Stay At Home Mom
Growing up the women in my life always worked. I just assumed one day I would join the work force as well, hopefully as a nurse. That all changed when I meet my now husband, Cody. When we first meet I was a waitress at my family’s cafe and going to school for my LPN. He worked overnight as a computer engineer with our local hospital. A few months into dating we got our first apartment together and that’s when my anxiety first showed up. It became so bad I was unable to leave the house. Luckily, Cody was understanding and let me stay home and take care of the house. A year into our relationship I became pregnant with River and knew being a stay at home mom was the best thing for us. These are a couple ways I saved us money, so we could live on one income.
I learned very quickly that I could make many things by hand. When I became pregnant with River, we bought her a mini crib. I soon realized they don’t make very many options for mini crib bedding. That’s when I decided to learn how to sew, I sewed all over River’s bedding and many other house hold items. I became so good at sewing that I even ran my own business selling crib bedding. Pinterest is a great was to figure out how to DIY for many things. I make farmhouse decor for my house, gifts for holidays, activities for River and many other things.
2. Learning to cook from scratch
Before meeting Cody I lived with family my whole life. I knew basic cooking skills, but nothing that was impressive. After several failed pinterest meals and one fire (don’t ask), I finally started getting the hang of cooking. I was soon making my own pizza, bread, our favorite fast food meals and many other things from scratch. I saved us quit a bit by making everything at home and not buying prepackaged food. It also is much healthier not eating all those chemicals and preservatives. It also has given us opportunity to try out new foods and enjoy more family time together.
3. Couponing and shopping deals
Fred Meyers is my go to store for shopping.I have a rewards card that helps save me money in multiple ways. I get gas points, I can upload coupons to the card and at the end of each quarter I can earn money back just for shopping. On their website I can look at all the avalible coupons and instantly download them to my card. I also can look at their weekly ads and see what’s on sale. I’m not a huge couponer or deal shopper, but I can find some really nice deals once in a while that stretches our budget further. Fredmyers will also show me the price of items I’ve bought in the past, so I can see of they’re a good price to stock up on. Another tip is to buy the store brand, it’s usually cheaper and just as good as the name brand. Even if the generic brand isn’t cheaper they’re usually more of whatever the product is.I buy us cheese sticks constantly. The Fredmyers brand cost the same as the other name brands but there is more cheese sticks in a package.
4. Meal planning
I make a plan every week, so when I go to the store I know exactly what to get and don’t just randomly buy items. It helps me estimate about how much i’m going to spend, so I know when to put a cheaper meal in the plan or if I have more room for a more expensive favorite. I tend to also meal plan around the weekly deals, so I can get more bang for my buck.I like to bulk up my meals with cheap staples like beans, rice and potatoes. I also advice that you buy non perishables in bulk, that way you always have them on hand and it saves you money in the ling run. Try to also plan your breakfasts meals and lunches as well. That’s where I’ll get lazy and end up going out to eat with the kids. Try simple things like eggs, peanut butter toast or smoothies for breakfast. For lunch you can do things like sandwiches, home made chicken tenders, or home made mac and cheese.
5. Cut out the fast food
Fast food is my enemy! With me being pregnant and having a toddler, it’s just easier to grab something already made. I now make snack bags and juice boxes for the car, so I always have something available. I will also pack a lunch if I know we’ll be out during lunch time. Having a meal plan for every meal also helps with the food blahs. I also cut up fresh fruit and veggies and put them in containers, so their easy to grab. Just add a small container of ranch or peanut butter and you’re good to go.
6. Cut unnecessary costs
Cable is a huge thing that can go. Switch over to cheaper alternatives like Netflix or Hulu. They still give you tons of shows to watch at a far cheaper cost. Same goes for your cellphone plan, switch to a cheaper provider. Save energy by shutting off lights when you leave a room, turn the heat down in the winter and keep the air conditioner at a higher setting. Also make sure closing your curtains will keep cold and warm air out and cold and warm air in. Instead of buying name brand clothes and brand new appliances try the thrift stores first or Ebay. Find free or cheap entertainment such as playing at the park and have a picnic, going to a splash pad in the summer and sledding in the winter. Maybe even start a garden with your kids, this way they learn about growing and you have almost free fruits and vegetables.