If you’re looking for easy ways to be a frugal stay at home mom, then you’ve come to the right place!
Because let’s face it: when most people think about living frugally they think they’ll have to take cold showers, never eat at nice restaurants, and will have to unplug EVERYTHING in their house.
As if being frugal is the end of life as you know it.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth!
So How Can A Stay At Home Save Money?
I’m so glad you asked. I thought the same thing on my 1-year stay at home mommiversary! (Yes, I just totally made that word up – haha!)
We were already living on one income and on a tight budget. I didn’t know how I could save any more money.
But I learned that a frugal lifestyle begins with having the appropriate mindset. And having the appropriate mindset about the way you spend money will help you afford just about anything you want!
So today, I’ll be sharing practical money-saving tips and frugal living ideas I’ve adopted over the years that will make your family’s budget stretch further, too.
Related: 30 Items to Sell Make Money Fast
73 Easy Ways To Be A Frugal Stay At Home Mom
Everyday Ways To Save:
- Use cash back websites – Rebate websites like Ebates partner with tons of stores (Amazon, Walmart, Target, Macy’s and more!) to give you free cash back on whatever you order online! Plus, when you sign up here for Ebates, you’ll get your first $10 for FREE!!
- Sign up for free loyalty programs – Get rewarded for being a loyal shopper at your favorite retailers.
- Shop at Dollar Stores – You’ll save money on kitchen utensils and accessories, paper goods, party supplies, birthday cards, craft supplies for your kids, and more!
- Carry only cash – So you can trick yourself into not spending more money than you have.
- Shop at secondhand and thrift stores – When you buy used as possible you’ll save a ton. I like to shop at resale stores in affluent neighborhoods to find the best steals.
- Use digital coupons
- Borrow from the library – Check your local library for books, DVDs, and even CDs.
- Ask for a price match – Most stores like Walmart, Amazon, and even Best Buy will match a lower price item if you find for less at a competitor store.
- Buy Refurbished – Refurbished electronics are cheaper than items that are brand new, but they’re already tested to work properly and often come with extended warranty protection.
- Brew coffee at home – You’ll save a ton of money being your own barista, especially if you love Starbucks.
- Buy generic and store brands – Things like food, cleaning supplies, and diapers will save you a ton of money when you buy generic.
- Buy in bulk – Get a membership at a wholesale club (Sam’s Club) so you can spend less money on the things that you need more of.
- Pay with discounted gift cards – Websites like Cardpool sell used gifts cards (think Starbucks, Amazon, Walmart) at huge discounts.
Save Money On Food:
- Use the Ibotta App to earn free money for groceries – Ibotta is the best grocery rebate app I know! You’ll get free cash back on groceries like milk, cereal, wine, and detergent when you upload a picture of your receipt! You can download the Ibotta App for free on Android and IOS. Plus, new members also get a FREE $10 bonus when you sign up!
- Plant your own produce – Start a mini-vegetable garden right in your backyard.
- Use a list when you grocery shop – It will help you to stay focused and only buy what you need.
- Make and freeze meals ahead – Many moms make this a part of their Sunday night routine. Imagine having dinner made for an entire week in just one day!
- Buy in-season produce – Because fruits and veggies are much cheaper in the summer months.
- Ditch bottled water – You can buy a water filter instead and save hundreds every year!
- Buy canned goods in bulk – Non-perishable items like canned goods have a longer shelf life which makes this an easy item to buy in bulk.
- Shop at Aldi – If you’re not already grocery shopping at Aldi, you’re leaving a ton of money on the table. I can tell you that Aldi grocery stores have come a lonnnng way – it’s the only grocery store my parents could afford to shop at when I was growing up. But, now they have better quality food at still great discounted prices!
- Order groceries online – Another easy way to lower your grocery bill. I LOVE Walmart’s free grocery pickup. It’s super convenient and saves us money on food because I feel much more in control of our spending.
- Bring lunch to work – Spending $5 every day on lunch really add up. I started packing my husband’s lunch and it saved us $1300/year!
- Weekly meal plan – We used to waste a ton of money on fast food because I wasn’t meal planning. So I joined $5 Meal Plan to help me get started. For just $5 a month, you get custom meal plans sent to your inbox that are so cheap and easy to make! We stopped eating out and save an extra $300 every month.
- Create a grocery budget – Having a grocery budget will help you better understand how much money you can afford to spend on groceries each month. My family (of six) lives well on about a $100/week.
- Buy frozen vegetables – Frozen vegetables last longer and you don’t have to eat it until you’re ready.
