How I Afford To Be A Stay At Home Mom

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How I Afford To Be A Stay At Home Mom In A Two Income Society. | themodestmomblog.com

It’s a common concern. In a day where it is extremely common for both parents to be working full time jobs, the question frequently arises. “How in the world can you afford to be a stay at home mom?”

I never considered working outside the home. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, and even after we got married I stayed at home instead of getting a job. We knew we wanted a family right away, so three months after getting married we found ourselves expecting our first child! It was an exciting time, but finances were very, very tight our first few years of marriage. During the most difficult times I offered to go get a part time job, but Sean was insistent I stay home with our children.

The answer of how I afford to be a stay at home mom is pretty basic. It’s because we make that choice, and always have. We make sacrifices so I can be a homeschooling mom. We didn’t enter marriage and base our house and car expenses on a two income family, it was always based on getting income from my husband.

Things we choose to do without:

~ We have never had a brand new house. There is nothing wrong with a brand new house, it’s just never been in our budget.

~ We don’t drive brand new cars. We have made the decision to not drive super old cars either though, after realizing we spend a lot of money in repairs.

~ We don’t have cable.

~ We don’t eat out very often. When we do go out as a family it is normally to Chick-Fil-A. Our oldest child has been somewhere like Olive Garden 2-3 times in their life. The food court at Costco is a favorite (wow, that sounds really uptown doesn’t it?) :)

~ We don’t have nice furniture. Seriously. Right now our couch is falling apart (like, one of the cushions has a hole in it and every time you sit back it shoots batting into the air!), our fake leather chair (“pleather” they call it) is literally shedding itself all over our living room floor (a toddler stuck a fork in it and things unraveled from there), and our dining room table is a mix-match of wood and painted chairs that are really sad looking. We hope to get newer furniture when we move, but for now we just are trying to be content.

~ We don’t go shopping all the time. My husband is hard to find clothes for in his size, so we buy all of his clothes brand new. I like to get my clothes from Deborah & Co., thrift stores, ThredUP and department store clearance and sales racks. The children’s clothes come from local Kid’s Closet Consignment sales and ThredUP.

~ We don’t go to the movies. If we actually want to see a movie that has come out (which is rare to find a decent one), we wait until it is on DVD and get it from RedBox or the library.

~ We don’t have expensive hobbies. We keep our hobbies on a cheaper scale. For example, I’d love for my boys to take bow and arrow classes, but weekly classes and investing in a bow is not cheap.

However that doesn’t mean we don’t spend any money at all. We just carefully think through if it is a good investment for our family.

Enjoying a Princess party with my daughterEnjoying a special Princess party with my daughter.

Things We Do Spend Money On:

Music Lessons – We have our daughter in violin lessons. I feel this is a good skill for her to learn, and she seems to be learning it fairly well. This is an investment in her life, as she could possibly teach lessons when she is older.

Good computers – When we first were married we didn’t even have a computer for a year or two. Now with my husband in graphic design, the only computer he will buy is a Mac. They are not cheap, but they have held up extremely well.

Homeschool books – I know some people don’t spend much money at all on homeschool materials. You can’t spend it if you just don’t have it. There are ways around buying curriculum, but I make it a point to find the money for the curriculum I want. I don’t spend $1000 a year on materials, but I know I spend around $400-$500 a year on curriculum. I love to use Heart of Dakota with my boys, and while I find it used it still isn’t cheap. Then I have new math workbooks, etc. and it all adds up. I look at places like Ebay, HomeschoolClassifieds.com and local used book sales.

Food – Ok I know everyone spends money on this! We are not purists, but I try to buy healthy food for my family. We shop at Aldi’s and Costco a lot. I avoid the processed food at Aldi’s (besides cold cereal), and I get fruit, veggies, and dairy products there. I also get my canned food like beans, tomato sauces, and pasta there. I get my lettuce and organic carrots and spinach from Costco, and get greek yogurt and organic hamburger at Costco as well. I’m not an all organic shopper (we just don’t have the budget for it) but I pick and choose what is most important to me.

There are times that no matter how badly you want to be a stay at home mom, it’s just not possible. Your husband might be ill, you might be a single mom, or your husband lost his job and you have to work. Those are valid reasons, and this post is not meant to discourage you.

However there are many other families who say they could never afford to let the wife stay at home, yet they have brand new houses, drive brand new cars, and want the very best of everything. If you want to be a stay at home mom, you have to sacrifice something!

I’ve been blessed to stay home, homeschool my children, and still be able to earn some money to help our family out. Besides Deborah & Co., Lilla Rose has been an amazing blessing to our family! If you are needing to earn some money from home, don’t miss out in this chance to join a very unique company and earn up to 45% each month. The only requirement is to sell or purchase $29 a year. There are no monthly party requirements or inventory that you are required to purchase. I love this company, and love the owners and people that work for them! The free shipping special ends July 31st, so don’t delay!

Join Lilla Rose during the free shipping enrollment special!

I’d love to hear how what sacrifices your family makes so you can be a stay at home mom! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How We Have Spent Our Summer Outside

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This is a sponsored post, I am a Kmart blogger, though all opinions are my own.

Since I live in the midwest area we experience all four seasons. By the time winter is over, we are more then ready for warmer weather to come. Summertime brings so many fun opportunities, and I thought I would share with you how we have spent our summer outside.

We love to go to the park in the summertime! We love to go to the park in the summertime! We have a favorite park that is kept up really well, and even has a lake nearby at the local Bass Pro.

