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Six Simple Yet Offbeat Ways to Save Money as a Work-at-Home Mom {Part 1}

Do you want real ways to save money each month while juggling a work-from-home business, a family and a home?

Does saving money seem like a mountain you’d never be able to climb?

Tired of the same old clip coupons and buy in bulk ideas that everyone seems to offer?

Does being a work-at-home mom actually cost you more than you’d imagined?

Well, here’s help!

Six, simple, straightforward yet unique ways to save money easily each month. Here’s the first part of this two-part series for budget-consciuous work-at-home moms:

Use Promotional Codes to Save More Each Time You Spend

You know those promo codes you see when you visit your favorite online shopping website that tell you how much you’ll save on shipping or purchase? Yeah, it is a good idea to learn how to use those codes to your advantage. The easiest and quickest way is to use an aggregator site, that shows you the promotional codes from thousands of online retailers.

According to consumer savings expert for PromotionalCodes.com, Regina Novickis, “To find a code, go to aggregator sites like PromotionalCodesCouponWinner and PromoCodes which organize thousands of online coupons for retailers like Target, Macy’s, Home Depot, HP, Travelocity, 1-800 Flowers and more. The sites aggregate codes by category, store name and holiday deals to help you to save time and money when looking for a specific offer.” Novickis also recommends stacking codes or using two or more codes together on one purchase as well as using promo codes with a sale or clearance item to maximize savings.

MoneySmart Tip: Make your shopping list. Schedule time every week to check out promo codes. Check promo codes only for products you NEED. Visiting promo code sites everyday or worse, every hour can eat into your limited working hours.

2. Create an Economical and Eco-Friendly Work-at-Home Routine

Yes, I keep stressing the fact that going green does not have to be expensive. Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and Founder of FlexJobs.com and mom of two boys, under 5 knows what she is talking about when she discusses tips on saving money while working from home. Fell recommends a WAHM routine that is both eco-friendly and economical. She suggests:

  • Making your own lunch or snack items. Yes, even when working at home we can tend to order in or get takeaway! Need help? Here’s my post on menu planning for the work-at-home mother.
  • Skipping the morning coffee from your favorite café and instead, brewing it at home. Simple.
  • Not replacing your daily commute with daily trips to the grocery store or post office. Combine your errands and minimize your driving time to save both money and time. Sarah Tetreault, owner and creator of Go Gingham, further says, “Save time by running your errands after morning rush hour and before 12 noon. Fewer people are out and you’ll be done in no time.”
  • Setting up your work-at-home office space in an area blessed with natural light to cut back on electricity costs as well as comparing prices for phone/internet and other service providers. In fact, Tetreault suggests doing that for the home as well and I wholeheartedly agree with her, “Think about buying household items second-hand first. Don’t immediately go to the store and buy new. Look around at Goodwill, garage sales or estate sales first. Make it fun and go with a friend.”
  • Switching to electronic documents to save on paper and getting refurbished computers and other home office items.

3. Look Out of the Box to Save Money on Hobbies and Interests

Health coach and owner of Holistic Business Coaching, Michelle Pfennighaus, shares, “I get a 90 minute break each day by going to the local YMCA that has childcare included with membership. My son plays and interacts with other kids, I get some much needed exercise and answer business emails from my phone while I walk on the treadmill. It costs less than a babysitter for the same amount of time, plus I get my gym time. ” A simple example of looking outside the box to save money while getting what you want.

I, for instance, love to read. But reading can be an expensive and time-consuming activity. So, I use the free Kindle application on my Droid to download and read free Kindle ebooks. You’d be amazed at some of the gems I’ve found in the Kindle store for FREE! It’s a win-win for me because I get to spend nothing on my favorite hobby and can indulge in it whenever, wherever.

Tetreault has another suggestion to indulge a love for books or movies, “Check out the library: get entertained at the library. Books, dvds (movies and tv shows), and music can all be checked out at the library for free.”

Like these tips?  Stay tuned for the 2nd part in this series offering you more ways to save money as a work-at-home mom, packed with money-saving ideas and tricks from successful mom entrepreneurs themselves. Sign up now so that you don’t miss out on learning how real work-at-home moms save themselves some money!

Now,  share YOUR own money-saving ideas?

Photo Credit: Steven Depolo

Prerna


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Comments

  1. I’ve been into free Kindle books for the past few months too. Since on the average, I read about one book per week, and a “real” book costs about PHP300 (around $7) here in the Philippines, I save about PHP15,000 (around $350) in a year!

    It is also mandatory for me to keep all 10-peso coins I have and save them up in a piggy bank… :)
    Cham Cuartero recently posted..Locked & Loaded with My New Officemate

    • M15n9c1 says:

      I really love the idea of using a promotional code aggregator to get discounts! I do a lot of meal planning to save on groceries and when it comes to entertainment I invite friends and their kids over. With Blockbuster @Home I can offer my friends new releases before they’re available anywhere else. I just ask them to bring a snack or beverage and we all get to have a great time together. The kids can all play and the adults can get some real conversation in without spending a ton.

  2. 1. I plan our meals. This ensures I have a disciplined grocery list whenever I go to the supermarket, which is twice a month only for staples like rice, condiments, etc. Everything else, I have delivered to my home by the organic farmer and the green grocer — it saves me a lot in time and gas.

    2. We eat at home before going out on errands. It’s amazing how much you can save when you don’t leave the house hungry!

    3. I schedule out-of-the-house meetings with clients on the same day, at different times. So, I can have a morning meeting and a lunch meeting all in one day, if they insist meeting face-to-face. Most times, I rely on Skype for meetings and Tungle to schedule meetings.
    Martine | Work at Home Mom Writer recently posted..Summer Activities for Kids and Teens by Make Believe Productions {Events}

  3. I’m also enjoying a lot of free Kindle books. With very few exceptions (like The Hunger Games) there’s almost no reason to pay for a good read!
    Crystal recently posted..Custom Memorial Quilts Trio Finished

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