Inside: Wondering how to be a stay at home mom, but think you can’t afford it? It may be easier than you think to become a stay at home mom. Read seven surprising ways you can actually save money as a SAHM.

7 Surprising Ways Being a Stay at Home Mom Saves Money | Looking for SAHM inspiration! Saving money is one of the best reasons to stay home with your kids!

Once upon a time I was a teacher. Honestly, as a teacher of gifted and talented children I had every educator’s dream job. And it was my dream job too.

But then my son was born. Thanks to my husband’s CONSIDERABLE big-heartedness, I was able to stay home with my son for the first 8 months of his life.

I went back to work in August, just after he started crawling! I absolutely loved teaching these unique, incredible, and interesting kids at school, but there was a tug in my heart just pulling me back home.

The hubs and I talked and talked about the idea of me staying home with our little dude. And to us at the time it was exactly that.

An idea. There wasn’t any substance to it.

But then one night, as we were folding laundry together (yes, my hubby folds laundry. swoon.) he said, “Why don’t we just plan on you staying home after this school year? We will make it work!” I was ecstatic. I was nervous. I was inspired!

So we started running the numbers. What we found is that there was just a $700 difference between my husband’s income and our monthly bills.

So we whittled that down even more. No more new truck, traded in for a nice but used van, stopped using the dishwasher.

Big and small changes.

We got it down to a $200 negative balance for our monthly budget. That’s workable! I make up the difference working from home in my spare time.

I started thinking about all the ways being a stay at home mom saves money! I’d already had a trial run during those first 8 months with . I saved my son. a ton of money during those early stay at home days.

So I started to brainstorm. There are so many ways that staying home keeps money in your pocket!

These days I’m loving being a SAHM. It’s a challenge at times, and I won’t lie to you and say that every day is perfect. But, I know it’s the right choice for my family for this season in our lives.

Are you looking for that extra push to make your stay at home dream a reality? Check out this list of the many ways I’ve found staying at home works for you and your wallet!

How to be a Stay at Home Mom and Save Money


#1 Breastfeeding

Many moms who work find it to be too stressful to deal with pumping. Pumping IS really stressful, no judgment here. Because I was able to stay home, I breastfed my son for a full year for FREE. Formula costs at least $30 per week.

Related Reading:

SAVINGS: $1,440 per year

#2 Fuel/Gas

For us this was huge. As a teacher I traveled to several different schools in my district every week. I spent an extra $80 per month for job related fuel expenses. As a stay at home mom I do enjoy going on “field trips” with my little dude, but I also just enjoy staying home.

SAVINGS: $960 per year 

#3 Food/Groceries

When I was teaching we regularly ate out or picked up fast food at least 3 times per week, which adds up to about $45 per week, or $2,340 per year. Eat those three meals at home instead. If you figure that home cooked meals cost about 75% less than restaurant meals (yes, even McDonald’s) that means you’ll have huge savings! Honestly if you’re not at home, you won’t eat at home right?

SAVINGS: $1,755 per year

Read more about how I save big bucks on groceries here!

#4 Clothing

There’s so much pressure to be perfectly put together when you’re a working mom. (There’s also pressure to be a perfectly put together SAHM, but it’s so much easier to say no to that peer pressure!) I’m notoriously frugal, so my clothing budget wasn’t that big to begin with, around $30 per month. As a SAHM I keep it simple with jeans, casual tees and a cute pair of earrings or necklace. Read about where I find cute clothes online for cheap!

You’ll love the cute and encouraging mom tees in my shop! Seriously, I live in these 🙂

SAVINGS: $360 per year

#5 Home Maintenance/Housekeeping

Have you ever tried to work a full time job, give your family the attention they need, plus keep a clean house at the same time? It’s next to impossible! Yet millions of moms live with this burden every day.

When you’re at home you can prioritize home maintenance more so that little problems don’t turn into big problems.

An example for me is the simple choice to stop using our dishwasher. Our electricity bill plummeted! Instead of buying a new dresser for my son’s bedroom, I made one out of pallet wood for free during nap time. The list goes on and on. Think of yourself as a homesteader.

One of the things that helps me manage it all as a stay at home mom is having a predictable routine for my kids. Since my kids have a flexible schedule throughout the day, this means I can get everything done and have time to spend connecting and playing with my family! If you’re struggling in this area, you’ll love my eBook and printable pack: Everyday Calm. I’ll give you practical tips and mindset changes to help you conquer the chaos at home with kids!

SAVINGS: $300 per year

#6 Medical Care

It’s not a secret that kids who attend daycare get sick more. A lot more. A friend of mine says she takes about four sick days a month just to care for her son, who gets ill from those icky daycare germs.

Co-pay bills add up. Cold and flu medications are not cheap either! Let’s say you buy 4 extra packs of cold meds per year ($20 each) and visit the doc a minimum of 4 more times ($20 co-pay each visit).

SAVINGS: $160 per year

#7 Childcare

The cost for childcare in the US is staggering. According to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), the average monthly cost is $972. (source) That’s more than my mortgage folks. So how much will you save annually by caring for your own child at home?

SAVINGS: $11,664 per year

TOTAL SAVINGS: $16,639 per year!

Being a stay at home mom can actually put money back in your pocket. Consider it an investment in the financial and emotional future of your family! So what do you think? Are you ready to make the stay at home switch?