Friday, March 23, 2012

How do you do it?

So a few months back someone asked me about how it is that I am able to stay at home with what my husband makes yearly. The truth is it was a hard decision to make...we use to be a 2 income family with only 1 child...WooHoo...You should have seen the money we use to BLOW! At that time if you had of told me that 8 years down the road not only would I have 2 more children but I would be a stay at home homeschooling mom I would have thought you had lost your marbles. Truth is I never thought I would be at home and I never thought we would have anymore children. When we did decide to have more children I wanted to keep working but God had different plans for me and my family. At first the choice was easy to make I was only weeks pregnant with child number 2 when my mothers leukemia relapsed and my sister was just weeks away from delivering her first child and on top of all of that I was sick as a dog and had a husband just beginning the road to addiction recovery! I had alot on my plate so I quit my job for the sake of the child I was caring and to be with my family. I honestly thought that once my mom was better and I had delivered said child I would go back to work...wrong again...Remember I think God had a different plan. Once Duece was born it didn't seem to be worth paying full time day care for 2 kids so I stayed at home. The full benefits of being home with my children are for another post. But once there was no longer 2 incomes so many things had to change about our budget. And over time things have had to change due to income change, number of children and other circumstances. So some of these things seem logical and some may not but this is what we do to save money. I wont lie our budget is TIGHT and EXTRA TIGHT right now. But these are things that help keep us reined in so I can be at home with my lovelies.

Before I run down my list I want to say that I think it is important for me to be a good steward of what is given to me. My husband works very hard to provide for our family and I don't want any money going ot waste on things that aren't necessary or on things that can be done or found cheaper.

One of my biggest money saving tips is to buy the store brand! If it isn't compromised by nutrition or taste then it is a winning choice in my book:) That being said here's my list of no brainer ways to save money and cut a little waste.

  1. Make a menu before you make a list. Shop your pantry so you don't rebuy things you already have. I never go to the grocery store without making a menu.
  2. Always make a list no matter if it is a quick run for milk. If you have a list to stick to you aren't mindlessly buying!
  3. Shop the dollar and discount stores. I know that not all these stores are actually cheaper. But I go to my local Dollar Tree alot because I can get many things for just $1 that would cost at least double that at the big chain stores. My regular purchases here include cat liter, paper towels (only for dog messes), body washes, soap, shampoo, snacks, office supplies, trash bags, all Ziploc bags, and so much more. Worth the trip every single time!
  4. I don't use paper plates, cups, napkins, or bowls. Like I said in another post that is why we have a full set of dishes;) We use cloth napkins and there is a strict rule in my house that the paper towels bought are for dog messes ONLY! Paper products for me are a total waste of my money and I am not too good to wash dishes and fold napkins. Guess the only time we buy these would be birthday parties and large get together like when we had a Christmas Open House.
  5. Eating out...this was one of my last frugal changes because my family loves to eat out. But now that there are 5 of us I have realized the huge waste of money this is and it is now a treat from time to time. Plus hello it is so unhealthy.
  6. Your crock pot is your friend. Allowing you to get away with buying cheaper cuts of meat because they will become wonderfully tender when cooked all day, plus they make cooking the ober cheap dry beans so easy.
  7. Turn off the, TV, actually unplug it all. If you aren't using it regularly it is draining energy and running up your bill the longer you have it plugged in.
  8. Set your thermostat a few degree higher it will not kill you and it will save you money. Oh and open the windows and air the place out!
  9. Before planning a trip for my family to local zoos, water parks, aquariums, etc I look to see if and when they offer a half price or free day. Alot of places do and if they don't look into buying the family "season pass" for our family it was cheaper to buy the pass the the aquarium than it was to get in 1 time so we did and used it 2 mores times...for free awesome!
  10. Just be smart. You don't need it don't buy it!

So there you have it this is how we save money and I get to be at home with my kiddos:) Maybe one of my tips can help you. How do you have money?

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