Every mom should have an option to stay home with her children, regardless of income

One Weird Trick Saves Me $125/m in Groceries

I’m always looking for tricks and tips to save money in my budget, every dollar counts, especially when it comes to saving money on groceries. Not so much out of necessity, but more because I don’t like the idea of some fat cat millionaire having another expensive lunch on me! Let it be that I am wiser in keeping my hard earned money where it belongs…in my pocket!

I don't coupon a whole lot, so when it comes to spending money on groceries, they are a lot. Here's a trick I've learned over the years to make my budget go further. It's so simple, anyone can do it!

So, every month (or every other month, depending on how selfish I get 😛 ) our family likes to play a game called CHOPPED. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s a show on the Food Network, where the contestants take 4 mystery ingredients and try to make a meal out of it. The person who transformed the items the best, has the best presentation, and who’s food tastes the best WINS.

Usually in our pantry and fridge, there is a myriad of things that are left over, maybe things that I stocked up on when they were on sale, shelf stable things that I could use in a pinch, and so on.

One week out of the month, I forbid myself to go grocery shopping. I use only what is in the fridge, freezer, and pantry. No going to the store for anything! Not only does this save me a bit of gas, but it also saves me about $125-$200! The kids and I love to get creative. Since they are still young and not old enough to cook, whoever comes up with the best IDEA wins. It’s a fun game, rather than a chore. And it gets rid of a lot of food that probably would have gone to waste if we didn’t do it!

I encourage you to try it. If you’re just starting out and you absolutely can’t do an entire week, start small. Try 3 or 4 days the first time and see how it works. I mean, don’t starve. Go to the store for pete’s sake, but if you have the food there, but just don’t WANT to do anything with it, that’s where I would encourage you.

Be sure to stock up on the things you absolutely need to be able to do this as well. For example, my kids have cereal every morning, so I know when I’m going to do this plan, I need to grab an extra milk jug to get us through. If there’s anything your family uses every day like that, be sure to have enough of that item, and supplement with all the other foods in your pantry and fridge.

Related: 106 Top Tips to Save on Groceries

Still aren’t motivated to try it? Think of it like this…If you do this once a month, every month for a year, you will have saved yourself, drumroll please…….$1,500-$2,400!

Do you know how many bills can be paid with those new-found funds!?!?!?!?! Simple tricks like this add up to HUGE savings throughout the year, and it’s how our family ‘beats the system.’ And if you’re looking for real life advice on how to get out of debt and become financially free, check out my new book here on Amazon!

Update: This post has become so popular, that the story was picked up by CBS and Rachael Ray! They asked me to be on the show. Check out my video here.

20151103-Viewer Tip Money Saving Meals

Want my recipes that were featured on Rachael Ray? 

Chicken Pot Pie (as seen making on the show with things I already had in my pantry closet):

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of corn and 1 can of string beans (I usually use 1/2 frozen bag of mixed veggies)
  • 12.5 oz can of chicken (I usually use left over fresh chicken that I’ve diced and frozen to use later)
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 2 tsp McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken – 25% less sodium
  • Bisquick
  • Milk

Directions:

Add all ingredients to bowl, except for Bisquick and milk. Stir well and pour into a greased oblong Corningware dish. Make the biscuits according to the directions on the box of Bisquick and shape the biscuits into round circles. Place the biscuits on top of the mixture. Cover with aluminum foil (My favorite is Reynolds wrap) and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover, add butter to the top of the biscuits (this will brown the tops of the biscuits and make the dish taste better) and continue baking for 15 minutes until biscuits are completely done.

 

I don't coupon a whole lot, so when it comes to spending money on groceries, they are a lot. Here's a trick I've learned over the years to make my budget go further. It's so simple, anyone can do it!



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Comments

  1. Another – even simpler way – to save that sort of money……cut cable/satellite! If you’re trying to live on a budget, TV is an easy place to cut costs…..

    • We went to a digital antenna. Works great. One time cost of under $50.00. We supplement
      it with Netflix on our tv for under $10 a month because we like movies. Saves a lot of money.

