Monday, October 15, 2012

10 Money Saving Tips for New Stay-at-Home Moms

Thinking of becoming a stay-at-home mom or dad? It's much harder than giving your two weeks' notice.

money saving tips for moms

Oh no! What have I done!

Two years ago, immediately after the birth of our first child, I quit a perfectly cushion-y, perfectly secure job. Even with so-so pay for the software field, I had excess dough for date nights, spa visits, and flights to see families.  

The yuppy lifestyle tasted as sweet as the 4-dollar lattes I frequently enjoyed. Then, all of a sudden, no more paychecks :O(

But still, no regrets. No regrets at all!

For three devastating years, I battled infertility. Needless to say, Jo's arrival was a true miracle. How could I, after so long of a wait, leave her with some stranger as a tiny infant who needed and deserved all my care and attention?

This was my thought: money is awesome. But I have an entire lifetime to make money, and only a few years with my daughter until she goes off to school. It was time to give up facials and lattes.

Commit. And let the savings begin.

Committing to a lifestyle -- and career -- change took a LOT of digging inside -- a lot more than I expected. However, once I committed, I felt more focused on making family no. 1, including helping us save money. And over time, the more I saved, the savvier I got.

So, thinking of becoming a stay-at-home mom or dad?

THINK HARD! And make sure you think of all the aspects of staying at home. Make sure you are ready to give up your career, life, free time, sanity, certainly people's respect, and of course the freedom to afford whatever you want. 

Sounds intimidating? Life as a stay-at-home parent is certainly a hard choice. But trust me, it's well worth the effort.


Now, onto the money saving tips:

1. Buy in bulk

A no brain-er. Your baby needs mounds of diapers, wipes, paper towels, etc. Buy in bulk, so you pay less. 

And don't worry about the judgemental snobs who look down on Sam's Club. Do what's best for your family.

money saving tips for moms
If you have x amount of dollars and need y amount of items, make x/y as small of a number as possible.

2. Join Mom Groups

Local mom groups not only offer opportunities to meet new friends, but also offer used baby items for sale or for free. 

The exersaucer my daughter used for almost six months cost $60 at Target, and cost us NADA.

3. Improvise

If your baby's diaper leaks at night, don't automatically size up. She may not be ready. Instead, insert a maxi pad to add an extra layer of absorbent.

If you lose something, replace it with what works, instead of buying a new one. I lost the travel changing pad that came with our Diaper Dude, but replaced it with an old towel. Hey, it worked.

Creativity gets you through anything.

4. Use Premium Brands

Again, ignore the brand-concious snobs. Premium brands work just as well as name brands. I have been using Safeway brand stuff for a long time. They work well.

5. Share with Your Kids

Baby oil takes off eye makeup like magic. Baby wipes clean kitchen counters spotless. Cetaphil lotion, which our pediatrician recommended for toddlers, heals adults' cracked heels too. 

Products that children use work spendidly on parents. Share and save.

money saving tips for moms
I wipe EVERYTHING with baby wipes.

money saving tips for moms
Including makeup at night.

6. Cut Cable

If you are busy tending to a baby, you have less time for silly reality shows. Cut cable, and spend the money on activities with your child instead. Plus, do you really want your kid watching trash anyway?

For better entertainment, get Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. Same good shows, much better price.

money saving tips for moms
$7.99 a month? Count me in.


7. Find Coupons Online

You wouldn't believe the amount of coupons and savings you can find online. eBay, for example, offers jaw-dropping deals. I've certainly bid on a few.

Also, there are great coupon sites, like, which offers fantastic deals on your favorite brands. Each day, finds and shares coupons for fellow moms on diapers, formula and such. Excellent way to save, if you ask me.

money saving tips for moms
Thank God for the internet, right?

8. Buy Cost Conscious Clothes

Pass the pumps, go for the pumas. Why pay $100 for a pair of shoes you don't wear much? You are a mom now, and casual is key. But casual can be chic too. Think: skinny jeans, sweater dress, and riding boots. Not so bad, right?

money saving tips for moms
These flats cost only $12. They are fashionable and comfortable. After two years, cost per wear is like...pennies.

9. Get Discount Occasion Clothes

Of course, you still need to dress up once in a while. For special occasions, go to discount stores. You can still find elegant clothes, but for much cheaper.  

money saving tips for moms
No need to spend a lot on something you only wear occasionally. This cocktail dress was only $16.00.

10. Don't Babies R Us for Everything

Babies R Us is a fantastic store, but an expensive one. For various baby items, toys and clothes, try discount stores like Ross, Marshall's and T.J Maxx. I found a brand new changing pad for $5 at Ross once. It would have cost me $30 at Babies R Us.

money saving tips for moms
Check out this super cute top for my girl.

money saving tips for moms
And check out its awesome price too!

Stay-at-home moms and dads have tough jobs.


We work around the clock, and don't get paid.


But we sure have become savvy money savers.


Any other money saving tips you can offer?


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