Affiliate · Amazon · Birthday · For the kids · Frugal Life

Budget Friendly Pancake and Pajama Birthday Party for Tweens!

Disclosure:  “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

Why is it every time my kids have a birthday I get so emotional????  Please tell me I’m not alone in this!  It is so fun to watch my kids grow into amazing people, but oh how my heart hurts to see just how fast time passes and how quickly my babes grow!

We celebrated my daughters 10th birthday last week!  I may have shred a tear or two, but I mostly enjoyed celebrating her sweet life!

I throw my kids a birthday party with their friends every other year.  This year happened to be the year for my daughters party.  It took us a few days to come up with a theme that felt a little more “grown up” for her.  Take a look at my article Fun Birthday Traditions for Small Budgets for a few other ways we celebrate birthdays.

We finally decided that a Pancake and Pajamas Birthday Party would be the perfect party for young tween girls.

Like all of my parties (LEGO Birthday Party for Under $20), I try to plan simple, fun and FRUGAL.  I want it to be a special day for my kids and all of the party goers….but I also want it to be the least amount of stress possible for me!  (that’s just how I roll!)

B6198CC6-632A-4492-BA2E-8755AA5C4BEF

The Invites

I spent $2 on the invitations.

CCEC97C6-BD19-4CCA-A6B5-D30731FEB13A

I found the cutest invites at the Dollar Tree!  Seriously, how cute are these?!?!  They were perfect in every way, cute enough to keep my daughter excited and cheap enough to keep me satisfied!

The Decor

By using items I already had at home I was able to spend $0 (yes, zero!) on decorations for this party!

I went with the colors turquoise, pink and white.  I hung a few streamers and balloons around the house, and made some tissue paper pom poms for a fun statement over the dining room table.  I have an easy tutorial for my Tissue Paper Pom-Poms.

It turned out beautiful!  I was so happy the way the colors all went together.

 

 

The Table

I spent $5 on the table decor/paper plates.

B10DDD90-BAFF-4478-ABDB-350B8D0AAF16

I bought the plates, utensils, cups, napkins and table cloth at Walmart for $.97 each.

D426312F-FF0C-4C31-876D-0D3A2A94CE79

The centerpieces were put together using items I had at home.  I simply filled a mason jar with fruit loop cereal and put a flower inside.  So easy!  So cute!  The girls loved munching on the cereal while they were waiting for the food to be ready.

The Food

By trying to use food I already had at home, I spent $10 on a few remaining items.

Beings how this was a Pancake party, I tried to make the food a fun part of the party.  (and…while I was so busy doing that….I failed to take any pictures of the food, oops!)

I cooked up a large batch of pancakes, and provided a fun array of toppings for the girls to choose from.  We had nutella, strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream, maple syrup, raspberry syrup, and sprinkles (it was a birthday after all 😉 ).

I overestimated the amount of food these girls would eat.  We ended up with a lot of leftovers!

9FB81C39-E0DC-47A5-BDFC-C2C32813D313

The Games/Craft

The activities were my biggest budget item.  I spent $40 on the activities.  A few of these activities doubled as the “goody bag.”

After the girls were done eating we played a few simple games.  We played Silent Football, Human Knot, and “The Cereal Game.”

I made up The Cereal Game based off of a White Elephant Game.

I bought 9 mini cereal boxes9 mini cereal boxes (1 for each girl) and made 9 slips of paper each with a number on it (1-9).

9A50E0BE-6B9D-4654-BE46-67DB7C9A03F4

The girls sat in a circle and each picked a number.  The number they drew was the order when they would be able to choose a cereal.

The first girl was able to choose from all of the cereals.  The next girl had the option to choose from what was left in the middle or steal from the first girl.  Play continues in the same way until all the girls have each had a turn to steal or choose from the middle.  If a cereal is stolen from you, you will receive a turn to steal from another person or choose from the middle.  A cereal can only be stolen twice until it is “dead,” meaning it can not be stolen again.

This game ended up being a huge hit!  They each loved having a mini cereal box to take home with them.

After the games we did a fun craft.  I gave each of the girls a white pillow case and then using fabric markers, they were able to color and decorate it.  Honestly, before the party I wasn’t sure how long they would want to sit still and color, but they surprised me!  They sat quietly for a good 20 minutes decorating their pillow cases.  They loved this craft!  This activity was the biggest expense of the party,  but I decided it was well worth the money.  I found the cheapest pillowcases were in bulk on Amazon.

