Let me tell you a quick story,
I had full intentions to return to work after I had our baby girl.
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I LOVED my job, I had a great place to work in an amazing profession. (Interior Design, SO fun, right?!) And I DID return for a couple months when our girl was two months old. But you know that gut feeling that you get when something isn’t quite right, even if everything seems to be going right?
Well, I couldn’t cut the gut feeling, like God was telling me he had a different plan. So, after consulting with my husband and my employer, I decided to quit for the time being and try the stay-at-home mom life and living on one income.
And let me tell you, it’s a whole ‘nother story for one spouse to take on all the responsibility of providing financially for the family.
Money can become tight, it can become a sore subject, it can be a wedge in your relationship, and it can stress your husband out to no end if you don’t talk about it. So talk about it, and offer ways you can help at home to save money. This is what happened to us, and I found these few ways to save at home while my sweetheart worked for us financially.
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1. Meal Plan with Baby and You
It’s SO easy to make baby food, pop the right ingredients in the blender, blend and freeze.
Meal plan for yourself as well! Write what your meals will be, and plan out your week for the whole family. Also, when you go to the store, keep in mind your working balance as you add items to your cart. Little tip: the best-priced items are on the bottom or top shelves NOT at eye level…
And when your baby is starting solids, check out the recipes that I would make monthly and freeze in cubes to then thaw later in these nifty reusable Squooshi packets you can get on Amazon. There are about five or six packets in an order, saving the environment by eliminating waste in our home, and saving money for us while we still have a baby on the go.
2. Go Crunchy with Cloth
This new fad of “going crunchy” is your answer, my mama friends.
I know, cloth diapers can be scary. But they really aren’t! And even if you just get one starter pack on Amazon, having back-up diapers on hand when the disposables run out and you had forgotten to get more at the store is SO comforting. (yes, I have done this a number of times….) See my how-to and details of our savings in my article about my first cloth diapers here.
I would suggest going with the starter kit Nora’s Nursery on Amazon (the snaps don’t wear down in the wash as quickly as the velcro ones, and the kit comes with a wet/dry bag for changing cloth diapers on the go). But if buying a whole pack of cloth diapers is too much for you, you can always go with the Alva Baby brand, they sell individual ones at a great price. I have both brands and they are equal in quality.
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3. Make your own Laundry Detergent
Again, this is a crunchy thing, but guess what? It’s not so bad on the crunchy side, join us, we have granola cookies…
It can be daunting to try new things on your own, I know, but it’s really not scary and SO simple to make your own cleaning supplies and laundry detergent.The average grocery store even has all the ingredients grouped in the laundry aisle for you, and Amazon has a bundle you can buy! See the whole tutorial on how to make your own detergent here.
One last note, stay accountable
We do this two different ways in our home.
First, we keep receipts whenever we go out to eat, and whenever we go to the grocery store. We keep these in our receipt drawer every month. Sometimes we don’t even look at these receipts at the end of the month! BUT the mere action of KEEPING them flips a switch in your brain and keeps us conscious of what the dollar amount is when we shop and go out. It is so easy to just swipe or tap the card that you don’t even listen to the amount the cashier gives you.
BE CONSCIOUS, and it will make a world of a difference.
Even though we don’t look at our receipts at the end of the month, we DO go over our budget spreadsheet every month.
We like to check in with ourselves monthly with how much we actually spent, how much we saved by sticking to the budget, any extra income, and talk about our goals to pay off debt.
See our House Budget Example and print it off for your own home!
It’s all about investing, and the time and products you invest in this article will greatly help in the long run! Good luck, mama!