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Wondering how to be frugal when you need to be? Are you being faced with some financial uncertainty and know you need to tighten up your finances? Are you feeling a little scared? Unsure about what is coming next and know you need to be more frugal right now?
I’ve been there. I completely understand. I know what it’s like to feel scared and unsure about the future. I know how it feels to wonder how you are going to make ends meet. I know you understand too. Being a stay at home mom doesn’t pay the bills, and during uncertain times, it’s hard to know how you can make ends meet.
Hang on and I promise to provide some ways to be frugal because you need to be right now. I’ll also share some encouragement to get through tough times and how you can cope.
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What If you Could Get It Free Instead?
Mom, now is the time for you to tighten up your finances. Take a good look at all the things you currently pay for and make sure you even need them.
What if I told you there are things you are paying for right now that you could get for FREE instead? There is. Trust me, and you need to stop paying for them right now!
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Being Frugal When Life Is Uncertain
If you are anything like me, when life starts to spin out of my control, I get scared. That’s happening right now. Two weeks ago, no one saw this whole Covid19/Coronavirus coming.
Now that it’s here and life is literally spinning out of control, everything feels uncertain. I love the feeling of control and when that starts to slip through my fingers, my reaction is to be nervous and panicked.
Being a stay at home mom, I don’t currently contribute a lot to our family finances and when I can’t contribute monetarily, I know one thing I can do – I can be as frugal as possible!. It’s time to be the stay at home mom economist! You can do it too and I can help!
God Is In Control
First of all, the most important thing to remember right now is that – GOD IS IN CONTROL.
I don’t know about you, but I love knowing that I don’t have to have all the answers. God does. He knows. God loves me. He loves you. And, He is in control – of EVERYTHING.
Even when I don’t understand what He is doing – He does. And above all else, I can trust Him. That right there offers me a huge sense of relief.
If you are feeling scared and uncertain about what is around the corner, just know God loves you, He is there, and He knows your circumstances completely.
He doesn’t expect you to handle them all on your own – He is there and you can trust that He sees you. Just knowing that He’s got this, is a huge stress relief to me. Give your scared feelings to Him – He will listen!
Be Smart With Your Money
Besides casting all your troubles in God’s lap, I believe He also calls us to be smart with what we do have. Now is the time to take a very good look at your finances and be smart with your money.
Let’s be honest, we don’t know what the future holds a year from now, let alone what the next few weeks will look like. I never imagined that they would shut down our schools and require all kids to do remote learning for a month. But that is now our reality.
It’s time to buckle down and be as frugal as possible. As a stay at home mom, it’s the least you can do to help contribute to the family finances, and thankfully, there are a lot of frugal things you can do!
Are You Feeling Scared?
Are you feeling scared? Me too! Let me share a quick story with you. A week ago they announced that Covid-19 was taking over and that we should not panic. What did everyone do? They all ran to the grocery store to stockpile food.
I totally understand why everyone did this. Fear took over and instantly everyone was trying to control what they could. Supplying basic needs was all that mattered.
I went to the grocery store, the day after the announcement, for my regular weekly grocery shopping trip. It was mass chaos! I was shocked at how many people were at the store and how bewildered everyone was. The shelves were picked over and many were empty.
When I walked into the store I wasn’t feeling anxious, but when I left the store, I sure was. By the time I shopped, tried to find the things that were on sale, and had stood in line for more than hour to buy my groceries – I was feeling very fearful.
My momma’s heart was freaking out. It was that feeling of a loss of control. I hated it. I worried that all the food was going to gone soon – that I wouldn’t be able to feed my family. That we too would run out of toilet paper, even though we had quite a bit at home.
It’s now a week later and no one can find toilet paper. Toilet Paper? Someone please explain?! It’s one of life necessities for sure. I’m thankful that for years and years I’ve been a couponer and have a small stockpile of toilet paper, but I also understand the chaos. Even though I have toilet paper right now, I was still worried I would run out.
Stockpile or Hoard?
