When I started being a stay at home mom our income was cut by over a third. I had lived poor before we got married so I knew we wouldn't starve and we wouldn't be homeless because we moved on to the military base. Other than that I was scared. I never thought about being a stay at home mom. I was a hair stylist and I was quite social. I was a good hair stylist and made decent money. Staying home the social aspect has been much harder for me to deal with than the money issue. I have found ways to save money and get free products and while they may not be much that little bit seems to help a lot.
I use coupons when I can. We live overseas due to the military but we still have an American commissary. We can use coupons. They do not double coupons but they will accept coupons up to 6 months past the expiration date. My mom sends us her coupon inserts by using them as filling in boxes that she sends. I am also able to print coupons online and sometimes sign up for coupons from companies on Facebook. I was able to save a lot more money when we were in the states using stores that doubled coupons but saving money is saving money and I will always use a coupon if it is available.
I love thrift stores, yard sales, and online yard sale sites too. I wish I had understood thrift stores more when I was single and poor but I love to go to them now. When we lived in Tucson I used to go to Savers every Monday because it was $1 day, everything of a specific color tag was $1. Here I haven't seen thrift store sales but I can still buy like new/ gently used items for a fraction of the cost. There is also a local online yard sale site that you can look for used items for sale. I have managed to score great deals by using these. Regular yard sale season is rapidly approaching as well. There are a few here and there and if I could get up and ready earlier on the weekends I would probably find a few more.
BzzAgent.com is a word of mouth site. You can sign up and take surveys about yourself and then at times you are invited to join BzzCampaigns. I have done a few where they have sent me a product to try out and review. I like this because I am able to try a product for free or deeply discounted. All they ask is that you spread the word about the product and share a review. I love this because I can put an honest review out there. I am currently waiting on my DrScholl's for her insoles to try out. I don't wear heels that often but I would love to see if this actually makes them more comfortable.
Swagbucks.com is a search engine that rewards you with points for using it. You can also take surveys or polls and watch their Swagbucks TV to help earn extra points. You can print coupons and earn point for redeeming them. For even more points you can get referrals and earn points for your friends earning points. I earn about 1 $5 gift card per month. It isn't a lot but it is free for doing something I would be doing any way. My referral link is at the beginning of this paragraph.
Mypoints.com is another site that you can earn points toward gift cards. I manage to earn about 1 $25 gift card per year. They also have a referral program. I do not have a bunch of referrals so these are realistic opportunities for anybody. Printable coupons from this site will earn points as well as shopping online through this site. I receive emails from them with click to earn points as well.
I save money by checking online for deals and pricing when we need clothes, shoes, or personal effects. If I find the price I am looking for I will buy online. When shopping online I also check sites like ShopAtHome.com or Ebates.com to see if they have any online coupons or cash back. A lot of sites are included on these sites.
Most of these suggestions have to deal with savings when shopping. I will share some more ideas on savings around our house at a later time. Do you have suggestions for saving when buying clothes, groceries, or household items?