Thursday, August 18, 2011

Saving Money on Baby Essentials

Photo by 114bberry

With our upcoming new little bundle of joy plus recent decreased income, we have really been looking into ways to save and be more frugal.

I have just implemented taking inventory, menu planning, and couponing. So far, it is going very well and I can't wait to look into other ways for our family to live more simply and frugally.

One blog post that really caught my eye is Saving Big Money On Your Little Ones

In this post I found many things that I already plan to do, things I want to implement, as well as others that I am really interested to look into more. Here are some of the highlights.

Stick to the Essentials
The first step is to really think about what things are truly essential for babies and young children. Sticking with less baby stuff from the beginning will save you money and save your sanity trying to organize, and store, and clean so much stuff.

Buy Used
Find what you need second hand. There is so much baby stuff out there that can be bought like-new or gently used.

Saving Money on Baby Essentials

Use cloth diapers, and one way to ease the cost is to buy used diapers. Not into cloth diapers? You can save lots of money on diapers by using coupons and following sales at big box retailers, drugstores and even online. The idea of elimination communication is intriguing to me, if not mostly for the reason that it would save money.

Instead of purchasing the more expensive actual cloth wipes, you can buy thin cotton baby wash cloths from the store and they work great. Another option is to make your own cloth wipes.

With a little bit of effort you can save a lot of money by building a complete wardrobe of quality used clothing for your kids. Hand-me-downs are another great option for kids clothes.

Toys, Baby Gear and Other Kids Stuff
For baby items that you will be purchasing new, make sure that you always shop the sales, and use any and all coupons that are available.

Once you have an idea of what your essential items are, keep your eye out for a second hand item that would work for you.

What are your essentials for a new baby? Do you have any money saving tips for new babies and young children?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Coupon Shopping Trip #2

Today was another successful day!!! I know... two shopping trips in two days, not very frugal, but I'm just getting the hang of this and I needed time to go home and figure out some deals. Which, I think I'm a little too consumed by this right now because last night, laying in bed, while trying to fall asleep, all I could think about was what deals I was going to get today!

So, a little about the deals... This week the items I got are not the healthiest, which is one of my goals right now, but I wanted to get some stock up for over the next several months. Hopefully next month will have more healthy items.

Here are the details:

Transaction 1
10 boxes Hamburger Helper $10
$5 Catalina (from 8/15 trip)
$2 Catalina (from 8/15 trip)
Total: $3.00
Received $5 & $2 Catalina

Transaction 2
8 Totinos $10.00
2 $1/4 Coupons
$5 Catalina (from T1)
$2 Catalina (from T1)
Total: $1.00

Transaction 3
2 Dreyer's Ice Cream 2/$6
Total: $6.00
Received $4 Catalina

In the end, I did not get a Catalina coupon from the totinos, which I thought I was going to, but I think I had to buy 10 to get it. :( Also, I should have done my transactions in a different order. I should have done the ice cream second and the totinos last, then I could have used my $4 catalina coupon. Oh well, live and learn. It was only my second time.

And for anyone not familiar with what a Catalina coupon is, here's a picture:

All in all, here's what I got:
10 boxes Hamburger Helper
8 Totino's Pizzas
2 Dreyers Ice Cream
For a total of $10 + $4 Catalina coupon toward my next purchase

Baby Steps: Simple Frugal Living

I've been working to get back into a routine here at our new home. Finally I feel caught up and like I am able to continue with my normal routine. I got off track for quite a while between moving and becoming pregnant and having no energy or motivation to keep up. While it wasn't like I let our home fall apart, it just wasn't up to the standards I set for myself.

So, now that I'm back in my normal routine, I've felt much more like myself and like I can relax in our home. As you saw from my last post, I have also incorporated couponing. I am really excited to see how much I can save our family on our monthly bill. I made a coupon binder and can't wait to fill it up with coupons!! I have also been in the process of making a homemaking binder with all of our home routine info, as well as food inventory and our menu plan details. I'm so excited because I know all of this hard work will pay off!

Well, off to go pick some berries with the kiddos. We will be making some Berry Crisp and possibly some Blackberry Freezer Jelly. I will also be freezing some of them and I will be doing a post on a simple way to freeze and store them for later months.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Inventory, Menu Planning, & Coupons... Oh My!!!: My Journey to Living Life More Frugally

So, after getting many AWESOME tips frome some family and friends, and then reading online and watching videos, I set out to go on my first "couponer" shopping experience.

