or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Stay at Home Parents › Ideas to cut cost so I can be a SAHM!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ideas to cut cost so I can be a SAHM!

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
PLEASE!!!!!!! I'm willing to give up a car, going to cloth diapers, cutting every other cost I can think of but we still aren't where we need to be. Are there any ideas that others have done to be able to cut cost enough to stay home? I make our own bread, we have an allergy to milk so its all soy (which is more $ but I don't care), we do eat all organic/naturally too.

we do have ccard debt that we had down to nothing until the cost of daycare hit... then the fridge went up, car went up, AC went up... yeah... now we are trying to get that down but things keep 'going up.' =(
post #2 of 52
I know things keep going up. Its only going to get worse.

From experience, it really helps when my dh and I sit down together and figure out where we can cut costs and what's important to us.

What areas do you specifically need help on?
post #3 of 52
Do you have cell phones and a land line? Can you get rid of the land line and keep cell phones? I did that a few years ago and saved $30/month or more, since I had free long distance with the cell phone plan.

Do you have cable or satellite TV? Get rid of it!

How about your internet access? Do you have the least expensive option for your area? Can you live with dial-up?

Do you have a freezer? Can you buy meat in bulk from the butcher? Are you able to can and freeze veggies and fruit while they're in season?

Do you use pre-packaged foods, like Hamburger Helper, etc? Make your own and avoid all the crap in the packaged foods while saving a few pennies.

Do you have a family member who can watch your DC while you work to pay off the CC and other debt?

Can you plant a garden, even a patio garden, and grow some of your own veggies?

Do you own your home or rent? Can you move to a less-expensive area?

Do you have garage-sale-worthy stuff? I once made over $700 in one weekend getting rid of old stuff. Granted a lot of it was appliances that I had to get rid of, but was still a lot of money that went directly to debt.

Do you shop consignment stores and second-hand stores for your clothes? Can you sew? (Although I've found that it's often more expensive to sew your own with the cost of fabrics and notions, but sometimes it's worth it.)

Can you trade childcare with another mother or do childcare from your home?

Have you checked the frugal living forum?
post #4 of 52
Thread Starter 
I do have both phone lines... I did think about getting rid of the land line... we did save about $40 by going with all cable, phone, TV and Internet.

I do have cable interent- have to- hubby is an IT specialist and has to be able to log in from home. I also can log in from home when needed so I need to have the faster lines. (trust me, or it would be gone!)

I'd love to throw my TV out the window but I'd have some serious problems from the other half...

We cook everything from scratch and have talked about a big garden and are kind of in plans of doing that so I can can/jar foods. I do my own jelly right now. (we own .86 of an acre)

We just bought beef in bulk... we are trying to get to the chicken place (weird hours) to get that in bulk too!

we have absolutely NO ONE to watch my son. =( No family and all friends work too or have said they just can't do it. My mom is looking to move down so we are hoping... thats $800/month if not more ugh. We do have our name on a cheaper daycare in a church but they have a waiting list of several months!

We own and wouldn't move- its a cheap place to live and love the parks all around us!

We are selling stuff off craigs list too!

I guess I'm on the right track. I will check out that frugal site too... I just joined so I'm learning what all is here!
post #5 of 52
We don't have cell phones, cable, or a car. We seldom eat out. We buy used whenever possible. We use cloth diapers. I can't tell you what you can specifically cut, but those are some of the bigger things that make a difference for us.
post #6 of 52
If there's nothing to cut, maybe you should think about ways to make enough money so you can sah.

Is DH willing to either work more hours, ask for a promotion/raise, willing to get a part time job or look for a better job? Can you find a job where you can telecommute? Are you willing to get a part time evening job?

Where there's a will, there's a way Good luck mama.
post #7 of 52
It might be helpful if you could give a ballpark of how much you would need to cut monthly and then we could help from there.
post #8 of 52
If you post your budget in the finances and frugality forum, the ladies there may be able to give you some help.

I will say that in some cases, cutting out small expenses isn't enough. If there is any way to cut down on large expenses (housing and transportation are usually the biggies), this may be the most realistic way to make your budget work.

