Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekly Spending Report: 11/16-22/2014

This was another AWESOME week of deals!  I have a feeling that I'm going to go over budget this month -- I kinda forgot about the Black Friday deals at the drug stores next week, so we'll see...  Here's what we picked up this week, which included my Thanksgiving meals items...
  • Sunday's CVS Trip: $32.07 oop, Earned $1.50 ECB's, and $10 CVS Gift Card
  • Monday's ALDI Trip: $27.16 oop
  • Monday's Staples Trip (1 ream Paper): $2.98 oop, Earned $2.80 Easy Rebate
  • Monday's Giant Trip (not pictured 2 frozen pizzas): $40.00 oop
  • Monday's Baugher's Trip (2-1/2 lb bushels #2 grade apples): $19.90 oop
Total OOP: $122.11
Total Earned: $14.30
Total Remaining for November: $43.10

Linked to Couponaholic!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 28 - Use your Cell as a Portable White Noise Machine
Instead of spending your money on a portable white noise machine, just use your cell phone.  My husband downloaded music we have saved on our computer (mostly classic country) onto the card in his phone, for FREE, and Howard LOVES it!  Howard hated the lullaby music that came with his swing, so one night when he was fussy and wouldn't sleep Joe played him the Statler Brothers on his phone, instant quiet, and moments later he was sound asleep!  This has also worked when we are in the car, or out running errands.  He gets fussy, Joe pulls out his phone, picks one of Howard's 'playlists,' lowers the volume, and tucks it in beside him in his carseat -- and it works everytime!  You could easily get a lullaby CD to put on your computer and then onto your phone if your little one prefers it, there is probably even a cheap app for that!  So save some cash, and use the music on your cell to quiet your little one, plus it's one less thing to carry around!

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 27 Use Doggie Bags for Diapers

Our portable diaper changing pad, has a little pouch for dirty diaper bags.  These are totally AWESOME, as you can forget about a really nasty diaper that you have tied up and tossed into your trunk for at least 3 weeks, and it won't smell!  Don't ask me how I know that ;-)  Anyway, those little bags are expensive to replace, even if you buy them at Wal-mart.  So, one week while strolling the aisles of our Dollar Tree, I noticed these doggie bags -- same size, different color, and just as durable, and smell-containing!  These do come with carriers, which you could hook onto your diaper bag if you don't have a changing pad that has a built-in pouch.  But three rolls for a $1 is a third of the price that Wal-mart wanted for the name brand ones -- definitely money saved!

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 26 - Make your Own

Pictured above is a sling-type carrier I bought (using a promo code of course), it is also one that had I looked online I could have found a tutorial and made for even less!  The internet is a magical place filled to the brim with all sorts of diy's projects, including carriers, clothing, quilts, blankets, sheets, curtains, mobiles, diaper bags, and changing pad covers.  If you are 'crafty,' even just a little bit, you should be able to make some of these items CUSTOM to you and your little one for CHEAP!  Even if you only make one thing, you've saved money!

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 25 - Wait to go Shopping until AFTER your showers
After you've built that killer registry, and had an awesome shower(s), then it's time to use those gift cards and cash you received as shower gifts to make the purchases that you still need, but that no one got you.  I held onto those things in an envelope in my purse, and waited until I was 36 weeks pregnant to go shopping.  Some might say that is crazy, but I recommend it for 2 reasons, 1 - you make sure all your showers are over, so you won't end up with duplicates of things you don't need 2 of, and 2 - you have something to do while those last 4 weeks (or more) creep by.  I don't know about everyone else, but by that point I was just ready to be done with pregnancy and hold my new little one in my arms instead of my stomach.  Making returns, shopping for needed items, and finding surprising cute items on sale gave me something to look forward to, and kept my mind off the wait-game.  You save money by not receiving something you've prematurely bought, and you stay sane while you wait for your bundle of joy to (finally) make his/her appearance!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 24 - Don't Register for Things you might get a million of

I had been warned by the older mothers that I know not to register for clothes or blankets.  We are friends with a LOT of older and middle-aged woman, many of whom know how to knit, or crochet.  Needless to say, we received a huge amount of blankets, like about a dozen heavy weight, and probably 2 dozen light weight!  Needless to say, I'm glad I didn't register for more.  I also didn't register for clothes, because I was told that if people see something cute, they're going to buy it whether you registered for it or not.  I was also blessed to receive 5 large trash bags of used clothes to go through from two different families.  This has made up most of Howard's wardrobe.  We received a few outfits as shower gifts, some the Christmas before he was born, and some more in the hospital after he arrived.  Howard has had plenty of clothes since the day he was born, and I didn't even register for any!  So, when you make your registry, don't register for things you will probably get a LOT of (blankets), or things you can get for free or very cheap at the thrift stores (clothes), register for all those other needs!