I first went to Albertson's where I stacked coupons for my first time! (So exciting!) Here are the details:

Hamburger/Tuna/Chicken Helper 10/$10
Albertson's Double Coupons used on both
Total: 6.90 = .69/box

A1 Steak Sauce SALE $3.99
Albertson's Double Coupon used
Total: 1.99

Frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenderloins SALE $5.99 (bought 2)
Total: 11.98

TOTAL Shopping Trip: $20.87 but I also got 2 Catalina coupons at the register. One for $5 toward next trip, and the other for $2 toward next trip. So, I get to use those next time!!! Plus I got 2 Catalinas for Box Top points that I already input online. Yay! Love helping out the local schools.

My next trip was to Walmart, which I didn't really get a whole lot and I still need to go through everything for a bigger trip, but here's what I got so far:

Huggies Size 1 Diapers $8.97
Total: 7.47 = .15/diaper!

Schick Razors $5.97
Total: 4.97 = .83/razor

Suave Deodorant $.97
Total: .22

TOTAL Shopping Trip: $12.66
Not as good, but still excited about it. :)

So, I will be getting together more coupons soon and can't wait to see what my next trip will be like! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Simple Healthy Snacks for Busy Mommas

Here are a few of my “one handed” snack favorites.

(Some take a bit more prep-work than others, so choose what works best for you. If you have help available at times, hand them this list! If you have a chance, make a big batch ahead of time & stash it in the fridge.)

Hard-Boiled Eggs + a bit of Sea Salt (If you have an extra moment, you can mix them into egg salad.)

Homemade Fruit and/or Nut Snack Bars (Here's my favorite recipe:, I like to add extra things to it, but it is a great base recipe. I stash a couple bars in car compartments or diaper bags.

Homemade Trail Mix, with nutrient-dense nuts, dried fruit, coconut, & a bit of good dark chocolate or a savory-seasoned mixture (Buy ingredients in bulk for best cost economy; your toddler will be glad to help pour into a mixing bowl for you.)

Smoothies - Frozen berries (I will be writing a post soon on an easy way to freeze berries) or pre-diced fruit pieces are easiest, so you don’t have to chop up anything; just pour ingredients into a blender.

Natural Jerky - Dehydrate your own or purchase from your favorite local farm or meat market.

Cheese Slices/Cubes - You don’t have to buy special cheese stick packages; a regular block of mozzarella will tear into pieces just the same.
Prepared Sandwich - Prepare a sandwich or two ahead of time, cut it into quarters, and then just grab a piece from the fridge when you need a small bite to eat.

Toast + Avocado + a bit of Sea Salt (Scoop out with a spoon)

Baked Yam + a sprinkle of Walnuts, Butter, & Sea Salt or Raw Honey - For simplicity, bake it whole in a baking dish or crockpot. (Or make baked sweet potato fries. Recipe:

Cottage Cheese - Eat plain or stir in some fresh berries. (A mere 1/2 cup contains a whopping 14 grams of protein, plus good probiotics!)

What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

8 Verses To Inspire Us To Be More Patient Mothers

When the baby is crying and the toddler is having a tantrum, patience can be elusive.

Here are eight verses to memorize or write on notecards and post above your sink, in your car or in the bathroom – for those times when you lock yourself inside to regroup. Not that I’ve ever done that. Of course.

Psalm 86:15
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (NIV)

Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (NKJV)

Proverbs 15:18
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. (NIV)

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (NIV)

Colossians 3:12-13
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (NLT)

Hebrews 6:12
We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (NIV)

James 1:19-20
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (NIV)

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV)

May these verses inspire us to walk in ever increasing patience.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Event #1: Samantha's Baby Shower

I am in LOVE with event planning!

In the past I thought about starting an event planning business, but instead had a baby and my goals shifted for a little bit. Now that I have had him and know how to juggle home and work life, I am trying to incorporate more events. For the time being, they are just for fun... But I hope eventually it can possibly turn into a successful business.

I already have some more events in the making so I will be posting on them soon!

Here are some pictures of Samantha's Baby Shower.

The BEAUTIFUL Samantha!!

The gift table: