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Ideas to cut cost so I can be a SAHM! - Page 2

post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanieb29 View Post
I wish I could... YDS has a milk allergy so its all soy (and he drinks a LOT OF IT!!!!!!). ... We are always running out of soy milk though so its always at least one extra trip...
=)
My kids and I are also allergic to milk and dairy (though we can eat a little cheese and ice cream). We drink water. It's great that you want to give DS soy milk, but how about cutting back?

I'm not sure why the kids need AC in Pennsylvania in May. It's only in the 60's and 70's right now during the day and 40's and 50's at night. Is $100 your total utilities bill, or just for AC? I try to keep our total electric bill (all appliances and heat/ac) around $100.

I think Sylith has some great ideas.
post #22 of 52
There are two ways of looking at this issue. You can economize and stretch the dollars you already have, or you can figure out a way to generate more income while staying at home.

We economize by being more mindful about spending and by bargain hunting. We rarely go out to eat and I do all the food shopping and cook frugally, which DH doesn't quite get how to do. Dh drives my economy car to work at a 50% gas savings and I rarely go anywhere. If there's an item he wants, instead of his impulse buying, I research and buy used or get online at 50% off. I'm a big fan of craigslist and ebay! I don't buy clothes, and will get used as soon as the baby weight is off. We're not putting on the AC until the temp exceeds 90 degrees.

I know this one is drastic, but taking in a boarder could put alot more cash in your pocket than clipping coupons. Before I married DH, he had a roommate stay in one of the extra rooms. In an expensive housing area like we're in (Ca), it's not uncommon to take in a boarder to lower expenses.

Given how high our utilities are, having someone pay a little rent and chip in on energy bills sounds really good right now. I'd have to become a good housekeeper really quickly, and search for someone we could feel comfortable with, but I am seriously considering it so I can stay home with LO longer.

You could also offer to watch another family's child in your home. That way you are bringing in money while staying with LO. I would like to have a 3 or 4 year old to look after for half days after school....

You can also look for online work. If you have a flair for writing, there are internet companies hiring people to submit reviews.

Hope this helps.
post #23 of 52
I've cut out a lot of stuff recently. Here's what I've done or hope to do soon.

- got better car insurance deal (I saved $101 a MONTH going with AAA)
- reduced cell phone package (you can call and ask what your average monthly use is then reduce your package to one more fit to that)
- reduced how much the IRS takes out of my check. (I was getting a huge rebate every year but realised I really need that money all along. I was claiming 0 but now I claim 2. I have 4 in the house so I don't claim all of it but it increase my take home pay by about $200 a month)
- started the DAVE RAMSEY dumping debt and building wealth program. (There's a thread on the finances forum for this and I bought his book. ALso www.daveramsey.com)
- Since we only use the land line telephone for internet I called and had them get rid of EVERYTHING on it. I only have 25 calls a month allowed, no long distance, nothing. It costs like $6 but I keep my internet at the original cost of just the internet service.)
- I do the cash in the envelope thing. It really keeps you on track. You would be amazed at how much money you really have.
- Want to get rid of: newspaper, cable and magazine subscriptions. Any internet subscriptions (I don't have these but the thought occurred to me others might so I listed it.)
- Barter for things (My friend makes great bread and she trades her bread for eggs from a lady with chickens.)
- Still lactating? Can your ds drink "mommy milk" instead of soy? That would cut down that cost.
- Go through your house and purge like crazy. Most people don't need 90% of what they own. Sell everything that isn't "nailed down." You'll feel better and have more money.
- Can hubby do "side jobs"? I know lots of IT guys that do computer repair, etc on the side for a little extra.
- What do you do for a living? COuld you turn that into a work at hom thing?

HTH. I'm also trying to move myself into a position to stay at home. Here's: to us both
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmamacita View Post
I know things keep going up. Its only going to get worse.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkish Kate View Post
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.

We only have a cell phone. Just one cell phone.

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

No TV here either.

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

Sadly, we have to use a remote service. First satttelite, and now verizon. So it costs us about 50$ a month, but it's one of those things that we decided was a "must" for us, for now.

