If you are a stay-at-home mom, I am sure this isn’t your first time looking for some new money-saving tips. Probably because the last list only included things like “make a meal plan” or “budget better”. Well, I am here with 100 ideas for saving money as a stay at home mom that are actually creative and worth your time.
Don’t get me wrong, those posts packed full of the typical ways to save money as a stay at home mom are helpful, but I think I speak for many when I say we need new ways to gain control of our family budget.
Keep reading for 100 ideas for saving money as a stay at home mom!
Saving money is kind of my jam. Truth be told, I was drowning ten years ago and could never figure out a great way to have enough money in the bank. Life simply cost so much more money than I could manage and my bank account was on red an embarrassing number of times.
As a stay-at-home parent, I tried it all. I tried meal planning, cutting out fast food, and shopping every great deal I could find. Nothing worked until one day things began to click. My credit card statements began to actually decrease and I was able to store away a little money at a time.
After that, I decided I wanted to share all of what I learned along the way with others because let’s be real here, meal planning and conscious grocery shopping can only get us so far. We need more!
I hope this post offers just that for you but if you are looking to take it a step further, I have a little freebie for you.
Build Your Emergency Fund
Financial anxiety is one of the worst kinds, right? It used to keep me up at night for years. I was desperate to find a fix but nothing was working until it did. Luckily for you, I kept a note of everything I did along the way and now I am here and ready to teach you how to build your emergency fund (amongst many other things). For everything from the basics of understanding your finances, to creating your monthly budget, I have covered it all. Click the button below to learn more!
Other posts you might like…
- Is Frugal Living Worth It? Answering the Age-Old Question
- 27 Helpful Budgeting Books for Personal Finances
- 97 Mindset Affirmations for Saving Money in 2024
- 17 Books on Frugal Living That Are Actually Helpful
- 14 Trips in 2023 — Oh my!
100 Ideas for Saving Money as a Stay at Home Mom
This list of ideas for saving money as a stay at home mom includes some of my favorite ways to make ends meet all while actually enjoying life.
To make this giant list a bit more digestible, I have broken down the 100 ideas into 5 categories:
- Tips for Saving Money on Food
- Tips for Saving Money on Bills
- Tips for Saving Money on Kid Items
- Tips for Saving Money on Entertainment
- Tips for Saving Money on Adventures
All of these ideas are hopefully helpful and creative. My goal is for you to leave this post with a note full of ways to give your family a total money makeover!
Let’s get to it!
Tips for Saving Money on Food
There is so much more to figure out how to save money on food than just focusing on the grocery store.
Here are 20 ideas for saving money on food that’ll also help prevent food waste:
Leftover Remix: Transform leftovers into new meals. For example, use yesterday’s roasted veggies in a frittata or turn extra rice into a flavorful stir-fry the next day.
DIY Snack Packs: Create your own snack packs using bulk items. Portion out nuts, dried fruits, and other snacks into smaller servings to avoid overindulging and save money.
Batch Cooking for Efficiency: Embrace batch cooking not just for dinners but also for ingredients. Cook and freeze batches of rice, beans, or sauces to streamline future meal preparation.
Preserve Fresh Herbs: Extend the life of fresh herbs by chopping and freezing them in ice cube trays with a bit of water or olive oil. This way, you always have herbs on hand without waste.
Strategic Grocery Store Pickup: Utilize online grocery store pick-up options to avoid in-store impulse buys. Plan your shopping list carefully, order online, and pick up your groceries without wandering through the aisles.
Repurpose Stale Bread: Don’t discard stale bread. Turn it into croutons, breadcrumbs, or a delicious bread pudding for a frugal and tasty solution.
Homemade Baby Food: Make your own baby food using fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s not only cost-effective but also ensures your little one gets nutritious, preservative-free meals.
Composting for Future Gardens: Compost kitchen scraps to create nutrient-rich soil for a home garden. This not only reduces waste but also supports a sustainable and budget-friendly source of fresh produce.
Freeze Excess Milk: If you’re nearing the expiration date of milk, freeze it in ice cube trays. Use the frozen milk cubes in coffee, cooking, or smoothies to prevent waste.