  2. Thank you Irene. You are right. Cutting cable/satellite is a FABULOUS way to save money every month. For me personally though, I like to have it. 😉

  3. What a fun idea ! We love watching Chopped. I’ll bet my family would enjoy your “real life version.” Thanks!

  4. This is a really unusual way to save money, but I like it because it gets the kids involved. I usually have a “whatever is in the fridge” day. To the kids this means we are getting ready to go to the store so we have to clean out what is in the fridge!

    • Thank you Michelle. 🙂 It started out because I realized how much food I’d throw away to make room in the fridge for my new food after I went grocery shopping. The amount was incredible. So wasteful. I thought, “what if…” What if I didn’t waste it. How could I use it. Chopped definitely helped inspire the idea. lol. I love the episodes where they use just leftovers. It’s amazing what they create!

  5. I love this idea! I’m not sure I could do it for a whole week at a time, but I think I could devote a few days each week to “pantry meals,” rather than planning a recipe for those days in my menu plan. That might help my grocery budget, which seems to be getting more and more out of control these days.

  6. I like to stay home doing the same. it cost money just to leave your driveway, so make your trips count.

  7. I try and do a similar approach when I’ve blown the grocery budget for the week. I like the idea of getting the kids involved and making it like a game!

  8. Your style is unique compared to other folks
    I’ve read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting. I will bookmark this page.

  9. Great idea! Can you call my husband and get him on board?!?!? Hmmmm…. maybe if I make the winning prize good enough!

    Stacy

  10. Hi Sarah, Thank you for linking up on Thrifty Thursday last week! You were a featured blogger this week! Come see your feature, link up more great posts and we will be tagging your FB page a little later as a feature! Thanks again! – Cassie

  11. LOVE IT!!!!! I used to do something similar, except not quite as often. We used to be paid twice a month, but our budget was based on 4 weeks, so when a month would have a 5th week (5 Monday’s as that is usually my shopping day) we wouldn’t shop. Took a little planning sometimes, but there was always plenty of food to make sure we had full bellies and was a great way to clean out the pantry and keep the dry goods stocked things rotated.
    I have more recently switched to shopping every other week, rotation. I love it!!!! We have an insane shopping day, but I am only doing it every other week. It too, takes planning, but is completely doable, and we aren’t sacrificing nutrition. Early in the two week cycle we are eating things like salad, berries, and bananas. Later in the two week cycle we are eating things like carrots, apples, and frozen veggies.

    • Those are great ideas Leslie. I shop every week, and it usually lasts us a week and a half. I try to do two weeks shopping at once, but I don’t think my cart is big enough. LOL. Do you have a tip of how you get your kids to stay out of the things that last for week 2, like apples, carrots, etc? We generally eat all the good stuff first, then are tempted to go back to the store toward the end because, while we have food, there’s “nothing GOOD to eat!” I think I’m just as guilty as my kids in that area.

  12. I love this idea!! My kids are still pretty tiny, but with some coaching it might be interesting to see what my older one comes up with. Either way, not going to the store is a great savings plan. I spend $20 on impulsive purchases just to keep my kids from having a complete meltdown while we are in there. It’s absurd!

    • Oh man Kiri. I totally feel for you. Sometimes I’m so tempted to just buy my kids what they ask for in the store too. Especially at checkout when I’m trying to pay attention to what is being rung up. It’s like when a mom is on the phone, they attack you! lol. I’m like, shhhhhh, be quiet, be quiet, shhhhh! Ugh. I’ve never bought them something because I didn’t want to start that behavior, but I did once with my daughter, and all she did was complain about it the whole time. How she wanted MORE. Instead of being happy with what I bought her, which was huge. 7 Tinkerbell dolls was on clearance for $20! But, it wasn’t GOOD ENOUGH. She wanted more. I gave in and bought her a purse she wanted. But, then she was complaining she couldn’t have the purse until Christmas, it was a Christmas present. I was so irritated with her. Finally, we got home, I prayed about it, and I talked to her about her behavior. I told her because of the way she acted, I was taking everything back! Yesterday, I took both things (unopened) back. I don’t mind buying something for the kids in the store when I come across a fantastic deal, but not with the attitude like that. She cried the whole time I was returning it. The checker probably thought I was a horrid mom! Oh well. Hopefully next time she won’t act that way. If so, she’s not getting it. I think that making a promise to yourself like that really helps. You’ve already decided what you will do and won’t do. What if they DO have a meltdown? Maybe you could talk to them at home and say whatever you do, I’m not going to give in. This is where I draw the line. The first few times, they DO test. But when they see you’re firm, they generally give up. When my daughter was a toddler, she did the same thing. Screaming in the store. It was so embarrassing, but after 3 times of a firm NO, she stopped. You can do it, I’m rooting for ya! 😀