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?

We don't eat meat, but yes, we always stockpile frozen veggies and fruits too.

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.

Just adding homemade stuff can really help. A loaf of homemade bread can really stretch a meal, and can cost pennies. I buy 50lb. sacks of organic flour from a local co-op that only costs me $20.00! I bake a lot of bread foods for us. Vegans are kind of "carb fiends" anyway, as someone I know once said to me.

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

You know, my mom would probably move in if we ever asked her to.

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

Yes, and also, this is a vegan no-no, but my husband loves raising honeybees. And we get enough honey, even after leaving plenty for the colony to comfortably survive a long cold winter, to not have to buy sweetners. Sugar, agave, xylitol, etc. are all very pricey for a budget.

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

We are blessed, my husband is a care-taker, and we live on site. Knock on wood as they say! It helps us eat, no doubt at all.

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.

Wow! We are minimilists, so...

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.)

Same here. Thrift stores, sewing. My saris last forever, and when I do buy them, I buy used from Idia, and literally pay $11.00 including shipping per sari. We buy underwear and socks new. I knit socks too. sometimes shoes have to be bought new though.

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

I love the childcare idea. I would try for that myself.

Have you checked the frugal living forum?
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthgirl View Post
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.
One car here, actually I have no driver's license. We also seldom eat out, and cloth diapers too.

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.
Actually so would I! But my husband would not be so willing for us to make that step. I do think he would in the end though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylith View Post
I*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.
Yes to all of that! And the planet loves you for it too!
post #25 of 52
How much are you actually bringing in after daycare and other work related expenses?
post #26 of 52
I saw that you owned your home. Do you have the opportunity to refinance to consolidate any debt? We can just manage on DH's salary, but needed to update our 65 yr old a/c and just refinanced our loan. In the process we were able to pay off all our credit card debt. I guess technically we just financed it for 30 years, but it's saving us more than $100 a month.
post #27 of 52
I agree, aldi's is quite cheap!

You know, my ds has milk allergies too, and I EBF, which means no dairy for me. But, instead of loading up on soy, we just stopped things that need dairy. The replacement dairy stuff can be pricey. DH is living dairy free too, because it is cheaper for us to both avoid it, rather then buying food that only one person can eat. I keep a tub of dairy free butter and a thing of rice milk on hand for cooking, but that is it. I understand you want to eat good. I do too. I cant afford organic vegetables, so I went around to grocery stores until I found the one that I felt carried decent produce and I shop there. I know you said you wont budge, but just thought I'd offer that.

I know I might be out of line here, and maybe I am reading wrong, but you seem a little resistant to change. Like you want to stay home but DH must have tv and you cant bend on food. I am sorry if that seems offensive, but sometimes staying home means you have to do things a little differently. I love going out to eat and being able to get organic veggies, but I have 50.00 a week to feed me and dh, so those things arent possible. If we had cable, it would be gone. I only have internet (and a computer) because my parents pay for it so they can watch ds on a web cam. Otherwise, I would be hanging out at the library a lot. That is what I did before they bought the computer.

Anyway, again I mean no disrespect.
post #28 of 52
Find a copy of The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Daczczyn. (Also available as Tightwad Gazette vol. I, vol.II, and vol. III--the Complete version is all three volumes combined)Obviously, borrowing it from the library is your best move! This book helped me find all sorts of ways to cut costs when I left work to SAHMother. It not only gives specific advice and ideas, but also encourages a frugal mindset that helps you learn how to save money in your own set of circumstances, whatever they may be. Then, read anything and everything else you can about the topic of frugality!!!
post #29 of 52
When I left my full-time job last June, I couldn't believe how much I was able to save on groceries. You can really SHOP for sales when you are home--as opposed to being crunched for time and only being able to go to one store, or having to buy something at a high price because you are in a pinch.

