Most stay at home moms have a lot on their plate. Between cooking, cleaning, and caring for the kids, they don’t have much time left for themselves. On top of all of that, stay at home moms usually have the responsibility of managing the household budget — which can be a difficult task if there isn’t much money to go around.

If you are a hard-working stay at home mom struggling to manage the household’s finances, this is the article for you. We are going to share several essential tips for saving money as a stay at home mom. Let’s check them out.

Buy groceries in bulk and prepare food in batches

A shopping trolley in front of groceries

This is one of the effective ways for stay at home moms can save money. It is also a major time-saver, which can make mealtimes simple and stress-free.

Start by becoming a grocery bargain hunter. Scan brochures, look at advertisements and use bargain websites that find the best deals available for groceries. Focus on finding non-perishable goods like canned or frozen foods. Also, look for long-lasting staples on special like sugar, spices, nuts, dry pasta, rice, and so on. When you see a great deal, buy it in bulk.

The groceries you buy must be items that you realistically will use within the next couple of months. Ensure that you have the appropriate storage available for the foods you buy, including airtight Tupperware, crates, and glass jars. There is no point buying 10 kilograms of rice if you don’t have containers available to keep it safe from mice and other pests.

If you have a large freezer, bulk buy meat and other frozen products when they are on special. Don’t bulk buy fresh produce unless you know the items will be used within the next few days. It is also a good idea to carefully inventory your food. You can use a spreadsheet for this, with details of how much of each food you have and their expiry date. This will help you use all of the food you buy and avoid wastage.

Next, purchase a large number of freezer and microwave-safe food storage containers and start cooking meals in large batches meals. Set aside one or two days each week where you cook for a few hours, making large lasagnas, stews, pies, curries, and other foods that can be frozen. Portion the meals up into the food storage containers and put them in the freezer. For the rest of the week, you simply take out frozen meals for each day and reheat them at dinner time.

The advantages of this approach are that you will make substantial savings on your grocery bills and the time you spend cooking will be greatly reduced. On some days, you will spend as little as 10 minutes in the kitchen. Read this guide to learn more about meal prepping.

Set a strict monthly budget

A budget concept image

If you are currently operating without a budget, you are not using your money efficiently. That because without a budget, it is virtually impossible to identify all of the non-essential spending that is occurring each month.

Start by creating a spreadsheet where you detail every purchase that the family makes over the course of a single month. This will give you an idea of where the money is currently going. Next, identify frivolous purchases that can be eliminated. Take those off the list and create a budget that restricts how much money can be spent on different household purchases.

Your budget should include all of the income and expenditures in your household, including wages, house payments, groceries, utilities, clothing, fuel, and so on. Once you have created your budget, you will have much more control over your finances — and have more money left over at the end of each month. Read this guide for more information on budgeting.

Sell the things you no longer need

As your children grow older, they will quickly outgrow their clothes and their toys. Instead of discarding these items or giving them away, get into the habit of re-selling them. Use websites like eBay or Gumtree to sell these items — or have a garage sale every 6 months. This simple tactic could net you hundreds of pounds each year.

Drop the shopping habit

Another simple way to save money as a stay at home mom is to not go shopping!  This can prevent frivolous purchases and save you a huge amount of money each year. If you find yourself bored at home, have some friends over, go for a bike ride, have a clean up, do some gardening, read a book, or start a new hobby. You will think of dozens of activities you can do around the home if you put your mind to it.

Make more money

Take a look at the other side of the money-saving equation — your income. Most stay at home moms do have some extra time on their hands which they can use to supplement the household income. Some of the best ways for stay at home moms to make money include mystery shopping, blogging, completing online surveys, selling items on eBay, participating on focus groups, babysitting, or working as a virtual assistant.

Look for cheap ways to entertain the children

A child blowing bubbles

Children are inquisitive by nature and enjoy new experiences. You can use this fact to your advantage by having a constant stream of new games and activities that they can play at home. To get started, visit Activity Village, a website packed with hundreds of kid’s activities.

Save on your bills

Scrutinise your bills to find additional money saving opportunities. You may discover that you are paying too much for utilities like electricity, gas, and insurance. There could be hundreds of pounds of savings available by simply changing providers. Additionally, consider asking your current provider for a loyalty discount or if they will match a competitor’s price.

Another option for saving money on utility bills is to cut your usage. Be more mindful about energy usage around the home, install energy efficient globes, improve the heating efficiency of your home, fix leaking taps and so on.

It’s easy to save money on phone and Internet expenses as they are highly competitive markets. Look online for the latest deals. Another opportunity for saving on bills is to eliminate or cut back on optional expenses like streaming service accounts (Netflix, Spotify etc). For more ideas on the savings that are available, read this guide from the Money Saving Expert.

Pay off high-interest debt

If you have credit card debt or payday loans, you could be spending a massive amount of money on interest payments each month. Make a concerted effort to pay off these high-interest loans as soon as possible.

Make sure you are receiving all of the appropriate government benefits

The UK government provides families with all kinds assistance, ranging from help with children’s educational expenses to financial assistance for low-income families. You can make sure you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to by visiting Entitledto.co.uk.

Start a veggie garden

Gardening is a wonderful past time that can improve your health and provide you with a source of delicious food for your family. The food that your garden produces will also be extremely cheap compared to purchasing vegetables from the local supermarket — helping you save even more money.