Increasing income is the other way to make a budget work. This could mean that your partner finds a better paying job or a 2nd job. You could also try working part time. I know many mamas who work evenings or weekends so they can stay home with their kids during the day.
post #9 of 52
it sounds like you are on the right track and are really making an effort!

the other posts have been so great the only thing i can think to contribute is to stop using your ac. open windows and fans running cuts $20 to $30 off every month of our georgia power bill. and its nice to have the fresh air in the house too!

i love the thrift store suggestion! and its not just for clothes, everyday household items like appliances, dishes, furniture, for super cheap! im a thrift junkie :>

as far as childcare goes, i was a pretty good babysitter as a teenager so i hope you will be able to find a nice girl looking to make a little cash. i used to charge $8 an hour for one kid, $10 for two and i think thats probably cheaper than day care... maybe a high school grad who decided not to go to college just yet?
post #10 of 52
This advice might not be very popular around here, but honestly, I'd start eating mostly cheap store brand food instead of all natural/organic in order to SAH with my kids.
post #11 of 52
You might want to xpost this in the Frugality & Finances forum. They'll have more ideas for you there, too.
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by SusannahM View Post
You might want to xpost this in the Frugality & Finances forum. They'll have more ideas for you there, too.
For sure. When DH and I do the cash in envelopes plan we always come out ahead, but when we get lazy and go back to using our debit cards we always end up scratchign our heads saying "Why is our bank account in the negative". So that system really works for us (and some other mamas here I think). You just have to stick to it, if you don't have the cash in an envelope for the expense, then you don't purchase it.

I've saved a lot of money by shopping at Aldi every other week, they have lots of pre-packaged foods and not-so-healthy items, BUT for flour, sugar, and other staples they are SO CHEAP- also their produce, eggs, and milk are so cheap (I mean like 69c for eggs, 1.99 for gallon milk, 89 c for bag of flour). They have a line there called light and fit and it has things in it like raw almonds and other things that are pretty good. But, my Aldi shopping weeks are literally like $40 compared to my grocery weeks which are always closer to $100. Oh, only going to the store once per week period helps too, no extra trips if I forget something, we just have to make it work. I clip coupon and look for sales of course too. Every bit must help at least a little...
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post
This advice might not be very popular around here, but honestly, I'd start eating mostly cheap store brand food instead of all natural/organic in order to SAH with my kids.
Hubby makes $2200 a month, and our housing runs $850 a month. I have two kids. I don't have the luxury of eating organic food. Sure, it's good for the earth, and you, but I manage to feed a house of three on 80 dollars a week.
post #14 of 52
Could you take in a kid or two when you stay home to make up the difference? I'm on Canadian Mat leave right now, but that's the plan for when the gov. money runs out. A full day toddler is around $25 a day in my area, and a before and after schooler is $15. (at least.)
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post
This advice might not be very popular around here, but honestly, I'd start eating mostly cheap store brand food instead of all natural/organic in order to SAH with my kids.
I hear you. We've done that at times, too. And I learned how to request and use coupons for organic foods, grow my own fruits and veggies (even in pots and planters). We don't drink dairy so we don't have a big dairy cost but we did buy organic red meat, even if we bought less of it or none of it some weeks.
post #16 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post
This advice might not be very popular around here, but honestly, I'd start eating mostly cheap store brand food instead of all natural/organic in order to SAH with my kids.
I wish I could... YDS has a milk allergy so its all soy (and he drinks a LOT OF IT!!!!!!). AND I found when we cut out all the 'chemicals etc' in the 'normal' food it helped not only him but all of us (ODS is ADHD and being treated naturally, DH is anxiety/stress treated naturally and I have adult acne that vanished when I changed what we ate)... We do the cheap store brand organic when ever possible!!!!!!!!! I grow veggies, get fruit from friends that have it growing and jar it- go to farmers markets where a friend works and always gives me an even BETTER deal. Most of the time I find that the veggies and fruit can be less expensive but we do keep our bill pretty good...although it could be better. We are always running out of soy milk though so its always at least one extra trip...

I do like the post about cash... I do find if I have cash we don't go over but with the card 'who cares' kind of attitude takes over. ugh. why is that??? =)
post #17 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherweh View Post
For sure. When DH and I do the cash in envelopes plan we always come out ahead, but when we get lazy and go back to using our debit cards we always end up scratchign our heads saying "Why is our bank account in the negative". So that system really works for us (and some other mamas here I think). You just have to stick to it, if you don't have the cash in an envelope for the expense, then you don't purchase it.

I've saved a lot of money by shopping at Aldi every other week, they have lots of pre-packaged foods and not-so-healthy items, BUT for flour, sugar, and other staples they are SO CHEAP- also their produce, eggs, and milk are so cheap (I mean like 69c for eggs, 1.99 for gallon milk, 89 c for bag of flour). They have a line there called light and fit and it has things in it like raw almonds and other things that are pretty good. But, my Aldi shopping weeks are literally like $40 compared to my grocery weeks which are always closer to $100. Oh, only going to the store once per week period helps too, no extra trips if I forget something, we just have to make it work. I clip coupon and look for sales of course too. Every bit must help at least a little...