Fun on the jungle jim bars! Our older boys love to climb the monkey bars in a variety of ways. :)

Washing Clothes at a Historical eventWe went to a historical day at a Mill and old house, and the children loved getting to wash clothes by hand, make rag dolls and rope, watch the sheep being sheered, tour the house, and see all the historical costumes. It was a fun day outside as a family, yet we were learning about history while we were together!

horseback riding in the summer months! We have let the children go horseback riding at a children’s farm, and they all love it! The boys have gone with family on actual trail rides before and love doing that in the summertime as well.

Lazy Fun in the Sun Then there is the lazy summer days of eating snacks outside (popsicles are a must!), reading books on a blanket outside, jumping on the trampoline, exploring in the ditch, catching fireflies at night, and sidewalk chalk and bubbles.

Are you looking for ideas for the summer months?

How about…

Making a tepee outside with branches.

Fun with water guns.

Slip and Slide (add bubbles to make it even more slippery!)

Put a sprinkler under the trampoline and bounce away while you cool down.

Take a long bike ride as a family.

Cook an egg on the hot sidewalk.

Make homemade ice-cream.

Go swimming.

Go to a drive in outdoor movie theater (I did this once as a child and it was a totally new experience!).

Set up a tent in the backyard and sleep outside.

Invite friends over for a BBQ outside.

Fly a kite.

Make a treehouse.

Have a water balloon fight.

These are just some ideas of things we enjoy to do in the summer, or things we want to do!

If you are looking for a place to get some fun summer toys, Kmart has a great selection! Here is a list of their Hot Deals for Summer! #KmartSummerFun

I’d love to hear what you stay busy doing in the summer months! 

My Weekly Menu Plan

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My weekly menu plan for our large family!

When Sean and I went away on our trip recently we had some really good conversations. They were not easy converstations, it was one of those moments in your marriage where it stretches your relationship, and you are both working so hard on finding the middle ground on how to balance everything.

I mentioned in a previous post that we have lived a crazy busy life the past few years to get Sean through college, but that after he finds a job things will need to change for me. That doesn’t involve closing everything down, rather it means focusing my efforts wisely and hiring more help.

What does this all have to do with menu planning? Basically for the last two years I’ve done very little of it. We have survived on burritos, taco salad, sandwiches, and spaghetti. Seriously. It’s been sad. Oh and Costco pizza. Can’t forget that!

My family was understanding, but they are ready for better meals now! I planned a menu plan for the week and we have been enjoying new meals!

Our Week Long Menu Plan

Breakfast

Oatmeal

Cold Cereal

Stuffed French Toast

Yogurt smoothies for me

Lunch

Leftovers

Sandwiches

Soup

(I was inspired by this blog post on having soup for lunch!)

Dinner

Chicken Barley Soup 

Chicken soft tacos

I marinated chicken breast using this recipe, then made the Pioneer woman’s rice recipe from her holiday cookbook.  I served it with black beans (sprinkled some taco seasoning in those), cheese, sour cream and lettuce. They were yummy! We had these twice this week. Yes, still a mexican dish but my family loved it. :)

Lasagna Style Spagetti Squash

Enchilada Casserole 

Parmesan Orzo,  steamed veggies and baked Chicken Tenders

Sunday lunch is normally at my sister’s house

I love pinning recipes on my Recipe Pinterest Board!

 

 

 

Large Family Lunches {simplified}

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Large Family Lunches

 

A Guest Post from Katie at Simple Foody blog. 

In our family, lunches can be the one thing I’m always unprepared for. It’s generally just me and the kids, there are enough of us now that I need to actually prepare a large meal yet we ate breakfast only a few short hours ago and no-one is ‘starving’ as they like to tell me at dinner.

It’s an inconvenient meal, it breaks up the homeschooling rhythm, nothing ever ‘sounds good’ and the baby is generally ready for a nap and a lunch time meltdown is sure to come shortly. After months of grumbling about our lunchtime routine, I finally found something that works!

Large Family Lunches

Soup. We’re gluten-free in our home due to two celiac children and little boxes or packets of microwavable food just don’t work for our large family (and our budget, ahem). But soup….soup works. And I think it will work for you too!

Every Monday morning I make a large pot of soup during breakfast clean-up. This pot of soup would ideally feed your family twice (you’ll eat it for lunch on Monday and then again for lunch on Wednesday). Double or triple your favorite recipes to make this work for your family. Tuesday morning I make another large pot of soup during breakfast clean-up, this pot of soup will feed you Tuesday and again on Thursday. Friday we have a meal the kids help assemble: sandwiches, veggies fruit and hummus, or crackers and cheese. It’s a fun meal and since Friday is our errand day it works well with our schedule.

Why Soup?

Soup is generally frugal, easy to assemble, nourishing, and who doesn’t love the thought and smell of a simmering pot of soup. Once bowls are ladled up for the day I carefully pour what’s leftover into half gallon glass jars and store in the fridge for it’s appropriated day.

Large Family Lunches

Depending on the soup served depends on what I serve with it. A chicken and rice soup is generally hearty enough to be considered a meal all on it’s own. Vegetable soup or tomato soup are served with a slice of cheese toast (easier to make than grilled cheese and I use half the bread). A beef stew will be served with a veggie platter and on occasion I’ll serve our daily soup with a heaping bowl of home canned peaches or applesauce much to the delight of the children.

What are your favorite lunchtime meals?