Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Watch for Coupons in Magazines!

Yesterday, I got the October edition of my "AllYou" magazine (Which I love getting!) as well as the October edition of "Better Homes and Gardens".  After I had gone through and found all the coupons in "AllYou" (you can find those match ups over at I Heart the Mart), I started going through the "Better Homes and Gardens" because it occasionally will have a coupon or two in it.  What should I find in the middle but an insert with over a dozen coupons in it!  I was thrilled!
Today, I went out to the mail and got my October edition of "Parents".  Guess what was in the middle?  That's right! The very same insert!

Here are the coupons:
$0.55 off Shout Color Catcher (x 2-28-12)
$0.55 off any Shout product (x 2-28-12)
$2.00 off any 2 Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaners (x 2-28-12)
$2.00 off any 2 Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning products (x 2-28-12)
$5.00 off any Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner starter kit (x 2-28-12)
$2.00 off any 2 Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner refills (x 2-28-12)
$1.00 off any Windex Multi-surface cleaning product (x 2-28-12)
$1.00 off any Windex Electronics product (x 2-28-12)
$1.00 off any Pledge or Armstrong floor cleaner (x 2-28-12)
$1.00 off any Pledge Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair (x 2-28-12)
$2.00 off any 2 Pledge furniture care products (x 2-28-12)
$1.00 off any Pledge furniture care product (x 2-28-12)
$1.00 off any 2 Ziploc brand Bags (x 12-31-11)
$1.50 off any 2 Ziploc containers (x 12-31-11)
$1.00 off any Glade Press & Spray starter kit (x 12-31-11)
$3.00 off any Glade Sense & Spray starter kit (x 12-31-11)
$1.00 off any 2 Glade 4-oz. Jar Candles (x 12-31-11)
$2.00 off any Glade Scented Oil Candle OR 2 refills (x 12-31-11)

I love finding unexpected coupons, especially ones that don't expire for a while!  :)

Thank a Veteran!

Do you know someone who is active or retired military?  Do they deserve a free night away?  Then send them the link to Better Way to Stay's current promotion.  They have quite a few Bed & Breakfast or Inn locations that are offering one free nights stay on November 10th, 2011 for veterans and one guest each. Head on over and check out the details!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Homemade Baby Food made easy!

My little guy is just starting on solid foods.  He has been eating rice cereal and oatmeal and will soon start on other fruits and veggies.  In order to make some foods ahead of time, I have cooked and blended the foods until they were smooth, then put them in ice cube trays to freeze them.  After they are frozen, they can be transferred to plastic bags or freezer safe containers.  My only problem is that they often stick in the ice cube trays and I have a hard time getting them out.  The trays also take up quite a bit of room in the freezer. 

There's a solution for both of those problems!  The Mumi & Bubi Solids Started Kit! 
They are very thin, allowing them to be set in the freezer easily.  They also hold 21 cubes on each tray (which is definitely more than one of my ice cube trays hold).  Plus, they come with covers to prevent spilling or being exposed in the freezer. (No more wrapping the tray in plastic wrap!)

I would like to have one!  In fact, I would love to win one from Sugar Pop Ribbons Reviews & Giveaways.  She has recently reviewed the product and seems very pleased with it!  Go over and check it out.  Who knows?  Maybe you'll win the trays!

Free Kids Music!

What else could you want?
Check out Amazon free music for your kids!  The one I just discovered is Cedarmont Kids Sampler for Moms!  It has 5 free songs including "The Wheels on the Bus", "Father Abraham", and "The Ants go Marching".

While you are there, check out some of their other free downloads!
Sesame Street Music Amazon Sampler
Veggie Tales Five Super Silly Songs 
The Wiggles Summer 2011 Sampler

And there are more! 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cloth Diapers - What I Use

I mentioned in the last post that one way to save money is to use cloth diapers.  Now I realize that if you are working full time, and your child is in daycare, this may not be practical for you.  But for me, it's been a great way to save money.

When many people first think of cloth diapers, they think of having to fold the diapers, and pin them on, then cover them with the clear plastic pants.  That's what my mother did for most of her children.  Let me tell you, it has changed.  Now there are so many options out there that don't require pins or ugly plastic pants.

What I started out with was the Flip Diaper System.  I purchased a kit that comes with 2 diaper covers and 6 inserts.  The cover is a One-Size cover with snaps to adjust it for a small, medium, or large fit.  The inserts have fold marks for each of the three sizes.  I like them, but they didn't quite work the way I wanted them too.  At the time, my baby would have a dirty diaper every 2-3 days, and every time, I would have to toss the cover in the wash because it got dirty.  The system is supposed to allow you to use the cover multiple times, but it didn't always work that way. 

I have a friend who used pocket diapers... not any particular brand, just the cheap ones off of Ebay.  So I thought I'd pick up a couple of those and see how I like them.  The ones I purchased were also one-size diapers with snaps to make them adjustable.  They aren't as absorbent as I would like them to be, but I remedied that by taking a couple of flat diapers that were worn out and turning them into extra inserts for the pocket diapers.  They sometimes have a tendency to leak around the legs, and I haven't figured out whether that is something that I am doing, or whether that's just the way they are.  They are nice, and I still use them, but there is no way to use the cover more than once. 

