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When I was pregnant with our first son, I was teaching at a school that I loved. I was enjoying working and loved the children and staff that I worked with every day. With all of that said, I knew that I wanted to be a stay at home Mom.

stay at home mom

I was going to have to learn how to become a stay at home mom on one income.  As much as I love teaching and working with my students, I knew that I wanted to be a stay at home mom even more.  I knew that I could afford it, with a little work on my end… saving and trying to supplement Mickey’s income.  I knew that it was going to be hard.

Since I first made that decision years ago, back in 2006, our family has grown…

We now have four children…  3 boys & a little girl.  (you can read about them here)

A group of people standing in front of a barn  in the grass.
I knew from the month that I quit that I loved being a stay at home Mom.   I missed my students, don’t get me wrong, but I loved being home with our children.  I knew that one day, I could choose to go back to work, when our kids were in school.   Quite honestly… as a teacher in North Carolina, if I worked and put four kids into daycare, I would be making little to no money each month, after I payed the preschool bill.

I work in the evenings on my blog (you can start on here).   I love writing and I earn an income doing it, which allows me to stay home with our children…  

So.. How did I go from working full time, as a teacher, to being a stay at home mom?   Let me tell you…

Today I want to share a sneak peek of my book, You Can be a Stay At Home Mom on One Income {money saving tips}, where I talk about making money from home, among other things.

  • DON’T GO!
    Don’t go shopping for things that you don’t need! If I go to the store, I will be buying things. Of course, I love to shop, but shopping with young kids is a challenge in itself, so that is enough of a reason for me to stay home or do something a little more kid-friendly (and free!)
    If you are thinking about grocery shopping and saving money, you will want to refer to this post that I made earlier:  saving money on groceries- 10 steps to save you a LOT of money at the grocery store, without coupons.A little boy getting carrots from a vegetable stand in a grocery store.
    I do use coupons when our local grocery stores offer triple coupons (they triple the coupon amount) or super doubles (where the store will double your coupon up to $1 now, so if you have a $1.00 coupon for toothpaste, they will double it to $2.00, making thetoothpaste free.) I get most of our toiletries completely free using coupons. I also get baby wipes for free, snack foods, cereals and many times juice and other food items for free and a lot of other items, too (make up, medicines…)
    I get my coupons on Sunday (usually from my Mom and my husband’s parents) and I file them by date in a little file-folder box. I wait for the great sales and I start clipping them.  I didn’t want to go into how I coupon, because this post would be WAY too long, but I do explain it in my e-book.
  • Shop only on sale
    I NEVER would pay full retail for anything.  Getting a great deal on your car- If you are not afraid of a base model, you can get a great deal. My husband loves cars, but we have to be practical. We can not spend a ton of money on a car that will depreciate the moment it leaves the lot, while we have four growing children at home that are getting MORE expensive as they get older.   We normally buy either a (well-kept, low-miles) used car or the new car that they were trying to get rid of because it is a manual instead of the automatic. Getting a stick-shift will save you thousands on a car purchase, if you can drive one (trust me, it is easier than people think!).
    I stack clearance items with a coupon. (Kohls has so many sales of 75% off on their clearance sections. Match that with the 30% coupon that comes in the mail and you’ve got a great deal!) Our kids all got new tennis shoes for $22 total (They were about $7-$10 each on sale and over $60 each at full price, so we saved over $150). They had their tennis shoes on clearance at our local Kohls, so we just went in and found them and added our 30% off. Our kids shoes DO NOT last long in this house- they love to play outside and run around, so getting a good deal is a must when they only last a few months (not to mention how quickly little feet grow!)
  • SWAP:
    Also, try having a clothing swap with your friends!  It will save you  ton of money and everyone loves it!  It’s a win-win
    I also take advantage of the KIDS EAT FREE restaurants.  There are a TON in our area!  If you are looking just search: “Kids eat free restaurants in YOUR-CITY-HERE”.mickey & becky
    The local libraries offer PLENTY of great activities for kids! Our library has Mommy & Me classes, as well as “drop off your child for an hour class”.   They are all geared towards learning and socialization.
  • Along with libraries, if you look around, you will find a lot of great, free places to take your child. Look up online “Free kid activities in YOUR-CITY-HERE”. I’m sure you will be amazed by the amount of free things that you can do every week in you area.
  • Free coloring sheets and activities at home.   Here is my free Potty Training Coloring Book that you can download by clicking on the image below.