There are a lot of people very upset with couponers who have a stockpile right now. I get it, they think that people who stockpile are hoarding everything that everyone else needs to survive.
Let me tell you right now that stockpiling is not hoarding!
If done correctly, stockpiling is smart shopping.
In times of crisis, if you run out and buy everything you can find, then you are a hoarder. That is not how you stockpile correctly. To stockpile successfully, you do it little by little, over time. A smart shopper stockpiles only when items are at their rock bottom price. In times of crisis, necessities are not at their rock bottom price and buying everything you see out of fear is simply being selfish.Stockpiling is not hoarding – if done correctly. It's simply a very frugal way to shop. Click To Tweet
Hear me, don’t be selfish – don’t be a horader. Don’t take from others in need. This is not the time to start your stockpile. This is the time to learn, and understand the need for a stockpile in the future.In times of crisis, if you run out and buy everything you can find, then you are a hoarder – NOT a stockpiler. Don't be a hoarder. Click To Tweet
Let me share some tips on how to be as frugal as possible right now. It’s important to understand the small ways you can be frugal when you need to be – in order to protect yourself in the future.
How to Be Frugal When You Need To Be
1. Make Your Own Cleaners
When I went to grocery store last week, they were out of toilet paper and every type of disinfectant wipes or cleaners. You can make your own homemade cleaner and it’s a lot cheaper for sure! In fact, in my house, I make this All-Purpose Homemade Cleaner, and it works for just about every surface in my home. Mirrors, countertops, toilets, even as a carpet cleaner.
It’s super cheap to make – costing less than $1 a bottle and I love it! You can even make different variations by adding a few drops of essential oils to each bottle. I even like to make the main recipe and then add in plain mouthwash to the bottle for an extra kick of disinfectant.
2. Start Using Coupons Right Away!
If you don’t use coupons yet, start right away! This is the time to begin! Coupons are like free money so this is a great way to be frugal when you need to be.
Contact your local newspaper and ask if they have a free version of their paper that offers free coupons – and if they do, get on that list right away. You can also get online and start printing coupons. MoneySavingMom has a great list of coupon sites to print coupons from, as well as a great coupon database to search for coupons.
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3. Sign up for Coupons Apps
Sign up right now for these two coupon apps – Ibotta and Fetch – they are both free to sign up for!
Ibotta earns you cash back from the grocery store when you redeem items from the app. Basically, you check Ibotta before you go to the grocery store. Find grocery items that you will use and buy them. You can even use coupons and sales to buy those items in your store. When you get home, you simply scan your receipt and then you will earn cash.
A lot of times, you can earn free grocery items! Once your Ibotta account reaches at least $20, you can cash out for cash or even gift cards. I almost always cash out for cash and put that money right back into my grocery fund.
New to Ibotta? I have a great post with a lot more details about Ibotta and why I love it so much that you should read now!: Why You Should Use Ibotta To Save Money
Fetch is a great app that you also need! Fetch is super quick and easy! You simply earn points by scanning receipts to grocery, club, or convenience stores.
You don’t have to match up items, you simply scan receipts. Once your account reaches a certain number of points, you cash out for gift cards to restaurants, stores, etc.
It’s super easy and I love it! We like to use the gift cards to take the family out to dinner at Chili’s and we always order dessert (have you ever had their skillet cookie?! Yummy)!
4. Start Using Cash Back Sites
If you do need to purchase something online right now, like toilet paper from Amazon, make sure you are using a cash back site like TopCashBack to earn cash back on every online purchase you make!
It’s very simple to use – just join TopCashBack and then shop for stuff you need. After your purchase is verified, you will earn cash back on your purchase. It’s not instant, you don’t get cash back that day, but if you are patient and consistent, you can earn a nice little check.
We all need to order things online every now and then and in fact, a lot of times, it’s just cheaper to order online. Make sure you are shopping through TopCashBack first to make sure you are getting the best deal possible!