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 23 - Register for things you Need, not just Wants

When you start your baby registry, it's a very exciting time, one filled with hope.  You hope that you get everything you register for, and more, because baby presents are fun!  It's also very easy to get carried away, and register for every cute baby thing that you see.  Do NOT do that.  When people look at your registry, they want to see what things you NEED.  Shower guests are helpful that way.  They want to buy you something that you need, and can use, not something that you will realize you don't actually need and end up returning.  And, don't just register for things that you will need right away, go ahead and put that booster feeding chair, and covertible car seat on there.  Some people, especially other moms, know that those things will be helpful for you to have and not have to purchase yourself later.  I chose my registry very carefully.  Did I get everything on it, no.  Did some people just go out and buy stuff they liked, yes.  But over all I ended up with most of the things I needed, and only had to return a few things to buy other needed items.  Here's some suggesttions for your registry in no particuallar order...
  • Diapers in various sizes, Wipes, and Diaper Cream OR Cloth Diaper Covers and Inserts
  • Diaper Changing Pad (if you are setting up a changing table)
  • Diaper Pail/Trash Can
  • Diaper Bag, and Portable Diaper Changing Mat (I LOVE mine, very similar to this)
  • Breast Pump/Bottles/Nursing Pillow OR Bottles/Nipples/Formula/Bottle Brush/etc
  • Feeding chair/ High Chair, bowls, spoons
  • Burp Cloths, Bibs, and Binkies
  • Gas Drops and Baby Tylenol
  • Thermometer (we have a rectal, and an ear style)
  • Teethers (including Sophie - Howard LOVES his), and Teething Gel
  • Crib/Bassinet/Pack and Play (whatever you start with, remember that eventually you will need a crib, babies do tend to get bigger you know...)
  • Crib/Bassinet/Pack and Play Sheets
  • a Swing or Bouncer of some kind (so thankful for our swing, it's the only thing Howard will sleep in, however, we only have about 10 more lbs until we have to move him into the crib, so not looking forward to that)
  • some Swaddles or receiving blankets
  • a heavy blanket or two
  • Car seat of some kind (some start out with the snap in base kind and then go to a convertible, some start with the convertible with a newborn insert, your choice)
  • Stroller
  • Carrier (Howard LOVED being in his Baby K-tan. We've worked up to a Boba now.)
  • Clothes - I prefer the zip sleepers cotton or fuzzy depending on the time of year, and onesies long or short sleeved, with leggings/shorts.  I don't like two piece outfits for little ones since their stomach ends up hanging out everytime you pick them.  But once they get mobile around 6 months, it does make them easier to diaper.  Howard was born in April, and I kept him in a cotton sleeper during the day (because of the AC), and a fuzzy sleeper at night for the first month or so.  And put him in his cute onesies when we would go to the drs or out to run errands.  However you choose to do it, your going to want at least 7 sets of day clothes, and 7 for night.  This allows for diaper blowouts, and massive spit ups (neither of which we had a whole lot of), without having to do laundry more than once or twice a week.
  • Socks/Crib Shoes
  • Bathing items: soap, lotion, powder, wash clothes - look for ones that are more substantial, towels, and a tub if you want (we put Howard on a rolled up adult towel in our tub until we got his bath sponge, which all of us LOVE)
  • Books and Toys (play mats, keys, blocks, stuffed animals, etc)
  • Rocker/Glider
  • Dresser
* Contains affilate links*

31 Days of Baby Saving Tips: Day 22 - Research Cheaper Options

Once you reach your third trimester, your OB will probably recommend that you take a birthing class, especially if you are a first time mother.  Since it was my first time giving birth, I agreed that this was a good thing to do.  However, the class she recommended at the hospital would have run us about $150, which we simply did NOT have.  I talked with older moms that my husband and I are friends with, and found out that the class use to be free!  That figures.  So, I started to look into other options.  There were several other nearby hospitals that offered classes for FREE, and online.  That was the road we took, as I was still experiencing severe morning (all day) sickness.  This provided my husband and I with all the information we needed without having to leave our home.  I ended up having a c-section, which I hadn't planned on, but still felt knowledgeable about thanks to the online class we completed.  Another FREE option was the health department.  They offered classes one day a week for 6 weeks.  SO, to save some serious cash, research your options, sometimes you can still get what you need (what ever that may be) for cheaper or FREE!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Weekly Spending Report: 11/09-15/2014

