5 Tips for Saving Money As a Stay at Home Mom

Women holding baby

stay at home momIf you are a family that is choosing to have your wife stay at home in order to care for your house and/or your children, often it feels like you may have made the wrong decision.  Shouldn't “the lady of the house” be working and bringing in income as well?  After all, that’s what many families choose to do.

Having a wife (or husband) stay at home to run the household is a very important decision that often benefits the kids and the family in general in the long run.  If you have decided that a stay-at-home mom (or dad) is the right choice for your family, don’t fret about the finances.  There are many ways that a stay at home parent can help bring income into the family.

Saving money is earning money

As a stay-at-home mom of nearly 10 years, I’ve learned that one of the ways I can bring income into our family is to focus on how we can spend less.  Here are some of the ways our family saves money:

Learn to use less

Using less of products, or substituting a less expensive product for a more costly one, can easily save your family hundreds of dollars a year.

Cut waste

The average American family wastes 15% of the money spent on groceries by throwing away food.  This can amount to as much as $1100 to $2300 a year in wasted money.  Ouch!  Work to reduce your family’s food waste by making smaller meals, bringing leftovers to lunch for work, freezing leftovers for another day, or having a “leftover day” for dinner or lunch at home.

Find freebies

Entertaining a family can get expensive, but there are always ways to cut costs in this area.  Some examples of free or cheap entertainment are: go to the beach, hit the local parks/playgrounds, and taking advantage of other great offers like www.kidsbowlfree.com in the summer.  Often too, local museums, amusement parks, and movie theaters will offer free days or super discount days in the summer.

Exchange expensive extracurricular activities for cheaper ones

In our journey to get out of debt, we’ve exchanged expensive kids’ sports activities for budget-friendly family sports, such as biking, hiking, walking, and swimming.   You could also design a triathlon (bike/swim/run) race just for your family, plan a camping trip, or spend one day a month on a geocaching course.

Re-evaluate your spending habits

At least once a month, re-evaluate your monthly spending habits to see what you might be able to do without.  Do you really need cable TV, or will Netflix work just fine?  Can restaurant and takeout expenses be cut?  Can you switch out some of your name brand items for generic or homemade ones, saving money on your grocery bill?  Can the family drink more water and less pop or juice?

By using tips like those above, a stay-at-home parent can easily save the family thousands of dollars every year.

What tips do you have for saving money as a stay at home parent?

You can also save money by switching your cell phone plans to an MVNO provider like Gen Mobile, Tello, or Ting.

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  1. We did the same thing at the beginning of this year, Zimmy! You’re right – it saves a ton of cash. We’ve cut our grocery bill in half largely by cutting shopping down to once a month.

  2. Some great tips for saving money! We found out that consolidating our trips to the store ended up saving us a ton on our monthly food budget. It seems the more trips you make, the more you end up spending. We now make less trips to the store.

  3. Good for you guys, Andrew! You’re totally on the right track. Feel free to email me any time if you want tips on saving cash or adjusting to life with a newborn. After having 4, we’re feeling a bit more comfy in the game, although it never feels like you reach “expert” status. :-)

  4. Great Tips! We have been re-evaluating our spending as my wife is planning to be a stay-at-home mom. We cut out Netflix (DVDs) but kept the streaming (we don’t have cable tv). We probably won’t be spending much money going out to eat with a newborn. My wife is a pro at shopping for groceries although she hasn’t had as much time while work so I’m sure she’ll be able to save some money there.

  5. @Stephanie – Great job on the biking/walking stuff, Stephanie! A gym membership can totally be worth the money if you use it regularly, and you’re so right about physical activity saving money on healthcare costs – it really works!

  6. We walk and bike everywhere whenever possible to save on gas and car mantainence. We have a gym membership, which seems pricey at first glance, but there are multiple pools and activities for the kids so we end up saving money (and by being super healthy and active we probably also save on medical bills!).

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