Six Ways Moms Can Contribute To Their Family’s Finances and a Giveaway!!!!

Today I am thrilled to have Crystal Paine, of Money Saving Mom as a guest.  Crystal writes:

If your family is struggling financially right now, here are 6 things you can do to contribute to your family’s finances–without going out and getting a job:

1.  Set Up and Follow a Grocery Budget

It’s amazing what the simple act of creating and sticking with a grocery budget can do for your family’s finances. If you’ve never had a grocery budget before, I’d recommend going with a ballpark figure of $20 per person per week to start out with. Then, slowly work on lowering it by 1-3% each month.

Take your budgeted grocery amount out in cash at the beginning of each month and only bring that with you to the store (leave the debit card, credit card, and check book at home). This provides instant self-discipline because when the money’s gone, it’s gone.

For more step-by-step help to lower your grocery bill, check out my 31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget Series:

2.  Plan a Menu

A grocery budget is a wonderful thing, but it’s usually the menu plan that enables you to be successful at sticking with your grocery budget. Not only does having a plan and working the plan encourage you to make dinner instead of heading through the drive-thru lane or ordering pizza, but you can also plan inexpensive meals based upon what ingredients you already have on hand or are on sale at the store.

New to menu-planning? I’ve outlined how to get started and find inspiration here.

3.  Use Your Freezer

Your freezer can become of your best money-saving friends. You can use it to store extra produce you got in season at a rock-bottom price, you can use it to store meat you purchased in bulk, and you can use it to keep freezer meals at-the-ready for last-minute dinners.

Many people are turned off by the thought of freezer cooking because they envision it entails mushy freezer-burnt casseroles. While casseroles are a quick and easy thing to make ahead and stick in your freezer, there are so many other non-casserole options when it comes to freezer cooking.

You can brown hamburger or bake and chop chicken and freeze it, you can put together baking mixes, you can make sauces and marinades to freezer, you can chop and freeze veggies for stir fries… the possibilities are near endless!

For more ideas, be sure to check out my Freezer Cooking in an Hour posts.

4.  Stay Home More

There’s no arguing the fact that the less you shop, the less you buy. The more you can learn to enjoy and find productive ways to occupy your time at home, the more money you’ll save.

Being a one-car family for a few years taught me to appreciate and enjoy the quietness of just being home a lot. There’s so much you can learn and do–without ever leaving your doorstep!

Some ideas: Read good books, learn new skills, try your hand at new recipes and do-it-yourself ideas, follow a few blogs that inspire you, write handwritten cards of encouragement, get to know your neighbors, or invite people into your home for a Bible study or book club.

5.  Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Want an almost fix for your discontentment? Stop comparing yourself to others around you.

You’ll always find someone who has a seeming better situation than you, but wishing you were them doesn’t change that you are you. The sooner you can embrace your lot in life–no matter the struggles–the sooner you’ll start experiencing true joy and contentment.

6.  Choose Gratitude

Finally, adopt a thankful, grateful spirit for the life you are living. It might not be the life of your dreams, it might seem overwhelmingly hard right now, but a grateful spirit–even in the midst of hardship–can change your whole outlook on life. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for!

Crystal Paine is a wife, homeschool mom to three, self-proclaimed minimalist, lover of dark chocolate and good coffee, and a wannabe runner.  For practical help and inspiration to get your life and finances in order, check out Crystal’s blog, Money Saving Mom or purchase a copy of her book, The Money Saving Mom®‘s Budget.

Crystal has generously offered 3 of her audiobooks, The Money Saving Mom’s Budget for the readers of The Better Mom!!

Recently, I had the opportunity to review this book.  As a busy mom, one of my favorite things about this book is that it is an easy read with great action steps. Whether you are in financial distress or your finances have never been better you can learn from Crystal’s book.  It is fantastic!!  Enter to win the audiobook below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post was shared at:
• Homestead Barn Hop
• Soli Deo Gloria
• Titus 2sdays
• Domestically Divine
• On Your Heart Tuesdays
• Gratituesdays
• Living Well Wednesdays
• Homemaking Link-Up
• Welcome Wednesdays
• Works for Me Wednesdays
• Big Family Fridays

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  1. says

    I have had this book on my wish-list at Amazon since before it was released… waiting for book-budget-money. :-) Would LOVE to win it and not have to spend anything!