I have an aldi near us... just never been in there. Guess I should check them out! We don't do dairy (can't due to an allergy in the house)- do they have soy?

I love the cash thing... I think I'm going to start implementing that!
post #18 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aurora_skys View Post
it sounds like you are on the right track and are really making an effort!

the other posts have been so great the only thing i can think to contribute is to stop using your ac. open windows and fans running cuts $20 to $30 off every month of our georgia power bill. and its nice to have the fresh air in the house too!

i love the thrift store suggestion! and its not just for clothes, everyday household items like appliances, dishes, furniture, for super cheap! im a thrift junkie :>

as far as childcare goes, i was a pretty good babysitter as a teenager so i hope you will be able to find a nice girl looking to make a little cash. i used to charge $8 an hour for one kid, $10 for two and i think thats probably cheaper than day care... maybe a high school grad who decided not to go to college just yet?
Do any of you have allergies? I LOVE my windows open but the allergy symptoms get to much sometimes - ALTHOUGH with our natural treatment they are getting MUCH better! I do leave them open as much as possible but the little man doesn't sleep with his window open- to much noise outside.
He also doesn't sleep when hot... I swear he's a woman! I have tried everything with him - when he's perfect tempurature, he sleeps all night... to hot or to cold, forget it! ugh. Our AC bll (its a brand new AC we put in when we bought the place) runs about $100/month which is $40 cheaper then winter - we heat with a wood stove all winter - go figure but the boys rooms have electric heaters that were on a couple times becuase it was to cold in their rooms at night (off all day).


Yes, I started scoping out thrift stores and use gift cards to any 'new' store when ever possible (thats all we ask for from family for holidays or birthdays!)

You guys are wonderful... they are a lot of ideas some we are doing, some I can probably do better at and some I won't budge on (our organic food).
post #19 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
If you post your budget in the finances and frugality forum, the ladies there may be able to give you some help.

I will say that in some cases, cutting out small expenses isn't enough. If there is any way to cut down on large expenses (housing and transportation are usually the biggies), this may be the most realistic way to make your budget work.

Increasing income is the other way to make a budget work. This could mean that your partner finds a better paying job or a 2nd job. You could also try working part time. I know many mamas who work evenings or weekends so they can stay home with their kids during the day.
I acutally sell Cookie Lee jewelry so I have a little coming in... I kind of let that go flat right now though but plan on picking it back up. He is also creating an IT business with a friend so we are working on the p/t work. I'm willing to give up one car... I have NO problem with that. I told him I wanted to give up my motorcycle and he said no... we would figure out how to keep that (it also saves gas money and isn't a HUGE expence since its used and almost paid off anyway). We worked very hard for them before Brady was even a glimps... it was my get out of depression thing from 2 miscarrages so it means a lot to me to keep that. Its also a very cheap mommy and daddy day get away.
post #20 of 52
I agree with some previous posters that sometimes you just can't make a budget work by shaving off a couple of dollars here and there, but still, here are some things we do to stretch our budget:

*Shop around for your auto & home insurance. Sometimes you can find a better deal by making some phone calls, especially if you have both with one carrier.
*Learn to shop grocery sales, stock up on nonperishables when they are at their cheapest.
*Plan all meals in advance, before you do your shopping. You can figure it out so that you have little to no wasted food.
*Replace household paper goods with cloth. No need to buy paper napkins, paper towels, etc. Some folks even use cloth toilet paper, although I have not really won my family over on that one
*Line dry your laundry whenever you can.
*Energy saving light bulbs.
*Turn down the thermostat in winter, turn it up in summer. Stretch your comfort zone.
*Don't buy cleaning products. You can clean almost anything with some combination of vinegar, baking soda, cheap-o dish soap, maybe a little tea tree oil.
*Get the word out that you like hand-me-downs. Watch Freecycle for them too. Sort and store them by size until your kids grow into them. If you don't get enough hand-me-downs, watch clearance sales and thrift stores with an eye to at least one year ahead. I just bought brand new snow boots at Goodwill, in next year's sizes for both my kids, for $2 a pair.
*Take advantage of your local library for entertainment.
*Learn to cut your whole family's hair.
*Since you have a little bit of land, you might consider keeping some chickens for eggs.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Stay at Home Parents
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Stay at Home Parents › Ideas to cut cost so I can be a SAHM!