The Frugal Mom - Saving Money

Staying at home with your kids is something you want to do and you feel great for having taken this road on life's highway. But especially during these perilous economic times, staying at home as opposed to having a 9-5 job and bringing home a paycheck can make a serious dent in your pocketbook.

It might be necessary for you to practice some stringent money saving techniques and become a cheapskate. There's nothing wrong with being a cheapskate! In fact, saving money instead of spending beyond your means is smart. There are a lot of ways to stretch a dollar. Some of them are even fun! Here are a few that will help you pare your grocery bill:

  • Never go grocery shopping without a list.
  • Watch the newspaper to keep up with sales on items you buy regularly.
  • Clip coupons!
  • Buy generic. Many or most store brands are as good as the brand names.
  • Stockpile things you use a lot when they're on sale.
  • Shop at discount stores or warehouse stores and buy in bulk.
  • Shop only once a month.
  • Cook from scratch and bypass pricey convenience foods.
  • Plan your menus by the month.
  • Don't throw out leftovers, incorporate them into another meal or freeze them.
  • Look for rebate deals or Try Me Free forms on things you buy regularly.
Besides saving money on groceries, there are ways to pinch pennies on household expenses such as laundry detergent and cleaning products:
  • Divide dishwasher detergent tablets in half.
  • Make your own laundry detergent. It's easy and economical, plus healthier.
  • Quit using all those store bought cleaners! White vinegar is an effective way to clean almost anything in your house.
  • Wash and reuse Ziploc bags.
  • Do simple home repairs yourself. You can Google for help on almost anything.
  • Get free samples online. Walmart.com, for example, always has several to sign up for.
  • Instead of using so many paper towels, use cloth towels or wipes.
  • Reinvent uses for everyday things. Plastic grocery bags make free liners for small trash cans, for example.
  • Invest in a hair cutting kit and how-to video and give your kids simple haircuts yourself.
  • Do your own manicures and pedicures.
In addition, there are numerous ways to shave your electric and gas bills for heating and cooling your home:
  • Seal all cracks around doors and windows to prevent heat loss in the winter or loss of cool air from the AC during hot weather.
  • Put your electronics on a multiple outlet strip and turn it off at bedtime.
  • Use a crockpot for roasts, stews, etc. instead of the stove or oven.
  • Use a toaster oven for baking rolls, toast or small cakes instead of the regular oven.
  • Teach the kids not to flush the toilet every time they use the bathroom.
  • Keep the freezer full; it will take less electricity to run it that way.
  • Clean the coils behind your refrigerator every month.
  • Replace central unit or furnace filters once a month.
  • Open blinds during the day to take advantage of solar heat from the sun.
  • Put up a clothesline and dry your laundry there instead of in the dryer.

These are just a few handy tips to being a frugal Stay At Home Mom. Once you get your head wrapped around it and buckle down to save, you can come up with a lot more.

Remember, a penny saved is a penny earned!