Need Ideas to Cut Costs

Updated on July 22, 2009
S.S. asks from Troy, MI
38 answers

I am really nervous. Money is really tight! We can't make the bills this month and we have been set back more and more over the last few months. I am a stay at home mom and hubby does not want me to get a job not even at night when he his home. We live sparingly already, old cars, no cable tv, all used (or given to us) clothes and toys. We drink mostly water (except the kids drink juice and milk). I try to not drive very much to keep gas down, I keep the temp low during the day.... I am even selling toys and books and other stuff on ebay to bring something in. I do pastel art work but have no way to show my stuff.
In a nutshell, I am looking for more ways to be frugal and cut costs.
Moms are creative and always looking to save so this is a good place to start.
Thanks.

5 moms found this helpful

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J.W.

answers from Detroit on

I see you've already received some wonderful advice. The only other thing I can think of is have you considered switching to cloth diapers? We've used them since my daughter was a newborn and it's actually very easy. I know start up costs can be pricey but you might be able to slowly switch. Every little bit helps and you would be buying less disposables week by week. I know some people don't mind used ones and I know you can find them much less expensive than buying new. I've also found them listed on freecycle. Its worth a shot if you're interested. Otherwise some simple prorap covers and prefolds are pretty inexpensive. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions :)

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A.H.

answers from Lansing on

I would cut lots of coupons and visit mommysavers.com for lots of great frugal ideas. Also see if you qualify for any programs such as WIC or Food stamps.

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A.R.

answers from Lansing on

Hi- A cupple of laddies have mentioned selling you art online (I think they said essie) it is etsy.com (I sell cards there) it is really easy and cheaper than ebay to post and are kept up for 4 months. There are lots of different types of art and crafts sold there.
Good Luck!

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T.A.

answers from Grand Rapids on

S.,

We live pretty frugally also. Sounds like your doing a lot already, and I know the feeling of living so efficiently that when you need to tighten the belt, where do cut out the waste, when you are wasting nothing now?

One thing I have done recently is search many frugal websites. Cooking EVERYTHING from scratch seems to be a popular theme. I have recently started doing this just because of the way prices have gone up so much in such a short time. Homemade mixes, such as bisquick mix, cream of chicken soup replacement mix, homemade cake mixes (or just bake a cake from scratch!)

I have started making quick breads for the kids to snack on, put in school lunches, or for breakfasts. I made pancakes up and froze them for the kids to heat up in the toaster, instead of pre-made frozen waffles. And also found a recipe for breakfast burritos to make and individually freeze. Much cheaper than buying prepared ones, but its still convenient for us on busy mornings.

I also shop at the discount grocery store ALDI'S. They are so much cheaper than the regular supermarket. But I Still read the sales fliers every week and when I am in the area I will go and pick up just the stuff that we use that is on sale for cheap.

We also buy our bread at a bread outlet. 79 cents a loaf and its the expensive bread! The price stamped on our favorite loaf is $3.89! and I get it for 79 cents! I have never had anything taste stale either. There is also an overstock table and everything on it is 59 cents. I get all my bread, buns, bagels, english muffins, pita bread, and donuts there. I usually buy quite a bit and will stock my freezer, as I live about 20 minutes away from the store.

Make a few meatless meals each week. Dried beans are very inexpensive and they are so good for you! Add a rice meal sometime during the week for a complete protien (you do not need to eat beans and rice together for your body to benefit from the complete protien)

Something else we do, and I realize that its too late to do it this year, but plant a garden. Learn how to can and freeze and preserve food when it is in season and very cheap. After the initial investment of the equipment, its very economical.

Do a search on the internet of "frugal recipes" "cheap recipes" etc. Also a really great website is Hillbilly Housewife. Lots of great money saving ideas there that are really practical.

Good luck to you!

2 moms found this helpful
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B.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I know this would be absolutely no fun but could your husband get another job in the evenings maybe delivering pizzas? Kudos for your husband being willing to have you stay at home. What a good man, he understands how important that is.

