I knew from the moment I found out I was pregnant with my second child that I wanted to become a stay at home mom. And I knew before this dream of mine could become reality, it meant we had to make some serious changes with the way we spend our money.
Because living off one income terrified me. How could we go from two incomes to just one, while raising a family?
I started searching for realistic ways we could cut our spending without sacrificing our livelihood.
These money saving tips helped us learn how to cut cost in the areas we were already spending, instead of cutting the things we love out of our life completely.
- How To Get Rid of Cable and Still Watch TV
- How To Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck When You’re On One Income
- 30+ Easy Ways for Stay At Home Moms to Make Extra Money
- How To Actually Afford to Stay at Home With Your Kids Full-Time
But before we begin, I want to share my Ultimate Money-Saving Checklist. It’s a FREE cheat sheet that lists 150+ easy ways to cut back on your spending, increase your savings, and live a rich life! It’s a MUST GRAB if you’re looking for ways to save more money! You can grab it for free here, for a limited time.
Here’s how we cut our spending by over $22,000
1) Downsizing our home. We sold our condo and moved into a two-bedroom apartment. We went from spending over $1,000 in living expenses (rent and utilities) to just $725/month because moved into a family-friendly complex that provided free water and free heat. The only downside was we had to do our laundry at my in-laws, but it was definitely worth the extra savings!
We saved: $4,080 (including rent and utilities)
2) Stop eating takeout. Not ordering takeout on the weekends was hard for us because we’d be so busy, that I’d forget to cook. So we were spending about $60 every weekend on fast food alone.
We saved: $2880
3) Bring lunch to work. My husband was spending about $5-$7 a day ordering cafeteria or fast food for lunch. So I started packing his lunch instead.
We saved: $1300
4) Make meals that stretch for leftovers. Learning how to meal plan and cook more meals at home really helped us to stop eating out because we always had something left over. Using the $5 Meal Plan taught me to incorporate a pasta or casserole dish once or twice a week and that helped us cut our grocery bill in half! They sent me meal plans directly to my inbox every week, so I didn’t have to wreck my brain thinking up meal ideas – it was a lifesaver!
If you need help lowering your food budget or planning meals, like we did, you can sign up to try $5 Meal Plan for FREE here!
We saved: $2600
5) Stop buying bottled water. We got a filtered water pitcher and use tap water instead!
We saved: $120
6) Do your own hair. My husband used to go to the barbershop every two weeks for a $20 haircut. I convinced him to let his mom start cutting his hair (she’s a licensed hairstylist)! Plus I stopped going to the salon too.
We saved: $525
7) Cut and replace your cable TV. I have to admit, cutting our cable TV bill was extremely hard. It was one of the last few things we did. But once we finally cut the cord, I signed up for Sling TV. Now, we use Hulu with Live TV. You can read more about that here!
We saved: $960
8) Switch to a low-cost phone plan. I heard so many great things about Metro PCS that I decided to make the switch from Sprint (which was costing us almost $200 a month). Plus, we got to keep our iPhones, and I love that Metro PCS uses the T-Mobile Network, so we haven’t had any issues with our service!
We saved: $1104
9) Shop at Kids Resale stores. I stopped buying my kids’ clothes from department stores and shop at kids resale stores instead. My favorite place to buy quality used kids stuff (clothes, toys, accessories, and shoes) is at Once Upon A Child – but in affluent neighborhoods, because they tend to have the best stuff!
We saved: $640
10) Start printing coupons. I started printing coupons at Coupons.com to save a little money on our favorite brands. We saved anywhere from $1-$5 extra a week.
We saved: $260
11) Buy generic diapers. We switched to Parent’s Choice (Walmart brand) diapers two months after I had my second son. We were buying Huggies and paying $25 for 140 diapers (Size 2). But when we switched to Parent’s Choice, we got 228 diapers for $24 – and they hold up very well!
We saved: $192
12) Make your own baby food. Buying pre-made baby food was costing us about $12-$13 each week. So I bought a food processor and learned how to make my own!
We saved: $312
13) Rent your car. Our second car was sitting in the driveway, so I let my sister rent it each month which takes care of our car payment.
We saved: $4008
14) Buy toiletries in bulk. We decided to get a Sam’s Club Membership so we could buy things like toilet paper, toothpaste, trash bags, and more in bulk.
We saved: $160
15) Breastfeed to save money. Infant formula where I live is expensive – $15 per can. So I breastfed my son exclusively for the first year.
We saved: $1560
16) Get a gas rewards card. We buy all our groceries from Kroger to save money on gas. For every $100 we spend on groceries, we get 10 cents off!
We saved: $520
17) Don’t go to the movies during peak hours. Going to the movies would cost us about $25 (for two adults, 1 child, and infant). So we started going to $5 Tuesdays instead, which only cost us about $10-$15!
We saved: $120
18) Brew Starbucks at home. Not going to work every day made it a lot easier to avoid the Starbucks drive-thru each morning. So I learned how to brew it at home!
We saved: $960
Total Savings In One Year: $22,183!!!
Crazy, right? Now I challenge you to see how much money you can save!
Here are some more things you may want to check out if you are trying to lower your budget.
- Use the Ibotta App to save money on groceries. You get free CASH BACK when you upload a picture of your receipts! Read How to Use the Ibotta App for FREE Cash Back on Groceries
- Eliminate your cable bill. Buy an HDTV Antenna (this is the exact one we have) to enjoy free TV, and use Hulu with Live TV to watch your favorite shows, entertainment, news, and sports LIVE (and for way less than cable) – this is what we do! Read How To Get Rid of Cable and Still Watch TV
- Sign up for a website like Ebates for free CASH BACK on your normal everyday purchases online or in-store. Plus, when you sign up through my link, you’ll get a FREE $10 gift card bonus!
- If you need help cooking more meals at home, then try out $5 Meal Plan. They send you meal plans directly to your inbox – which is what we did to help us cut our grocery bill in half!
- Negotiate any bills you have such as phone, internet, insurance, etc.
- Downsize your home to save on living expenses if you can. We did this for two years and saved almost $10,000!
- Sign up for free websites like Harris Poll Online, InboxDollars, PineCone Research, and Survey Junkie to GET PAID for answering surveys (which is exactly what I still do!) in your free time!
P.S. If you’re looking for more ways to save money, the FREE Ultimate Money-Saving Checklist is a MUST GRAB! It lists over 150 easy ways to cut your spending, increase your savings, and live a rich life. Grab it for FREE here for a limited time.
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