Due with first baby mid February and starting maternity leave next week.
Before baby gets here, I'm hoping to get a handle on what's about to be life without half my salary (first during my 6 month maternity leave, then afterwards when childcare comes into play).
Two ideas I have already are:
1) Review the last few months expenses & ID areas to cut back
2) Do the same with groceries in particular
Hubby does not have a very frugal mindset, so I may have to start slowly.
That sounds like a perfect place to start, Maitrima. Eating at home and reviewing what you spend in all areas is always helpful. As far as food goes, it might be a good idea to freeze some meals for when your little one arrives too. Getting on the same page with hubby and coming up with a budget would be helpful as well. Good luck and enjoy your baby!
Thanks DZ :-)
Yes - freezing! Planning on getting a handle on that, too. I'm not normally great about using things I've put in the freezer, but planning to get some new containers, labels or tape, a sharpie, and getting some meals in there for those first weeks after baby is born. Hopefully that'll jump start some better freezer habits.
Where meal planning is concerned, I'm focused on balancing frugal with low-gluten for hubs, gestational diabetes for me (for now anyway), organic when possible, and maybe BFing-friendly/probiotic-friendly after birth.
Another small thing I think I might try is using more dry beans.
Good ideas. It's great you're being proactive. Be accepting of the new reality you're about to experience. Don't pile too many expectations on yourself. Those are a lot of criteria you've made for your meal planning. All of them sound beneficial, and maybe you'll work them all in to your menus, no problem. But giving yourself a break is just as valuable.
Anyway, yes definitely get on the same page with your dh with a budget. Just the simple act of keeping track of your spending, so that you can stop when you get to your limit, saves you money. If you haven't already, automate as many bills as you can. Set it and forget it. In the haze after the new baby comes you don't want to forget to pay a bill and pile up late fees.
Someone moved my effing cheese.
If you look online for "ways to save money" and search terms like that you will find many lists. I review online lists once in awhile to get any fresh ideas.
In general the biggest savings tips are to spend less on entertainment. Entertainment includes eating out, driving around and shopping for fun, and buying TV and media services.
One big tip that saves for us is to not waste. Buying plastic trash bags to throw away, buying food that is thrown away, buying clothing that doesn't get worn out all is terribly wasteful. Buying and discarding various cleaning products like preinfused wipes and sponges is also wasteful. Buying plastic and foil to wrap food and then throw away is a waste. You can start by assessing your household garbage for waste.
Another tip is to stop buying personal care items. These products are outrageously expensive per "serving" and bad for health and the environment. Brush teeth with edible clay or baking soda & essential oil. Use jojoba oil for moisturizing hair, lips, and skin, etc. Everyone in the family, man, woman and child, can use the same products. Learn to cut your own hair. Hairstyles and makeup are really luxury items; consider whether or not you want to afford them.
Thanks ladies, these are all great ideas!
Definitely planning on giving myself a post-partum grace period & seeing how things go, especially those first several weeks.
And I'm sure "entertainment" alone will be a great source of ways to cut back.
In my experience, the dried beans are much tastier. Cook them in bulk, then freeze them in 2 cup servings, or flat on a baking sheet and then package them (I use a ziplock) and you have a thaw and use alternative to the canned ones. I also love them mixed half and half with taco meat in all our tacoish meals.
Mama to Monkey (Jan '09), Bee (May '11), and Cat (August, '13)
Meal planning for the week or month (before grocery shopping!) cuts my food bill nearly in half! I don't really get around to it all the time, but I admire those who do. In addition to keeping me from going nuts at the supermarket, buying food that will go bad, or buying too much impulsively, I can plan good uses for leftovers. Also, gradually building up a pantry and freezer (buying in bulk and/or on sale) really helps.
Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)
|Frugality , Finances|