A friend of mine did that because they were really realy tight for a little bit. He worked full time from 5am-3pm then worked delivering pizzas for a couple hours at night, it was no fun for them but they brought in an extra ###-###-#### a month. And when he worked Satudays he made quite a bit of extra money since it's their busiest day.

I know Dave Ramsey talks about this as something to do if you can't make the bills like you mentioned.

Also, I don't know where you live but my husband sells insurance for a company. You don't have to have schooling, you just order the study package and take the state test, pass and then you are licensed. The company he works with give free leads. It doesn't get much better than that, besides the cost of the study package and the test he has no cost except gas to run appointment. He is hoping to replace his regular factory job income with this and be full time in insurance.

If that is something that interests your husband let me know and I can have my husband give him a call. No I don't think he would even make any commission or money off of helping your husband so it's nothing like that, don't worry, just pure hearted help.

email me at [email protected]____.com if you would like Nathan (my husband) to call your husband and they can chat about it and your husband could learn more about it if he wants.

Hope you find something that helps you guys!!!

B.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.N.

answers from Detroit on

I agree with seeing about doing some babysitting. Also look into doing a few craft shows with your art work. There are quite a few this time of year. All these other ideas are wonderful as well! check out www.thegrocerygame.com to help save alot on groceries and personal items(usually shampoo, deodorants,toothpaste etc are free or close to it).

1 mom found this helpful
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K.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S.,
y name is K.. I am divorceed Mom of 1 son, age 34.
Sometimes I don't know why I subscribe to this website
because I was were your are a long time ago. But for today
I can say I am glad because I would like to share my testomony with you. I'm a Home Health Aide and A Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. This summer has been rough because I never had over 34 hours and I had two cars die on me. I'm so
thankful I don't have a credit card to add to my list of bills. A couple of times I was able to get unemployment
when I was under 26 hours. Things were very tight to say the lest. However, I am a Born Again Believer in Christ.
I have His promises "To supply all my needs according to His riches and glory. I tiethe 10% right off the top of my income has He has asked us to do in Malachi 3. S., working his principal of "sowing and reaping" has caused me to see JESUS this summer. Everyone of my bills has been meet. One of my client's said she needed an air condition
car because her heart couldn't take the heat when I transported her to the store, doctor's etc. The only thing I knew to do was pray and believe for an air conditioner
in my OLD car. Well, that car died so I didn't have any car to go to work with letta lone drive her around. But, Praise
God he provided a beautiful air conditioned car with leather seats besides. It's beautiful!! Every month He supplies
my needs. Jerimiah 33:3 states, "Call on me and I will
show you great and hidden things you know not." S., Jesus is so faithful, good and AMAZING. Please trust in Him
and you will see Him work mighty miracles in your life too.
Watch the 700 Club weekdays at 10:00A.M. on channel 20
to learn about the Law of Resaprocity(sp). Another good Radio program regarding finances is on at 7:00p.m. till
9:00p.m. on channel 103.5 F.M. It is the Dave Ramsey Show.
Good information on being "Debit Free"
Hope this helps. I'll be praying for you, your husband and
children to be helped by Jesus. He indeed gives good gifts to His children!

1 mom found this helpful
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D.H.

answers from Detroit on

A good start is listening to Dave Ramsey on 103.5 FM from 7-9 weekdays. He also has a website DaveRamsey.com, and a book The Total Money Makeover. It sounds like you are down to basics as far as discretionary spending. You may need to look at if your income is large enough to cover your fixed expenses. Guidelines for housing costs is 25-30% of your net monthly takehome. A housing payment above that is difficult to maintain longterm. Can you shop your car and homeowners insurance? I contacted a lady who saved me 250 a year on homeowners and my father 775 per year for both. Email me if you want the name. [email protected]____.com Do you have student loans you can put on hardship deferral. If you have alot of debt payments that are going out per month(credit card, personal loans) you need to prioritize your basic needs(basic food, clothing, transportation and shelter) and then those come later if you have the money. Could your husband get another part time job if he doesn't want you to work? Good Luck. There are also frugal living blogs and websites if you just google it. Check out Dave Ramsey radio show or podcast he is so good at showing what is the real root of the problem. For some it is not discretionary spending, it may be housing costs or an income issue that needs to be addressed