      • I have 3 hyperactive little ones. My husband and I try to “tag team” who goes to the store and maybe takes just one of them. Or everyone goes together so that mom and dad can juggle any misbehavior back to the van for a talk and time out as needed. “Sticking to our guns” about what our spending plan is the *ONLY* way to peace.
        I have leaned over to other mothers who our trying their best to “endure” their child’s tantrums and said, “Hang on Mamma, your doing a good job now!” Most give me a weary smile but I always pray it helps.
        We shop deals mostly alone or when we are together. Usually dad will loop back a couple aisle, and purchase the present and hid it under a blanket or box in the back of the van while I take the kids to produce to help pick our what veggies we want to have since they like that job and usually are too busy helping to pick on one another.

      • GOOD FOR YOU, Sarah!!! I’m sure that was tough, but what a great lesson in being thankful and not complaining. It’s something we all struggle with – our children just haven’t learned to mask it like we have! But we all need to be thankful for what God has given us, because what we have is not to be compared as more or less than what our neighbors have, but as something to be used for His glory and our good!

        @Kiri – hang in there, momma! Tough love is just that – it’s TOUGH (I think more for us than for them!) <3

    • Kiri, I just wanted to let you know what I do, since I have 3 hyperactive kids as well. When we go to the store, my kids are always looking and finding things they want (don’t they all? lol), but whenever they say “Mommy can I have that?” I respond “Wow, that looks super good. Sure you can have it…if you have enough money to buy it.” I am not mean, instead I try to be super upbeat. In fact, I will join in sometimes…point at something and say “Wow, that looks really yummy to me. I would like to buy that, but I don’t have enough money. I guess I will have to save up for it.” I try to model how I want them to act, and part of that is saying what I am thinking…really showing them what is going on behind the scenes. My kids, though hyperactive, have never had a temper tantrum or acted hysterical when I do this. Maybe it will work for you as well. Oh, and be prepared to have other people look at you funny. 🙂

  13. This is a very cleaver idea which I am always look for when it comes to saving $$. Found this from Mommy Monday Blog Hop. I am so glad I did. Totally going to prep and try this next week!

  14. This is so so brilliant!! Something I’ve never ever thought of doing. My husband is a darn good cook, too. This could be a blast!! Thank you for sharing! I am pinning and tweeting for later!

  15. I did something like this the other day. I wasn’t feeling well and going to the grocery store just wasn’t what I felt like I could do. I had left-over meatloaf in the fridge with various vegetables – green beans, zucchini and tomatoes. Know what I did? I made soup! I chunked up the meatloaf and fried it in a little olive oil, then I added the green beans, zucchini and tomatoes, all roughly chopped up. I let that simmer for about 15 minutes, added some ditalini pasta from my cupboard and a can of black beans. It needed something, so I added some garlic salt and a little pinch of red pepper flakes. Delicious! I had 1/2 of a small boule of sourdough left to serve with it. It made me feel so good that I could clean out the vegge bin and use the left over meatloaf and still have a delicious (and nutritious) meal! I think I am going to continue trying to do this in the future! Thanks so much for your suggestions!