DIY Salad Bar at Home: Set up a DIY salad bar with various toppings, dressings, and greens. This encourages family members to assemble their own salads, reducing food prep time and waste. Use this system for all meal times.
Regrow Vegetables: Regrow vegetables from kitchen scraps. For example, plant the base of green onions, lettuce, or celery in soil or water, and watch them grow into new usable vegetables.
Preserve Citrus Peels: Save citrus peels and dry them to make homemade citrus zest. It adds flavor to dishes, and you won’t need to buy expensive pre-packaged zest.
Canning and Pickling: Learn basic canning and pickling techniques to preserve seasonal fruits and vegetables. This allows you to enjoy them throughout the year without relying on store-bought alternatives.
Homemade Frozen Treats: Make your own popsicles and frozen treats using leftover fruit, yogurt, or juice. It’s a healthier and more cost-effective alternative to store-bought options.
Community Food Swaps: Organize a food swap with friends or neighbors. Exchange surplus produce, homemade goods, or pantry items, promoting variety without added expenses.
DIY Lunch Kits: Instead of buying pre-packaged lunch kits, create your own with reusable containers. It’s more economical and allows you to customize meals according to your family’s preferences.
Learn Fermentation: Experiment with fermentation for homemade sauerkraut, kimchi, or pickles. It’s a budget-friendly way to add probiotics to your diet.
Waste-Free Smoothies: Use overripe or bruised fruits in smoothies. Blend them with yogurt or milk for a delicious and waste-free way to use up produce.
Egg Carton Ice Cube Trays: Repurpose empty egg cartons into ice cube trays. They’re perfect for freezing small portions of homemade broths, sauces, or baby food. This tip is for the plastic egg cartons; not the cardboard ones.
Creative Leftover Challenges: Turn leftovers into a fun family challenge. Challenge family members to come up with creative dishes using the previous day’s meal components. It adds excitement and reduces food waste.
Tips for Saving Money on Bills
Yes, there are ways that you can save money on regular fixed expenses such as your family bills!
Here are a few ways to save a bit of your household income when it comes to your fixed expenses:
Amazon Prime Optimization: Utilize Amazon Family for exclusive family-oriented discounts, subscribe to items you regularly use for additional savings, and take advantage of Amazon Prime Day deals for bigger purchases.
Energy-Efficient Lighting: Switch to energy-efficient LED bulbs throughout your home. While the initial cost may be slightly higher, the long-term energy savings make it a worthwhile investment.
Car Payment Negotiation: Contact your car loan provider to negotiate a lower interest rate or explore refinancing options. Even a small reduction in your car payment can result in significant savings over time.
Health Insurance Check-Up: Regularly review your health insurance coverage to ensure you’re getting the best value. Take advantage of preventive services covered by your plan and explore ways to lower out-of-pocket costs.
DIY Home Maintenance: Learn basic home maintenance tasks to reduce reliance on professional services. Simple repairs, painting, and yard work can often be done independently, saving on maintenance costs.
Refillable Water Bottles: Invest in refillable water bottles and a water filtration system to reduce spending on bottled water. It’s an eco-friendly choice that cuts down on both expenses and plastic waste.
Strategic Laundry Practices: Optimize laundry loads by washing in cold water, air-drying clothes when possible, and using dryer balls or tennis balls to reduce drying time and energy consumption.
Negotiate Cable and Internet Bills: Contact your cable and internet providers to negotiate better rates or explore alternative providers. Consider cutting cable altogether and switching to streaming services for entertainment.
Home Vegetable Garden: Start a home vegetable garden to grow your own produce. It’s a cost-effective way to access fresh, organic vegetables without a trip to the grocery store.
Reusable Cleaning Supplies: Switch to reusable cleaning supplies like microfiber cloths and mop heads. This not only saves money on disposable products but is also better for the environment.
Meal Subscription Optimization: If you use meal subscription services, optimize your plan based on your family’s needs to avoid waste. Pause or skip deliveries when you have excess food at home.