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J.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

my friend sets up her paintings at a starbucks by her house, she just asked and they said she could keep it up for a month, so like every 6 months her art is displayed at the coffee shop. She also asked the public library if she could hang it there, so it is up at the library for a month. She doesn't sell a ton of paintings, but at least it's out there.

as far as you working, I work at the Y, and I bring my 3yo with me, thus I am still with her, don't pay for daycare, and get out of the house a few hours a week and make a little "play money". and I agree with the other post that said have your husband get another Job doing whatever he can, my husband has two full time Job's so that I don't have to work more than a few hours a week, one is a normal job, the other is a few days a week, and all day on the weekends. sure 2 days a week we don't see him, but we also are living debt free,rare in today's economy.

one more thing, if you really are doing all you can, and are still coming up short every month talk to your pastor (if you go to church) most churches have a special fund for helping members out when times are tough.

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B.J.

answers from Detroit on

Check out your local Art council on possibily displaying the art you have done, or classes you could teach children, or adults and be paid, Micheal's, Home Depot, local day care. Also, local paper, for your neighborhood association, to babysit, not full time, but for parties, aniversary, B-day, mom & dad's night out, the hours are short, and generaly the pay is higher than a whole day of work. Best of luck to you, mom of 4, grandma of 3, my work is very slow as well, we'll all get through this. B.

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

HI S.
Boy do I hear you! Were in the same boat. I've been at home 5 years w/ our kido.She's not in school long enough for a part time job. I started cooking vegetarian (for the grown ups) at home years ago because meat was to $$. I've been veg on and off most of my life so it was easy. And very healthy. I try to buy as little packaged/processed food as a cost saver. And now am so happy I've been doing so a few years with all the contamination problems were having w/ food from China.

I make a lot of meals that last a few days. Soups are great. Were a low dairy house hold, so I make soups creamy with this trick. Blend a can of white beans (rinsed and drained) in the blender w/ enough water to make it smooth. Season w/ your favorite herb blend. I've used this for the base of a casserole, it turned out amazing.

Weather proof your house.
Hot water heater blanket helps insulate
CFL light bulbs are long lasting, and use less watts you can save about 25.00 a month or more I've read.
Plant a garden w/ the spring, learn to can your own foods
Ck out Trader Joes grocery store, I'm able to save $, while getting a few important organic foods. Some of there organic items like juice is cheaper than the reg. grocery store.
Check out etsy.com, ebay.com and others to sell your art
Do you sew I remake old clothes into something we'd use. I made a purse from an old pair of pants my husband wore out.
Make your own gifts
Look for an assistance program, get mortgage help if you own your house.
you could baby sit at your house that worked for us a while

I wish you the very best, A. H

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J.T.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Have you tried Angel Food Ministries? (www.angelfoodministries.com) You can get groceries from them monthly for a fraction of what it would cost from the grocery store.

Have you tried selling some of your work on ebay? How about doing pictures that would work in children's rooms and asking children's consignment shops to see if they would display and/or consign?

If hubby doesn't want you to get a job, even in the evenings, is there something that you can do from home? I had a friend that did medical transcribing and she was able to do it at home in the hours that it worked for her.

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K.T.

answers from Saginaw on

Here are 20 ideas from my site www.womensave.org At the site you can also learn things like how to feed a family of four on fifty dollars a week and locate lost funds. Hope it helps.
20 tips for saving money and more!

#1 Call your state Comptroller.

In Michigan, our Comptroller can be reached at ###-###-####. Ask if your State is holding any unclaimed funds for you. These funds are free to claim. If the State is holding any of your funds, it will usually take between 3 - 4 weeks from the time they receive your completed paperwork until you receive the check in the mail. Comptroller held funds can come from many different resources, such as old rebates, closed bank accounts, stock dividends, unused food stamps that are converted to cash, safety deposit boxes that have expired, tax checks, stimulus payments, home heating credits, credit card balances and many more. Rich or poor, about 1/7th of all Michigan residents have money waiting for them. The amounts can range anywhere from a few dollars to thousands. The average we've found is around $83.00 per person.