  • TOY SWAP: 
    Have your friends bring over their “not played with anymore” kid toys & you all just swap them out for each others toys. (This is best to do when the kids are not around to say “WHAT?! You are giving away the Barney toy that I have not touched or looked at in three years? That is my favorite toy in the whole world! You can’t give it away!”  See more on Hosting a Toy Swap Here.
    Have your own “Preschool” with friends: The above activities (find more activities here), paired with a few play dates and lessons from you at home can easily replace preschool, in my opinion.  I think preschool is great when your child is about to enter Kindergarten, but if you can save during the years prior… do it.  You could even find a free Mothers Morning Out program- I was in one years ago where we just all had our kids at a local church (8-10 kids at a time). Once every six weeks, I would be the “teacher” of the kids. During the other five weeks, I did not have to be there, because someone else was the ‘teacher’. You could easily arrange this with a few friends. Find a local church or swap houses each week.
  • That being said, I sent our kids to preschool when they turn four, but that is not to say that I did not heavily debate keeping them home to teach them during the preschool years.  In the end, I decided to send them.  I wanted them to be fully prepared for school (not academics, but socially & in the aspect of how to listen to their teacher, etc…) Sunday School is great for this, too.   PS- here is an older post that I did on the average age to send your child to preschool.
  • FREE Date night:
    When we have date night, it is normally at home. If we have to go out, my parents will watch our kids for us, but we have our kids in bed by 7:00 on most nights, so we normally don’t have to go out anywhere because we have plenty of time to ourselves in the evenings.This eliminates the need for ‘date night’ since we can have a ‘date’ at home every night- we play board games or card games some nights. We rent movies at Redbox (sign up on their website & they will send you codes for free movies). On special occasions, my husband will run out after the kids are asleep and pick up dinner (Chinese food, anyone?) and I will feed the kids earlier – here are some easy meals. (If you want to find out how important eating dinner as a family is, check out this post on “dinner as a family“. )mickey & becky
    We do not use credit cards, unless we are sure that we can pay off the full amount when the bill comes. We have a few that we can pay off over several months, during one of the “12 months free financing (pay no interest for 12 months) This means that we can buy something (example: material to build a porch at Lowes) and have it paid off before we get any interest- we pay it off at least two months before the interest rates kick in. Most stores do this.To name a few: Best Buy, Lowes, Home Depot, Ashley Furniture. JUST MAKE SURE THAT YOU CAN PAY IT OFF IN FULL A FEW MONTHS BEFORE IT IS DUE… BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY. They will charge you interest on the entire purchase price if it is not paid off in full first.
  • Credit cards make it too easy to say YES when you should say NO. I have family member that will pay everything on their credit cards to get the points, which is a great way to go if you are disciplined enough to keep track of all of your spending. You need to pay it off in full when that bill comes in. Raising a large family without stress would be hard to do with the weight of debt on your shoulders!
    Buy used! Do you know how quickly kids go through things these days? I love to shop at our local consignment sales or to buy things from friends in my Mommy Groups. It is a great way to help other moms and help myself. In the end, we have both had a financial gain: I save 75% on that toy & they gain 25% back of what they paid for it originally.

    Diapers are a huge expense, so I potty trained our kids early!  I trained my kids early, at one year old (around 20 months).  I wrote a book about how to train them in three days (over a weekend).   It has so much information in there, so I know that anyone can have their kids trained in a weekend.  If you would like to read it, you can find more information on it here: POTTY TRAIN IN A WEEKEND.
    potty train in a weekend
  • CARS:
    I actually had my Dad write a full book on this!  This book has such great info.  (My dad is a scientist that has worked on car safety for over 20 years.  He knows so much about getting the best price for the best car!)   Remember- it is the OUT THE DOOR price that counts, not how much you will pay every month!


  •  Make Money: 
    You can make money on all sorts of  ‘online’ places!  You can be a ghost writer and earn an income writing anonymously, rent your things out (house/cars/boats), sell used toys, sell furniture that you buy cheap or get for free and fix up-  I do all of this on online groups.   If you have a talent, use it!   Tutoring?  Sewing?  Writing?  Crafting?   Or start a blog and teach others how to do it (they’ll pay you to do it!)  I know one woman making over $60,000 teaching people how to knit on the internet.

