Stay at Home Moms and Finances

Updated on November 21, 2008
S.T. asks from Kansas City, KS
16 answers

Hi I'm a soon to be stay at home mom of two and will be watching my 5 month old niece. Just wondering what other stay at home moms do about finances like groceries, family outings, etc. My son will be starting Kindergarden in August so we will have school stuff to get soon also. Thanks for your help S.

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C.K.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi S., I am a mother of 4 children under the age of 13. 3 of my children attend Catholic School and for us to afford that along with the other normal stuff, I started with my own business. I sell lia sophia jewelry, I average 2 home shows per week and when I first started I was making about $1200 per month. I have since promoted to a Unit Manager and still only do 2 shows per week and now make an average of $3,000 per month. This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to make extra money.

If you would like information on this, please visit my website and you can contact me through there. www.liasophia.com/carinkleekamp

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B.S.

answers from Kansas City on

S....I must brag on myself a little bit but I can save money like there is no tomorrow! Hehe. I can go grocery shopping for a week (Walmart things included- diapers, body wash, etc.) for $75.00. Yeah, sometimes it's a challenge but it's turned into a game for me and has become a lot of fun. Granted there are only 3 of us right now but Emme can only have soy milk- which is expensive! As far as saving money on groceries goes, I would watch the weekly sale ads for your grocery stores. I plan our weekly menu around what is on sale that week. If there is a great meat sale, I try and spend a lot of my weekly budget on whatever meat they have. It really helps in the long run...especially in the winter when there aren't many great sales going on. We don't eat really unhealthy, in fact, I feel we eat pretty darn well. I try and get whatever fruits and veggies are on sale that week. Also, I'm not sure where you're located but in KC (Independence area) there is a place called Rick's Picks. It's the best place EVER! They sell dented cans and boxes at a SUPER cheap price. Yes, SOME (maybe 10%) of the things are expired but just keep looking and you may find on hiding in the back that is not. They have tons and tons of food items at less than half price. (We just went Saturday and my husband got a large can of Columbian House (?) coffee for $4.32. When we went to Hy-Vee later, we compared the price...they sold it for $8.98. And no, it wasn't expired!) So places like that are definitely worth checking out.

I've called Time Warner and Comcast (we've had both before) and told them their service prices were out of my budget now. Although I'd love to keep my service with them, the only way I'd be able to do so was if they lowered my price. I currently have Comcast and get these following services for $83.88/mo.: Digital phone- unlimited local and long distance calling with 12 calling features, High speed internet, and digital cable with 90 channels (it has a box). Try giving them a call and see what they can do for you...

We were paying out the wazoo for car insurance. Seriously...it was insane. We went from paying $250/mo. with Farmers to paying $91/mo. with Geico. We don't have tickets or accidents on our records. I'm sure you're thinking, "Yeah but you must have less coverage with Geico...". Not at all! In fact, we raised our "limits" or whatever they're called. The reason they can charge so cheap is because they don't do credit checks. We have great credit so it doesn't affect us really, but it can be a great help to those who don't...and we reap the benefits!

Have you called your utility company to get on leveled payments? If you have been at your current residence for a year, they will average your payments out for the previous year and you just pay the averaged amount. They adjust it annually. Did that make sense?

Ummm...what else...? Look over your cell phone bill if you have one. Do you have to have all the extras? What can you get by with if you also have a house phone? I just lowered mine from $95ish after taxes to about $45ish after taxes.

Call around for your trash service. Compare prices. I pay $17/mo. but just got a flyer on my door last week for service for $9.99 for the first year and then only $13.99 after that.

Make sure you have the "more than free" checking with your bank. It's so dumb to be charged to use your debit card, etc.

Try to eliminate credit card usage. It can get you into a mess of trouble.

If you make these changes, you should have more than enough money leftover each month for one or two fun family outings or dates with your husband! Good luck! Hope this helped!