So I came up with my own system using what I already had.  My mother had given me a bunch of used flat diapers, and I had also received some prefolds as shower gifts.  So I spent just a little more money to buy a Snappi (as apposed to using diaper pins) and started folding the flats, fastening them on with the Snappi, and using the Flip diaper covers to cover them.  I like this method.  Folding the diaper and fastening it on gives it more of a fitted feel which usually keeps everything on the cloth diaper and not the cover.  The cover does get a bit damp, so I alternate covers so that they can air out in between uses.  I rinse them in cold water with baking soda, then wash them in hot water with a small amount of ALL Free and Clear while using vinegar as a softener.  After they are washed, I hang them all out of the line (as often as the weather allows anyway).  I haven't had any trouble with staining.

So cost wise, I spent about $45 on the Flip system and about $10 more on the pocket diapers and Snappi.  That's a total of $55 for the cloth diapering system that we have been using almost exclusively for the past 3 months.  I realize that I had an advantage of having flats and prefolds given to me for free, so for the sake of argument, let's say I bought a pack of 12 prefolds from Walmart for $10.  That makes the total $65.

Now, if I were not using cloth diapers, I would most likely be getting my disposable ones off of Amazon Mom because I like their subscribe and save discount of 30% and their free shipping.  I can go there and get a 84 pack of Size 2 Huggies Little Snugglers for $15 ($0.18 per diaper) if I use the subscribe and save option.    That means that I would need to buy 5 boxes in order to pass up my cloth diaper total of $65.   Let's say, for the sake of calculation, that my baby goes through 5 diapers a day.  That means that the box will last almost 17 days (let's say 16).  5 Boxes will last 84 days or almost 3 months. 

365 days a year times 5 diapers a day is 1,825 diapers.  If you are paying $0.18 per diaper, that's $328.50 for diapers.  So if I use my cloth diapers for 1 year, I'll be saving approximately $263.

So, having used cloth diapers almost exclusively for 3 months, I am probably at the break even point.  There are a lot of factors that this doesn't include.  For instance, there is the detergent, water, electricity, and time that it takes to wash the diapers. 

Now I'm not saying that disposable diapers are bad, I'm just saying that if you have the time and desire to do so, a lot of money can be saved through using cloth diapers.  My son still wears disposable diapers from time to time when his cloth ones are being washed, or when we are away from home.  But, I have never paid full price for a package of diapers.  I have either purchased them using sales and coupons, or purchased them off of Amazon Mom. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Money Saving Diapers

Yep, you heard me right!  You can save money by using diapers... cloth diapers!  Yes, they are more expensive to start out with, but if you look at the fact that you can use the same diaper over, and over, and over again, it makes sense.  You can even use them for more than one child if you so desire.

We won't get into all the details of the different kinds of cloth diapers and where to get them today... that's a whole other post... or multiple posts! 

Today, I just wanted to tell you about a great blog that hosts many different giveaways.  And right now, one of those giveaways is for a diaper from Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot.  So go check it out!  Head on over to Sugar Pop Ribbons Reviews & Giveaways to check out the Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot Giveaway.  You never know, you just might win your first cloth diaper!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Saving Money at Target!

One of the ways I am learning about to save money is using coupons.  Don't jump off the train here, I am not going to store canned goods under my kids beds or anything like that.  Just using coupons and sales to buy things I need at lower prices and stocking up on a few non-perishables.  Most of my "stocking up" so far is just things like have a couple extra packs of toilet paper in the linen closet, a couple extra jugs of laundry detergent in the garage, and extra diapers in the baby's closet. 

One of the tricks I have found though is that Target will accept one manufacturer's coupon and one Target coupon on the same item.  This is great... makes for some half-price diapers if you can hit the right sale! 

Here is one of the deals I was able to do the other day.  I had some Gerber Baby Food coupons that were about to expire.  I also had a Target coupon that was good for $2 off any Gerber baby food purchase of $10 or more.  Now, here is where I have to admit my failings... I didn't do my calculations right and ended up with almost $15 worth of baby food instead of just over $10 like I was planning.  However, between the Target coupon, and several Gerber coupons, I was able to save 33% on 4 boxes of baby cereal (rice and oatmeal), 4 (2-packs) of Gerber 1st foods, and 1 (4-pack) of yogurt.

Don't know where to get Target coupons?  Well, some of the ones I have used have come in the mail, and some I got for registering there before my baby was born.  But one place to get them (if you have a printer) is on the Target Website.
Now, if you are like me, you are terrible at taking the time to match up the sales with the coupons.  There's a cheat for that too!  Here!

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Post

So here I am.  I suddenly have found myself staying at home with my child.  This is different.  I have worked my way through college and ever since.  Don't get me wrong, I love staying home with my little guy!  But, I also want to do what I can to help stretch my husband's income a little farther.  So here, I'm going to blog about my adventures in trying to save money and maybe even make a little spending money, all while taking care of my little guy.