DIY Home Decor: Create your own home decor using affordable materials like thrifted items, recycled materials, or even nature finds. It adds a personal touch while saving money.
Library Entertainment: Maximize your local library’s resources for free entertainment. Borrow books, movies, and even attend library-sponsored events or workshops.
Refurbished Electronics: Consider purchasing refurbished electronics instead of brand new ones. Many reputable retailers offer certified refurbished products at a fraction of the cost.
Optimize Thermostat Settings: Adjust your thermostat settings seasonally to optimize energy usage. Use programmable thermostats to automatically regulate temperatures when you’re away from home.
DIY Personal Care Products: Make your own personal care products like shampoo, conditioner, and body wash using simple ingredients. This not only saves money but also reduces exposure to chemicals.
Insurance Bundle Savings: Bundle insurance policies (such as auto and home insurance) with the same provider to potentially qualify for discounts and reduce overall insurance costs.
Online Bill Payment Discounts: Some service providers offer discounts for setting up automatic or online bill payments. Check with your providers to see if this option is available.
Free Community Resources: Take advantage of free community resources, such as local events, workshops, and support groups, to find entertainment and assistance without extra costs.
Upcycled Furniture: Instead of buying new furniture, upcycle thrifted or old pieces. A fresh coat of paint or new hardware can give furniture a modern look at a fraction of the cost.
Tips for Saving Money on Kid Items
These tips right here are probably going to save you the most money.
Here are some money saving tips for kids items for your one-income family:
Toy Rotation System: Implement a toy rotation system. Store some toys away and periodically switch them with the ones your child is currently playing with. It keeps things fresh without constantly buying new toys.
DIY Playroom Decor: Create personalized playroom decor by involving your child in crafting projects. Decorate walls with their artwork or repurpose old furniture into new playroom pieces.
Host Toy Swaps: Organize toy swaps with other moms. Kids often get tired of their toys, and swapping with friends provides a cost-free way to introduce new items.
Upcycled Clothing Projects: Give new life to old clothes by turning them into new items. Transform outgrown or stained clothing into pillows, quilts, or even doll clothes.
Homemade Educational Games: Make your own educational games using simple materials. For example, create a DIY matching game with cardboard and pictures cut from magazines.
DIY Art Supplies: Craft your own art supplies. Make playdough, paint, or colored rice at home, saving money compared to store-bought alternatives.
Subscription Box Swaps: If you receive subscription boxes for kid activities, collaborate with other moms to swap items. It ensures variety without the need for multiple subscriptions.
Handmade Storybooks: Create personalized storybooks for your child using photos and simple narratives. It’s a unique way to encourage reading without buying new books. This could be a fun way to keep memories alive as well!
Nature Exploration: Embrace nature as a play space. Collect leaves, rocks, and sticks for crafts or use them in imaginative play. Nature provides free, endless possibilities.
Host DIY Craft Parties: Host DIY craft parties with other moms. Share materials and ideas, making it a cost-effective and enjoyable way for kids to explore their creative side.
DIY Play Kitchen: Transform old furniture or cardboard boxes into a DIY play kitchen. It’s a fun project that provides hours of imaginative play without the cost of a store-bought play kitchen.
Free Community Events: Explore free community events tailored for kids, such as storytime at the library, local fairs, or educational workshops. It offers entertainment without spending.
Homemade Dress-Up Clothes: Craft homemade dress-up clothes using old clothes, fabric scraps, and accessories. Let your child’s imagination run wild with unique costumes without the price tag.
Nature Scavenger Hunts: Organize nature scavenger hunts in your backyard or local park. It’s a free and entertaining way to engage kids in outdoor exploration.
DIY Sensory Bins: Create DIY sensory bins using household items like rice, beans, or pasta. It’s a cost-effective way to provide sensory play experiences for your child.
Book Exchanges: Set up book exchanges with other moms. Kids can trade books, ensuring a constant rotation of reading material without the need for continuous purchases.
Repurposed Baby Gear: Repurpose baby gear for new uses. Convert a crib into a toddler bed or turn a changing table into a storage station. It maximizes the lifespan of baby items.