  16. haha, that’s such a cute idea! I live alone, but have been inadvertently playing this game with myself whenever I don’t feel like spending money/driving to the grocery store to get food/etc. Works out rather well and lessens waste too! :]

  17. I try to have at least one week a month where I don’t go grocery shopping. However my husband might stop to get bread and milk if needed. I try not to have him go to the store because sometimes he gets more than what I ask him to get and we don’t need money spent that is should not be spent. I love how this saves me money. I also save money by having a small garden, canning spaghetti sauce, using coupons (not extreme) and getting my beef from a family farmer.

    • Great tips for saving money. I love the one about canning spaghetti sauce! Do you put the hamburger in it and can it so it’s ready to go or omit it until you make dinner?

      • Since I don’t see a reply to your question about adding meat to the canned pasta sauce, I’ll throw in my two cents worth, in case any of your readers are new to canning. Highly acidic items like tomato sauce can be preserved with the water canning technique. Anything containing meat (or chicken or fish) MUST be treated with pressure canning, an entirely different thing. Even low acid vegetables like green beans need pressure canning. Canning is very worthwhile but there are some specific rules we have to follow for food safety. Preserving food can be a lot of fun — botulism, not so much.

  18. The kids and I only drive out of town on payday weekends and only shop at walmart when we do. One trip and that’s it, everything else is local. For food, most of our products are generic which actually saves us quite a bit and I’ve found some homemade versions of creamers and things like that for things I could get cheaper. I discovered Hunts sauce (in a can) is cheaper than regular spaghetti sauce that is in a bottle. For entertainment we don’t have cable but instead do Netflix and Redbox (use the free codes).

  19. I guess I sort of do this already. I make a meal plan & then shop for those meals, there is usually a couple of extra meals on there to allow for flexibility. As I don’t worry about a set day of the week to do grocery shopping & I hate doing it so I’m always putting it off, I will stretch the week out as far as I can, it’s amazing how many more days you can go & it makes you use up things that might get left otherwise.

  20. My Mom did something similar in the 60’s with leftovers and pantry items.. She taught us that you only grocery shop once a month and then one small trip again only for $20 or less only for fresh veggies and milk items. My Mom balanced a tight budget as a widow with 3 kids and a mortgage. We never wasted a leftover or anything in our fridge. It was fun to create dishes with her as a family. We made all our food from scratch. Today I only grocery shop once a month, and go to farmers markets where my greens are $1 each. For 3 weeks every month I create dishes from what I have in the fridge left over and pantry items. I cook everything in the fridge first and everything is made from scratch. It’s a great way to be thrifty, reduces gas by not driving to the store, and saves money. Well done.

    • Thank you for sharing Alexis. It is amazing what we can save when we really set our minds to it. Doing all these things have become second nature to me, so that, now that I do have more money to work with, I don’t need it to cover monthly expenses. I continue to do what I’ve done for a really long time. It’s always great to hear stories like yours. 🙂

  21. Just another idea I haven’t noticed mentioned. If you buy several different cereals ( cold) for the kids, and have some of a couple left Just put them in a gallon jar or some kind of large container with a tight fitting lid. You can mix favorite and not so favorite cereal for a new blend and take up less space, makes a nice change and no cereal that “no one likes” left. I used to do this just using sale cereals, sometimes up to 3 cereals in the jar. Mixed it always tasted good. A little milk and 1/2 a banana cut up on it and we were going high class! LOL You can mix the high sugar types with a no sugar type and they will all be sweet, with no more added sugar.

    • Just curious about why you think your children are hyperactive. I can’t imagine having two more kids if I had had just one hyperactive child. And if they’re not having tantrums when you refuse them treats at the store, I’d say that they are pretty well-behaved and don’t sound hyperactive to me at all!

  22. I unconscionably do something similar. It’s more of a putting off grocery shopping because I hate going to the store. We budget Wednesday to Wednesday so if I put it off long enough, say until Saturday then Sunday rolls around, and well, then you might as well wait until Wednesday and eat what is already there.

  23. My boys love helping me in the kitchen so this would be perfect! Even though they are young I am sure they could come up with a few interesting meals.

