Not Yet Mommy

The long journey towards parenthood…

Sunday Savings! August 15, 2010

Filed under: Savings Angel,Savings Sunday — Stephanie Marie @ 3:48 pm
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Today may have been my best haul yet with Savings Angel, but before I share my savings, I would just like to address a specific criticism I hear all the time: It’s not really saving you any money if it’s not stuff you would buy anyway. I disagree. Before using Savings Angel my husband and I would really have to pick and choose what we were going to eat each week as we were having a hard time making ends meet. Our monthly grocery budget was about $250 (which is the same now), but that would basically mean that we were eating ramen noodles, boxed dinners, and cheap-o lunch meat so that we would have enough money to buy essentials like bread and milk, toiletries (which we had to cheap out on as well), and paper products. It seemed as though there was never anything to eat in the apartment and we routinely ran out of toilet paper or paper towels and had to find ways to make due until we could afford what we needed.

It may seem hard to believe, but that all changed with Savings Angel. We have about the same budget for groceries every month, but almost never use it all, which, for the first time in our marriage, has allowed us to put a little money into savings or pay extra on bills. We no longer have to buy the cheaply made, who knows what’s in this, sodium filled, fat filled food that we were once buying, and the money that we save on groceries we can stock up on allows us to buy good meat during our supplemental shopping trips. Add into that the fact that I now have so much stocked up that I don’t need to go grocery shopping next month, except for things like milk and meat. THAT is a good feeling! I love knowing that it won’t be such a struggle to make it and that we’ll have food to last us. Another perk? This was the first shopping trip in the last 8 months that I’ve had to buy toilet paper; we still haven’t had to buy paper towel. I love not being a slave to the store!

One more thing… If you think using Savings Angel means that you’re going to lose hours upon hours of your time having to clip coupons and go store to store, that’s not the case. Granted, I’m not as organized as I should be with my coupons (and I’ll fix that soon, I swear), but I save time shopping this way. I only pick one or two stores to shop at any given weekend (I only shopped at Winn-Dixie this time around), and organizing my coupons only takes about 20 minutes (it’d be less if Savings Angel featured all of Winn-Dixie’s sales like it does for other stores, but I’m not complaining). Because I shop with a list and I know all of the sales ahead of time, I can avoid impulse purchases and I don’t wander around aisles. The longest part of the whole task is seriously checking out and having to wait for the cashier to get done with my coupons. Never fails.

OK, on to my savings:
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Hopefully that’s easier to read than last time.

As always, if you have any questions about how you can save your family tons of money using Savings Angel, feel free to ask me. If you’d like to try Savings Angel and get 30 days free, use my affiliate number to sign up! There’s a 30 day money back guarantee too, so if you don’t like it, you’re not out anything!

Cut Your Grocery Bill. Guaranteed.
Click here to check it out!
(This will automatically input my affiliate number for you)

 

Sunday Savings July 25, 2010

Filed under: Savings Angel,Savings Sunday — Stephanie Marie @ 4:11 pm
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I’m going to try to segment my blog a little bit more, so I’m going to participate in a few weekly rituals, the first of which will be Sunday Savings. Like many families that are suffering in this terrible economy, my husband and I have been looking for ways to save money and I have decided that we will save the most by saving on food. I use Savings Angel (my reference number is 31920 in case you would like to join up. I believe that the deal is, if you join using my affiliate number then you’ll receive a free thirty days with your first paid thirty days. You figure that’s $20 back in your pocket from the get go, and I routinely make up the twenty dollars I spend on my membership during my first shopping trip of the month), which is a program that looks through ads for you and matches up online and paper coupons so you can get the best deal possible.

Normally I save about $100 a shopping trip (no joke!), but since we’re leaving for a week on Wednesday, this shopping trip was not as large. Despite not saving as much as I normally would, I still got some awesome deals and I more than made up for my membership fee this trip (though I made up for it on my last trip as well).

Here’s what I got:

Item                                                                                                Original Price What I paid
(1)Twizzler’s Pull N Peel Family Pack (My Vice)                        $2.49 $1.99
(3)Nature’s Valley Nut Clusters                                                        $9.12 $6.12
(2)Nature’s Valley Honey Oat Granola Bars                               $5.28 $3.28
(10)Smart Ones Meals (Hubband’s Work Meals)                    $29.90 $15.00
(3)12 packs of 12oz Pepsi Products                                             $13.49 $7.00
(10)Sobe Life Waters                                                                          $12.00 $7.00
(4)Kashi Fruit and Nut Bars                                                             $10.00 $3.49
(2)Kashi Cookies (Yum!)                                                                      $5.00 $1.66
(2)Loaves of Garlic Bread                                                                    $5.00 $4.00
(2)Packages of Bratwurst                                                                      $9.98 $6.00
(2)Blue Bunny Ice Cream Bars                                                            $7.98 $2.99
(2)Starbucks Java Chip Ice Cream                                                   $7.98 $1.99
(11)Boxes of Ronzoni Pasta                                                               $30.14 $8.14
(4)Jars of Prego Spaghetti Sauce                                                    $10.36 $6.36
(2)Jars of Ragu Alfredo Sauce                                                            $5.18 $5.18
(2)Bottles of Lysol Toilet Cleaner                                                      $5.58 $0.79
——————————————————————————————-
Total                                                                                                        $169.48 $80.99