#2 Extra Work

See if there are any jobs you can pick up that will not affect your current schedule. For example, do you have a friend who needs a baby sitter before or after school? If you are already at home with your own children, why not make some extra money by watching his/her children at the same time? Your children will have the chance to interact and have fun with other children. If it is on a daily basis, Monday - Friday, you can easily earn $50.00 a week, which amounts to 2400.00 a year or more, to help meet the needs of your own family.

Do you like to exercise? Instead of losing money paying a gym, why not go out and earn some money while exercising? You can rake yards, mow lawns, shovel snow or even cleaning houses. Not only will you be earning some extra money, but you will also be getting a great workout in the meantime!

#3 Ask for what you're worth.

When starting a new job, most companies will ask you what you'd like to be paid. Do not undercut yourself. If you feel you are worth more than average, ask for it. Pay is usually negotiable. At Walmart, for example, I have been told that some people are earning $10.00 / hr instead of $7.00 / hr simply because they asked for it. There is never a guarantee that this will work, and most likely you will not get the top dollar you ask for, any extra you may get will help! $2.00 / hour more equals upwards of $4000.00 per year, and I don't know too many people who couldn't use the extra money! It could even amount to a nice vacation you and your children have been wanting to go on.

#4 Eat appropriately.

Use menus that show you how to shop and feed your family frugally. $50.00 a week is possible if you plan ahead, rather than spending $100.00 a week or more. This will help you meet other needs you may have such as electric or heating bills, car payments, rent and more.

Drink a lot of water instead of expensive sodas and try and stay away from other expensive drinks like alcohol. Water is not only much cheaper, but it better for your teeth, your body and your wallet! Limit eating out to special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. It makes going out to eat more exciting and special if it's not an every day occurences.

#5 Look for activity scholarships.

Scholarships are generally available to low income households. These can be for a number of different things such as swimming, preschool, soccer, basketball and more. For example, the Midland, Michigan community center will provide low cost activities to low income families. They offer swimming, rock climbing, sports, classes and more at up to 80% off the normal price. This can save you thousands of dollars over the years and provide not only you, but your children as well, some much appreciated fun time.

#6 School Scholarships

If you are in school, get as many scholarships as possible. Any funds you get will help pay for your education. Any left over funds are given to you once a year in the form of a check. Spending about 25 hours applying for and providing your reference letters to scholarships will offset the cost of your school and save you many hours of work trying to keep up with your payments.

#7 Ask for untraditional gifts

My favorite presents are date nut bread from my step-mother and sugar cookies from her mom at christmas time. By asking for these types of gifts, you alleviate some of the financial strain on others during the holidays, and usually they won't expect a high priced gift in return. If they are willing to spend their money on a pricey gift for you and ask you what you would like, ask for things such as gift certificates to grocery stores, gas cards, a payment to your electric company...etc. These will go much further than some sweater or coat hanging in your closet that you really didn't need anyhow.

#8 Thrift Shops

If you are in the market for a new outfit(s), consider purchasing them at thrift shops such as the Salvation Army, Good will or others. You can find great deals, sometimes even new clothes with the tags still on them.

#9 Put your money to work for you.

If you find something for a reasonable price, like an expensive name brand coat or outfit, or unopened toys at rummage sales or thrift shops, consider selling them on ebay to help offset some of your bills.

#10 Bank accounts

Get a good bank account. There is no reason why you should have to spend your hard earned money on bank fees. Many banks have accounts that provide you ATM fee reimbursement, free checking and savings accounts and more. In the long run, these fees can add up to a hefty saving! Etrade is a great choice and offers accounts that are free, pay you interest and pay you back any and all ATM fees. They are also convenient as they're an online bank.

#11 Do your own taxes

Do your own taxes online. You can do your taxes some places on line for free, or for a very small fee, compared to going to H&R block or other companies and paying upwards of $400.00 or more in some cases.