  2. jen key says

    I would love to have this book because this is an area that always need help in especially since my husband was laid off a couple of years ago. Thanks! Blessings, jen

  3. Bonnie says

    Great article! We have been discussing ways that I can be a full-time SAHM. I plan on homeschooling next year (that is my wish) but I work as well. I have been praying for an opportunity to be presented that would allow me to afford to stay home. This books sounds like it would be very helpful with that planning, and we need all the help I can get! Thanks for the chance. :)

  4. Two Young Bucs says

    What great ideas for saving money! I really need to buckle down on the trips to Walmart (food, HBA, clothes for kids and myself, dog food, gifts). I have tried freezer cooking recently and that has been pretty awesome as long as I remember to thaw something from the freezer in time to put it in the crockpot or on the grill. I do have a budget, but I feel that I need to do better in some areas.

  5. Jennifer says

    I would love to win this audio book. As a stay at home mom I’m always looking for ways to save some money.

  6. Maria says

    I have fallen off the menu plan bandwagon recently with my latest pregnancy (NOTHING sounds good at all) but this week I was determined to have at least a bit of a plan – even if I didn’t want to actually eat it with my family. Oh it is so much nicer .

  7. says

    I purchased Crystal’s book when it first came out, and I would love to win the Audio book for my parents. She helped simplify a lot of Dave Ramsey’s ideas and ease me into being apart of his plan. Although I had previously heard of him, when I looked into the program he can certainly come off a little rough so I was initially turned off by him. After reading her book, I took a second chance and I’ve never regretted it. I would love for my mom to be on the same page!

  8. brenda says

    I would love to win this i am on work disability and really need to understand how to make the food budget work

  9. Dull2000 says

    I’ve been reading Crystal’s blog for years now – I think an audio book of all her tips and tricks would be WONDERFUL!

    dull2000 at cox dot net

  10. says

    I’ve been a reader of Crystal’s blog for over a year now and I would love to have a copy of her book. I love her easy to follow advice for getting out of debt and her constant encouragement for stay at home moms.

  11. Neverrestranch says

    I’d love to win Crystal’s book. I follow her blog, and she has wonderful money saving ideas.

  12. Memoriesmama says

    I already do the things mentioned and still need to find ways to save money. I would love to hear ideas for those on REALLY tight budgets.

  13. Jenny Miller says

    Thank you for these ideas. I find when I take the time to write a menu and shop with my pantry in mind I do better and buy less. I also need to shop less. We have 2 cars but are going back to being a 1 car family due to the costs!

    Thanks for posting this article. Jenny

  14. Gufetto2011 says

    I liked her on facebook and shared it. I’d love to be able to listen to her explaining how her “system” for saving more works.

  15. says

    We already live on a strict budget for groceries. I find that I waste so much less than we did before. I also shop with cash so I know where my budget is.

    I also have to put myself in check every so often. How much do I really need (especially with clothes). Great post, Crystal. It’s a great reminder to all of us.

  16. Deanna says

    I’d love to have the audiobook to listen to while I exercise. Sometimes I just need a little extra motivation to get things going again and save more.

  17. star says

    Thanks! I am reading Crystal’s blog for encouragement, helpful ideas and tips. I am praying that I apply these ideas to my life to help our situation.

  18. Gail says

    I love MSM blog and everything she writes about daily. I can only imagine her book would be a wonderful addition to any book lovers collection.

  19. Christine says

    I would love to win this audio book! I have been wanting to read/listen to this, but it is not in our budget right now. Trying to get all of our debts paid and as we all know these little thing can put a huge wrench in the plan. Thanks for the great post!

  20. Dannielle says

    I can’t tell you how badly we NEED this information. We’re struggling and with three small kids, I’m desperate to help our family in any way possible. Thanks Crystal for always reminding there’s a light at the end of tunnel.

  21. Heather says

    After reading Crystal’s blog and hearing about the book, I’m sure I could learn lots of helpful things from it.

  22. Mrs Pear says

    I enjoy Crystal’s blog so much and would love to hear her audio book!

    And I am enjoying your blog too.

  23. says

    When you budget $20 a person on a grocery budget, does this mean strictly food items or is it food items, personal care, health and beauty, paper products etc? Thanks!

    • Jfred says

      I’m not sure her budget plan, but our groc budget includes all of those, at $300/4wks. But, we no longer use shampoo and conditioner (having gone poo free 4yrs ago), we no longer buy paper towels (we bought 40ish dish wash cloths 2 yrs ago, and use those for anything we would use paper towels on), and we buy any health and beauty/personal care on sale with coupons, and stocked up so much I haven’t bought most things in over a yr….toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, razors, feminine products…. Actually, out of that list, the only thing I actually paid more than tax on was the shaving cream, the rest I got for free. When I can get something for free, or for 75%+ off, I try to get a yr’s worth, so it saves money in the budget for other things. We also use baking soda and vinegar to clean most everything. I make laundry detergent with zote or fels naptha soap, washing soda, and borax.

