Trusting Jesus & Counting Pennies

The real reason I’m able to be a stay at home mom? The Lord! God worked everything out and is still working everything out. My husband and I took a huge step of faith when we had our daughter.

Just a few weeks before our daughter was born, my husband entered into a new position at his job, but on paper, it looked as though I’d still need to return to work. I had always longed to be a stay at home mom, but came to peace about working part time when I was pregnant. Then I had my baby girl and that peace was shaken quite a bit. I couldn’t imagine leaving her, and longed to invest all my time and energy into taking care of our home through cleaning and cooking, nurturing my baby girl, loving on her, and (most importantly,) prayerfully raising her up to know and love Jesus as her Savior. My husband felt the same.

We began to pray and seek God. Then we sat down and looked at everything financially, and realized that we could do it – but we wouldn’t have much wiggle room. No room for any big surprises in life (in other words no major car or home repairs etc.). We continued to pray for the Lord to reveal what His will for us was. He spoke to us clearly, that we were to take this step of faith and trust in Him.

Since that day, we’ve had our heat break, our washer break, had issues with plumbing, had to replace big appliances, etc. God provided for every single need. We were able to buy a home closer to my husband’s job, save on gas, save on utilities, etc. By trusting in the Lord, even though we couldn’t see what all was in store for the future, God made a way for us to cut down the cost of living and provide over and above our basic needs.

If you’re hesitant to take a step of faith in this area (or in another area), seek the Lord with your spouse. If your desire is one that is godly, sometimes you may be called to take a step of faith. It may not always be a smooth road, but God will provide and make a way.

“Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase;” -Proverbs 3:9

God instructs us to be wise with our money, so we are careful to budget out every penny, and try to save in every area that we can.  I decided to share some basic ways we have been able to cut down the cost of living, and since I love finding new ways to save money – please share your tips in the comments!

coins-912718_1920.jpg

Money-Saving Tips:

-Try using utilities less in general. Open up the blinds instead of turning all the lights on. Hang your clothes up to dry. Open up your windows in the summer, and dress warmer in the winter (but don’t roast or freeze yourself!). Take shorter showers. Join a cheaper phone company (I’m with Republic Wireless and pay $22 a month!).

-Cloth diapers! This has been a huge money saver for us. And I love it! It’s not complicated at all (don’t be intimidated). I also love that I’m putting a natural cloth against my daughter’s skin instead of chemical filled diapers (yes, even the companies that are all natural, free of dyes etc., and are organic are still filled with junk).

-Speaking of cloth, try to use cloth whenever possible instead of paper towels or napkins. Use cloth rags and cloth napkins.

-Cook/Bake from scratch. This really is a huge money-saver and not nearly as tough as it may appear. This includes making baby food from scratch – definitely way cheaper.

-Coupon. I’m not able to find incredible deals too often on organic products, but am still able to save a nice chunk of money through coupons. Check out this post.

-Start a garden and freeze or can extra produce for the winter. For a cheaper start-up, start your own compost, and save egg shells to start your seeds.

-Take a hobby or craft that you love and turn it into an Etsy shop. That’s how I started Garden Light Candles.

-Phone apps. I love to use these apps: Raise, Ibotta, Checkout51, ReceiptHog, and Swagbucks.

-Save on health insurance by joining a medical sharing program such as Christian Healthcare Ministries. Message me if you have any questions about this amazing ministry, at hillsideblessings@gmail.com (If you sign up, please let them know you heard about their ministry from member #165214)

-If you homeschool or if you’re looking to homeschool in the future, check out my friend’s blog post over at The Woolly Homestead.

-Celebrate your birthday with freebies! Check out this list of birthday freebies.

-Buy kids clothes from yard sales. My daughter wears like-new clothes and they are all either hand-me-downs or from yard sales. I spent probably $30 and was able to get enough clothes in the next size she’ll be in just from going to a few yard sales.

-Simplify your home. There are so many items that we really don’t need. I started selling items on my local Facebook mom swap, and was able to earn some extra cash, and enjoy having a less cluttered home.

