Thursday, March 12

4 Giveaways Left!

I still have Palmolive Pure + Clear samples & $1.00 off coupons to give away! Hurry! Only 4 spots left!

Read the post here!


I don't know how I've made it thus far without mentioning Diaperswappers. It is an online cloth diaper and parenting community where I have spent many, many hours over the last year and a half. There are so many members that there is such a wealth of diapering and parenting knowledge! My favorite forums are the FSOT (for sale or trade...for cloth diapers, clothing, etc.), the Diaper Q & A, the Thrifty forum, and the Parenting forum. If you are the least bit interested in cloth diapering, I highly, highly, highly recommend this site to you! You can learn so much from reading what others have posted and you can ask questions that get quick answers. You should definitely check it out!

I just thought that since I posted my Craigslist buys and sells, that I should also post my DS ones. This is all done through paypal. Shipping is included in my buy/sell prices and my sell prices do get charged pp fees. Again, any money I make or spend on DS does not count in my monthly budget, but is rather "recycled" in a way. I have to sell to be able to have money to spend.

Here are totals from the last 30 days:

+ 1 embellished GMD orange newborn prefold $6
+ 1 lot maternity clothes $26
+ 1 maternity dress $6
+ 1 small lot maternity clothes $15.10
Total: $53.10

+ 1 fitted $35
+ 1 pair crankypants + 1 matching T $86
+ 3 maternity items $48
+ 2 diaper covers $38
+ 2 wool covers $64.60
+ 1 diaper cover $6.90
Total: $278.50 (minus pp fees & shipping costs)

Trades (mine for theirs):
+ my "lot" of large maternity clothes for "thier" lot of XL maternity clothes + 2 PB&E small preflats w/doublers
+ my new Goodmama fitted for "their" $17pp and a new Monkey Doodlez AIO
Total: +$17 (minus pp fees & shipping costs)

Grand Total: $242.40 (minus pp fees & shipping costs)

Recent Craigslist Buys/Sells

Here are some recent buys/sells I've done on Craigslist. This money is not included in my monthly totals, but rather used to buy things we want/need.

+ "lot" of maternity clothes $115
+ Tot Tutors lego table $35
Total: $150

+ 1 dozen toddler prefolds $28
+ 1 pair maternity capris $6
+ 4 nursing bras $19 (including shipping)
+ 3 wool diaper covers $45 (including shipping)
+ Gerber baby food lot $7
+ 7 fitted diapers $35
+ 1 diaper stacker $4
+ 2 nursing bras $24
Total: $168

Grand Total: $18.00 (minus shipping costs & pp fees for 2 items)

Updating March Totals

Eating Out:
+ $14.49 K&W Cafeteria 3/1
+ $15.62 Schlotzsky's Deli 3/1
+ $22.87 Cracker Barrel 3/4
+ $7.84 Wendy's 3/4
+ $5.66 Bojangles 3/4
+ $8.84 ColdStone Creamery 3/5
+ $14.64 Little Caesar's Pizza 3/5
+ $12.52 Salsa Fresh 3/9
+ $18.31 Bojangles 3/10
Total as of 3/10: $120.79

+ $1.17 USPS 3/3
+ $5.72 USPS 3/4
+ $7.07 USPS 3/7
Total as of 3/10: $13.96

+ $5.70 Harris Teeter 3/2
+ $5.75 Food Lion 3/3
+ $10.49 Great Harvest Bread Company 3/9
+ $48.06 Kroger 3/10
Total as of 3/10: $70.00

+ $32.00 Target 3/1 (wedding shower gift + 2 $1.00 dog collars)
+ $5.33 Ollie's Bargain Outlet 3/5 (Super Hero straw cup for DS)
+ $57.09 Gap Credit Card 3/10
Total as of 3/10: $94.42

Grand Total as of 3/10: $299.17
Total left for March: $200.83

your February total is...