    • Yeah, my daughter is 9 and she comes up with some pretty good meals. My son is 6 and he’s like “Yogurt with Ritz crackers” Uhm, no…..LOL

  24. I love the idea of you doing this for a week out of each month! That’s a great idea and one I am going to consider implementing in my household. I do Pantry Challenges (I wrote a post about how I do it, if you’re interested) on the months we don’t receive our pay on time. (My hubs owns his own business, and too often we have to wait for people to pay before we can get paid.) It can be pretty challenging to do it for several weeks or a month at a time so I love the idea of a weekly challenge. Thanks, Sarah!

    • Yeah, several weeks to a month would be a huge challenge. Not sure I could even pull that off. LOL. After a week, I’m like…that’s enough of that! LOL

      • LOL! I can understand that! In the beginning, I’m excited and feeling inspired, but by the end, I am counting the days until I can hit the grocery store.

        That’s why I love the idea you shared here. If I do this one week out of each month, I can put money aside for the leaner months and maybe even things out so that I won’t have to go an entire month. Love it! Thanks, again!

  25. What a fun and creative idea! I’m definitely gonna try this. But since mine are 3 and 3 months I’ll be playing by myself for a while lol:)

  26. Sometimes I go two weeks without going to the store! It really is possible! So cool…didn’t realize what I do is a tv show! Haha

  27. I keep a jar in the freezer, and put my little bits of leftovers in it, like a spoonful of peas, that little piece of meat that isn’t enough for lunch, etc. When the jar is full, we have soup. Add it to a can of chopped tomatoes, add spice as needed and it is an almost free dinner. Pour it over rice or noodles and you can feed even more.

  28. Love this! I try and “shop my pantry” every so often, but this definitely motivates me to do it more. It’s interesting to see the kinds of meals you can come up with if you really look at what you have. Thanks for sharing!

    Visiting from the Party Bunch link up.

    • Thanks for sharing Jody. 🙂 When I first started, I didn’t think I could make very much, but I did and I’m really getting more creative as time passes, so it’s even funner! LOL

  29. I guess when you don’t live in the city you get used to using up just what you have in the cupboards. It must be mad expensive shopping every week. Most winter months we shop every 6 weeks due to the roads on the highways being bad or the city just being too lazy to clear the roads. I think I prob save most money by buying bulk and freezing and trying to make more then one meals out of an item (ie spaghetti sauce, then chilli or chilli dogs, or a manwhich) Often left over roast makes an appearance as stew lol

    • I think it IS more expensive shopping every week. I’m starting a new garden here at my new house for produce and I’m *hoping* to start going every 2 weeks instead of every week. I also changed stores. Fred Meyer used to be cheaper, but in my area, their prices went up really crazy high, so now Winco is cheaper. Still not a fan of Winco, but…gotta save money. Wish we had Aldi’s here. I hear good things about them, but have never been. 6 weeks is a long time. What do you do for fresh items like milk, eggs, and produce? If I could figure that part out, it would help even more. 🙂

  30. Growing up on a farm we didn’t run to the store when we run out of things as it was 40 minutes away. We still use the pantry, fridge or freezer meals then. We shop once a month. Milk can be frozen. Just make sure it totally thaws in the fridge and shake well before using. The first week we eat things like berries, lettuce. The second week we eat more of the items that last longer in the fridge like cantaloupe, cabbage, etc. Bananas will keep in the fridge. The skin turns black but the inside stays good for a week or two. Frozen veggies, apples and oranges for weeks 3 and 4. Potatoes and onions keep forever in a cool dark place (not the fridge). Planning ahead and making sure you have a pantry with all your staples also really helps. We also make soups and casseroles out of leftovers. Celery can be chopped up and frozen until needed in soup, etc. Stale bread made into bread pudding. We don’t throw anything out. Get the kids involved. Once they know they have input most will help or ask for meals with what they see is available.

    • I agree wholeheartedly as I did simlarly. And at the end of the month when things got a bit boring I would make cookies or something special for dessert. Dinner always ended with a smile even when it wasn’t the best I had ever cooked. 😉

  31. I was a single mom of 8 children. Many times when I made a meal there would be a serving or two left put away in the refrigerator. Never enough to make another meal but I couldn’t justify throwing the food away. Some times it became soup or stew but one time I asked my 10 year old daughter if she would like to be a waitress and help me with dinner. I figured out what individual meals I had and wrote them on a pad of paper. She went around to her siblings and took “orders” for dinner. I heated up the plates of food and she “served” them. Everything was used up and we made a good memory that my adult children still remember!