    However you save money… remember the reason…♥


    allie & becky

For more posts, sign up for my weekly newsletter here. 


For more money saving tips, You can purchase this ebook for $9.99: You can be a stay at home Mom

You can be a stay at home mom on one income



earn money from home - 15 ways

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. I do a lot of these same things with our brood. Great tips and great advice for all of us to stay out of debt.

    One thing I have tried and was not in love with was I felt like there were not great restaurant choices and the stipulation of spending a certain amount caused me to spend more at a restaurant than I would have normally so that I can get to the coupon amount. Sometimes these deals are not worth it. However, we have bought many groupons for restaurants and we find that to be a much better deal for us. Once you buy it there is no further cost necessary unless you decide to spend more than the groupon amount.

    Also, I have 4 very active kids (3 of which are dirty, rough and tumble boys), and I have found that if I spend a little more on their tennis shoes they last much longer. We only buy nikes. I have tried EVERY brand out there with my 11-year-old and nikes are the only ones that hold up. What we do is go to a place like shoe carnival that is constantly doing a buy one get one half off sale and buy the kids their shoes. Here they are cheaper than a department store to begin with and then with the other sale on top I can get a great deal on great shoes. I only buy them new tennis shoes before school and then again in the spring. I actually save money by buying less cheap shoes through the year. Once my kids get a new pair of shoes their old pair becomes their outside run around pair and the new pair is for school/around town. I totally agree that you should shop on sale and not pay full price, but sometimes a deal is not a deal if you are replacing a lower cost item more often.

    1. I agree w/ you on the shoes. (We like real crocs b/c they last so much longer than the knock-offs.)

      OH- and… we like a pizza place (local), Tonys, and it is usually on there, so we love using it for going there. We can all (extended family included) get a GIANT pizza using this & its enough for everyone. 🙂

      Thanks for the great tips!!

  2. One thing we did before i officially quit my job was live off of one income 2-3 months before my last day. Any money I made we put into savings. After I quit we had money in savings and realized during that time that we would survive living on one income.

    1. This is a great idea!!! I have a 7 year old and a 2 year old and hopefully more children and for a about a year now we feel God pulling me as a Stay at Home Mom. I have always worked so this will be a difficult decision. We will definitely be doing this before we take the plunge.

      Thank you!!

  3. Great tips and put most of them to use already…trying to figure out if it’s possible to live off of one TEACHER’S salary :/ Not sure it’s humanly possible, but I’d sure like to try.

    1. Sarah- You can do it for sure. I’m sure you’ll find a way. Try to do something part-time, at home (transcriptionist or something,maybe) I have a few friends that live off of one (teacher’s) salary. 🙂

    2. It is possible! My husband is a teacher for a charter school, meaning he makes even less than public school teachers, but we make it work. The biggest thing is financial priorities and knowing what’s important and what isn’t. We don’t have cable and just make do with our antenna. Any shows we can’t see we watch online. We just barely got Netflix last month because it’s only $8. Right now we have only one car, which can be difficult, but is possible. We do plan on getting another, but it really has saved us a lot because I can’t go anywhere to spend money! We live in a modest home that fits our needs. We work hard to save on groceries and try to only shop twice a month (we take our budgeted grocery money out of the bank so we stick with it…once its gone, it’s gone). This also makes us plan our meals more accordingly to what is in our pantry. We try not to spend money unless necessary. I do day care out of our home but we put all of that money in a savings account. It can be tight but I promise it can be done!

  4. Great tips, I am not a stay at home mom but a wanna be stay at home grandmom! Great tips. I am having a problem with eating out. Well I work but if I was a stay at home I would have more time. But I have worked for many yrs and cooked for many. I am a semi-retired cook now. Visiting from Aloha hop
    Living F.A.B.ulously on Purpose

  5. I know a lot of you will be mad at me but oh well, this is my opinion. I don’t think it’s fair if you’re working to just stay at home with your kids not bringing in any income. I’m a big believer in marriage being a partnership, and unless your spouse is rolling in dough, I don’t think it’s right to leave all of that stress and responsibility on him. You should do your part to help the income of the household. This isn’t the 50s girls, c’mon now. No matter what anyone says I’m going back to work full time after I have children, because that is what my mom did and she still had time with us after school and at night. I love working and I know I would go crazy being at home, busy or not. Sorry if I made any of you mad but then again, this is MY opinion. I wished others shared it

    1. You certainly have a right to YOUR opinion as I do to mine. Im sure no one is mad. I think it is MY job to stay home and raise OUR children, not daycares or a babysitters, and my husband loves that Im home with the kids. I love being the one that takes care of my family and our house full time. I dont think a job is nearly as important IF I GET TO CHOOSE and I know sometimes we do NOT get to choose if we work or not, I have definitely had to work. Fortunately, we cut back a little here and a little there and I get to stay home, we would not have it any other way.