- Cook leftovers – I like to make meals that stretch over 1-2 days so we can have leftovers. It saves me from having to cook AND keeps us from spending money on takeout.
- Make pizza at home – Fridays for our family is pizza night. So we like to make homemade pizza and it saves us money on delivery.
- Make your own baby food – Buying premade baby food is great for having it on-the-go, but if you’re a stay-at-home mom, then you might as well make your own baby food to save money.
- Breastfeed – Infant formula where I live isn’t cheap ($15+ per can), so I chose to breastfeed 3 of my 4 kids to save money on milk.
- Grocery shop only once each week – When you go shopping only once it’ll keep you from going over your grocery budget, plus you’ll save money on gas from not making the extra trip.
Save Money On Household Expenses:
- Use energy efficient light bulbs
- Install dimming light switches to preserve electricity
- Keep your vents open and clean
- Wash clothes in cold water
- Hang your clothes to dry
- Fill your dishwasher to capacity before running it
- Use a programmable thermostat – So you can control the temperature in your home automatically and save on your utility bills.
- Use blackout curtains – I SWEAR by this! Especially in the summer months, they work perfectly to help keep our home cool.
- Unplug unused appliances – I’m guilty of leaving the toaster plugged in for no reason. So it’s good to unplug anything that’s not “in use” so you’re not wasting electricity.
- Buy energy efficient appliances
- Pay utility bills on time – So you can avoid unnecessary late and reconnection fees.
- Move into a smaller home – Not only will you save money on your rent/mortgage, but you’ll also save money on your utilities. We lived in a two-bedroom apartment (with our 4 small kids) for 2 years and it saved us an extra $8,000!
Save Money On Family Fun, Entertainment, & More:
- Use a cheaper alternative to cable like Hulu Live TV – You get 50+ top channels plus access to Hulu streaming library all for under $40 per month!
- Switch to a low-cost cell phone plan – We’ve been using MetroPCS and love it! Plus we save an extra $1100/year.
- Attend free events
- Go to discount movie theaters – Or you can just go to the movies when the tickets are at discount prices.
- Dine out at lunch instead of dinner – Most restaurants run lunch specials or serve entrees that are cheaper at these times.
- Order water with your meals – I also like to ask for extra lemon and sugar packets to make lemonade for free!
- Dine at restaurants where kids eat free! – This is just one of the ways my family still enjoys eating out for cheap.
- Visit museums and zoos on free admission days – Follow your local zoo and museums on social media to learn when your family can enter for free!
- Sell your old clothes before buying new ones – I like to sell my kids’ old clothes, shoes, or toys so I can have money to swap them for bigger sizes.
- Learn to DIY – I’m that girl that will not pay for something that I can learn how to do myself. My latest DIY project was learning how to give my boys a haircut at home!
- Shop at kids resale stores
- Ask your friends and family for hand-me-downs
- Use cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers
- Make your own cleaning solutions – You can clean just about anything in your home using ingredients like white vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils!
- Do your own manicure and pedicure – This alone will save you about $80 per month.
- Buy used designer clothes and handbags
- Exercise at home – Ditch your gym membership and hop on Youtube to find at-home workouts for FREE!
Save On Travel Expenses:
- Use public transportation whenever you can
- Become a one-car family
- Wash your own car
- Negotiate your auto insurance
- Use the GasBuddy App to find cheap gas prices in your area
- Book all-inclusive stays
- Use Airbnb instead of booking hotels (especially if you have a big family like ours!)
- Use your credit card rewards to book free travel
Banking and Budgeting:
- Use free personal finance software – Websites like Personal Capital allow you to track your expenses, cash flow, net worth, and much more without needing to hire a CPA.
- Earn free cash and gift cards for doing surveys in your spare time – The top survey companies I recommend you join for extra money include Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, Harris Poll Online, Pinecone Research, and Inbox Dollars. These companies are free to join and free to use, so it doesn’t hurt to sign up for as many as you can!
- Enter free sweepstakes and giveaways – There’s no guarantee you’ll win anything. But the more contests you enter, your chances of winning will increase! You may win cash, gift cards, vacations, electronics, food, and more!
- Freeze your credits (literally) in water to avoid using them
- Have a “no-spend” weekend challenge at least once every month – I wrote a post full of family fun activities you can do without spending money.
Saving money as a stay at home mom doesn’t have to be super extreme. Just give these frugal living ideas a try and let me know how it helps you!
What frugal living ideas do you live by to save money as a stay at home mom? Share them with me below!