My husband is in construction and I am a stay at home mom. In this economy, we are grateful for him still having a job! He makes pretty good money, but things can get extremely tight. With medical insurance, groceries, tuition, and bills, it can be easy to go through an entire paycheck. We have figured out some great ways to not drown.
Sales and Coupons– We get weekly circulars for our local grocery and drugstores. Each week, we look carefully at what is on sale. We buy whatever is on sale, use coupons in addition to sale prices and use our loyalty cards. If ice cream isn’t on sale, we don’t buy it. When it is on sale, we buy 3 or 4! I have also had plenty of coupons for free products, so we have been able to get things like free cookies or free medicine.
Promotions and Contests– I am a freebie fanatic! I sign up for free samples (some of which are full-sized!), coupons, and free products. We have gotten free razors, shampoo, diapers, cups, Bump-Its, gift cards, lotion, etc. It has saved us tons of money, and has allowed us to use products that we normally wouldn’t spend money on.
Babysitting– I have been babysitting for kids since I was a teenager. Now, as a stay at home mom, babysitting has allowed me to be at home while making some extra money. Picking up children from local schools and watching them at home is a great way to make a few extra dollars. It also allows for my 2 year old daughter to make some friends with other kids!
Rewards Cards– We don’t use credit cards for a lot of purchases, but when we do, we make sure to use the credit cards that give rewards! Over time, the points add up, and you can redeem for gifts and merchandise! I have been able to get kitchen items like a pizza stone, pizza cutter and small dishes.
Local blogs, Yahoo! Groups and craigslist– My neighborhood has a Yahoo! Group and I have been able to sell things to local neighbors. And when you are in need of an item, like an office chair, you can easily buy one secondhand.
Focus Groups and Surveys– There are lots of focus groups and surveys that offer monetary incentives. Whether it be cash or a gift card, you can easily rack up $50-$200 just for giving your opinion. Focus groups are often advertised on craigslist, and a quick Google search can retrieve many reputable research companies that give focus groups.
At the end of the day, it is important to research your options, employ your capabilities and use common sense. Even when things seem bad, they can turn great in a matter of hours.