Autism moms have stress similar to combat soldiers, so it’s no wonder why two of the most frequent questions I see from one autism parent to another is “how do you do it?” and/or “how do you afford it?” How do you juggle school, therapies, IEP meetings, supplement schedules, doctor appointments, and clean eating while also keeping up with house work, a job, research, sleep, taking care of yourself etc?
It’s not easy, and most rely heavily on their multi-tasking skills. Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks to multi-tasking is that when you divide your attention, the quality of work usually suffers. Here are some time and money saving tips to help you get through your hectic days.
Flylady.net – Housecleaning and organizing tips to help you set up routines, get rid of clutter and put your life in order.
Once a month meals – Cook in bulk and freeze
Use a crock pot or slow cooker
Mambo Sprouts – Coupon site designed for consumers who want healthy, natural, organic, gluten-free and GMO-free products.
Surviving the Stores – Gluten free coupons
Organic Deals – Coupons and online deals
Abe’s Market – Try Before You Buy; samples of natural and organic products for $2.
Buy produce that’s in season
Food Babe – How to eat organic on a budget
Meal planning and grocery list – Smart phone app
Look for a “cow share” program in your area or find a hunter who is willing to hunt a game animal for you.
Consignment sales – Buy 2nd hand. Find consignment shops. Many organizations hold seasonal consignment sales for kids items. This is a great place to find toys, games, bedding and clothing at bargain prices. Another positive is that used clothing has been washed a number of times before you get it, meaning that a lot of the toxic chemicals have been washed out or reduced for your kiddos. Also, you may be able to consign your items and make some money in the process.
Hanna Andersson Organic Kids Clothing – Has a big sale twice a year.
Autism For Sale – Join the FB group where autism parents buy/sell used items associated with autism, including games, therapy items, clothing and even Hyperbaric oxygen chambers.
Supplement Swap – Join the FB group where autism parents buy/sell/trade supplements that may have been opened, but went unused or are no longer needed. What doesn’t work for one child may work for another.
DIY Cleaning Products – Make your own cleaning products with cheap, yet safe ingredients.
DIY Condiments – Make your own, healthy condiments.
Paperback Swap – Trade used books for free (only pay the media price for shipping).
Grow your own food – A number of fruits, veggies and herbs can be grown indoors.
Saving Time and Money
Amazon Subscribe and Save – Do most of your grocery shopping through Amazon subscribe and save. You save 5% when you subscribe to have a product sent to you on regular basis (can be canceled/changed at any time). You save an additional 15% off your entire order when you receive 5 or more items on your monthly order. Free shipping on every subscribe and save shipment. There are so many things available on amazon, from toilet paper, organic canned green beans, to vitamins. This saves you time at the grocery store, where you likely only need to get the fresh and refrigerated items. The only drawback to this is that you begin to collect Amazon boxes.
Azure Standard – Bulk natural foods delivered directly to the customer, buying clubs or retailers.
Thrive Market – Wholesome foods at Wholesale prices.
Nuts.com – Quality bulk foods.
Vitacost.com – Bulk foods, supplements and household items
Country Life Natural Foods – A wholesale and retail distributor of natural, organic and vegetarian foods
Bountiful Baskets – Food Co-op. Distributes produce baskets, organic produce baskets, artisan bread and sandwich bread every other week.