Can You Make It Work On One Income? Tips to Help You Save
When I got pregnant with my first, my husband and I made a huge decision: I would stay at home for a year and we would live on one income.
Now, for someone as money-concerned as me, I have to say the idea, though appealing, left me in a state of panic. Lose an income while gaining an entire human being? How would we ever survive?
As you can see, we did survive, and it was made possible for several reasons. First, we made and stuck to a budget. Second, I learned how to find things we needed at a cheaper cost, or, at times, absolutely free.
Through menu planning and matching coupons with sales I was able to save on the price of groceries, and by following companies, signing up for newsletters and attending baby events I was able to get products for free or at a reduced cost.
A little searching and you’ll find some great deals; but I’ve saved you a few steps by letting you in on some of my favorite deals.
Go straight to the company. Prior to my daughter’s birth, I started signing up for newsletters sent by specific companies. Pampers offers Pamper Village, a community with newsletters and coupon savings; Gerber.com sends out a newsletter, too, that includes coupons and information about the growth of your baby. I had to supplement with formula with my first; I signed up and received coupons for formula by Carnation that lasted well beyond the time I needed them. By going to the company you can also sometimes score well with free samples; check the website to see if the company offers these, or email the customer service department.
Try samples. Yes, it would take a lot of samples to care for a baby during his or her first year, but every little bit helps! There are some fantastic ‘free sample giveaways’ out there, and if you take just a little time each day to sign up for them you’d be surprised what you can find. Check out Wal-Mart’s free sample page, which offers a variety of products, and the Start Sampling website, offering a page of samples along with comments by readers for each sample.
Follow the Bird! Social media has become such a great way to connect to deals, and Twitter, in my opinion, is at the top of the game. You can follow a variety of companies and people who discuss great deals and, at times, sign up for and join in a chat session about a specific subject while participating in giveaways during the session. These are some of my favorite to follow on Twitter for great deals:
@TargetBaby – by Target, for babies. Includes sales, specials and coupons
@frugalgirls – not all about babies but a lot to do with moms, parenting, and ladies in general
@savingformyfam – great deals and steals for the family
@couponsfreebies – one of my favorites – around the clock deals put together for moms
On the Web. Some sites are dedicated to bringing you the best of the best freebies. These aren’t always dedicated to items for new moms, but if you can save on products such as shampoo you’ll have more money left over at the end of the month for baby food and diapers. A few sites I like to peruse every few days:
Shopforfreebies.com – Easy to use list of items you can get for free
Momdoesreviews.com – Follow this site for reviews and giveaways
Freebies4mom.com- giveaways, coupons, and samples
Icravefreebies.com – Great list of freebies here for you and the kiddos
Finally, there is right where you are! EverydayFamily partners with some of the top baby brands to offer free samples, coupons, pregnancy and parenting magazines, special offers, sweepstakes and more. All offers are fulfilled directly by the participating company sponsor. Follow this link to get started on the savings!
Photo via Flickr: 401(K) 2012