#12 Don't buy it!

If you don't truly need something, don't buy it. If your child already has a room full of stuffed animals, the next time you see one, pass it over and instead put the money into a savings account in his or her name, saving towards the future. If you read several newspapers or magazines, consider going to your local library an reading them there, or getting them from a friend when they're done with them. If you have a nice wardrobe, hold off on that next big purchase. You can mend your clothes if needed.

#13 Use what you have.

If you get WIC, use the items you get through WIC to make meals instead of just snacking on them. For example, adding a box of noodles, you can make a fun and tasty meal just by slicing mozzarella cheese over the cooked noodles. If you purchase your own food, use what is in your pantry instead of buying new items. Don't make excessive meals. If you make more than what you need, you will have leftovers. Many people tend to overlook leftovers and they tend to get tossed out when they're re-discovered weeks later. If you can cut back on the size of your meals, you'll cut back on cost and waste, which again, will add up to some hefty savings at the end of the year.

#14 Share Tips!

Join message forums, coupon swapping groups online and talk to people you know! Knowledge is power. The more ideas and coupons you swap, the more you save.

#15 Get free samples
When you need to go to the doctor, ask your doctor if he/she has any free samples for the medication he prescribes. I am currently saving over $100.00 a month by asking for samples and using those instead of having the prescription filled. Get generic medicines when possible. You can save a giant amount of money by using generic drugs versus name brand. Some pharmacies even have plans as low as $1.00 a week per generic prescription. Check with your doctor and pharmacist.

#16 Charity Begins at home

Before giving thousands to charity, consider helping those in your family such as your children, parents...etc. Give a reasonable amount to a unique charity that is close to your heart, or save some money and simply donate your time to a local charity or event.

#17 Use Freecycle!

Wether you're rich or poor, FreeCycle (www.freecycle.org) is for you! You can give away items you no longer need, regardless of their condition, as well as ask for items you may need yourself. Cashmere winter jackets, parrots, horses and buggies, you name it, it's been given away and picked up through our local freecycle this past year. It is definitely worth checking out. You will get notices through your email when someone has something to offer or is looking for something specific.

#18 Turn it off

If your not using it, turn it off. This applies to many different areas in your home. Consider this, if you turn off your computer when it's not in use (including the monitor, printers, speakers...etc), you will save over $100.00 a year in electricity! Lightbulbs may not seem to use much electricity, but turning off all the lights in rooms you aren't using adds up fast when it comes to your electric bill. Even if money isn't a big issue for you, think about it this way, less electric usage = less pollution being created.

#19 Take advantage of special deals!

If you are a smoker, be sure to ask at the gas stations if they have any buy one, get one free deals. Many times, they are not put in spots that are readily noticeable. If you are ever making a purchase online (airlines, shopping...etc) ALWAYS use goggle and search for a promotion code BEFORE you make the purchase. You would be amazed at the number of companies that offer special deals for online customers.

#20 Preserve your food.

There is nothing quite as annoying as food going bad. There are a number of ways you can prevent this.

*Get a chest freezer - If you can find a small, inexpensive chest freezer, consider purchasing it. You will save enough money on food not wasting to cover the cost. Chest freezers are more reliable than refrigerator freezers and will keep food much colder thereby preserving it better. Also, having a chest freezer allows you to purchase extra meat while it is on sale at the grocery store.

* Vacuum bags - No, not for your hoover. Another great investment is a vacuum sealer/bags. When you purchase bulk meats, separating the meat into "usable" portions before freezing will allow you get out only what you need when you need it without having to thaw out the entire amount of meat at once. My family prefers to separate chicken breasts 1 per bag, hamburger 1/2 or 1 pound per bag and other meats as seems appropriate. Also, vacuum sealing food is one of the best methods to prevent food waste due to freezer burn and/or rot.

*Canning - If you or someone in your family knows how to can foods, this can be a great method to preserving a lot of food at once. My Aunt preserves many different types of foods from meats to veggies and has them stored in a cool spot in her basement. When needed, she can go downstairs and grab food that has been sitting there for many, many months. If you need canning supplies, consider freecycle as mentioned above. You can usually find someone who has more supplies than they need or no longer want.

