We are a family of five, homeschooling and living on one income. We budget tightly to make everything work, to get the bills paid, and to be able to buy anything we need for school. Because homeschooling is important to us, it is completely worth budgeting to homeschool on one income.
Budgeting to Homeschool on One Income
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Cut the Cable
We do not have cable or satellite, we have in the past but we don’t use them, and they cost a lot for what they are worth. Instead, we have Netflix and Prime Video and have thought about dropping Netflix at times. Between those streaming services and borrowing from the library, there is nothing lacking to watch.
I love finding coupons to save on things that I am already buying makes me so happy. Like not having to pay for the price for dog food, that makes me super happy. Those puppy dogs are expensive, especially now as we realized poor Bourbon can’t have chicken.
Turn Off the Lights
Ok, if you have kids this one is a challenge. Open up the curtains or blinds to let light in. Turn off the TV when not watching, etc. A huge challenge with kids, I get it.
Shop with a Grocery List
Meal plan and make a grocery list. We use Out of Milk on our phones to keep track of what we run out. Stick to your list, don’t just buy something because you see it.
Eat before you go shopping, you won’t buy as many impulse items. I also check flyers for items on sale. One thing I have learned to watch out for is the dog food we buy. There is always one store that has it on a rotating sale. I only buy it on sale now.
There isn’t that much of a difference when choosing between brand name and generic. For the amount of ketchup that my children go through with a few fries, I’m not buying the brand name. The same goes with other condiments, rice and pasta just to name a few things.
Cook at Home
Eating out is expensive. It costs at least $50 just for us to go to McDonald’s, and I don’t like McDonald’s enough to spend $50 there. I can make a lot of great meals for that money instead, and we’ll be eating healthier, and feel better after those meals.
Grow a garden each summer full of vegetables that you and your family love. Each year we grow a lot of tomatoes to save for the whole year. I still have tomatoes in my freezer from last summer. We make spaghetti sauce and salsa from them too. I don’t know the last time that I bought diced tomatoes or tomato sauce.
Air Dry / Hang your laundry
I rarely run my dryer. I have clotheslines inside and outside. I have two lines running from one side of my basement to the other. The natural gas furnace dries my laundry no problem. I do run the dryer more in the winter just for towels and such.
You can also use drying racks anywhere in your home.
Drink More Water
Cut back on the sugary drinks, this also goes towards cutting bad habits out too. We all drink a lot of water, in fact, we rarely buy anything other than milk. In the summer I’ll buy a big container of ice tea mix, which lasts most if not all summer.
Want to save more on water? Stop buying plastic bottles of water. Instead buy a reusable water bottle for each member of your family and take water with you when you leave the house.
Shop at Thrift Stores
We also love hand-me-down or used clothing. My kids both grow fast and play hard which equals going through clothes like crazy.
Cut the Bad Habits
What bad habits should you kick to the curb? Any that cost you money. Smoking? That Starbucks habit? And I love Starbucks, but boy is it expensive. We buy Starbucks beans from Costco rather than going to the store or even buying the beans from them directly.
Take the time to get more organized. If you know where things are, you aren’t as likely to think you have run out and go buy more. This goes for printer paper and ink, crayons and markers, etc.