-See if you can clean someone’s home, or a church for a little extra money. I have two cleaning jobs, and each of them take just under two hours, and are only once a month (and I can bring my daughter along).

-Look for free activities to do with your kids. My local library has a baby class that I go to once a week, as well as a ton of free summer activities to get involved with. In the summer, look for free concerts at local parks.

-Start making homemade gifts to save money on birthdays and holidays. Check out my post on homemade gift ideas.

-Follow money saving blogs by downloading the app, Bloglovin’. After downloading the app, follow blogs such as, The Krazy Coupon Lady, The Penny Hoarder, Passionate Penny Pincher, Hip2Save, Money Saving Mom, Passion for Savings, The Savvy Bump, Thrifty Littles, Thrifty Nifty Mommy, and The Greenbacks Gal.

-Make your household and body products. Try making some homemade cleaners, laundry detergent (I use this recipe with a bar of castile soap), lotion bars, etc.

-If you’re looking to go out to a restaurant or other fun outing, look for local deals, coupons, etc. first. We almost always refuse to eat out or do an activity without a coupon. Also, consider splitting a meal with your spouse. Here’s an example: go to Texas Roadhouse and get free rolls (you could even ask for extra), use a free appetizer coupon (they send these frequently if you sign up for their e-mail or text list, but they can only be used when dining in), and split the Texas Size Combo of BBQ Roasted Half Chicken with Pulled Pork. All for only $13.99!

I hope these money saving tips help you out. I’d love to find new money-saving tips, so comment away! 🙂

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Trusting Jesus & Counting Pennies

  1. Kastin Krupinski says:

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Another great idea we do frequently is shop at the Grocery Outlet. They usually have plenty of organic foods at half the cost or less than what they cost in a regular grocery store. There’s one in York ( by Gabriel Brothers), one in Mechanicsburg, and one in Hanover. I also like Groupon. You can also find coupons for organic foods by searching for specific items online. And BJs is a worthy investment for our growing boys. They have a lot of organic options, too. 😀

    Like

    • Hillside Blessings says:

      Thanks Kastin, I loved near a grocery outlet before we moved but didn’t realize there was another one I could go to now that we live in a different area. I’ll definitely be checking it out! I love BJs too. 🙂 Thanks for the food saving tips!

      Like

  2. Anna Thornton says:

    Great ideas!! We took a step of faith over 14 years ago and our income was halved when I became a stay-at-home mom. Some other ideas, Aldi’s, planning meals and shopping once a week, cooking double/triple and freezing for another easy meal (we’re a family of 6 total with 2 teenagers), breastfeeding exclusively for as long as it’s mutually satisfying, hand me downs (this is HUGE for us), Wal-Mart’s savings catcher app, checking http://www.retailmenot.com if you’re buying something on-line for additional coupons, praying specifically about your needs and also I feel it’s OK for some wants (we have been provided for again and again, it’s really amazing how God has met ALL our needs, sometimes in really cool ways). Also, simplifying your wardrobe and investing in a Christian money management course (we took Crown Financial Concepts, I feel Dave Ramsey’s courses are more popular now and also very good) and along that line, budgeting. Knowing where you’re more likely to spend “extra” money and then praying for strength/wisdom/discernment to NOT do this (e.g. no shopping for fun, asking “do I really need this book” or can I get it from the library, etc….it’s different for different people/couples). I also kept a booklet for quite awhile of the “best” prices for our more expensive grocery items (e.g. meat, cheese, each family is different) AND bought items when they were least expensive in bulk (this idea was in The Tightwad Gazette, an old publication, but, an easy read and tons of great ideas, our local library has copies). Enjoy your day and best wishes!!

    Like

    • Hillside Blessings says:

      Wow, those are all great money saving tips, Anna! Thank you for sharing your wisdom from being an at home mom for fourteen years. It’s so neat to see how God had always provided for your family through the years. God bless you!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s