SAHMs: Where Do You Cut Back Financially?! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 37 Old 10-12-2005, 11:53 AM
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What a great thread! I can't wait to read the Tightwad Gazette.

Here's what I do to save money:
-cloth diaper, cloth wipes

-use vinegar and baking soda to clean almost everything (pick it up at BJ's)

-I find that the BioKleen laundry detergent appears to cost more, but you actually get more loads out of it than other brands. Or you could just use baking soda

-hang clothes up to dry

-utilize the library, they have free storytime too. I never buy books, we just go there

-no cable

-all second-hand clothes (except shoes usually), and second-hand toys.

-utilize Craigslist or Freecycle. I recently posted on Craigslist that I wanted a sandbox, fully expecting to buy it. Someone gave me one for free.

We go out to eat every friday, the check is usually 18+tip, we drink water with dinner.
One of my biggest problems, not using produce before it expires :
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#32 of 37 Old 10-12-2005, 01:53 PM
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I'm justifying our book purchases with the fact that because of our large home library we can easily cut out TV and make less trips to the library thus saving gas. We buy on sale and with our discount card too. I'm just addicted to books though and like to own them so I'd use any excuse. :LOL

I don't know if anyone has brought up a sewing machine as a money saver.
I just finished sewing chair covers for my dining chairs. In a store those things can run $10- $30 a chair. I got the fabric I liked off of e-bay for cheap and my mom had a pattern that I borrowed. It wasn't too complicated. I spent less than $25 total for 4 covers. I am also extending the use of our chairs which were getting a little worn looking.
I am making dd's Halloween costume again this year. Last year I sewed a whole costume (flower) from one old sheet that I dyed different colors. I used only stuff I had on hand and spent nothing on it but my time. This year I am modifying an old sweatshirt into a bird costume and I also haven't spent anything yet.
My mom sews and just made my dd 2 pairs of pants, a dress and a jacket for much less than it would cost to get similar items in a store.
She also helped me fix a pair of jeans of mine so I do not need to run out and get another pair for myself which was a relief.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#33 of 37 Old 10-12-2005, 04:20 PM
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I think the other posters have some good advice, we are always struggling financially and we're not too good at sticking to a budget but some things that we do that I think help a little is

-I breastfeed, so no money spent on formula
-Cloth Diapers, it will pay off eventually if I'd quit buying more!
-We don't buy much as far as cds, movies or that stuff
-We are now using only one car, my dad is driving mine so we have one less car payment and insurance is less
-We don't use credit cards
-We are getting ready to move into a tiny two bedroom apt. that is much cheaper and closer to DH work which will save on gas
-I'm learning to sew and would love to make clothes, diapers, etc eventually
-I am also making baby food for my youngest instead of paying 50 cents a jar
-We are homeschooling/unschooling my 4 yr old, last yr we paid $350 per month for preschool and that hurt

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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#34 of 37 Old 10-13-2005, 03:25 AM
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We rarely go out to dinner and NEVER at nice places any more. So that is one place we save a little $$.

We try not to take car trips that are unnecessary and we only have 1 car.

My mom is a compulsive Goodwill shopper :LOL and picks up lots of great stuff for DD so that helps.

I buy practically nothing for myself...I rarely get haircuts, don't wear makeup or do my nails, my clothes are mostly ill-fitting and old (although I did buy a few things this summer, don't feel sorry for me!). DH buys even less! We were never clotheshorse or "metrosexual" types. We buy the bargain brand shampoo at Trader Joe's and stuff like that. When the spray cleaner or the hand soap are almost out we pour in a little water to stretch it (I can't believe I just admitted if it makes a difference! But it is just a weird thing we do).

People looking at our lifestyle would probably at some of our choices. We love to buy toys for DD, for example (not extravagant ones, but new ones) - that is money that arguably could be spent elsewhere. We do always buy organic milk and other expensive grocery items (DH and I argue about organic beef and chicken, but I simply will not buy normally-raised beef in most circumstances). Occasionally we just splurge and go somewhere/do something/buy something that is totally not in the budget of a low-budget family like us :LOL! But that is just how we are.

So we don't have a lot of "mid-range" items like nice furniture or a second car, but we don't really skimp too much on the little luxuries. At least it seems like we don't until I see other people's lifestyles and the incredible sums they spend on their kids' toys and clothes!! Then I really feel poor.

But I grew up in a family where there was a lot of money being spent at a certain point but other more important things were missing. Shopping trips at Nordstrom can't make up for family members being alienated from each other! I try to keep my priorities straight but I'd be lying if I didn't wish we didn't have to economize, especially when buying stuff for DD.
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#35 of 37 Old 10-19-2005, 11:25 AM
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Did any of you try to start living only off of your DH's income BEFORE you left your job and before you had children?

I was thinking of trying that pretty soon in order to get used to the income level post-child, and to SAVE money, namely, my income until the time comes to have children.

It would be really hard, considering that I'm still working 50 hours a week, so, I can't do the money-saving things that take a lot of time, but I am considering it.

Any thoughts?
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#36 of 37 Old 10-19-2005, 12:16 PM
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Dh and I are living on mostly his income right now. We aren't saving my entire income, because I do think we need extra money to cover my work related expenses. We are saving most of it though...we're going to redo our family room next spring, so it's a good time to save! I figured out about how much extra money I need because I'm working--extra gas money, after school care, and a few dinners out a month. I also still get my regular "allowance" (and so does DH--we get the same amount). The rest goes directly into savings.

The reason we're not living on just his income is that we don't need to--when I quit, our taxes will be totally different. It's actually pretty scary--if we had another kid, eliminated after school care, and cut down on my gas, the reduced taxes and expenses would give us half my salary! And I make decent money!

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#37 of 37 Old 10-19-2005, 08:10 PM
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We cut back on entertainment and resturants. We do the resturant thing once or twice a month. Home cooking the rest of the time.
Entertainment is easy. DH and I do videos or special meals at home when the kids are in bed.
As a family, we do simple things that don't cost a huge amount....beach, trails, picnics, fishing, etc...
I find it very hard to cut back on groceries. My DH and boys eat a lot. I spend probably $200 a week on food alone.
I buy the higher quality clothes(my fave is Hanna Andersson, new or used)and shoes which is an investment up front, but is great with the next child, since they uphold wonderfully. I swear you can wash them a million times and they don't fade or shrink!
DH has a cell phone paid through work. I don't have one or need one.
We have a basic cable/cable modem internet play which is very cheap compared to what we were paying last year for just internet.
I bought all my maternity clothes second hand.
I cut my own hair. Don't get my nails or hair done at the salon.
We homeschool.
Make all my own cleaners(cheaper and healthier).
Basic phone service. We buy a $20 Sams Club Calling Card for long distance(DH's family is in Canada).
I buy a lot on Ebay. Even brand new things are usually $5-30 cheaper than from a retailer.

I'm actually nowhere near as frugal as I would like to be. I cut costs here and there. I should get better about it....perhaps I'll see some ideas on this thread!
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