      So that is how our family of 4 eats, cleans, washes, etc for $300/month. I know people with larger families with the same or even lower budget. They tend to garden, can, and raise or hunt for their meat, though….which is where we are headed soon!

  24. Terria McNack says

    I am new to budgeting and I would love to learn more, I know that every family is different I am trying to learn how saving more and spend less. I really love reading Crystals blog so having this audio would be a much appreciated addition.

  25. Kristen says

    I have listened to the clip on YouTube and I would love to listen to the rest of it. I also enjoy her blog so much, I would love to read/listen to her book!

  26. Andrea Lentz says

    I love MSM’s blog and would love to read her book–a lot of great ideas to help a family have more and purchase less.

  27. Kristi says

    I have been following the Money Saving Mom blog for several years, and I would love to win a copy of Crystal’s book on audio so that I can listen to it in the car! I’m so glad that I was able to find your blog through this giveaway!

  28. Nicole W says

    I am a huge fan of MSM and am trying to learn as much as I can about saving money, spending less, and being a good steward of what I am blessed to have. I’m sure I would learn a lot from her book

  29. Rebecca Dula says

    I love the Money Saving Mom blog and follow her on Facebook. She has such great ideas. I would love to win the audiobook to be able to learn more than what the website offers and have it to refer back to.

  30. Guidemom says

    I follow her blog daily. The audio book would be a blessing to share with my husband so we are both on the same page about finance.

  31. Jenny says

    I love the Money Saving Mom blog, and would love this book. I recently left my job to stay home full-time, and would love to save money any way possible!

  32. Ashley Johnson says

    I’m finally coming around to loving the time I have at home with my kids, it’s only taken 3 years to get me here! LOL!!! I would LOVE to show my family how much I love them by helping out our bottom line. I have recently discovered the Money Saving Mom site and I am thrilled to see how much useful advice Crystal gives…. I hope I can win the audiobook and get to work along with the tips here. I’m excited to follow this blog too now :)

  33. says

    I am hoping to win this book because Crystal has helped me save so much money by following her blog and the book is not currently in the budget but I would love to read it!

  34. Shelley Bezjian says

    Bought and loved the book. Lots of great ideas that are real money savers. Would love to win the Audio book to share with a friend.

  35. Elizabeth says

    Out of all of the items on our budget, I struggle the most with groceries. I try to justify my over-spending by, “well, the kids NEED it”. Great resources here, thanks!

  36. tina says

    i follow Crystals blog and would love to win! I am in need of some financial inspiration and her tips are so reasonable/practical.

  37. Amy says

    I would love to have a audio book from the Money Saving Mom. And I am glad to have found The Better Mom. Thank you

  38. Stover Nicole says

    Great post. Would love to listen to her new book to see if there is anything I can implement in our family’s budget.

  39. Jae8503 says

    I am trying very intentionally to be content with just staying home. My husband goes to school all day and works evenings and I feel like I NEED to get out of the house often, several trips to the library, grocery shopping once a week, going to the park, wandering around the mall, etc. But I usually splurge on a cookie or a half price Sonic drink whereas when I stay home during the week I haven’t spent any money at all. It’s hard sometimes and I don’t know any other moms who intentionally try to stay home more, but I’m working on it.

  40. Jaci says

    I’ve been wanting to read this book and I’ve never listened to an audiobook but would love to try it out! Thanks for the giveaway!

  41. Lroman1085 says

    The book sounds great!! Def a great jump start that I could use!! Trying to be more frugal now that I am a SAHM. Can’t wait to find out the winner :)

  42. Sharon says

    I’ve read bits and pieces of Crystal’s blog here and there and would love the audiobook so I can listen to it while driving. I am always looking for ways to lower the amount of money that leaves our wallets each month.

  43. Julie Smith says

    I would love to win Crystals audio book! I have been following her blog since the beginning and just love her! She has always been an inspiration to me.

  44. Amanda Frith says

    I would love to own this audiobook so my husband and I can afford for me to be a stay at home mom.

  45. Julierupert says

    I have wanted this book since it came out and never purchased it. Would love to have the audiobook.