  32. My cousin once told me to move any money I have left at the end of the month to my savings account whether it is $5 or $200. It has served me well to start each month from a zero base.

    I now get into a contest with myself during the last week of the month to see how many purchases can be moved to the beginning of the next month. This includes shopping from my pantry so I don’t go to the grocery store, stretching my gas mileage to get to the first of the month without buying gasoline, etc. The money that remains in my checking account from not making purchases then gets moved to my savings account. Works for me.

  33. I do that all the time. I call it shopping at home. Not only do I do this for groceries I also do this with the myriad of hair products and also with my yarn stash (I’m an avid knitter). I encourage my daughter to look through our things before going to the store! Works with clothes too.

  34. Dear Sarah,
    Thank you for this challenging idea, I will try it myself! I’m always looking for money saving tips as we are living on one income with our two children.
    Blessings!

  35. I have just discovered your blog. I found this article on Pinterest and clicked to see what it was about. The thing that drew me in was “Every mom should have the option to stay home.” I have wanted to do this for months now and turns out I am losing my job by the end of the month. My husband has a full time job with benefits but I was the main “breadwinner.” If I stay home we will be short every month ($900 – $1800) depending on how our bills fall. I feel I should stay home with my kids but this seems crazy considering our guaranteed loss every month. I have been looking into ways to save and even make money while still staying home. Am I being selfish? Should I try to find a job outside of the home? Is there hope for me to work from home and be with my kids (they are young — 2.5y and 1.5y)? Any advice?

    • Tiffany, did you download the free eBook, How to Quit Your Day Job and Stay Home? Many moms put down an amount they think they need to make as income, but in the eBook, you’ll see that it’s far less than we realize. You may have already figured it out using that method, that’s why I ask. 🙂

      No, I don’t think it’s selfish at all. While I can’t tell you what to do, I can tell you that there are a lot of women who I’ve helped discover they don’t HAVE TO work outside the home. I, myself, am a single stay at home mom. Since I live on one income, I feel anyone can do it, especially those that are married and have help. I have none. Before I started blogging, I made $18k/year and made it work with two small children. Always remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Make it happen!

      I’d also encourage you to check out my making money from home resource guide. You can find it here. If you save money (stop money from flying out the window) and add to your income what you need each month after that (which may be lower than you think), you guys will be just fine and your kids will be raised by YOU. <3

      • Thank you. That’s very encouraging. My husband and I are not on the same page so maybe I will have him look at the e-book with me. 🙂

  36. Hi Sarah!
    Love this idea! I was brought up to use left-overs. I think of my Mom as the “Casserole Queen”! Ha 😀
    Glad I saw this posted on Pinterest. I’m looking forward to reading more wise & fun ideas from you.
    Have a JOYfull Day! Susie 🙂

  37. This last year I started using this technique with money I would normally spend on groceries, gas, eating out, and things I might splurge on, etc. during the last week of the month. I would move the unspent money into my savings account and start the next month from a zero base. Sometimes I would have several hundred dollars and sometimes it was just a few dollars, but whatever it was, it got moved over to my savings account. It has been a great way to improve my self-control over spending that has affected my spending the rest of the month as well.

  38. This is so true!!!! And a real adventure/challenge that can be fun! It becomes a game to see what you can make with the odds and ends and it is when you discover some super cool options you wouldn’t have if you could have just done normal grocery shopping. Rock on 3 weeks on/1 week off grocery shoppers!

  39. Where I grew up everyone did this and they still do. I can’t imagine going to the grocery store more than once every two weeks unless I forgot something on the list.