This was another GREAT week!  Best deals of the week were definitely at CVS -- LOVE the diaper deals recently!  Here's what we ended up with...
  • Tuesday's Staples Trip (1 ream paper): $2.98 oop, Earned $2.80 Staples Easy Rebate
  • Tuesday's Walmart Trip (toilet paper, 1 box freezer bags, and baby gas drops): $20.43 oop
  • Wednesday's CVS Trip: $15.75 oop, Earned $10 CVS Gift Card, and $2 ECB's 
  • Wednesday's Giant Trip: $25.88 oop
  • Saturday's Dollar Tree Trip (2 newspapers): $2.12 oop
Total OOP: $67.16
Total Earned: $14.80
Total Remaining for November: $165.21

Linked to Couponaholic!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Weekly Spending Report: 11/01-08/2014

We had a GREAT start to the month!  We were able to stock up on a lot of needed items before Winter hits and my income goes away until Spring, but managed to not spend a whole lot out of pocket!  Here's what we ended up with...
  • Saturday's Dollar Tree Trip: $17.24 oop
  • Monday's CVS Trip: $14.60 oop, Earned $10 CVS Gift Card, and $8.99 MIR
  • Monday's ALDI Trip: $30.70 oop
  • Monday's Staples Trip: $5.09 oop, Earned $4.79 Easy Rebate
  • Earned $10 CVS Gift Card from Swag Bucks
Total OOP: $67.63
Total Earned: $33.78
Total Remaining for November: $232.37

Linked to Couponaholic! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

October Budget Update

October ended up being a GREAT month, I was able to get a lot of needed items at great deals, including snacks, produce, meat, and diary.  I was also able to stock up on things like vitamins, and diapers.  Plus we had plenty of candy for the trick-or-treaters.  And, we even had a little money left!  Here's the run down for the month...
  • Week #1: $65.32 oop, Earned $5 ECB's, and $10 Amazon Gift Cards from Swag Bucks
  • Week #2: $75.20 oop, Earned $6 ECB's, and $2.80 Staples Easy Rebate
  • Week #3: $65.95 oop, Earned $3 ECB's
  • Week #4: $35.62 oop, Earned $4.99 ECB's
  • Week #5: $46.80 oop, Earned $7.50 ECB's, and $2.80 Staples Easy Rebate
Total OOP: $288.89
Total Earned: $42.09
Total Remaining: $11.11!

Weekly Spending Report: 10/26-31/2014

This week I was able to stock up on some AWESOME deals, and some much needed produce and snacks.  Here's what we ended up with...
  • Sunday's Giant Trip (Not pictured, 4-6 pks Sodas): $17.74 oop
  • Tuesday's Staples Trip (1 ream paper): $2.98 oop, Earned $2.80 Easy Rebate
  • Tuesday's CVS Trip (Not pictured, 3-24 pks H2O): $5.49 oop, Earned $7.50 ECB's
  • Tuesday's ALDI Trip: $20.59 oop

Total OOP: $46.80
Total Earned: $10.30
Total Remaining: $11.11!

Weekly Spending Report: 10/19-25/2014

Another easy week.  I picked up the deals at CVS, and then went next door to ALDI and picked up everything we needed for the week, including milk, snacks, and produce.
  • Monday's CVS Trip: $6.57 oop, Earned $4.99 ECB's
  • Monday's ALDI Trip (not pictured 5 lbs potatoes): $29.05 oop
Total OOP: $35.62
Total Earned: $4.99
Total Remaining for October: $57.91

Weekly Spending Report: 10/12-18/2014

This was an easy week.  We didn't need a whole lot, so I just picked up some deals at CVS, and Giant.  I also grabbed some much needed beef, rice, and produce.  Here's what we ended up with...
  • Tuesday's CVS Trip (not pictured 3-24 pks H2O): $6.58 oop, Earned $3 ECB's
  • Thursday's Giant's Trip: $46.60 oop
  • Saturday's Giant's Trip (no picture - Ham and Turkey Lunchmeats, Hard Boiled Eggs): $12.77 oop
Total OOP: $65.95
Total Earned: $3
Total Remaining for October: $93.53