Repurposed Baby Clothes: Turn outgrown baby clothes into new items. Create memory quilts, stuffed animals, or even patchwork blankets for a unique and sentimental touch.
DIY Outdoor Play Equipment: Build simple outdoor play equipment like a homemade sandbox, chalkboard, or mini obstacle course using recycled materials. It’s a budget-friendly way to enhance your backyard.
Educational Apps and Websites: Explore free educational apps and websites. Many platforms offer engaging and educational content without the need for costly subscriptions.
Tips for Saving Money on Entertainment
Okay, maybe this list is the one that will actually save you the most amount of cash each month.
Here are some ways to save money on entertainment when living on a tight budget:
Virtual Travel Experiences: Explore virtual travel experiences. Use online resources and VR applications to virtually visit museums, historical sites, and cultural landmarks from the comfort of your home.
Community Book Club Potluck: Organize a community book club with a potluck twist. Each participant can bring a dish inspired by the book being discussed, making it a fun and cost-effective social event.
DIY Outdoor Movie Nights: Host DIY outdoor movie nights in your backyard. Use a white sheet as a screen, and borrow or rent a projector for an immersive movie experience under the stars.
Themed Dinner Parties: Plan themed dinner parties at home. Choose a theme, cook meals inspired by it, and decorate your dining area. It’s a creative way to bring friends together without spending on restaurant bills.
Digital Escape Rooms: Experience digital escape rooms with friends. Many websites offer virtual escape room challenges that you can enjoy together online.
Creative Workshops: Attend or host creative workshops. Learn new skills like painting, pottery, or photography through local workshops or online tutorials without breaking the bank.
Backyard Stargazing Nights: Turn your backyard into a stargazing haven. Invest in a telescope or simply enjoy identifying constellations with your family. It’s a serene and budget-friendly form of entertainment.
Home Spa Night: Plan a home spa night. Create DIY face masks, soak in a homemade bath bomb bath, and enjoy a relaxing evening without the high costs of a professional spa.
Virtual Gaming Tournaments: Organize virtual gaming tournaments with friends or family. Choose a game, set a date, and compete online for a fun and cost-free gaming experience.
Memory Lane Movie Night: Watch old family videos or browse through photo albums for a memory lane movie night. It’s a nostalgic and free way to enjoy family moments.
Podcast Party: Host a podcast party. Select an interesting podcast episode or series, gather some snacks, and have a discussion afterward. It’s a unique and inexpensive form of entertainment.
Digital Art Exhibitions: Explore digital art exhibitions. Many artists and galleries showcase their work online. Attend virtual exhibitions or create your own gallery night at home.
Local Nature Adventures: Discover hidden gems in your local area. Take nature walks, explore parks, or visit nearby landmarks that you may have overlooked.
Mystery Dinner Theater at Home: Create a mystery dinner theater experience at home. Design a mystery storyline, assign roles to family members, and enjoy an evening of suspenseful entertainment without leaving the house.
Photography Scavenger Hunt: Organize a photography scavenger hunt. Create a list of items or themes, and challenge family and friends to capture creative photos based on the prompts.
Historical Reenactment Day: Choose a historical era and have a historical reenactment day at home. Dress up, prepare period-inspired meals, and immerse yourself in the past without spending on expensive events.
Personalized Pub Quiz Night: Host a personalized pub quiz night. Create trivia questions based on your family’s interests and compete for bragging rights. It’s a fun and cost-free way to test your knowledge.
Fitness Challenges: Create fitness challenges for yourself or with friends. Whether it’s a virtual yoga session, a step-count competition, or a home workout challenge, it’s a healthy and entertaining way to spend time.
DIY Science Experiments: Conduct DIY science experiments with your kids. Use household items to explore scientific principles and have fun while learning together.
Collaborative Art Projects: Engage in collaborative art projects. Create a family mural, a collective painting, or a scrapbooking project that captures your shared experiences.
Tips for Saving Money on Adventures
Couldn’t leave out the fun, right? You still deserve to leave the house even if you are living on a small income.