We wish you and your family the best of luck. These are troubling times and everyone is feeling the crunch. If you use even one of our tips above and it helps you save a little of your hard earned money, our job has been done! Please feel free to click on the "forums" link on any of our menus and share your tips or tell us your success stories you may have. We would love any feedback you may have!

Sincerely,
The Womensave.org team

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A.S.

answers from Lansing on

Other than using coupons for groceries, diapers, etc. I do not really have a lot of advice on cutting costs but I do have a couple of ideas for you. If you call your local United Way office or 211 {if available in your area} they should be able to give you referrals for food pantries and maybe even a baby pantry.
As far as your art goes, check to see if your area has an arts council and/or a gallery. I live in a fairly small county but we have both.
If your United Way doesn't do referrals like the ones above check your phone book for your local Community Action Agency {now Community Action} and see if they can direct to you to services in your area.
Things are very hard right now for many people and these services are here for that reason. Good luck!
A.

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C.V.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi S.,
You have gotten alot of good advice. I just wanted to tell you that I think the website Chell was trying to tell you is called Esay.com. It has alot of local artists that are selling things on it. I have bought purses, jewlery, ect. Good luck.
Chris

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A.A.

answers from Kalamazoo on

I have to say I agree with everything that Terri A. mentioned to you. We do all that stuff too...Aldi's, grocery ads, bread outlet, cooking from scratch, dried beans, gardening, canning/freezing. It really does all help!

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S.C.

answers from Lansing on

I hate to say this, but I really think when money is really tight, both spouses need to be working. I know you can't really do a 9-5 job because of daycare costs (unless you have a relative who would babysit for cheap or free), but you could certainly get a night job. Most retail stores hire a holiday crew. If you worked from 5-10 four or five nights a week, it would definitely help. Or have you considered getting certified and doing an in-home daycare? Then you could be home and make money at the same time! You do do pretty well with that! Best of luck to you!

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K.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I was laid off last January and we have become a one income family, with a husband in car sales(not the biggest growing industry these days). I have become an Usborne book consultant and have really done quite well with it so far. Something like that you can take your kids with you to a demo and the other parents can have their kids with them also. I have also been a Discovery Toy Consultant and both are real good and if all else fails you have either some great books or great toys for your family. The kits are real affordable also. I have also found shopping at Save-a-Lot and someplace I would never have thought of until my husband worked right next to one is Salvation Army for clothing and household stuff. Some of the things he has brought home still had the original tags still on them but he paid next to nothing for them. The up side to that is you are also helping out others at the same time you are saving. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

K.
If you'd like more info on Usborne books contact me
[email protected]____.com or
www.ubah.com/w2815

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C.E.

answers from Detroit on

A friend of mine sells her art work and jewelry on a site called Esse....sorry if I have it spelled incorrectly. I don't visit the site, I see the stuff as she makes it and if I want anything she makes mine up for me. I find the stones I like and she starts there.

Good luck
Chelle E.

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S.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hang in there. It soulds like you are doing everything you can. You are sure to get the response that you might want to look at an in-home business. Times are tough but my business is growing. I'd love to share.

S.

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E.D.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S. ~ It sounds like you have a handle on trying to cut corners as best you can. Would your husband object to you trying direct sales? I am a stay at home mom, kids 7 & 4, and I have been a PartyLite consultant for 13 years. It allows me to work around my family's schedule and make at least $100 a week minimum! Plus, it is free to start, so great when money is tight. If you'd like more information, please visit my website:

http://www.partylite.biz/edelange

you can contact me through the website if you would like more information. I hope to hear from you!

Take care ~ E.

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M.M.

answers from Lansing on

S.,

I know times are tough but think really hard about getting a Job. Make sure it is something that you really want too. Because once you go there it is really hard getting back to one income. Most statistic show that people who get a second Job really do not get ahead. We just tend to spend more income. So if you can figure out how to make it through this tough time I would go that route. I would love to be a stay at home mom but we are not able to get our fixed cost down to one income.

