Question for You Wise Sahmommas

Updated on October 16, 2009
K.C. asks from Carrollton, TX
5 answers

Okay Mommas, I'm getting ready to make this big transition and be a SAHM I could use your wise advice on how to stretch the mighty dollar. What works for you. coupons, website menu plans, cheaper utilities, did you have to sacrifice little luxuries ? etc Please tell me what works for your household to keep you within budget so I can make this dream of mine come true. Thank you all in advance for your advice.

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answers from Dallas on

What made a big difference for us was meal planning and shopping accordingly. Look for "double duty" meals, ones that left overs can be used to prepare another meal from. Like, cook big potroast in crock pot, then later in week use left over beef for beef stroganogff (sp?) or beef stew. I like the website It will give you a weekly meal plan with a grocery list. easy meals that the whole family will eat. I print out weekly meal plans and thumb through them before I shop and mix/match meals according to whats on sale. Also, I use coupons and shop the weekly grocery sales. If your just getting started, a good website to help you do this is

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answers from Dallas on

Congratulations for being able to stay at home! I don't use coupons because I end up buying things I don't use. It is just way too complicated for me with 2 little boys to raise! When I quit my job 4 years ago, I lowered our monthly bills any way I could. We gave up some of our cable channels, found a better phone plan, turned the thermostat up a couple of degrees in the summer and down in the winter. We,also, gave up traveling as much as we had in the past and only go out to eat once a week. My husband and I buy the kids nice gifts for holidays, but only give each other small things or just cards with special messages inside. We were lucky enough to be able to refinance our home a couple of years ago and now have a lower intrest rate and monthly payment. When I go to the grocery store, I stick to my list and don't buy items on impulse. I, also, gave up buying all the useless things I used to just because I had more money like magazines, coffee, CD's, etc. Think before you buy anything. Ask yourself if you really need it. Just doing that will cut out much of your everyday spending. Hope something I wrote here helps!! Good luck!!

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answers from Dallas on

Yeah, I am so excited for you... You are definitely doing the right thing. Here are a couple of things that I do:
- I use coupons ALOT for everything restaurants, clothes shopping, groceries, etc.
- I called around and shopped different companies for my insurances (life, car, and home) I found that I saved over $100 a month switching from State Farm to GEICO
- We went down to one car (huge change) after I quit my job and did that for about a year until we were able to pay cash for a car. That saved a TON of money from gas, insurance, car payment, maintenance, etc. My daughter and I would find play dates that we could car pool with people, or within walking distance, and one to two days a week we would drop off my husband and work and keep the car.
- We do equalized electric billing, this REALLY helps with budgeting on a month to month basis because you always know how much your electric bill will be
- I shopped cable, internet, and phone services (we found AT&T UVerse to be the best price and service).
- We took the Dave Ramsey class at our church and learned ALOT! I would highly recommend doing that, most churches do it and it is well worth every minute and every penny.
- Cash is king, so make out a monthly budget and take out your cash at each pay period for groceries, gas, etc. Once it is gone, it's gone! It is really easy to overspend when you use your debit/credit card here and there a $3-$5 purchase can really begin to add up =)
- Finally I shop the ad's in the papers for groceries. I started out using, but now I just do it on my own. I search the ads on Wednesday when they come in the mail, and see what groceries are on sale. I then plan my weeks meals around what is on sale, this way I am not paying full price for anything.

I hope some of this helps, and I am so happy for you. It is a big transition but VERY rewarding and your son will be very grateful later in life. Congrad's and good luck!

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answers from Dallas on

Lots of great ideas already. Sometimes I use coupons, sometimes I don't. When kids join you at the grocery store, it can be difficult to concentrate on your list, prices, specials, AND coupons. But I do shop at Wal-Mart and use their price matching system. I review ALL the local sales ads, make a list of the best deals, and bring them to Wal-Mart - they match almost everything, except BOGO deals. That way I save time and money.

I also love finding free and cheap activities for our family - you really don't have to pay much to have a great time... lots of park outings, dollar show dates, and buy one get one restaurant deals.

Also check out LOTS of free and affordable activities in Lewisville, Flower Mound, Coppell, etc. Often Carrollton, too.

And check out - they have great tips on saving, both at the grocery store and other deals.

Be sure to check your own public library, rec center, moms groups, etc.

Good luck & Congratulations!

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answers from Dallas on

Coupons!!! I save at least $100 a month in my grocery bills just from using the store's savings card and coupons. I shop Kroger because I get $0.10 off a gallon of gas when I spend $100. When my husband and I decide to go out we pick a restaurant we have a coupon for. I also got an entertainment book which helps saves a lot of money as well. It cost $20, but I must have saved close to $300 on restaurants and activities alone. Not to mention the $700 I saved on car rentals when traveling. Now that it is getting colder, try keeping the temp. low in your home to reduce the electric bill and use an extra blanket. My husband is crazy about being hot and always had our ac up high. Our September bill was $400. Since we haven't needed it in October, our bill was $227. Make sure you have plenty of lunch food in your house. When I first became a SAHM, I would go out to fast food while I was running my errands because I didn't have anything at home. Once I stopped, I probably saved $25 a month. Also remember, that you will be saving money on clothes, daycare, etc. which adds up.

1 mom found this helpful
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