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25+ Savvy Money Saving Tips as a Stay at Home Mama

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

As a full time stay at home mama I'm continually looking for ways to save money. Since I don't bring in additional income, I view cutting expenses and saving my family money as an equivalent, similar to a side hustle. Additionally, when you factor in daycare costs + chef + daily expenditures, it equates lots of savings and added value. I've compiled a list of frugal tips I currently practice and ones that I'm planning to adapt in the new year. Let's be honest, I'm super lazy and not one to cut coupons or download tons of money saving grocery apps, so these are easy, adaptable, no fuss tips.



I love a good checklist, so here you go:

shopping

  • brown bag lunch (actually bring all snacks, coffee, meals to work/outings/play dates, planning + anticipating your needs will prevent impulse buys)

  • make coffee at home

  • even better cut down coffee consumption + save your cup of joe for weekend treats

  • shop pantry/fridge/freezer before grocery shopping

  • never grocery shop hungry + without a list

  • shop only the perimeter of the grocery store

  • shop at winco and walmart (I am still a grocery snob but have learned to swallow my pride while we pay down debt. I was blown away when I found some of my favorite brands like bob's red mill and vital farms eggs at these discount stores)

  • prepare simpler, healthy, cheaper meals on a weekly basis (ie: create meals around staples your family eats vs. recipes. I'm guilty of complicating meal planning with too many recipes, but when you forgo the recipes it's a lot cheaper and less fuss)

  • eat less meat

  • buy generic or brandless is another great option (I have yet to try this, but they sell all organic, reasonably priced staples)

  • buy in bulk when possible (compare unit pricing, bulk doesn't always mean cheaper)

  • buy frozen vegetables + fruit

  • buy organic dirty dozen

  • buy in season

  • cut $5-10 per week from groceries

  • forgo convenience and snack foods

  • buy rx bars at target or only when on sale (I know this somewhat falls under convenience foods, but we've drastically cut down our consumption here and only use when in a bind)

  • eat in, don't eat out

  • if you do treat yourself to dining out opt to split or skip the meal and go to dessert instead

  • get creative with date nights in (play cards or 2 person games, cook a fancy meal together and break out the art deco crystal glasses and full table setting, review goals + vision board, netflix + homemade popcorn w/ the fancy truffle salt; the possibilities are endless, it's all about intentional time together)

  • use one multipurpose cleaner (bonus - this simplifies your cleaning routine, I currently love doterra onguard, a bit pricey, but this was gifted from my mother in law. I've also used bulk vinegar from costco + essential oils + citrus peels = voila! magic)

energy/household

  • schedule a free PSE energy efficiency assessment (for all you Puget Sound Energy customers, this is a great way to see how your home can be energy efficient thus saving money in the long run)

  • install low flow aerators in the kitchen and bathroom

  • take a note from the europeans and use a clothing drying rack to minimize dryer usage

  • use less water when washing dishes, brushing teeth, grooming, etc (turn the faucet off whenever possible while performing these tasks)

  • turn off lights + unplug appliances when not in use

  • consolidate errands + driving whenever possible (pre-plan calendar and activities for car outings)

  • turn down thermostat down 5 degrees in the winter and up 5 degrees in the summer

  • turn down thermostat to 60 degrees in the winter when gone during the day

  • shower shorter + less (plus it's better for your hair!)

  • do less laundry (I only wash my clothes about once a week, sometimes I even pop my jeans into the freezer which kills bacteria. Less wash extends the life of your clothes)

  • use half the amount of detergent + dryer sheets when washing loads

money

  • **start a zero balance budget (this has been the single most impactful factor to our finances)**

  • track all cash expenses on budget spreadsheet or utilize free apps like everydolllar or mint.

  • practice no spend days/weeks/month on non-essential items

  • buy used/thrifted/consignment (I love the hunt and frequent our local Goodwill whenever possible instead of buying new)

  • borrow clothes (what I love about minimalism is the excuse to reach out to friends when borrowing items, why buy when you can borrow?)

  • compare insurance rates

  • practice savings challenges (just google it, there's no shortage of ideas here, my version = squeezing my monthly cash budget and putting any leftover cash at the end of each week toward debt)

  • cancel cable, replace w/ sling tv

  • check your prescriptions on good rx (I did this for Michael's one rx and saved over 50% by switching pharmacies)

  • use your local library (did you know you can even request material they don't currently have and they will add it to the rotation?)

There you have it friends. What frugal living tips do you practice that have added value to your life? Continually looking for ways to create space in my budget, live a more zero waste life + save money, so please share your savvy ideas with me!

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Kristin!! I’m loving your blog!! Andy and I are living like no one else too. We started killing the debt in September and it’s almost turned into a game. I’m so thankful I came across your blog! ♥️

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