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A.R.

answers from Boise on

Not sure about cutting costs, but could you do something at home that would bring some $ in? Lots of mom's like me would love a way to have our kids at home but also need to work. Can you watch another kid or two of close friends or neighbors or something? Do some other type of in home business?

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D.E.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S.,
I would say try childcare in your home. I just started doing that and i love it. Also,i find that grocery shopping at walmart helps us alot....for 4 of us i spend $60-80 dollars a week...i will make a list of what we are going to eat each night..also clipping coupons helps alot! hope this helps u out! good luck!

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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

S.,

Seems you're doing all you can! Why doesn't hubby want you to get a job? Could be you MENTALLY need it, not only for your well being, but to feel like you're contributing and making a difference. So you can feel like you're accomplishing something.

But what you could do is to find a friend who could take you to an art gallery and have your artwork appraised. Perhaps they would be willing to display it and put up the cost to do so, just so that it displays well, they make a sale and reap some of the sales profit, and then you continue creating for them. You deserve as much a chance to be discovered as some of these American Idol singers.

Good luck Girl!!!

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V.L.

answers from Detroit on

Why doesn't he want you to get a job at night? Even at lets say a grocery store (Cashier) or a waitress? Every little bit would help you guys out right now. It sounds like you already have cut out to save costs, if getting a job is your last resort, just tell him hey I am going to get a job!

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S.S.

answers from Lansing on

would love to know what you find. kind of there myself! good luck!

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L.H.

answers from Detroit on

Check out moneysavingmom.com and other blogs she referrenced on her site for some ultra frugal ideas and ways to get things for free or very reduced costs.

Also, clip coupons and shop at Save-a-lot to reduce your grocery bill.

Lastly, you may have to find a part-time evening job temporarily.

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M.B.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S.,

Just this month I started using Angel Food Ministris to order food. You get quite a bit for your $$$$. Here is the website http://www.angelfoodministries.com/. There is no catch, if you eat, you can order. Find a church or center closet to you, order your food when specified and pick up when in. It's very easy.

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M.C.

answers from Detroit on

Sell your art work on ebay. I see painting sell for hundreds of dollars. I am an artist and am planning on selling my artwork, but haven't had time to list it.

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K.W.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I heard somewhere to set your water heater at 120 degrees and it could reduce your gas bill quite a bit.

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D.Z.

answers from Detroit on

Hi there, I also shop a lot on Etsy.com - it's also a good place to find reasonably priced gifts. There is something at every price level and the shipping is very reasonable. I just noticed a sign at Maggie's Scrapbooking in Clarkston (on Sashabaw Rd.) that said "Craft Consignment Inside" and I think there is a place right downtown in Holly that sells art and crafts but I don't know that name. Good luck!

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R.G.

answers from Detroit on

We clip coupons and shop at Save-a-lot and Aldi's. Also, we buy in bulk when things are on sale. We find a lot of nice clothing (brand new) at the salvation army. Some of them still have tags from the stores still on them. You many want to consider babysitting. You could also take pics of your artwork and show it on ebay or craigslist. Craigslist will list your items for free. I wish you luck.

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S.C.

answers from Lansing on

try myspace for your art work there are so many poeple on my space and i know a lot of people that sell their art on myspace for meat i go to nixons and get meat bundles they have good qualitie meat at low costs and its fresh you call them tell them what you want i can get an economy box for like $90-100 and it has everything from pork chop to burger chicken and roast and country ribs its a bit of a drive but its worth it. aldi and save a lot are wonderful also. put plastic over your windows in the winter this makes a great difference on the warmth of home and heating costs. bay pantries are helpful they give out clothes, baby food, formula, diapers, and house hold items, food pantries and food drives there are so many go to local dhs/fia and ask for a resource guide they wil give you a list of food drive and pantries.buy in bulk store like walmart and sams club sell bulk food and house hold suplies witch seem costly but once you do the math and compare prices the bulk items are worth it the long run