*Total OOP = $707.56
*Total savings = $470.78
*Percent savings = 40%



Yikes! We went over by a lot in this short month. The main reason for this was DS's one-year photos. Althogether, we spent $176.12 on his photos. I do not regret buying these beautiful portraits one bit, but perhaps I should have planned for them to come out of our personal savings (designed for spending on items such as this) instead of our monthly budget. If you discount the pictures from this budget, we only went over by $31.44, which is a much nicer number to have to deal with!

Finally Finalizing February

Say that 3 times fast! lol

Eating Out:
+ $6.53 Salsaritas 2/18
+ $8.16 Wendy's 2/20
+ $18.93 El Rodeo 2/23
+ $9.84 Chick-fil-A 2/26
+ $5.51 El Cerro Grande 2/27
+ $3.21 McDonalds 2/28
(obviously DH has not been packing his lunch to take to work very much lately....)

+ $26.69 Sear's Photo 2/28 (DH bought the extra photos offered when picking up our package)

+ $34.60 Kroger 2/22 (saved, $7.90, 19% savings)

+ $7.47 Walmart 2/22 (an outfit for DS)
+ $19.18 Kid-to-Kid 2/28 (2nd hand maternity clothes)

High OOP Kroger Trip!

We needed (and wanted) some things the other night, so DH ran out to Kroger armed only with a $3/3 Johnson's baby soaps coupon, a $3 OYNO catalina, a Kroger store coupon for $0.50/$2 of cheese, and 2 x $1/2 Tropicana OJ coupons. Here's the damage:

Kroger 3/10:
+ 4 64-oz. Tropicana Orange Juice cartons (on sale for $2.39/ea, $1.89/ea after coupons)
+ 1 gal. Kroger skim milk
+ 1 gal. Kroger whole milk
+ 1 1.5-qt. Breyers Rocky Road ice cream (for me, on sale for $2.99)
+ 1 box of 24-ct. Super Heroes popsicles (for DH)
+ 1 shaker of Kraft shredded parmesan cheese (this is the fancy kind!)
+ 1 large container Dannon yogurt (for DS)
+ 2 1-lb. Kroger sirloin (hamburger)
+ 1 dz. Kroger large eggs
+ 1 dz. Private Selection organic large eggs (for DS)
+ 3 Golden Delicious apples
+ 2 Cameo apples
+ 3 Kiwis
+ 1 bunch seedless white grapes
+ 1 bunch bananas
+ 3 cantaloupes
+ 2 Bosc pears
+ 3 Johnson's buddies soap bars
- Coupons ($8.50)
+ Tax
=$48.06 out of pocket, $15.36 saved, 24% savings
Avg. cost per item: $1.50
*Plus we earned yet another $3/3 Johnson's soap catalina!

Super cheap & healthy breakfast for babies/toddlers/anyone!

If you haven't heard of the Super Baby Food book by Ruth Yaron, you need to check it out! There are lots of great ideas and recipes in there for feeding your baby from first foods on to toddler years and beyond. The author's philosophy is vegetarian, but it is certainly a useful book for everyone (we're not vegetarian).

The one recipe we use ALL THE TIME is the one for Super Porridge, which is a mix of grains and legumes (which create a complete protein by the way) that makes a superb breakfast cereal (or other meal of the day). DS has been eating it for breakfast every morning for months now and he loves it! The cool thing is, you make it differently every time by choosing different grains, legumes, or different combinations of grains and legumes. For example, this batch of Super Porridge DS is eating now is a mix of organic whole grain brown rice, organic millet, organic black turtle beans, and organic green lentils. Next time it might be pearled barley and split peas! The possibilities are endless.

I typically make a double-batch of it, which lasts us for 6 days, making roughly 6 1/2-cup servings. Depending on the age and appetite of your child, this may last you for a longer or shorter amount of time.

I just bought a 3-lb. bag of whole grain brown rice (not organic this time), a 1-lb. bag of organic french green lentils, and a 1-lb. bag of organic black eye peas at Harris Teeter last night, so I thought I would calculate the cost of a typical morning's breakfast.

