10 Things to GIVE UP if you want to be a SAHM Part 1

Being a SAHM is not for everyone. But for those of us who want it badly enough, it comes with a LOT of sacrifice. If you are thinking wishing you could take the plunge but have no idea how you will live on one income, then this list is for you! Here are the first 5 practical things that you can give up today, that will reduce your monthly expenses and enable you to quit your job and be at home with your children.

10 Things To Give Up If You Want To Be A SAHM


1- Give Up Your Job

This is a no brainer, really. If you want to be at home, you have to give up your job…fairly obvious! You will not be giving up work though. Being at home is tough because it is a different type of work. It is rewarding and fulfilling, but man, it’s tough!

There are days where all you will hear is whining and you will be so tired of being a police woman, but those are totally overshadowed by the days where you will get hugs ALL DAY and teach your child something new for the first time. There is no amount of money in the world that can replace those things!

You also have the option of finding different ways of earning an income from home and there are many options out there, dependent on what you are looking for.

2- Give Up Domestic Help

We used to have a domestic worker and a gardener every week. Now I do all of the housework (ironing, toilet cleaning and all!) and our gardener comes twice a month only. We managed to save about R1200 by giving up our domestic help.

Sometimes, it’s really tough, especially when we have people over and “The Mount of Dishes” is on our kitchen sink the next day and the floors have had a mud bath. But you know what? I’d rather be at home, getting my house in order with my son playing nearby, than him being at a Day Care while I am at work and someone else is cleaning my house.

3- Give Up Waste

This is such a big one for us! The trick is to maximise on EVERY. LITTLE. BIT. This comes in many forms:


Don’t use your cars for multiple trips. Try to fit everything into one trip so that you don’t have to go out more than once. I try to only use my car twice a week so that we can save on petrol. My petrol bill for the month is always  under R500, sometimes about half of that, depending on where I have had to go that month.


If you have enough leftovers to make half a meal, eat half a meal and then a sandwich or something else to fill the gap. We NEVER throw any food away. Aim to make enough food for the one meal. If there is anything left over, freeze it for another time. Reduce your portion size. This is a great way to make your food stretch further. It’s probably also a good idea for your waist line.

I only buy what we need for the week. If there are any fresh foods left over at the end of the week, they get cooked up as toppings for our pizza Sunday dinner or made into muffins for lunches.

FYI: Our entire household budget (2 adults, 1 toddler, 2 dogs and a cat) is just over R3000. That includes any gifts we need to buy for birthdays, special occasions, new clothing etc. It’s super tight, so we can’t afford to buy stuff and not use it.


We have LED lights in our house, a solar geyser and an induction stove top. We don’t leave lights on or appliances running if we don’t need them. It’s also a good idea to bake right before you make dinner so that you only heat the oven up once.

4- Give Up Space

In order to make being a SAHM a reality, it might be necessary to give up the massive house with a huge home loan repayment and down size to something more modest that is more budget friendly. How much space do you really need? The decision might be easier to make when you consider the conditions in which the large majority of people in our country live.

If I was working, we could totally afford to live in a bigger house. I should rather say… we could afford to build our main house. We built the “granny flat” of the property first and are living in that now. We have chosen to live in this tiny house and have given up the luxury of space for the moment.

5- Give Up Luxury

Oh, how I miss thee…2 ply toilet paper! And liquid hand soap and paper towels, and having the odd biscuit in the house, and hot chocolate, and a glass of wine every now and again. Oh! And a nice juicy steak!

Wow, this list is easier to make than I thought it would be! You get the idea. There is so much stuff in our lives that we just don’t need. It’s really easy to trim off extra’s but it does take some training when you get to the shop and want to fill your trolley with gorgeous things!

Click here to read Part 2

It can be so tough to sacrifice your comfort and the things that make your life a bit easier. We were willing to give up all of our “comfort items” because we believe that it is in Noo’s best interests for me to be at home with him. Where do you stand on this debate? Are you already a SAHM or do you wish you could be at home? Are you completely happy being a working mom?

Are you looking for some ways to drastically reduce your grocery bill?

Download my cheat sheet for some great ideas.






  1. Love this encouragement to stay home and be a mom full time! It’s possible! And in the grand scheme of things, what we give up is WELL WORTH the sacrifice to watch those little ones grow up so quickly! Can’t wait to read part 2 (which is where I started but decided to read this one first).

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