Pinching Pennies and Tightening Our Belts…It’s All About Saving More and Spending Less

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Anyone out there remember learning about Victory Gardens? According to Wikipedia,

Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at private residences in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. Making victory gardens became a part of daily life on the home front.

I have been thinking about those gardens lately…little plots of dirt and seed that united our nation. The reason why I was thinking about those gardens was because we as a nation seem to be facing a new challenge together: finding ways to stretch our dollars. There is no getting around it, the price of EVERYTHING is increasing, and people are changing the way they live their lives, much as the gardeners did. I truly believe that saving money and being thrifty and conscientious of our dollars and cents is going to be the new “in” thing. You can quote me on that the first time a celebrity announces they are clipping coupons!

I wanted to address several issues in this post, and if our readers are interested in reading more, I will address some of the more specific ways we MoM’s can save money in future posts.

Let’s start with this: Conflict over money is the number one cause of conflict and divorce. Yep, number 1! And with gas prices rapidly rising, grocery prices skyrocketing, and all of the child-related expenses (times 2 or more!) we face every day, living life is pricey.

As a stay at home MoM, or a paycheck collecting MoM, now is the time to keep your eyes wide open. It is not time to shy away from the truth of your family finances. Regardless of who pays the bills in your household, I believe it best for both husband and wife to be aware of the money coming in, and going out. Simple budgetting and regular discussions about your financial needs and wants will go a long way toward making your marriage with your financial partner strong.

Regardless of your current earning status, we as MoM’s are stewards of our family finances. More often than not, we are the main shoppers for our family. We have tremendous “buying power.” How we choose to spend our money makes us the most powerful consumers in America! (okay, maybe I made that up, but I bet it is close to true!)

Another lesson that I have been learning lately is to practice contentment. It is so easy to get caught up in the idea that things=happiness. According to the huge pile of “things” in my basement, awaiting their time to shine at my upcoming yard sale, “things” DO NOT=happiness. Nope, they actually=more dusting! I think I may have to stop watching HGTV, as that channel does not help me to be content!

What are your current money worries? Do finances play a large role in your daily life? Would you like to read more about this topic? What money saving topic would you like to see addressed?



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6 thoughts on “Pinching Pennies and Tightening Our Belts…It’s All About Saving More and Spending Less”

  1. I was talking with another MoM whose twins are now 6 about all of the wonderful offers from companies out there for multliples. Since on the topic of finances I thought I would pass along to anyone who needs the info on a great deal from enfamil. I currently am breastfeeding my 7 mo old b/g and supplementing with formula. My pediatrician did a referral (per my request prompted by customer service) to the sales rep for enfamil. The sales rep then contacted me for some minor details and before I new it I had a case of 4 25 oz cans of powdered formula worth over $100!(Most of the formulas come in liquid concentrate but we were using gentlease) Anyone using formula should contact their Pediatrician and ask her to refer her to the sales rep for the multiples program with enfamil (similac does not currently have a program). Also Huggies offers a one time issue of coupons for multiples. Contact huggies for details. Great way to save a few bucks! ….also I am a huge fan of the veggie gardens…everyone should give it a try!

  2. Ah, babies are so expensive. I was just thinking that the other day, when I made a trip to BJ’s for “babyfood”—it doesn’t help that they’re on a fruit kick now.

  3. I’m not a MoM (or even just a Mom, for that matter), but I just love your site! Right now, my husband and I do a few things to cut back on expenses:
    – making 2 big meals that last all week (eating leftovers really saves us a lot)
    – taking my car wherever we go (better gas mileage than his truck)
    – programming the AC unit to adjust when we are at the office or late at night when we’re in deep sleep.

    Those little changes have helped us a lot!

  4. I am a part time (evenings) working at home dad. There are lots of ways to save money on the grocery bill with kids. I find that making baby food myself was ALOT cheaper than buying the pre packaged kind. I mean read the label on Gerber Organics…… carrots, water. It sounds dumb, but the magic bullet really paid for itself, just like the infomercial said.

  5. Great post!
    I actually feel pretty blessed and for the strangest of reasons… my husband was out of a job for the last two years (he was fired & had to go to court to get his job back)
    Anyway, during that time, we struggled with newborn twins and 7 other children on less than $30K a year! It was BEYOND rough, esp. since we live in EXPENSIVE NJ.
    Well, now that he has his job back, we could’ve gone crazy with spending and gone right back into our “old lifestyle”, but instead, we learned so many humbling things during those two years that it is just very EASY for us to deal with having less now.
    Probably the only time i would ever feel fortunate that we once were really “poor”.
    what life lessons we learned!
    :) debi

  6. This is a big issue for us right now, as we just moved into a new house that is almost triple the mortgage payment that we paid with our old house, as well as triple the utility bills. So, we are now on a budget!

    My husband bikes the kids to daycare in the Burley (about 2 miles each way), if it’s not raining. He also bikes to work (about 6 miles each way). I would prefer not to spend the entire day at work with helmet hair and sweaty clothes, so I drive.

    We stopped buying pizza at our most favorite pizza place for Thursday Pizza Night. Instead, we buy it at a take n’ bake place and, if we want more than 2 toppings, we make our own. Oh, and the fact that we always use a $2 coupon also helps!

    I try to buy a lot of my spices, flours, grains, etc. in bulk from the bins. Spices are SO expensive in the little jars. An example…bay leaves in a little jar are about $7 at our local grocery. The same amount in the bulk spice section (which is often fresher!) was about 57 cents.

    We are trying our damndest to only go to Costco three times per month instead of 4 or 5 times per month. We NEVER get out of there for less than $200 a trip. Seriously…even if we “just” go for diapers, the total always creeps up to $200. I swear, they have some sort of subliminal message piped over their speakers that makes you unable to spend less than $200.

    I buy whole wheat bread from the bakery or Costco and freeze it. I refuse to pay $4 on a whim for crappy store bread.

    I could write all day, but it’s time to brew another cup of coffee!

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