We also ate our way thru the pantry and freezer last summer. It felt good to go through all the weird odds and ends and short term, it was a weekly savings as I found all sorts of things to defrost.
post #30 of 52
I take the bus instead of driving, we paid off our credit card with our home equity line of credit that is an interest only loan and cheaper to pay, my mom has chickens and we get free eggs, garage sales for clothes, cloth diaper, we do the menu thing and it helps a lot, DH gets an allowance so we can budget exactly how much money we have.
post #31 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raleigh_mom View Post
My kids and I are also allergic to milk and dairy (though we can eat a little cheese and ice cream). We drink water. It's great that you want to give DS soy milk, but how about cutting back?

I'm not sure why the kids need AC in Pennsylvania in May. It's only in the 60's and 70's right now during the day and 40's and 50's at night. Is $100 your total utilities bill, or just for AC? I try to keep our total electric bill (all appliances and heat/ac) around $100.

I think Sylith has some great ideas.
We do water too but he wants his milk. I'm trying to slowly cut him back.

The AC is more for me... I am allergic to about 10-13 different trees and right now when they are in bloom I'm a MESS!!!!!!!!!!!! The AC isn't for coolness, its to clean the air. I really should try to find a good quality cheap air purifier but even with the windows open, that would be working double overtime.
Trust me, I LOVE my windows open... I grew up with no AC and love that summer breeze! Yes, $100 is my total Met Ed bill. We don't use the heat in the house, we use a wood stove! (its electric baseboard when I saw our very first winter bill I about died! in went the stove! problem solved!) I do most all of my high energy things at night when the prices drop or on weekends. I try to unplug any energy leaching appliance (becuase even though they are off, they use up a ton of electricity!)

Thanks you all... these are all great ideas and some of them I may be doing but I may be able to do them better!
post #32 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
How much are you actually bringing in after daycare and other work related expenses?
Sadly... only about $650 with gas expenses... I travel 100 miles a day and fill up every 3 days. I can get a good 23-24 mpg but I'm in traffic... Doesn't always work that way BUT It's starting to be nicer up here so on my motorcycle I go...I get 55 mpg on that.

Its our bills I'm sure... ccard and car. We HAD the card paid off until I went back to work and daycare hit along with everything going up... ugh.
post #33 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by matey View Post
I agree, aldi's is quite cheap!

You know, my ds has milk allergies too, and I EBF, which means no dairy for me. But, instead of loading up on soy, we just stopped things that need dairy. The replacement dairy stuff can be pricey. DH is living dairy free too, because it is cheaper for us to both avoid it, rather then buying food that only one person can eat. I keep a tub of dairy free butter and a thing of rice milk on hand for cooking, but that is it. I understand you want to eat good. I do too. I cant afford organic vegetables, so I went around to grocery stores until I found the one that I felt carried decent produce and I shop there. I know you said you wont budge, but just thought I'd offer that.

I know I might be out of line here, and maybe I am reading wrong, but you seem a little resistant to change. Like you want to stay home but DH must have tv and you cant bend on food. I am sorry if that seems offensive, but sometimes staying home means you have to do things a little differently. I love going out to eat and being able to get organic veggies, but I have 50.00 a week to feed me and dh, so those things arent possible. If we had cable, it would be gone. I only have internet (and a computer) because my parents pay for it so they can watch ds on a web cam. Otherwise, I would be hanging out at the library a lot. That is what I did before they bought the computer.

Anyway, again I mean no disrespect.
No disrespect... I feel kind of uppity replying to all these wonderful suggestions but I do feel strongly about the cause that organic is doing. Thats why i try to grow a lot myself and go to farmers markets where I know how its grown. Our beef is organic or no chemicals becuase we bought a side of a cow... we are trying to buy chicken that way too. I buy a lot in bulk which tends to be a little cheaper to so organic pastas, rice, dried fruit (athough some of that is WAY more so we avoid it) and I just got flower fresh milled for $0.85/lbs- WAHOO... I am making bread and we make EVERYTHING from scratch- we shop on the outside of the store.

If he wasn't the director of IT systems and his career revolve around computers I'd agree with you on that but we are both in IT careers and when problems arrise- I'm NOT driving in 1 hour to fix something that takes 10 mins. KWIM? So, internet stays...