  40. So glad I stumbled on to this!!! Not only did my 4 yr old love the idea of picking out a box of macaroni, a can of corn, a can of cream of celery soup, and a random chicken in a can (sounds worse than it is), he had an ABSOLUTE blast coming up with a new name for our dish! “Macornchicken”
    Thank you so much for the fun and fabulous idea! Love saving money and less waste which also doubled into family time!!
    ~Keep em coming!

  41. Great ideas all! One of our new easy “go to” meals that I usually have on hand is “Cheater Shepards Pie” we use ground beef or turkey–brown; sauté carrots, celery and onions combine with meat add small amount of beef stock and flour for a light gravy. Top with mashed potatoes (either fresh or flakes) and bake til potatoes get a little browned. It’s easy and since I need to eat gluten free I use a gf flour blend in place of normal flour … Hearty meal!

  42. I really enjoy reading all of your posts! I can relate to all of them in one way or another. I’ve decided to start up a blog on my own. I hope to inspire many, like you! Thanks for what you do! I’m always looking for ways to cut costs & you have shown me several ways to do it! That’s awesome!

  43. I just ran into your blog through Pinterest. Bravo! I have been telling other women this for over 40 years. I gladly stayed home with my 3 wonderful children. Financially we may have had a bit more if I had worked outside the home but generally speaking we had as much as thise who were bringing in two incomes. Finding ways to stay home with my children became a job in and of itself.
    I was constantly coming up with new ways to save money because I was home. Often we had only one car which cut down on repairs, insurance, upkeep and the initial car expenditure. Sometimes my husband would take the bus and others I would drop him off, still others I would stay home all day and get lots done while he drove the car to work. Those were laundry days, coupon and meal planning days, etc. Not going anywhere just saves money!
    I used cloth diapers which I realize had some expense. The cost of the diapers and washing them to name a couple. However, all of my three children were trained at a year old and I am convinced it was because I changed their diapers often so they never became used to being wet. They hated it. As a result they were easy to train. I know other mothers who had the same experience. And along thise lines one of the most expensive things in the grocery store is formula. If you are home breastfeeding that saves a bundle!
    I could go on and on and since I am new to your blog I may be repeating what you have been saying. My kids did not suffer. They are all professionally successful (an attorney, University professor and CEO and business owner) and as a result of their training know how to save money too! Another perk!
    Kudos to you and other parents who choose to go this route. It is not always easy but it is always rewarding. I know everyone can’t do it. Especially single parents. I urge any couple to at least give it a try. You will never get this time with your children again and with your last breath you will not wish you had more money or had been promoted but you may wish you had more time with your children. Try it for a year and see if you can make a go of it. Learn to do with less clothes and less expensive items. You will be there for so many wonderful moments!
    MGP

    • Mary, thank you so much for sharing. I’m a single mom and I love what you said about your kids not suffering. Mine don’t either. A lot of people assume though. They are quick to say we don’t have food or something and I’m like, uhm….wanna take a look at my fridge…my freezer…my second freezer in the garage…my kitchen pantry…or my SECOND pantry in the hallway…we have food. lol. Do YOU want some food? I have plenty here! lol. As for single moms, I think it’s even MORE reason to work from home. With the cost of babysitting, it’s so much easier and cost-effective to raise your own kids (unless they are in school) and find something to do from home to make money. There are just SO many more options our generation has that previous ones didn’t. It couldn’t be any easier of a time to make legitimate money from home. I’ve been doing that for the last 18 years! Used to sell on eBay and Craigslist before blogging. Would get stuff free and cheap and resell. Anyone can do that. 🙂

  44. LOVE THIS! I totally do this too – I just need to make a point of doing it on a monthly basis. It’s fun coming up with meals with what you currently have on-hand.

  45. What an absolutely great idea. I will be introducing this into my household. Thank you for sharing this tip. I will be definitely viewing some of your other posts.

  46. I love this simple tip… I would also love to learn more about how to make money without working outside the home!
    Thanks Sarah for your tips!

  47. I’m one for saving. It’s just me and my husband. So I do a lot of freezing. I make dry red beans, freeze I separate zip lock bags. Mac and cheese, I do servings in separate bags and so on. Just take out the frezzer and easy dinner for sides..