The Following is Post from Kyle over at The Penny Hoarder
When I made the decision to stay home with my kids after 10 years of working outside the home, I absolutely knew it was the right decision for my family. However, I was afraid of failing. I was afraid of how my family would survive without my income.
There really was no need for fear.
Over the years, I’ve learned a variety of strategies that allow us to live a simple life financially speaking, but one rich in joy and togetherness.
Here are some of the ways I’ve been able to make up for my loss of income and be a wise steward of our family’s money:
1. Keep a few basic mix and match wardrobe pieces. I bought too many clothes when I worked outside the home. What I discovered when staying home is that I just need a few nice, basic pieces of clothing that easily mix and match. Using this strategy, I can have a limited wardrobe that doesn’t look limited because I’m able to create so many different outfits from just a few pieces.
2. Cut costs on baby basics. If you’re not careful, having a baby to feed and clothe can cost a bundle, but it doesn’t have to.
Diapers–I used cloth diapers for two of my children and saved substantially, but if that isn’t right for you or if cloth diapers irritate your baby, there are plenty of ways to get your diapers for a reduced cost or even for free!
Clothes–I found people gave us so many clothes that I didn’t have to buy them very often. When I did buy them, I often looked at second hand sources like garage sales, children’s resale shops, or Ebay. Little ones grow so fast, there’s no sense in paying a fortune for their outfits.
Baby food–I skipped most of the store-bought baby food and instead made my own. I had my husband watch the kids on a Saturday morning while I cooked several veggies to puree. Then I put them in the freezer in ice cube trays and used them as I needed them. However, you could simply puree some of the vegetables you’re eating at dinner (assuming baby has already been introduced to them) to make this easier.
3. Make meal time easier. I don’t know about your kids, but by 5 p.m., my little ones are tired and cranky, and my older ones are wound up. Not exactly conducive to preparing a meal. Rather than relying on take out during times like this, I try to make meal prep easier on myself. I often fill the slow cooker in the morning (when the kids are happier and better able to play while I work) and let it run all day so dinner is piping hot in the evening without any effort from me. I often double the slow cooker recipe so I can put one half of the meal in the freezer for another meal on a busy week day.
These are just a few of the ways I have saved my family money and become a good steward of our income.
What are your favorite ways to save?