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R.F.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi S.,

I'm a SAHM of 3. I have a home business and enjoy it a great deal. The business is simple and doesn't require you to sell, stock inventory, do parties, etc. We use our computers and telephones. Visit my website for more info, fill out the form and I'll give you a call to see if it's a good fit.

http://www.earngreendollars.com

1 mom found this helpful
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B.D.

answers from Kansas City on

We use Redbox for our movie nights. You've probably seen them at McDonalds or Walmart. You can look up the movie you want to rent at redbox.com and they will show you where that movie is available (so you don't show up and not find antyhing you like) and rent/ reserve it online so it's still there when you get to the store. It's impossible to beat a new release for $1.
Also, if my boys (5 yrs, 2 1/2 yrs, and 10 months) and I end up at McDonalds (rare, but they love the playplace!) we get two double cheeseburgers (they split one, the baby and I split one) and the biggest fry. Our total is $4.27.
A great, cheap but fancy date night: The Melting Pot Happy Hour. Weekdays 4-6pm you can get the cheese course or the chocolate course in the bar area for $3.50/ person.
That's $7 each, and plenty for a full meal.

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C.D.

answers from Topeka on

Coupons are great. I only buy it if it is on sale at the grocery. Plus if you can get it on sale with a coupon that is even better. My last trip to Dillon's was $101.00 and my savings were $79. That was with coupons and store sales. Make your own snacks. Store cookies are expensive. Sam's is good for certain things. Get a little notebook and price stuff to compare to other stores. I usually do my food shopping seperate to my cleaning supplies. Buy in bulk with the cleaning supplies. Vinegar is a great cleaner too and cheap! If you have a Dillon's card or a Sam's card you can get your gas cheaper. Great Value brand is good but you can get brand named stuff for the same price if it is on sale. Stock up so you don't make too many trips to the store.

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T.C.

answers from Springfield on

S.,

Staying at home is wonderful but does come with some sacrifice. Have you thought about getting state licensed? Even though you would only have your kids & one other you could get licensed. It is a bit overwhelming at first with back ground checks, getting CPR certified, etc. There are some requirements like having a fenced in area, keeping records, child proofing your house. When you are licensed you can get on the food program which pays good for 2 meals & a snack everyday (your kids also if you qualify by your income). I made enough just from the food program each month to feed my family of 3 & the daycare. In addition to that you can apply for grants for indoor or outdoor equipment. I applied 2 years in a row in got a total of $2100.00. What a blessing! Although I am not doing daycare anymore, my children have a great playground in the backyard. As far as school supplies, our fire dept as well as a couple of 2nd hand stores, give out backpacks of school supplies every year. Good Luck.

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R.W.

answers from Kansas City on

S. -

I am not sure your question is specific enough. But, I will answer is close to it as I think you are getting at! :)
I am basically a SAHM myself and watch my niece and nephew each day f/t while my sister works. How we do our finances is this: my sister pays me and I use the money she pays me for groceries, gas, family outings/extras, lunch money for the kids, etc. It is hard to stretch it sometimes but we do the best we can. My husband's income is used for the mortgage and bills. And then certain "extra's" accounts like Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary, carpet cleaning, vehicle maintenance, etc we hold back a little each month to pay for those sort of things to make Christmas and back to school not such a big chunk at once!
We have found that this works fairly good for us. Obviously, if I were to work outside the home we would have more money but I like being home in the event that my school age kids are out of school or when they are sick. It also allows me to take them and pick them up from school which I really like. I do work a part time summer job at a golf course and bring in some summer money that way! It is there if we want to go on a small vacation and plus when the kids are home for the summer we are usually out and about more causing us to spend more money! It is a great job though as I get out of the house and it's a fairly fun job for me!
Best of luck to you all and congrats on being able to stay home with your babies! You will enjoy that and bet they will too! :)

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A.S.

answers from St. Louis on

I'm a SAHM with 2 boys and I have two home businesses. I'm a Distributor for Homemade Gourmet and a Home Interiors Consultant. I love them both! I love to cook and decorate my home as well as others.

Hommemade Gourmet offers 25-40% commission and Home Interiors offers 45% commission.

I don't know if you would be interested in either one but you can email me at [email protected]____.com also check out my websites.

www.homemadegourmet.com/amanda24041
www.homeinteriors.com/amandastimac

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K.S.

answers from Kansas City on

OH, it's tough and I will take some of the suggestions you are getting. Besides compare and shop (which is great but really time consuming). Just buy what you need. Have a running list of food you generally make and just have that stuff around. Pasta is cheap, and versital (add different meat - learn to make different sauce or buy the cheap red sauce in a can and add to it - seasoning etc..). Also, eggs are cheap so if you are like my family and we have left overs, but only enough for one (it's not going to get eaten) so I put it in scrambled eggs and eat that for dinner with toast. I just put in fajitia filling in eggs yesterday and it was great. It took very little filling and eggs are cheap.