    2. says:

      In response to previous poster… Emphasis on the “when I have kids” part….You’ve got it all figured out before you have kids, do you??
      Please understand that your opinion on family dynamic extends only to your own family, which as you pointed out does not yet exist. To project your opinion on how others live their lives’ is called judgement.

    3. I just love how women who have no children have an opinion about working moms or sahm … How about you reserve your opinion until you actually have children because you haven’t a clue …. smh , From a working mom …

    4. In response to the previous commenter: In our family it wasn’t that I had to be the stay at home because I’m the woman. We were both unemployed and it came down to whoever got a job first would be the working parent and the other would be the stay at home. Contributing to the family doesn’t always have to be monetarily and in our case (2 special needs kids) one of us HAS to be the stay at home. You may think that being a stay at home is backwards but it’s not. In some cases it’s a neccessity. One question for you though … Since you don’t have kids yet … what facts are your opinion based on anyway.

    5. daycare/dayhomes are very expensive, unless both you and your spouses jobs are well paying one of you will be working just to pay the babysitter. Hey, do what suits your family. moreover, if you know that you are not cut out to stay at home, don’t. but a partnership does not mean exact separation of exactly the same duities. We are partners whoever works and whoever wipes more bums. The work does not care who does it but I think it sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder about ‘woman’s work’

  6. In reply to the last post: Well it may not be the 50’s but, I quit my full time job where I had my own office, to raise our children when my son was three months old. I know many people don’t have this option and for us at the time, it was a big risk, but it was my hearts desire. I did not want my child’s first smiles, crawling, walking wasted on other people. I wanted to witness those things. I couldn’t in my right mind leave my child to be raised by other people and only spend three or four hours a day with them. My oldest is now four, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I love being home with my kids, its where I know I should be. When my kids are school aged, I will return to work, but I’m not gonna be the mom that misses practice for a meeting. And you know what, what the hell was wrong with the 50’s anyway? How about that for some food for thought? By the way, I support my husband by taking care of the needs of our home and children.

  7. Great tips! Definitely worth referencing again.  I’d  love to have you link this to Titus 2 Tuesday this week on Cornerstone Confessions.. This is right up the purpose of Titus 2. I hope to see you there. 

  8. Hi! Visiting from A Bowl Full of Lemons (Link up)! I am so glad I found your page. You are definitely an inspiration. I am a SAHM, too. Mother of 1. I’ve never knew about I’ll have to check that out! Thank you for sharing!! New follower here. 🙂

  9. Can you tell me the web address for the children’s educational resources. I am unable to click on the link. I loved reading this. Thank you, Jennifer

  10. To the person who posted this is not the 50’s, staying at home is actually making a BIG contribution to the family. I am currently working and we have one child. Recently I found out I am expecting and the first one to mention that one of us should stay home was my husband. It almost doesn’t make sense financially for both of us to work. We spend so much by both working (daycare, gas, food) and we never have time. I wanted to stay home since my first was born but I was always telling myself I just need to give it a try. By the time the second one arrives, hopefully I’ll have gotten the courage to quit my job.

  11. Great tips!

    Thank you for partying with the Wildly Original Crowd.
    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!

  12. I was completely confused about it! LOL. I didn’t realize you wrote it- I thought you just linked up in 5 minutes until a friend told me. 🙂 Next week… 😉

  13. southern Savers is an awesome site but she only covers the south. I’ve found bargins to bounty does a great job in the north, they are as easily laid out like Jenny but it gets the job done, especially for meijer shoppers. 🙂

    1. Exactly. I live in ca in an area where no stores offer double or triple coupons. I would love to use them to get our toiletries for free! For now I just stick to store brand which is cheaper than I can get name brands with coupons usually

  14. It must be the week for frugality! I just wrote a similar post on living on a single income (we also have four children). However, you’ve included some ideas that I didn’t think to include, such as using, etc. Great tips! 🙂 I’m visiting from pin-it Tuesdays.