Having three children under the age of 3 in daycare doesn't make financial sense to the McDermotts, who already try to live on a lean budget. That means Stacia is going to cut back her full-time work hours to a few evenings a week and start looking for more ways to save money around the house. Breastfeeding and making homemade baby food are two of Stacia's top money-saving priorities, and she says they're healthier options too. "My hope is to make all of my baby food. Obviously, for convenience' sake, it is nice to have a few jars of store-bought stuff around when you are traveling, but when you are home, those are the things you can be committed to," she says. "All you need is a food processor and some time, and you can make a ton of it and freeze it, put it in ice cube trays in your freezer and warm it up [when you need it]."
The McDermotts just refinanced their house, saving them $150 a month on mortgage payments, and they don't have cable or personal cell phones. "In general, we just try to consume less, buy stuff that is used and share with people," Stacia says. One used item Stacia will be putting to use is a refurbished double breast pump, a hand-me-down from a friend. Most of the maternity clothes she wears are part of a collection shared between her friends too.
These little changes add up to big savings, and while it takes some extra effort, Stacia says she's happy to do it. "They're small choices. It's all about what your priorities are," she says. As they await the birth of their twin boys, the McDermotts are looking for more money-saving ideas, and we've found some that you might want to consider too.
Join a baby-sitting co-op.