Two years ago I was made redundant and while people spoke to me about how easy I’d find it to find another job, I knew that wasn’t the case, mainly because while they were talking I was trying not to throw up. Morning sickness. Yep, I pretty much got pregnant with my second child the same week I got given my notice. Understandably I was *slightly* concerned about how we would afford for me to stay at home so both me and my husband really looked into how to save money on all our outgoings so that we wouldn’t get ourselves into any trouble financially. Two years later I view being made redundant as one of the best things to happen to me, we still live a fairly similar lifestyle but I no longer have to deal with my (delightful) ex-boss. And although I’ve labeled this as how to save money when you become a SAHM, obviously this applies for all the working parents too, we’ve all got bills to pay! Here’s how we did it.
Join local Facebook groups
I’m in several groups for local mums and they’re great for selling stuff your kids have grown out of, buying kids stuff on the cheap and getting ideas for thrifty local days out.
Switch energy suppliers
It used to take about five weeks to switch energy suppliers but the average wait is now about 17 days meaning you could start saving money really quickly! Families can often save around £200 by switching, enough to cover a few weeks of food shopping if you’re trying to save money! Some fixed deals are £100 cheaper than they were last year and by using the sites recommended by OFGEM on their Be An Energy Shopper site you’ll be able to compare prices easily.
Do your food shopping online
Actually we have two different types of food shop that we do, one is the one to Lidls or Aldi’s where we stock up on cheap stuff, the other is online shopping. Yes, you do pay for delivery but if your counting the pennies I’ve found it really helpful before to see how much my food shop is going to cost and go back and change things if I think it’s too much. No panicking at the till!
If you have debts, work out what you can (or need) to pay off
When I was made redundant we had a few outstanding debts. We looked at which ones had the worst interest rates and paid a couple off using my redundancy money (I do appreciate not everyone gets a sudden injection of cash!). Other debts like student loan we just left, it was about us working out what bills we could deal with.
By the end of the day I’m normally shattered and not in the mood to cook at all. I try to batch cook meals like pasta sauces and chilli con carne so on those knackered days I have something healthy that just needs heating, meaning I’m less likely to get a takeaway.
Visit your local Children’s Centre
Yes I know their services have been cut down a lot but my goodness sometimes they are still amazing! I did a course with my son when I was 20 weeks pregnant and spent most of the time lying on the floor while he ran around. It was free, the women who worked there were totally non-judgey about how useless I am while pregnant and it kept my toddler busy. Lifesaver.
Have a budget for the week and keep to it.
I have a budget for each week that I normally draw in cash on a Monday and spend throughout the week. Having the cash helps me to see how much I have left for the week and think about if I really need to buy something or if it means we’ll be stuck at home on Thursday and Friday!
Swap kids clothes with friends
Because frankly, no one sees your kid when they’re asleep in their sleepsuits so it really doesn’t matter if they’re old.
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I’m working with BritMums and DECC alongside the #PowertoSwitch campaign. I have been compensated for my time. All editorial and opinions are my own. Visit www.BeAnEnergyShopper.com for more information about switching energy suppliers.