Here are some ways to save money on adventures that are a huge help:
Local Airbnb Experience: Instead of booking traditional accommodations, explore unique local experiences on Airbnb. Stay in a cozy cottage, a treehouse, or a houseboat for a memorable and cost-effective stay.
Culinary Travel Adventure: Plan a culinary travel adventure by exploring local food markets, street vendors, and budget-friendly eateries. It’s a delicious way to experience the culture without splurging on expensive restaurants.
House-Swapping: Consider house-swapping with another family in a destination you want to visit. It’s a creative way to enjoy comfortable accommodations without the cost, and it can provide a more authentic local experience.
Travel During Off-Peak Times: Opt for off-peak travel times to take advantage of lower prices on flights, accommodations, and attractions. It also means fewer crowds, enhancing your overall travel experience.
DIY Guided Tours: Instead of hiring a guide, create your own DIY guided tours using free or low-cost audio guides and travel apps. Explore historical sites and landmarks at your own pace without the added expense.
Public Transportation Exploration: Embrace public transportation in your destination. Use buses, trams, or metro systems to get around, providing an affordable and local perspective on the city.
Flexible Travel Dates: Stay flexible with your travel dates. Use flexible date search tools to find the cheapest days to fly, allowing you to snag the best deals on airfare.
Budget-Friendly Accommodation Alternatives: Explore alternative accommodation options like hostels, guesthouses, or budget hotels. Many offer unique experiences and local insights at a fraction of the cost.
Travel Rewards Programs: Leverage travel rewards programs to earn points and discounts on flights, hotels, and activities. It’s a strategic way to save money on future travel adventures.
Picnic Adventures: Save on dining expenses by having picnics. Visit local markets, purchase fresh ingredients, and enjoy scenic picnics in parks or by the waterfront.
DIY Photo Shoots: Capture travel memories with DIY photo shoots. Use your smartphone or camera to document your adventures, creating lasting memories without the cost of professional photographers.
City Passes and Attraction Bundles: Invest in city passes or attraction bundles that offer discounted entry to multiple attractions. It can save money compared to purchasing individual tickets.
Travel Discount Apps: Use travel discount apps to find last-minute deals on accommodations, activities, and even flights. These apps often provide exclusive discounts for spontaneous travelers.
Volunteer Travel Opportunities: Explore volunteer travel opportunities. Many organizations offer travel experiences in exchange for volunteer work, allowing you to contribute to a cause while enjoying a unique adventure.
Local Culture Immersion: Immerse yourself in the local culture by participating in free or low-cost cultural activities. Attend local festivals, join community events, or explore neighborhood markets for an authentic experience.
Travel Budgeting Challenges: Turn budgeting into a fun challenge. Set a daily spending limit and see how creatively you can stick to it while still enjoying the destination to the fullest.
Travel Off the Beaten Path: Explore lesser-known destinations or neighborhoods. These hidden gems often offer unique experiences and are typically more budget-friendly than popular tourist spots.
Educational Travel Experiences: Plan educational travel experiences for your family. Visit museums on free admission days, explore historical sites, and participate in workshops to combine learning with adventure.
Travel Group Discounts: Travel with friends or other families to take advantage of group discounts on accommodations and activities. It’s a social and cost-effective way to explore new destinations.
Nature-Centric Trips: Opt for nature-centric trips. Camping, hiking, and exploring national parks provide affordable yet enriching travel experiences with the beauty of the outdoors.
There you have it, friends. I told you I’d offer more than just some tips on how to save big on your grocery budget!
If you want to take things a step further, consider looking at ways to make some extra income at home as a stay at home mom.
I hope this post has offered you some new ways to save money that actually work out for you. Now get out there and re-work that stay at home mom budget and work on bulking up your savings account!
FAQs About Saving Money for SAHM’s
Any of the tips in this post serve as great ways to save money as a SAHM!
You can try so many things to make some extra side money as a SAHM. Try out affiliate marketing, selling an online course, becoming a tutor, or even take on some extra kids and babysit!
With that, I think you should have everything you need in order to gain control of your finances and start on a path that’ll help you be more prepared for unexpected expenses.