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How can I turn being a sahm into saving money?

(8 Posts)
BitofSparklingPerry Wed 12-Dec-12 09:00:13

I now home educate a 5.9 yo and a 3.1 yo, so I am hanging about the house quite a bit - how can I turn this into saving money?

We tend to go out to meetups or activities each day, but that means maybe one day we will be out 10 - 6, another 12 - 5, a couple just locally, then activites after school hours, so most days I am in the house for a good stretch. I study with the OU too, so I spend some of my childfree hours doing that too.

DH works shifts, mostly afternoons and evenings, I do Avon, have a bar job on matchdays at the football ground and do mystery shopping (but not as much as I could because a lot of them don't like you to take kids). We are still very close to the bottom of the bank account at all times though.

I'm thinking more home cooking and packed lunches could be a good money saving thing, but what else?

dreamingbohemian Wed 12-Dec-12 09:10:18

I think meal planning and batch cooking would be good -- there are a lot of threads on here for how to feed your family on £40/week and such, they all revolve around planning your meals for the week and using leftovers carefully, which is a lot easier to do when you're a SAHM.

Depending on where you live, you might have time to go to multiple shops to get the best deals. Or go on freecycle every day to scout things you need for the family.

Also, be relentless about anything in the house that you don't need or isn't being used, and sell it on ebay.

Maybe start a dog walking service? (do they have these in the UK?) That's something your kids could help out with too.

BitofSparklingPerry Wed 12-Dec-12 15:23:58

Well, tge ILs are watching the kids for an hour and a half this afternoon, so I can get some stocking fillers from poundland (practical stuff like toothpaste and hair bobbles) and do two mystery shops to earn about £25, and I did some content farm writing today that should earn me about £7. Not much movement on the saving money front yet though. Hmm.

DH took some pasta to reheat to work, and the kids had a chillout day, just doing some reading about the world and a workbook. If it is clear tonight I will take dd1 for a star walk after Rainbows, so I can tick off another free activity. We have a season pass to the planetarium, and I have a bus pass, but it would be £1.10 for dd1 on the bus and metro, so every little counts! Plus actual stars are better than pretendy stars.

YouOldTinsellySlag Wed 12-Dec-12 15:33:38

Good advice here and your kids sound like they are getting some lovely experiences.

I also mystery shop, ebay and write content filler. Are you me?

I have also noticed that when we went away, the lady who fed our cats charged a tenner a day for a half hour visit, do you drive or could you do a job like that? We really needed someone and there were only two companies doing it in our large town.

You are already saving money by providing full time childcare- thousands a year!

YY to batch cooking. I find planning a menu for six days a week means I only cook what people like (the family helps me to put a menu together), so I'm not wasting money or uneaten food and you can buy a frozen bag of mince and use it twice in a week for instance. We also have two meat free days which saves money too.

This is an excellent time to sell on ebay. I always make tons of money in December. Used perfume always sells really well so if you have a half used bottle you could sell that, or last year's children's toys, with a wipe down and new batteries could sell too. You'd also be helping another skint family who can't buy brand new!

You sound like you're doing all the right things. Good luck!

PS Market Force and Grassroots mystery shopping don't seem to mind if you take kids, or at least they never specify not to.

BitofSparklingPerry Wed 12-Dec-12 16:15:22

I don't drive, but we have excellent PT and I have a bike and trailer... Good idea!

BitofSparklingPerry Wed 12-Dec-12 16:29:44

Sorry, Bohemian, just saw I didnt thank you for your advice -thanks :-)

Battlefront Wed 12-Dec-12 16:41:54

I saved loads in my first year as a SAHM. I finally dealt with all the financial matters I always meant to get in hand, but never had time for. Reviewed all our utilities and switched as necessary, really shopped around for everything, but especially insurances, changed savings accounts (or switch credit cards as appropriate). Basically anything we pay for regularly, I made sure, 1, we needed it and 2, we were paying the best price. Money Saving Expert has a good financial health check ( I think that's what they call it) to make sure you're not paying too much for anything.

YouOldTinsellySlag Wed 12-Dec-12 17:15:23

I love the idea of "Star Walks" and might introduce my DCs to that idea. I think it's lovely.

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