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E.A.

answers from Detroit on

I didn't read all 34 responses, but check out www.etsy.com to list your artwork. As for cutting costs, we write down a budget and try like heck to stick to it. I have found that buying my fruits and vegetables and even my boneless chicken and ground turkey (we don't really eat red meat) at the local Farmer Market saves me sooooo much money, rather than buying it all at Meijer or Kroger. Also, local coffee shops often show local artwork (NOT STARBUCKS), but usually you have to have it framed first, so that might not be an option, unless you find a framer who is willing to do it for free or very low cost in exchange for promoting his/her work.
Regarding the Usborne books, my sister has a friend who does that and is very pleased with it-- but I recently read that you have to pay a fee up front to get started, so that might not be an option as well.
My prayers are with you! Remember that God will help take care of you if you trust him!

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C.G.

answers from Detroit on

HI S.~

You have gotten tons of advice already and I wish you the best! I wanted to give KUDOS to your hubby for wanting you to stay home with your children, especially when they are young. The book, God's Plan for Your Finances, has helped us immensely with getting our finances in order. I believe you can buy for less than $20 and perhaps even rent it at the library. I have recommended this to coworkers, friends and family and they have all said how much it has helped them! There is a great budget outline and it gives tons of tips on where you can cut costs as far as insurance goes with your home, car, life, etc. For us I know we saved over $500 yr on car insurance because we didn't know you could change certain things (like limits, motorists, etc). If you aren't religious and the title makes you turn your head, I have two good friends who aren't religious and have said the principles are sound and the book has helped them.

You could put your name out there in freebie ads, on craigslist and what not to show off your paintings and offer your services to paint murals for people (if you are into that), and/or sell your stuff on these sites as well.

I have recently become a SAHM because of medical reasons and my hubby and I are doing our best to make it work so I can stay home after our new little one arrives in a few weeks. Many moms are getting into direct-selling, relational marketing, network marketing, etc because of low start up costs and the support they can get to help them so this could be an option as well - just research the companies you are interested in and make sure you have good support from the people in your group.

Good luck and I wish you the best! It is hard times in Michigan, especially if your family is involved in the automotive industry right now.

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C.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S.
I have already read some good tips from other members, particularly in the grocery area. What I do is get the Sunday paper for the coupons, and I go thru all the sale papers and match up coupons with sale items. I usually save a lot of money that way...you still have to be careful that you are not tempted to buy something you wouldn't normally buy just because its on sale & you have a coupon. :-)

Another way that me and a good friend of mine make extra money is thru a website "cash cow." http://www.gptcashcow.com/members/register.php?ref=ckh61682
Basically it works by clicking on offers/"surveys" and you get paid anywhere from .25-1.00 per offer. I work full time and have not been able to commit as much time to this as I would like, but I've made about $100 in the past 3 months. My friend Jeannine though who is a stay at home mom (and can commit more time) has made over $1,000 in the past 3 months. There is a forum you can view and a thread called "payment proof" where everyone posts their payments in case you are doubtful.
Anyway, its not a ton of money I know, but hey anything extra is good right?
Good luck!

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K.F.

answers from Saginaw on

S., Hello, Have you "lined " your curtains, or covered your windows? You can use clear plastic or sew inset curtains to cover the windows, I have used old blankets, mattress covers, any old material that will fit inside the windows. You can find expandable rods at 2nd hand stores for very little and worth the fix, cuts down on the heat bill! I put a metal bowl of water in each room on the heat vent, fill when needed, (coffee cans ate good too) gives your house the moisture it needs, helps it be warmer. I keep gallon jugs in my shower, when you first turn it on it takes about 4 gallons until it gets warm, I use the water where ever needed, it cut my water bill in half!. Have you heard of Angel Food Ministries? You can look it up on line to tell you where it is in your area and all the info you need. It is a food program for families in need, NO SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS!) The cost is $30. per month or more if you buy more than one "package". The amount of food you get is amazing, usually less than half the cost in the stores. (I volunteer monthly) Check it out, Good luck! K.

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