The cheapest place I have found milk is Sam's, (if anybody else know of a cheaper place - let me know). We eat tons of cheese and milk and it takes up a big part of our budget. I get our meat at Sam's. I buy about 6 lbs at a time and come home break it up into seprate baggies and freeze in one pound packages (that lasts us a while) with chicken, etc...

Also, just don't go out. It's crazy expensive to eat out! And movies are so overprices as well.

However, my husband and I just love to watch movies, it's our treat after the kids go down at night. So we joined NetFlixs. I figured it up if we rented all the movies (we watch the T.V. shows on dvd becuase we never get to watch real t.v.) It would cost us about $75 a month. We pay Netflix $18.00. It's abig money saver for us, and we still get to have some fun. (It's our in-house dates)

We buy off season. It's all new clothes but I watch the clearance isles. I got my boys summer clothes last year and paid about $50 for about $200 worth of clothes. Granted it's an on-going thing - you are always looking out for deals and that can take time and energy. But, we make a game out of it. On days were we are stuck inside becuase of weather we go to a store. Sometimes we don't buy anything but we get out, and it's a "price check" run. The boys like the trip and I like the shopping. And once in a while you find a really great deal. Children's Place in the Olathe Mall has a $1.00 - $3.00 sale a month or so ago and we scored.

Learn to sew. You can make your own drapes (it's easy if you don't need anything fance), and your won devut covers out of new king sized sheets. It's simple, you get a new look and it's cheap if you are going to buy one any way, it's a great price saver. Sewing comes in handy for a lot. I'm not an expert but I made our crib bed skirt, my sons halloween costuerm(althought that was mostly craft work not sewing), our curtain, and devet covers, and I can repair tears etc.. to extend the life of our clothes etc...

I hope that helped. Mostly life style changes and creative thinking. You really do have to make it a challenge or game or it will depress you. Have fun with it, get a group of friends that you all alert each other on good sales! That is the best!

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L.K.

answers from Springfield on

I have been a stay-at-home mom since my oldest was born 4 years ago. We also have a 2 1/2 year old and I babysit my 4 1/2 month old nephew.

The other mothers have given you some great advice and I can only think of one thing to add. Don't become dependent on credit cards. We didn't adjust to one income fast enough and we ended up depending on credit cards. Now, all of our extra money goes toward paying of debt. We are on a good budget now, but it still hurts to see how much money goes toward interest.

I plan on getting my masters and going back to work by time my boys are in school, but I am so glad I have been able to stay-at-home for now. Good luck.

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J.S.

answers from Memphis on

My husband started a business 2 years ago and we haven't had regular paychecks for that entire time. Fortunately, I work part time, but that's not much income! My hubby says I'm the queen of bargain shopping!
--I do most of my grocery shopping at Aldi's. They have all the staples, so since I only work part time, I have time to cook most meals from scratch. I can feed a family of 5 (I have 3 boys and a 6'2" hubby!!) for around $110 a week.
--Buy the Saturday newspaper (the one with all the coupons!) and start clipping. If you find a week when there are some great coupons, go buy another paper. There are weeks I clip $20-$30 coupons, and for a $1.50 paper, that's a great deal to go get another one. When I do buy name-brand snacks/food/walmart type stuff, I always have a coupon. I typically save at least 15% of my bill in coupons-- the other day at Walmart, I had a $54 bill, then saved $21 off of it. It takes time, but it's worth it!!
--I never buy full-price. If you google any restaurant/store, you can always find a printable coupon. There are tons of buy-one, get one free restaurant coupons out there. Find Kids Eat Free nights at local restaurants. I can feed my family for less than $20 when we eat out ocassionally.
--Use the library-our local library rents DVD's and videos-they're free, so each week we have a family movie night (pop in 2 frozen pizzas from Aldis ($2 each), a free movie from the library, a couple of bags of popcorn (6/$2 at Aldis) and we have a great night in for about $5!
--It's not easy, and takes a lot of time and effort, but in the end, it's worth it so that I can stay home with my kids.

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K.S.

answers from Kansas City on

I'm not a stay at home mom but I am a single mom so I try to cut corners every way I can. I try to use coupons or stock up on deals at the grocery stores. I also went through all of my expenses and checked to see what I could cut back. For example, I went to basic cable, checked different pharmacies for cheaper prices, cut back services on my cell phone and got rid of my home phone. Make a list of everything you spend money on and include some extra money for those unexpected things (flat tire, kids going to the doctor, etc) and then look at where you could cut back. I hope this helps a little bit.