The 3-lb. bag of whole grain brown rice = $3.39
The 1-lb. bag of organic french green lentils = $1.99 (VIC special $0.50 off)
The 1-lb. bag of organic black eye peas = $1.99 (VIC special $0.50 off)

For a double-batch of Super Porridge, it takes 2/3 cup grains and 4 tablespoons of legumes. So if I was making next week's Super Porridge with the above ingredients, here's the breakdown:

2/3 cup of whole grain brown rice = $0.38
2 tablespoons of organic french green lentils = $0.12
2 tablespoons of organic black eye peas = $0.12
TOTAL = $0.62 for 6 day's worth of super healthy breakfast or roughly $0.10 per day!

And, you may be able to get better prices for your grains and legumes depending on where you buy. Once you get a good variety of grains/legumes built up, you hardly ever have to buy more because they last forever and you use very little each week! And the only extra cost for this cereal is for 2 minutes of blender action, 10 minutes of stovetop heating, and 4 cups of water once every 6 days.

If you combine this breakfast with your child's vitamin/iron drops and some fruit or fruit juice, you will also boost your child's iron absorption (just don't serve with milk/dairy as that inhibits iron absorption).

For the recipes and more directions on when your child can begin certain grains/legumes, etc. please snag yourself a copy of this book! I can't say enough about it!

There are really cool DIY yogurt meals, too!

Wednesday, March 11

Harris Teeter

We were out of grains and needed some more legumes to make DS's Super Porridge (recipe from the Super Baby Food Book) which he eats every morning for breakfast, so we made a quick run to HT tonight.

While there, we saw signs posted that HT milk was on sale for $2.47/gallon until March 17th and I picked up some $1.00/1 blinkie coupons for Bertolli pasta sauce pouches which are currently BOGO with a price tag of $3.29/ea (making them $1.29 for 2 after BOGO and 2 coupons). For comparison, each pouch is 13.5oz, so 2 pouches have one ounce more than one regular sized Ragu jar (1 lb. 10 oz.).

Harris Teeter 3/11:
+ 1 1-lb. bag of organic black eye peas
+ 1 1-lb. bag of organic french green lentils
+ 1 3-lb. bag of Mahatma whole grain brown rice
+ 4 Bertolli pasta sauce pouches
+ 1 gal. HT skim milk
- Coupons ($4.00 worth of $1.00/1 Bertolli blinkies)
+ Tax
=$12.24 out of pocket, $12.60 saved, 51% savings
Avg. cost per item: $1.58

On the way to the car with our purchases, I studied the receipt (as always!) to see how we did--over 50% savings after walking into the store with NO COUPONS...not bad!--when I notice this offer at the bottom:

EVIC present your VIC card and receive $3 off HT Organic Ice Cream 1 Qt, thru 3/17/09. Limit 1 per household.

Though DH didn't really want to, I persuaded him that 1 qt. of ice cream couldn't cost *that much* and that this would probably be a good deal, so he reentered the store for a quick price check.

Here was his trip:

Harris Teeter "Run-In":
+ 1 qt. HT Organic chocolate ice cream ($4.99 VIC special marked to $3.99)
- Coupons (EVIC $3.00)
+ Tax
=$1.01 out of pocket, saved $4.00, 80% savings
Avg. cost per item: $1.01

You can't beat $1.01 for a quart of ORGANIC ice cream!

Overall, I was pretty impressed with how we did considering this wasn't a planned trip and we left the house with 0 coupons! Oh, and I am definitely going back for more milk! I need to clean out some freezer space so I can actually freeze some for that price!

Gift Cards for Prescription Drugs :)

A few weeks ago, I got a coupon from CVS for a $25 gift card with a new or transferred prescription. I got a new prescription for prenatal vitamins and had it filled at CVS. It should have been free with my insurance, but I had to pay $9. Not sure why, but hopefully we can still file it ourselves and get the $9 back. Regardless, I got the $25 gift card for the new prescription.

