Monday, October 20, 2014

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 14 - Take Items from the Hospital

When you leave the hospital, take as much as you can, since you/your insurance have probably already paid for it.  When we left the hospital with Howard, we were specifically told to take everything they provided for him, including diapers, wipes, an aspirator, hats, and a wash pan.  We needed to leave the shirts and blankets.  I was also told to take as many pads as I wanted.  Since I had a c-section, they had given me special cottony wipes to lay on the area to keep it dry.  I asked for some to take home, and they gave me an entire package!  Also, since I was breastfeeding, I was provided with bottles, nipples, syringes, breast shields for the pump, and lanolin.  All of which I was told to take home with me, in addition to three extra tubes of lanolin that I requested.  Since we have fairly good insurance, I paid for none of this, and it saved us a lot of money, and probably at least one trip to the store. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 13 - Save Baby Extras

Save baby extras to save money!  Every time you purchase medicine for your child, you receive a new washable dispenser.  Save a few.  You never know when you might need one.  We like to keep one in the house and one or two in the diaper bag so we always have a clean one at the ready.  Also, if you lose one, you have a spare, instead of having to actually buy one.  So save some extras, to save money!

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 12 - Take Advantage of Freebies

Joe and I were walking around a festival with Howard in his baby k'tan, and a woman approached us and wanted to give us a nap sack full of baby goodies, for FREE! We gladly accepted.  When we got home and we opened it up, it was filled with all kinds of goodies that we could use, including a pacifier, a pacifier holder, wipes, a blanket, a wash cloth, a towel, a sippy cup, a suction bulb, a travel toiletry set, and a really cute little thermometer.  There was also literature about the effects of drinking and smoking while pregnant, which I'm sure was the purpose of the whole thing, but it was still really nice for her to give us one, and we definitely appreciate the freebies!  So, to save money, accept freebies, you never know what you might get.
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31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 11 - Make do with what you have

I looked every where to find an old mobile that I could rip the old critters off of and create a beautiful shooting stars mobile out of.  No dice!  So, I used the arc-shaped vine one that came with our pack and play and hung 2 monkeys off of it.  It's not stars, but it sure keeps Howard's attention.  So, when you can't find what you want for the price you are willing to pay, try to make do with what you have.

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 10 - Buy Toys Used

 Howard only has a handful of new toys, all bought by the grandparents.  Every toy we've bought him has been used.  In great shape, and easily sterilized, but used.  Kids don't need a lot of toys, and they definitely don't need them to be new.  Howard's favorite toy right now is the stacking rings pictured above.  They cost me 75 cents and a little time to soak them in bleach water, and he LOVES them!  I can't wait until he can play with the $2 blocks, $1 puzzle, and 50 cent little people pictured below.  So, save yourself a LOT of money, and buy your kids used (in good condition and easily cleaned) toys!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Weekly Spending Report: 10/05-11-2014

This week we did some major stocking up at Giant and ALDI.  Lots of good deals, and healthy items!  Here's what we ended up with...
  • Tuesday's CVS Trip: $11.71 oop, Earned $6 ECB's
  • Tuesday's Giant Trip: $36.47 oop
  • Tuesday's ALDI Trip: $24.05 oop
  • Tuesday's Staples Trip (just 1 ream paper): $2.97 oop, Earned $2.80 Easy Rebate
Total OOP: $75.20
Total Earned: $8.80
Total Remaining for October: $159.48

Monday, October 13, 2014

Weekly Spending Report: 09/28-10/04/2014

This week we didn't need a whole lot, so I just picked up the couple things we did, and spent my money on some deals at CVS and ALDI.  Here's what we ended up with...
  • Monday's Giant Trip (just 2 boxes of Tea Bags): $2.50 oop
  • Wednesday's Giant Trip (just Chips and marked down bread): $3.49 oop
  • Wednesday's CVS Trip: $32.91 oop, Earned $5 ECB's
  • Wednesday's ALDI Trip: $26.42 oop
Total OOP: $65.32
Total Earned: $15
Total Remaining for October: $234.68

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 9 - Stock-pile Baby Food

Do NOT go clear shelves of baby food, and stock years worth in bins in your basement!  Just buy what you think you'll need (on sale and with coupons), or a little more or less.  If you end up with a few extras of something your baby hates, you can always donate it to someone who needs it.  If your baby loves something you only have 3 jars of.  You can always buy more, you've still saved money by buying what you did ahead of time on sale and with a coupon.  I plan to make most of Howard's baby food, but I wanted the convenience of ready-made organic baby food for when we were out running errands or going out for dinner.  So, after he was born, I knew he'd be six month in October, which is when most breast-fed babies begin baby food.  So I started shopping for free or cheap baby food utilizing sales and coupons, and being careful to check expiration dates, so I knew the food would get eaten and not wasted.  I probably have a dozen or so pouches/jars of various types of organic baby food that I paid no more than $0.50 for, most were free or a quarter.  I continue to shop sales and use coupons to acquire more baby food, since we run errands once a week, I know I'll use at least one pouch/jar a week.  This has saved me a boat-load of money, since most pouches are about $2.30 ea, and I've only paid about a quarter a piece -- that's a 89% savings!
So, follow the sales, and use coupons to buy-ahead on your baby's food, and save money!

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 8 - Re-use Containers for Baby Cereal On-the-go

When we started feeding Howard cereal, I hadn't bought the nice baby bowls with the lids yet.  We had been at home, so it didn't matter, I just mixed his cereal up in a regular bowl, and fed him with a baby spoon (which I had bought).  So, the first day we went out to run errands during his lunch time, I knew I'd have to feed him cereal in a restaurant.  Enter the butter dish.  I save butter dishes mostly to send leftovers home when we have company for dinner, that way I don't have to worry about them being returned.  But, as I surveyed my cupboards for a cereal carrying vessel, they seemed perfect.  They would...
  1. Easily hold 3 tablespoons of cereal.
  2. Allow me to mix the cereal and feed Howard all with 1 container.
  3. I could pitch/recycle it at the restaurant and not have to bring it home to be washed (unless I wanted to).  And thus not have to worry about it leaking all over the diaper bag.  
And best of all, it was FREE!

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 7 - Save Your Baby Items for the Next One

If you plan to have more than one child, or even if you think you might, SAVE your baby items.  Now, obviously you don't need to save everything, but definitely save the items you used, and the outfits you find adorable!  My guideline is, if I used it, or I loved it, I keep it.  If I used it because I had to, but I hated it, I donated it.  Easy as that!  By re-using your baby items (not just clothing, but swings, car seats, carriers, bumbos, you name it), you are getting twice the mileage out of each item you purchased or even better, were given.  Think about how much the items you used for your first baby cost, that's about how much you would have to spend on each child you had if you bought all new things.  That's a HUGE savings, and all you have to do is store them in a corner of your attic/basement/guest room closet.  Totally worth it in my opinion, and that's saying something, since I'm a Type-A, OCD, Clutter-phobe ;-)
So, save your baby stuff and reuse it to save some MAJOR moo-lah!