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L.P.

answers from Wichita on

I sell Home & Garden Party which is wonderful for any mom, when you want time with the kids and you can set your own schedule it is great.I have been very successful with my Home Party Plan, it is a wonderful company to work with and I do make a nice income every month. My husband actually got me started with H&GP, I have NO regrets, I quit my retail job because I was making more money in less time! If you are interested in more information please contact me at [email protected]____.com or ###-###-####.

Also this link will take you to the company website: http://www.HomeandGardenParty.com/Home?WebId=lindashgp

Advantages: Small startup cost, NO Delivery, NO inventory, 30% to 40% commission plus bonuses!

Many mom's have found this to be a great opportunity to be home and still make a wonderful income.

Again, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

L.

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R.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi S.,

Work At Home United is a team dedicated to helping you find lasting income working from home so you can spend more time with your family and have a flexible schedule! We offer FREE website, FREE training and an amazing support team! This is a legitimate business opportunity from a BBB accredited company that has been in business since 1985!
NO stocking
NO selling
NO distributing
NO parties
NO RISK!

Taking control of your future is just a click away! For FREE information visit my website at www.workathomeunited.com/renemenzies

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V.M.

answers from Wichita on

Hi S.,
I have a home based business with Arbonne, a health & wellness company that deals with natural products that are herbal and botanically based. They have awesome baby care products as well! I can work around my own schedule and help with the family finances. My husband's checks pays our bills, and mine pays for car gas, groceries, and other entertainment and extras. Plus I've built it up enough that I've been helping to pay off other debt. It has been a gift. I work about 10-15 hrs a week, a lot of it from home, and the freedom and flexibility are great! I've tried so many things out there, but this company is going through huge growth and is working well. If you would like more info I can share it with you. You can also go to my website at www.vickimartinez.myarbonne.com and see more. I can email or snail mail more info to you as well. Best of luck to you in your search. V.

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W.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi S.,

I am SAHM but also a home child care provider, and here are a few things we do.

1) When the prcie chopper ad comes in on Wednesday I look through it and see what is on sale. I then go there Thursaday night and buy what I need.

2) I then have a weekly planner that has the days of the week on it. I fill it in as we shop for breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks a day. This way I make sure I am buying exactly what I need and not just throwing things in the cart. For instance last week I went to Price chopper and spent $55 I got a ham (for Sunday), hamburger, canteloupe it was $2 (at walmart it was $2.16).

3) I then go to walmart which there stuff is even cheaper as far as food. When you look at the prices of stuff remember how much you've paid for it at other places. For instance Kraft mac and cheese is like 72 cents at price chopper but for the samething at walmart it is 2 for $1, and in the long run I have saved 22 cents on each box that I buy. They have things like this all over the place. You just have to pay attention and look at the prices.

4) The next things we do is we have a membership to Sams. Here we buy:
Laundry detergent (with this we can do 96 loads)
Oxi clean (this is a 11 lbs box and it lasted us 1 month and a half)
downy (this will do 150 loads, 2 months)
diapers (this box will last us 1 month)
baby wipes (will last us 3 weeks)
paper towel (20 bounty paper towels will last us 1 month)
toilet paper (we buy charmin ultra and this last us 1 month, and it has the big rolls
clorox wipes (we just bought these and they will last us a month, you get 4 tubs of them)
I also buy lysol disinfectant spray and you get 3 big cans and it last us 1 month)
Although we spend alot when we initaily go it saves money because we don't go back for 1 month.
Charcoal
lighter fluid
body wash (dove, 3 big bottles, we bought it 1 month ago and we are on the 1st bottle (you get 3)
shampoo and conditioner ( dove, I bought this 1 month ago also and still haven't used ot all).
Trash bags you get a lot more for the same amount of money uou would spend at walmart.

And the other thing we have noticed is is we biy 2 jugs of ALL, and 1 thing of downy it will last us 2 months. It saves money in the long run.

For instance I would buy baby wipes every week at walmart for $10 ($40 a month) and get 385 wipes. I can buy huggies wipes (732 wipes) and spend $13.99 and they last me all month. These are the things you have to look at. Now there ae some things at Sams that are not cheaper but you have to check the prices and see how much and often you would use it.

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