That’s a total savings of $88.49! Granted, some of that stuff is not needed by us this week as we’ll be gone, however some of it was just too good of a deal to pass up and it keeps me from having to get it later on (i.e., the pasta and the toilet bowl cleaner), and some of it we’ll take with us as snacks for the road (i.e., some of the Kashi products and the Nature’s Valley bars). I love that we’re not only saving money on what we eat, but we’re also saving on name brands, so we can eat what we really like eating and can “splurge” a little bit, while still saving tons of money. Also, the most amazing part about this savings is that this is the norm– I almost always save more than I spend and it’s a significant savings!

 

Catchin’ Crap July 24, 2010

Filed under: Dirty Diaper Laundry,Links — Stephanie Marie @ 10:25 pm

When I was younger I never thought about what I would wrap around my future child’s butt to catch his or her waste, and I’m pretty sure that most people don’t really put a lot of thought into that particular decision in life. I guess I just always assumed that no one used cloth diapers anymore (despite the fact that my own mother told me that she used cloth diapers on both me and my brother), so the biggest decision a parent would have to make in the realm of diapers was what brand to use.

It wasn’t until about a year ago that I realized that not only did people still use cloth diapers on babies (and not just in developing countries, but in the U.S. as well), but that there was something called the “Modern Cloth Diaper”– a diaper that is designed in a similar fashion to a disposable diaper, but is made of cloth instead of paper. In particular, I fell in love with the Smartipants, a one sized, waterproof cloth diaper that was touted as being amazingly easy to use in addition to coming in adorable colors. It was my introduction to this diaper that lead me to simple conclusion that I would never let a chemical filled, paper diaper ever touch my future child’s bottom.

I dove into learning about cloth diapering– how it’s done, what you do with the waste, where to buy them, and how to wash them. I learned the pros and cons, from both sides of the argument, and I met people who used cloth. I entered contests to win diapers, I joined forums to buy used cloth diapers, and I even bought a select few diapers brand new, until I was able to form my “stash.”

I love that cding parents refer to their collection of diapers as their stash! And I love MY stash! I know that, despite the fact that I have more diapers than I will probably ever need and definitely more than I ever set out to end up with, my stash is not complete. I have no diapers for a new born, mostly because I’m afraid I will have massive babies and will never get to use the adorable, teeny tiny diapers, and partly because I hope that I’ll have bigger babies and not have to spend any more on diapers. Cost, though, was a driving factor in cloth diapering one day; My entire stash cost less than $300, and it’s more than enough to diaper a child from birth to potty learning, while only having to wash once every three days (though, I’m sure I won’t go that long).

So, what makes up my stash, you may ask? I’ll show you (kinda. I just put everything away, so I’m not dragging it out to take a picture at this moment):

First and foremost, there’s this lovely little diaper. It was made my a WAHM, but I love it! It’s a stuffable all-in-one:
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Then, the diaper that started it all, the Smartipants! I have six of these (in clover, aqua, chocolate, pink, lavender, and blue), and they’re so soft!
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Early on, I discovered the Fuzzibunz diaper. It’s a one size diaper similar to the Smartipants, however there are no snaps on the front of it. You can adjust the rise of this diaper using elastics in the legs, which makes them both functional and ridiculously cute and fluffy! I have 10 of these in various colors ranging from pastel yellow to bright orange to neon green and, of course, Laker blue!
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Then there are my Bum Genius 3.0’s, the pretentious, kind of full of themselves diaper. Everyone always speaks about the BG3.0 like it’s the king of all diapers, but, honestly, I’m not terribly impressed. They close with aplix, which looks pilly and I imagine are a dream for babies who like to remove their own diapers, but time will tell. These are also one size, pocket diapers, and I have 3 of them in yellow and light green.
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One of my favorite diapers (namely because it’s kind of fun to see how small these actually get) is the Wahmies. These are still one size, pocket diapers, but they close using S-hooks that go all around the diaper, allowing them to get unbelievably tiny! I have 7 of these in brown, green, yellow, aqua, and blue.
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As you may have noticed, I have gravitated towards one size diapers that also happen to be pocket diapers. This means that these diapers must be stuffed with an insert to be absorbent, but they have the benefit of not having to be bought in several different sizes. The only diaper I’ve ventured to buy in a sized variety has been G-diapers. These are hybrid diapers that consist of a cotton outer shell, a nylon waterproof liner, and can be lined with either cloth or flushable liners. These close with aplix, but uniquely, close in the rear, making it difficult for future nudist children to take them off. I have probably close to 30 of these in various colors and sizes, some of which have been embellished by me. 🙂
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Honestly, I’m no expert on cloth diapering and I’ve only actually cloth diapered a real baby a handful of times (a big thank you to Holley for let me use her daughter, Morgan, as a guinea pig!). If you would like more info on cloth diapering, I suggest checking out Dirty Diaper Laundry. Kim has cloth diapering down pat and has so many reviews on cloth diapers! I love her blog!

