Many stay at home moms think they have to be pulling a paycheck in order to contribute to the family’s finances. If you stay at home, there are several easy ways to save money at home which will lighten your household expenses!
No, it doesn’t involve clipping coupons. But you could!
No, it doesn’t require downloading a bunch of money saving apps. But you could!
No, it doesn’t require giving up your $5 Starbucks coffee. Because really, you probably haven’t left the house to even go by a Starbucks! [Or if you’re like me, you live an hour and a half from the nearest coffee shop…]
13 Easy Ways to Save Money at Home
These tips are just good old fashioned variations to what you are already doing. A few tweaks to how you run your household can save a few hundred dollars in no time (depending how large your family is).
1. Cook and Bake from Scratch
Since you are home anyways, it is so easy to plan and cook healthy meals for your family. Cooking from scratch not only prevents you from buying expensive packaged foods, it also ensures a lot healthier meal.
If you aren’t a fan of the kitchen, double or even quadruple each recipe and throw the rest in the freezer. Then you can have easy meals that just require a slow cooker or thaw time on the counter.
Baking from scratch is easy, too. Most recipes are detailed enough for you to master them after a few tries. A mix makes a dirty bowl and spoon and spatula – so does a recipe. No extra dishes!
Wardee from Traditional Cooking School has a wonderful recipe for homemade yogurt!
2. Buy in Bulk
‘Buying’ is counterintuitive to ‘saving’ but lets talk bulk foods. Usually buying food in bulk packaging or from loose bins will save you money. Or if you are able to order 25 pound bags of flour, oatmeal and sugar online or from your grocery store, you can save some money.
If you have the storage space, stock up on sale items. Buy fresh produce that is marked down. Enjoy some fresh and throw the rest in the freezer!
See if Azure Standard delivers near you for more natural options.
Read More: Frugal Kitchen Habits to Help Your Budget
3. Mend Your Clothes
At thrift stores or on clearance, clothing is so affordable these days. But it’s still a dollar or two. By mending holes and sewing on buttons you can extend the life of your family’s clothing.
Sometimes mending a hole obviously makes the clothing cuter (but probably not for
men…)! Like this skirt: I wasn’t able to mend the hole discreetly so I picked a pretty fabric scrap and made the patch part of the skirt!
Socks and undies are what I throw out the most because they are cheaply made and usually difficult to mend comfortably because they are worn so close to the body. But I will darn my wool socks. Socks that cost $12 a pair are worth my time to shove a light bulb in the sock and stitch up any hole!
Whether you have a sewing machine or needle and thread, you will be able to salvage some clothing you’d otherwise throw out. Even an iron-on patch will add a few months of life!
Like I mentioned earlier, clothing is so affordable. It’s hard to make anything for cheaper than you can buy it. But, if you find something for cheap that you love except for __________, then you can do a little altering and have something you love!
Wal Mart will mark down a ton of bolts of fabric once a year or so. I love to raid the clearance bin for large pieces of fabric for curtains, slip covers, pillow cases and crafts.
Sometimes I find drapes in the clearance section, also. If it’s cheap enough, I’ll buy that as a piece of fabric for my next project.
Read More: How to Make Your Own Curtains
5. Quit Buying Paper Towels and Napkins
I know this may sound extreme! [Actually, extreme would be to quit buying toilet paper! 😉 ] Build up a stash of rags that can be used on the floors. Have some stashed under each sink for cleaning nearby messes. Use the kitchen rags and towels for cleaning up the kitchen.
This means doing laundry often enough so that the wet and messy rags don’t get stinky!
My grandma cut up old pillow cases for cloth napkins. I personally don’t like that texture so I like cutting and hemming flour sack kitchen towels. A one-time investment provides quite a few reusable napkins.
Or if you find a good deal on cloth napkins, just buy them. There are so many cute options!
Cloth napkins can be used for more than one meal if everyone sits at the same spot and leaves their napkin on the table. But really, napkins won’t make that much extra laundry.
My aunt just puts a wet wash rag in the middle of the table and everyone uses that. You just ask for it like you would ask for a dish to be passed!
6. Cloth Diaper
If you have littles in the house, consider cloth diapering.
Cloth diapering may not be feasible if you use a laundromat or have expensive water costs.
But for me, living in the country with a personal well, my own washing machine and septic field it is cheaper to cloth diaper.
Read More: Easy Cloth Diapering
7. Use a Diva Cup
A Diva-What!? Yep, I said it. Use a Diva cup. Or your preferred brand of menstrual cup.
A Diva Cup is re-usable, affordable and most importantly, comfortable.
You may have to let your girls get used to them before you send them off to school with one, though. Diva Cups do hold a lot but just in case, you don’t want your daughters to get embarrassed emptying it in the school bathroom.
Ditch the Coffee and Tea
As much as I love my coffee, it is not essential to life. Kicking out all the extra drinks except milk and water can be a huge money saver.
For a less extreme option, consider bulk tea and a tea ball.
Read More: Supercharge Your Coffee and Tea
8. Shop the Sale Flier and Markdowns
When you go grocery shopping, stick to the flier or any markdowns in the store. Do your meal planning out of the flier.
9. Homemade Gifts
Do you love giving birthday and Christmas gifts but can’t afford extravagant ones? Then go for thoughtfulness.
Bake or cook their favorite food for a gift. Write a personal note. Frame a picture that has fond memories for you and the recipient. Have your children write and draw notes and pictures. Make a notebook of all the recipes you know they love. Give a coupon book with recipe names. Each coupon is good for “a batch of chocolate chip cookies” or “a bowl of custard.”
If you are into crafts, then the sky is the limit!
Read More: Consumable Homemade Christmas Gifts
10. Quit Buying Trash Bags
Just use a smaller trash can or bucket that will easily hold a grocery bag. This is what my mom always did when I was a kid. Our trash cans were smaller and we only used grocery bags to line them.
Yes, we had to take out the trash often. But there were four of us kids to share the chore so it wasn’t a big deal.
The win is you never have stinky trash cans! [And if you aren’t throwing away paper towels and napkins you will have less garbage.]
11. Wash Zipper Baggies
If you have the means, invest in silicone reusable baggies!
12. Bread Bags in Leaky Boots
And here is more of my crazy coming out. When us kids were growing up and our winter boots got a hole in them, we just slipped our foot in a grocery bag or a bread bag and slipped it in the boot.
Most of the time we were allotted one pair of boots a year, so they’d get pretty worn out by spring. Bread bags hobbled us along enough to make it to the next fall when we would all get new winter boots again.
13. Freeze Food that is Going Bad or Make Soup
Don’t let food go bad in your fridge! Produce especially gets away from us. Make a concerted effort to buy only what you use.
If you see food getting away from you, wash it, chop it and throw it in the freezer. Or make soup! Or make a fruit salad!
Easy Ways to Save Money at Home
Are you up for the challenge? What changes will you make to save more money at home? You don’t have chip into the family bank account, but you sure can limit how much comes out!