  46. Laura Sortwell says

    Great post! Just figured out a 2-week dinner menu for my family…so this is just perfect! Would love to win an audiobook!! =)

  47. Karen says

    This audiobook sounds amazing! We’ve been trying to stick to a grocery budget & cash system. I am just curious how to get the budget so low? $20 per week per family member for us would be about $320 per month for our family of 4. I coupon, meal plan, pack lunches, & try not to waste food & we eat home a lot. I just cannot see how to get the budget that low, and that’s the starting point, as she then says lower it 1-3% from there? I do include things like personal care & cleaning items in our budget, but even those don’t cost much for us – I’m pretty frugal, make my own laundry detergent, use cloth towels to clean with etc. – I would love to have some light shed on how getting the budget that low is possible! Thanks! :)

  48. Rebecca says

    I”m interested in the book and audio might be a way to actually fit it in my day. A lot of the ideas above sound good but $20 a person for the week sounds like it would be really hard to do, especially since my kids LOVE fruit, I could spend that much just in fruit alone in a week. Would be interesting to hear more about how this number came about.

  49. says

    I’ve been using menu planning and sticking to a budget for the past month now. Most weeks I’m at $50 and that includes tioletries. I do a stock up week at the beginning of the month and that usually runs around $120 for a family of four. Buying beef in bulk is the way to go. We raise our own organic grass fed beef and sell a 1/4 to 1/2 a beef every fall. Call your local butcher and see if they have any names of local farmers. We only charge $2.00 a pound so it’s a steal, plus it’s extremely lean. Thanks for the giveaway!

  50. Dmedwards2004 says

    I am in desperate need of advice on how to plan and stop impulse buying! Also am up to my ears in student loans and still trying to get two through college as a single mom. Would love to listen to this at work!!!

  51. Alesha says

    I would love to win this audio book, this year we are taking control of our budget and getting things paid off and using more cash.

  52. Stacey M says

    I would love to win this – after 9 years as a SAHM, I’m just learning about all this budgeting/saving info…this would really be helpful! Thanks for the opportunity!

  53. Nancy Ward says

    I would love to win the audio book. I love MSM blog and check out Crystal’s post 2-3 times a day so I don’t miss anything! She is amazing!!!!

  54. Rachel says

    Would love to win Crystal’s book, either version! I have been following her blog for over a year, and I LOVE IT! Right now I am working on getting systems in place to make me a “better work-outside-the-home” mom! Menu planning, budget, and home organization are my topics du jour. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  55. christi says

    I’ve been wanting to read her book, and an audiobook might actually be finished rather than languishing on my bedside table like all of the other wonderful books I’m trying to work through!

  56. Lacey says

    I was just thinking I wish I had more inspiring books on audio! Just finished Marybeth Chapman’s book on cd and I am needing another! This would be fantastic:)

  57. Jen says

    Crystal’s first blog was the very first blog I ever read. I didn’t even know what a blog was before her! She’s been so blessed and I’d love to read more about her insights and wisdom.

  58. Chas Boykin says

    I have been following Money saving Mom for a few months now and love it. I would love to have Crystals book to add to the wealth of knowledge she has already shared from her blog.

  59. Kandice says

    I’m a daily follower of Crystals’ blog and really appreciate the Christian approach she takes to being a good steward.

  60. Erin Martinez says

    I’d love to read the book and put to use as much as I can. Also, I’d love any tips on reducing the grocery budget while shopping for various allergy-friendly foods.

  61. oblivion219 says

    Thanks Money Saving Mom. Yet again with a great article. It’s refreshing to know and see “on paper” ways we stay at home moms can contribute financially.

  62. Karhostetter says

    I would love to save money on my grocery spending. I need a little guidance to help with that. I would like to win the audio cd because it is hard to get a little time to read..:)

  63. Ashley H. says

    I’d love to win a copy of Crystal’s book! I’ve really enjoyed reading her blog since it started.

  64. Lara says

    oh I so want (and need) a copy of Crystal’s book! I’ve really enjoyed reading her blog since it started.

  65. Rebecca says

    I love Money Saving Mom’s blog posts–such a whole-life view of saving money and what it’s all about–and I would love to get additional ideas from her. We’re stretching a great deal to get our girls to their ballet workshops, and can always use more ideas and better perspective.

  66. Kimberly says

    When I see a book like this I can’t help but think of the quote that goes something like, “No one plans to fail but they do fail to plan.” I would really LOVE the help in planning so I can help keep my family from failing in this battle with money and spending!! Thanks.

  67. Kelli says

    We would love to win it because we are tightening our belts financially. This sounds like it would have some great ideas to help us.

  68. Lkbostick says

    Great post! I totally agree about the importance of having a meal plan. It definitely helps you to stick to a budget, as well as makes your meal time prep so much less of a hassle. Finding fun and creative things to do at home is a must w/ the rising gas prices as well. Good and sound advice!

  69. Anastacia Grace says

    I love “Money Saving Mom’s” blog. I think she has great ideas for ways to raise a family on a budget, I would love to win her book!


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