And be sure to check often, thrift stores get new items in all the time. Do you have a bunch of clothing to get rid of?? Look for consignment shops to buy them, or post on Facebook or Craigslist.
7. Cut out Daycare or Preschool
If you are a stay at home mom and struggling financially, then it makes zero sense to pay for either of these things! You can watch your babies and still get stuff done. 😉 And finding activities for your preschooler is as easy as a search on pinterest! I shudder every time I think of how much it would cost me to go out and get a 9 - 5 job. 7 kids in daycare... ummm NOPE!
8. Stay Organized so you Don't Buy Doubles or Triples!
Have you ever gotten so irritated that you couldn't find something that you knew you had, so you went out and bought another one? Holy moly! This is a rough topic for me. I so desperately want to get my entire house organized and downsized, but find this to be a bit challenging when I'm the only one that seems to be on board with this idea. I often envision my house somewhere in-between minimalism and full on hoarder house. LOL!
You see, our house is quite small for a family of 9 and the amount of stuff each person has seems to overflow into the next persons space. I am currently in the process though of taking on one space at a time. We just started on our kiddos rooms so be on the look out for a post on that soon! ♥
It's so much easier to run out and buy that perfect little shelf, but if you could cut that cost down more than half, would you? I recently asked my husband to help me build a few picture ledges. After looking at several at stores I decided I couldn't justify that cost and needed a different solution.
We bought three 1x4's and two 1x2's, some small nails, wood glue, and some paint. Total cost for 3 shelves was under $25. I have one 6 ft shelf in my dining room(below) that holds all my kiddos school pictures plus my baby, and then two 4 ft ones in my living room with a collage of frames. Plus, since we rent our house, this saves the walls from a field of holes! 🙌 (A little side note... I hate the color of our walls and hope to one day convince our landlord that gray would be a better neutral...)
10. Open an Etsy Shop or Start a Blog
I opened my own Etsy shop way back in 2011! It brings in some income, but not quite enough to support my family if my husband lost his job... I encourage you to share your talents with the world! If that means selling, blogging, or writing ebooks, then hop to it! Any extra income you can bring in will be helpful. There are also quite a few legit work at home jobs available these days. I follow Jennifer Maker and am learning so much about blogging from her! Be sure to check her out!
I'd love to hear your ideas for saving money. If you are a working mom wanting to become a stay at home mom, I suggest nailing down a budget and seeing where you can cut costs to get you there. Our babies are only little for so long. ♥