The following post is a guest post by Patricia. Enjoy!
BK (that is Before Kids), DH and I had well paying jobs. With our dual incomes, we didn’t have to worry about where our money went. We didn’t spend foolishly but we didn’t have to follow any budgets. Anytime we wanted to travel or feed our technology habits, we did and didn’t think twice about it.
Then along came H.
When we found out I was pregnant, we knew I would stay at home with the kids. The money I was paid while on maternity leave went towards building up our savings. We got used to living on one income BEFORE we actually lived on one income.
Here are some of the things I have done to cut our costs.
Breastfeed (if you can, if not don’t beat yourself up)
Mother’s milk is the cheapest option for feeding a new baby. It’s readily available, it’s at the right temperature, it’s already sterile. If you choose not to breastfeed (for whatever reason), check out how to save on formula below.
Make your own wipes
With wipes running about $5.00 per box, making your own will save you a bunch of money. It’s quick and easy too. Check out the recipe I use here.
Sign up to get freebies and coupons
I signed up for as many freebies as I could before my first was born. If I didn’t need the samples, I forwarded them, and the coupons that came with them, onto friends and family members. Here is a list of links to get baby freebies and coupons.
Babies grow fast. They grow so fast that they never get a chance to wear out their clothes or baby accessories. That means there is a bunch of used but in great condition baby items out there! Make it known to friends and family that you would appreciate receiving the hand me downs. You can also get great deals on used items at garage sales and second hand stores. Enjoy buying used while your little one doesn’t care where things come from. In a very short period of time they will want the latest and greatest! NOTE: For safety reasons, cribs and car seats should always be purchased new.
Try before you buy
My first liked being in a baby swing, my second preferred a bouncy chair. I didn’t know that until I tried them in each. To save money, you can borrow baby equipment to see if your baby will like using it. You can also take baby equipment for a test drive by contacting a baby rental company. They will charge a rental fee but that will still be cheaper than buying an item then finding out later your baby screams when placed in it.
Make your own baby food
There is no secret formula to making the pureed peas or carrots that you see in baby food jars. Steam your chosen fruit or vegetable, stick in a blender or food processor to puree. Freeze portions in ice cube trays. Once frozen, plop the cubes into a freezer bag. All done!
We have been a one income family for the last 3 years. In that time, we have added a second child (baby J), moved into a larger home, purchased a new (to us) larger vehicle and continued to travel.
Yes, we have made sacrifices.
Yes, we are more careful about where we spend our money.
But we are able to live quite comfortably on one income by using these money savings steps.
Patricia is a SAHM to two adorable “Littles”, wife to a wonderful husband who encourages her to stay home with their children and a follower of Christ who is trying to raise her children to do the same. You can visit her at her blog, Littles Rule the Roost!