Thursday, October 30, 2014

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 21 - Use Your Library

Libraries are filled with tons of FREE resources!  I was able to check out loads of baby books, and some videos to gain the baby knowledge I was craving as a pregnant woman, for FREE!  They also have a wall FULL of pamphlets, including some with information about classes and resources that the Hospital and Health Department offer.  Once Howard gets a little bigger, we can check out books for him to read, as well as children's videos, and audio books.  We can also reference the pamphlet wall for fun FREE local activities for us to do as a family.  So, to save money, make sure you take advantage of all the FREE resources your library has to offer!

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 20 - Coupon for Baby Necessities

I use coupons for almost everything I buy, or at least as much as I can.  Baby necessities are no different.  When I found out I was pregnant, I waited until the 20 week sonogram, and then I started stocking up.  I shopped at CVS for diapers, since I could combine manufacturer coupons with CVS coupons, and get ECB's back for some super cheap jumbo packs.  I picked up wipes at Giant combining sales with doubled coupons.  And, I was able to pick up most of Howard's toiletry items at Target using the infamous $2/2 Up and Up Baby Items coupon.  I could get baby powder for less than a $1, baby wash for about $0.49, and diaper creams for about $1.49.  Those are AWESOME prices for those needed baby items!  Needless to say, I stocked up, saved money, and haven't had to shop for any of these items since Howard was born.  Couponing for the win!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 19 - Sign Up for Newsletters

Going along with Rewards Programs is Newsletters.  Signing up for FREE newsletters not only gets you personalized information sent right to your email, but usually also promo codes, samples, and coupons -- all of which can save you some major cash!  There are plenty of baby-related sites to sign up at, my favorite are Huggies, Pampers, The Bump, and Everyday Family.  Throughout my pregnancy I was sent information about the development of the baby, symptoms I might notice about my pregnancy, advice to help with pregnancy symptoms (like muscle aches and nausea), as well as promo codes for things like baby leggings, a nursing pillow, and plenty of good, old-fashion coupons!  Not only did signing up for newsletters bring the FREE reference material to me, in my very preggo-comfy PJ's, but it saved me money with promo codes and coupons!

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 18 - Join Rewards Programs

Even before I was pregnant I had signed up for all sorts of rewards programs, including Huggies, Pampers, and Disney.  Each program has it's own benefits.  The programs are FREE, and are easy to use.  Simply enter the codes found inside wipes and diaper packages online to earn your points.  Then you can spend your points on coupons, toys, sweepstakes entries, or a wide variety of other rewards.  Disney rewards will be great once Howard gets a little older.  You enter those online as well (from purchased Disney movies), and then they can be redeemed for more Disney movies.  All three offer free bonus points periodically online or in their newsletters, which is always nice.  I also signed up for a FREE rewards program through our insurance.  I entered the dates that I went to the doctors for my prenatal check-ups, and now I enter the dates I take Howard for his wellness visits. So far we have earned several FREE gift cards to Old Navy, as well as a free thermometer, a wheel toy that hooks to a table or high chair, and a baby dental care kit.  So join those FREE rewards programs to save money by earning FREE stuff!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 17 - Make Homemade Baby Food

Not only is making your own baby food healthy for your baby (since you control what goes into it), it can save you a TON of money.  Pictured above are some carrots and sweet potato baby foods that I made last week for Howard.  The carrots were 1-1 lb baby of organic baby carrots from ALDI that I cooked and pureed in the food processor with a little water.  They cost $0.99. As for the sweet potatoes, I purchased 1-3 lb bag from ALDI for $1.29, this made almost 18 (3-4 tbsp) meals for Howard.  If I would have bought 18 pouches of sweet potatoes at the grocery store, it would have cost me at least $18, and that's if they were on sale.  I took me almost no time at all to make the food.  I washed the potatoes after doing dishes at lunch.  Then I left the skins on, and cut the two potatoes into about 3 chunks each, as they were a little large, and covered them with water.  While I was cooking dinner, the potatoes simmered on the stove.  When dinner was ready, the potatoes were done too, so I drained them, and let them cool while we ate.  After eating dinner, but before washing dishes, I got out the food processor, and popped the taters out of their skins and into the processor bowl.  I pureed the potatoes with a little filtered water, and stuck them in labeled containers in the fridge.  Then I washed the food processor with the dinner dishes.  Since I multi-tasked, it took me only a few minutes to get 3 or 4 days worth of food ready for Howard, and it saved me a LOT of money - almost $20, which is about $1500 a year!

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 16 - Use Promo Codes

Once I found out I was pregnant I started to sign up for every newsletter/baby site I could find baby related.  So, I received a boat-load of things in the mail, including a coupon strip for things like a free nursing cover (pictured above), a carrier, baby leggings - 5 pairs for free, and a few other items.  I only had to pay shipping (about $10 or so dollars), which in my opinion was a GREAT deal!  Instead of paying the normal $40 or so for a nursing cover, which I use a LOT (like every time we are out anywhere) I paid about $10.  An AMAZING savings in my opinion, especially for something I use a ton, and probably wouldn't have bought without the deal.  So, use those promo codes to save money on things you need, or want :-)

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 15 - Use Old Socks to make Baby Leg Warmers

 had received a free promo code for baby leggings (which I ended up using, and got 5 pairs for just shipping), but before I made a purchase, I wanted to see if Howard was going to like wearing them.  I had a pair of socks that had a huge hole in the bottom that was un-mendable, so I cut that part off, and tried them on Howard.  They were amazing!  He liked having his legs warm, and I LOVED the fact that I didn't have to take his pants off and then put them back on with every diaper change!  This picture is before I hand stitched a piece of elastic in the bottom, and put a small stitch in the top to make them fit his leg better.  The ones I bought online are nicer, but for FREE, I can't complain, and they work just as well.

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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