Tonight, I needed more vitamins because I was out and I had a few coupons from one of the recent Rite Aid flyers for a $25 gift card with a transferred prescription. So, I went in to Rite Aid, had them transfer my prescription from the CVS across the street, got my free prenatals and a $25 gift card.

So, in total, I got two months worth of prenatal vitamins for $9 (which might even get refunded) and I got $50 in free gift cards!

That's what I call SWEET!

Bzz Report: Palmolive Pure + Clear

A while back, I posted about being a Bzz Agent and what that means. To read about it, check out this post I wrote on CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain.

Just today I got my 2nd Bzz Kit in the mail! This one is awesome! I got a full-size bottle of the New Ultra Palmolive Pure + Clear to try out, along with several 0.51 fl. oz. samples to give out to friends and family, a stack of $1.00 off coupons, and info about a cool ChatThreads promotion to share with you! I am so excited!

While I obviously haven't had a chance yet to try out this product myself (but rest assured I will give you my honest opinions about it as soon as I do!), these are some of the reasons I'm so excited to try it:
1. It's free of unnecessary chemicals, heavy fragrances, and phosphates
2. It's biodegradable
3. It uses non-irritating dyes and is hypoallergenic
4. It comes in two scents -- Spring Fresh and Sparkling Fresh (my bottle and my samples are all Spring Fresh)
5. The cool looking bottle is made from 25-75% post-consumer recycled plastic
6. It's made here in America.
7. It's certified kosher.
8. It's concentrated.

So, here's some cool stuff for you!
1. If you are interested in trying a sample of Palmolive Pure + Clear and receiving a $1.00 coupon, just post a comment along with your email address. I'll send my address to the first 5 people so you can send me a SASE (or you can paypal me $$0.74--the cost of a stamp plus pp fees). As soon as I receive your envelope or your pp, your sample and coupon will be on their way to you!
2. For a chance to donate up to $5 to charity or to enter online to instantly win $100 gift certificates to and a grand prize drawing for a $1,000 gift certificate, visit ChatThreads and enter this Conversation ID: 01-256-439000

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this post or comments about this product if you've already tried it, so comment away! Thanks!

More Happy Mail!

I have been getting tons of happy mail the past few weeks/days.

Here are a few things I've gotten:
*My other 4 Charlie Brown DVDs came that I got by sending in Voila UPCs back in December.
*A GMD orange prefold (newborn diaper) embellished with The Very Hungry Catepillar fabric (purchased from diaperswappers)
*A lot of maternity clothes I have been buying/trading for on diaperswappers
*My Palmolive Pure + Clear Bzz Kit (more about that in another post in just a sec!)
*Coupons from a coupon swap on diaperswappers
*and probably more stuff, but this is all I can think of right now!

What have you gotten in the mail lately???

Going Green & Saving Money: Light bulbs!

While strolling through Lowe's the other day (the Home & Garden, not the grocery store), I came across a clearance table of 60 watt replacement compact fluorescent twist light bulbs! These are the kind that are spiral shaped and fit into regular light bulb sockets. While these are normally fairly expensive ($1+ per bulb), these were marked down to $5.00 for a 6/pack and one pack was missing one bulb, so it was marked to $3.00. I snatched up a $5 pack and the $3 pack, so I got 11 fluorescent bulbs for $8! Yipee!

The reasons these bulbs are great, you ask?
1. The fluorescent bulbs last up to 7 years (8,000 hours), or about 10 times as long as a standard 750-hour bulb. If it takes as long as your house as it does at mine to get a burned-out light bulb changed (especially with high ceilings), you will appreciate how long these last!
2. On average, you can save $45 per bulb in energy costs (based on 12 cents per KWH). This is because though the bulbs replace the light output of a 60W bulb, they are using only 13W themselves.
3. If you are using less energy by using these bulbs and also replacing them less often, then you are conserving fossil fuels, and making less waste for landfills!