 

I broke down… October 26, 2009

Filed under: Dirty Diaper Laundry,Links — Stephanie Marie @ 10:57 pm
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There have been a lot of things reacently that I’ve either said I was not going to do ever, or that I was going to hold off on, but today I caved. The biggest of which is Twitter, which I said that I would never sign up for because I didn’t see the point of it. I still don’t really see the point of it as it seems just like Facebook status updates, but I joined it so that I could cave on joining the give-a-ways on Dirty Diaper Laundry, which I said I was going to hold off on.

Ever since I stumbled upon Dirty Diaper Laundry I told myself that I would not be joining the contests or give-a-ways because I’m not a mom yet. Within the next year, yes, but not now and I didn’t want to be unfair. However the more and more I read the blog, the more I realize how beneficial it will be to possibly win some diapers and see what I like before investing in a huge stash of cloth diapers on my own (this is assuming I even win, though). But it’s not just diapers, either. I just entered to win this amazing baby carrier that will *gasp* fit Rodney comfortably! With him being so great about jumping on board for all of my crazy parenting obsessiveness recently, I at least want him to be comfortable while wearing the little squirt. Plus, it’ll be good to have a carrier that can hold a heavier child as, let’s face it, with the Miller history of gigantic babies, I’m preparing myself to push a watermelon out when I do have a baby.

If you’re interested, you can check out:

Dirty Diaper Laundry

 

http://dirtydiaperlaundry.com/a-review-of-the-boba-baby-carrier-and-a-giveaway/

and

http://dirtydiaperlaundry.com/baby-beehinds-minkee-magic-all-giveaway/

As an aside and an update to yesterday’s post, I went to the thrift today and found four more books in my Disney book series (as well as inadvertantly starting two new series), along with many other books. I ended up with 36 books for about $10, which comes out to about $.27 each! Not a bad deal if I do say so myself! Although, next week’s bounty will be even better because the pink tags will be on sale and most of the book bags have pink tags on them. Score!

 

Oh, Crap! October 20, 2009

Filed under: Dirty Diaper Laundry,Links,SmartiPants — Stephanie Marie @ 1:13 am
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Quite a while ago I stumbled upon a lovely little company called Smarti Pants and I fell in love with the adorable, colorful little diapers. I had remembered my mother telling me that she had used cloth diapers on my brother and I and that she had used a diaper service, as most people did in those days when they used cloth. I have never been sold on cloth diapers for this reason. I find it disgusting to hand some stranger a bag of your child’s waste and say, “Wash this for me, please!” Not to mention the whole idea of those vinyl covers you had to put over the diapers… no thank you!

Since initally finding Smarti Pants, my views on cloth diapering have not only changed to be more open minded, I am sold!

I had fully intended on saving up a little money here, a little money there and buying a bunch of the three packs that Smarti Pants offers. I didn’t really look into it any more than that until I stumbled upon Dirty Diaper Laundry, a great blog that not only speaks of the benefits of cloth diapering, but also does reviews of various cloth diapers. After watching every last one of Kim’s diaper reviews (which are amazingly well done and informative, by the way), I quickly learned that Smarti Pants would probably not cover everything I would eventually need in a diaper. So glad I figured that out before buying a crap ton (excuse the pun) of one kind of diaper.

After looking into the world of cloth diapering even more, I’ve since learned that these are not our mother’s diapers, and that the benefits, both health and financial, far outweigh the initial cost of buying cloth. On top of that, I discovered that Target and Wal-Mart both sell modern cloth diapers on their websites (sadly I have not found a local source for cloth diapers, so I have not had an opportunity to feel before I buy). Kim’s reviews on Dirty Diaper Laundry are really the next best thing to trying the diapers in real life, and hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to win some diapers and try them out ahead of time.

Till then, I guess I will buy diapers occassionally and put them in the Baby Box until they’re needed. I’ll post a more comprehensive post about cloth diapering and the Baby Box at a later time. Until then, I urge you to visit Kim’s blog and check out cloth diapering with an open mind, whether you already have children, you’re TTC, you’re pregnant, or you’re entertaining the idea of ever raising a child. You never know what you might learn.

-Stephanie