Utilize Store Sales and Sweepstakes
Right now at Safeway they are offering their Monopoly game. Take advantage of it! It’s fun and you can earn free grocery items. I know you might be thinking that you don’t have time for playing silly grocery store games.
Yes, you do, and you need to!
I play Monopoly and so far since it started in February, I’ve earned a lot of free grocery items like loaves of French Bread, canned vegetables, sour cream, canned fruit, and bottled water.
I’ve also won $5 cash, as well as a $25 Safeway gift card. Playing the store games is another way to be frugal when you need to be. Get your kids to help! It’s also a great way to teach them about money and to have some fun too!
King Soopers and affiliates often have their Buy 5 Save 5 deal. Play the game. Buy 5 items and save $5. I know it can be hard to keep track of these deals while you are shopping, but all you need to do is bring a small notebook and pen along with you. Just make little tally marks on your paper with each Buy 5 Save 5 item you add to your cart.
Make sure you are buying in quantities of 5 and you are good to go! I always park my cart before I go to the checkout line and recount my items to make sure I’m buying the exact quantity that I need in order to get the full savings.
Utilize the store sweepstakes and play the store games. Just another great way to be frugal when you need to be.
Eat At Home
I’m just like you, I love to eat out, but this is one time when you need to eat at home, as much as possible. While you can control the cleanliness of the food, you can also make your meals as frugal as possible.
There are a lot of ways to save money on food. I’ve covered a few of those ideas already by simply shopping the sales and using coupons. Another way to save while eating at home is to use what you have. Go through your pantry and use up what you already have. Get creative and make some unique meals from the things you already have in your pantry.
Get your kids to help. Try to make as many meals as you can without having to go to the grocery store.
Don’t throw away food right now, instead eat your leftovers! I like to play a game with my kids called Moms Mystery Diner. You simply go through your fridge and find all your leftovers. Give each food item a silly name – like, mashed potatoes can be fluffy clouds – then make up a menu. But, don’t tell the kids what the menu items are!
Seat your family at the table and require them to order food from your menu without knowing what they are ordering. Then, fill the orders and your family will get a good laugh out of what they get on their plate!
We do this a lot and it’s sure a fun way to not only be frugal when you need to be, but a great way to use up the food you have!
Make Pantry Staples
Save money by making pantry staples instead of buying pre-packaged items. I know it might be hard to find some of the items needed to make pantry staples right now, but here are 5 Homemade Pantry Staples You Should Be Making.
You might even find the necessary ingredients in your pantry right now. If not, try to stock up on these items when you can at the grocery store and start making these pantry staples all the time to have on hand.
Use Up What You Already Have
I’ll bet if you open your pantry or the cupboard under your bathroom sink, that you probably already have stuff that you don’t prefer but could use. I mean, maybe you have a bag of rice that’s not your favorite flavor, but still works.
Or maybe you have a bottle of soap you don’t love the smell of but would still work. Am I right? I know I do. I have a lot of these types of items that I could use but would prefer not to. This is the time to use those things – long before you run out and pay for other stuff.
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Use what you already have! I have cheap foil that doesn’t work as well as the expensive stuff, but I can still use it. My kids prefer a certain brand of pasta noodles, but we still have a bunch of the generic brand in my pantry that we can use first. Stuff like that – use up with you already have!
You Can Do It!
Ok, I feel like I could keep writing and writing more and more tips and ideas on how to be as frugal as possible when you need to be – but I’ll stop for now. There are things you can do to save money, especially when times are uncertain.
Now is the time to be frugal! You can do it!
More Money Saving Posts:
If you want to read more posts on how to save money from home read these:
- Easy Pantry Items To Stockpile
- Where You Can Find Free Coupons
- 25 Ways Stay At Home Mom Can Save Money Today
- Can You Afford To be A Stay At Home Mom?
If you need help let me know! Comment below on your best ways to be frugal right now.
Also, if you need prayer, if you are feeling scared, let me know! I’m honored to pray for you! Jump on over to my prayer page and let me know how I can support and pray for you.