We are doing almost everything everyone is suggesting (and I can probably do my shopping a LOT more frugally (is that a word?) - but I know its our bills (not the little ones either) that are killing us so any free money we are getting goes to that... maybe one day we can use it for fun???!!!
post #34 of 52

I second that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherweh View Post

I've saved a lot of money by shopping at Aldi every other week
We have an Aldi around here. I use it for much of the same as you stated: the staple items. Bring your own bags and a quarter for the shopping cart!

For us, we decided to live in a condo rather than a house. That was the *big* switch. But it has made all the difference!
post #35 of 52
Just one little suggestion . . . I'm not a fan of soy at all and we can't have dairy either. Have you thought about making your own rice milk? It costs pennies to make and may be to your son's liking.
post #36 of 52
obviously PA is a little higher (or a lot!) living than here but heres out budget sans clothes/going out/extra's.

Mort 1055
Food 260
Cells (2) $70
Internet $30
Car Ins 205 ()
Car pmts (2) 510
Electric 90
Water/trash/sewer 50
satelite 45 (for 12 months plus i got $100 in gift cards)
gas 100
dh allowance for lunches/gas 350
2765 bills
3320 income

so we have extra for savings, some eating out, clothes etc. course we have NO credit card debt so i am sure that helps and cheap food. try also gradually watering down your ds's soy milk. my ds used to drink 2 8 oz glasses a DAY and it was horrendous! i eventualy got him down to half and half and now dd is a water fiend so ds is as well. he didn't know the difference!

i second the car insurance shopping around. i remember switching from am fam to geico and saving $300/MONTH....i fell over! i use sprint for cell useage (they suck i know!) but their sero plan is CHEAP. ALSO what kind of high speed does your dh need? i can tether my cell phone to my lappy and use the internet for FREE ($25 for the program nothing else), 500 minutes/mo (per cell) unlimited everything else (txt, mobile to mobile, internet etc), if you need a land line you can get magicjack (.com) that uses high speed internet for $40/ first YEAR ($20 every year after), also as mentioned we switched to direct tv and got a little savings BUT got gift cards to help make it a way better deal. (bundling is CRAP when you figure in all those phone fee stuff!).

also ALOT of SAHM's i think deliver papers 1 or 2 days/wk. from what i figured they pay about 10 cents per paper and you can deliver 1000 in a few hrs PLUS you can take your kids!

theres also *little* ways to bring in money. i subscribe to freelancebyu (.com) and this lady does a daily survey ($24/mo), some ebay, some mystery shopping, a little of this and that....i haven't done it all but considering its a real person and i've seen the proof it works. since you have high speed theres lots of ways to make the internet work for you!
post #37 of 52
You might also be able to go to just liability for your car insurance, which would save you money.
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanieb29 View Post
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!!!!!!!!!
Just making sure you know that it's very possible to make your own soy milk. You can buy a soy milk maker or just make it stovetop in a big pot. Organic soybeans in bulk are quite cheap for how long they stretch in making soy milk.

We don't use much soy around here and I've never made it myself but family members have and really, not big deal and quite easy. You might have to add sweetener or fiddle with the recipe to make it taste more like what you're buying but probably worth a try.
post #39 of 52
I skimmed the replies, but if you've done everything you can to cut down costs, could you do something yourself to make money? Could you tutor, babysit, watch another child in your home, clean houses, etc etc etc? is there anything you can do that is sellable? sew, etc??
post #40 of 52
Here's what we did/do:
moved to a cheaper house--but we were renting and continue to do so
sold DH's fancy car--we got more than we owed, so we paid off some bills and now he drives an older car that we own free and clear
meal planning--less impulse purchases and less eating out
cancelled sattelite TV
only have cell phones, and DH's is paid through work
walk as much as possible rather than drive
cloth diapers
cancelled extra contributions we were making for DH's retirement
adjusted our tax withholdings--we still get a refund but it is much smaller now than in the past
buy toys and things at yard sales, thrift stores,
in the winter we put plastic over the windows and it helped cut our electric bill



My dad and his wife are great about buying clothes and things for the kids every season, they really strugged when my stepmom became a SAHM, so she really knows what it's like to sacrifice in order to stay home.
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