 

The Results

I spent $57 on this party.

The Pancakes and Pajamas Party was such a fun party!  I loved seeing all the girls show up in their darling PJs and have a “mini sleepover”!

Now, I get to enjoy my sweet girl at age ten…..and keep hoping someone invites a special potion that will make kids stop growing!

 

Advertisements
Affiliate · Amazon · Crafts · Family · For the kids · Gift Ideas · Good Ideas · Halloween · Holidays

The Easiest No Sew Halloween Trick or Treat Bag

Disclosure:  “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

Halloween is just around the corner!  I love this time of year!  I love the pumpkins, the crisp cool air, the changing leaves, and the excitement in my children.  My kids love to dress up as anything they want and run around the neighborhood trick or treating.

I got the urge to craft the other day and decided it would be so fun to make my kids new bags for trick or treating.  I wanted to create something cute, but also simple and frugal (because that’s how I roll!).

I came up with the idea of a no sew trick or treat bag.  I’ll be honest with you….it was even EASIER than I originally had planned!  (win!)

8B02A0B4-1263-4F47-8753-A09C102ABD5B

Trick or Treat Bag Tutorial

Supplies Needed:

– Canvas Craft Tote

– Scrap fabric

Wonder Under

– Iron/ironing board

– Pattern for tracing

Let’s Begin:

You will first need to find your pattern for tracing.  I asked my kids what picture they wanted on their bags and they requested a spider and a cat.

After a quick google search I was able to find a couple of good tracing patterns.  Print these off and then cut out the shape.

E54802A7-B7C4-4F73-AF23-C06F9EA81E54

Now, follow the directions found on your wonder under fusing.

I cut out a large square of wonder under (large enough to cover the entire shape), and ironed the rough side onto the wrong side of the fabric.

Use your tracing pattern to trace the shape onto the paper side of the wonder under.

Once the pattern is traced, cut the picture out (fabric and all).

Last, you will gently pull off the paper backing of the wonder under.  Center it on the bag, and then iron it.

I have found that holding the iron steady for 5-10 seconds over each section of the picture helps give the applique a nice firm hold.

That’s it!  You’re done!  See, I told you it would be easy!!  It probably took me a total of one hour to finish both bags!  Quick crafting, is my type of crafting!

There are so many fun possibilities for these bags!  Pumpkin, ghost, witch hat, bat, skeleton, or lettering would all make darling trick or treat bags!

I can’t wait to watch my kids go trick or treating with their new bags!

 

 

Affiliate · Amazon · Finances · Frugal Life · Frugal Living Challenge · Good Ideas · Money Educatioin · Money Helps · Side Hustle · Walmart Grocery Pickup

Budgeting for Beginners: FAQ

Disclosure:  “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

I receive so many messages on a daily basis from people wanting to start managing their money and living frugally, but they don’t know how to take that first step.  I admire everyone who wants to improve on their life and financial situation, it can be scary trying to make such a big change into the unknown.  I decided it was time for a FAQ article for all you brave beginners.

I asked my followers on instagram for all their budget beginner questions and today I will be answering a few of those.

A great place to start for a beginner is with my Free 14 Day Frugal Living Challenge.  This is a challenge made specifically for those just starting to manage money and live frugally.  This will give you a good starting place and should help you develop frugal habits.

FAQ for budget beginners2

Where do I begin?

The best place to begin is your budget.  It is vital you have a working budget.

If you are new to budgeting, it might take you a while to figure out just how much money to budget for each category.  This is normal!  A budget is fluid, meaning it is always changing.  The budget below is one that I made as a free printable.  It has many of the categories I use in my personal budget and is also easy to customize and add your own.  This (along with the spending tracker below) is available for free in my 14 Day Frugal Living Challenge.

C0225CA4-E601-4569-88DB-3D175F41D058

You will also need to begin tracking all of your expenses.  This helps you keep your budget accurate, and gives you a great window into your spending habits.  By tracking your spending habits, you will be able to see what areas you are over spending in and areas you could cut back.

A great resource, and the book that completely changed my financial views, is Dave Ramseys book, The Total Money Makeover.  Check it out from your library, borrow it from a friend, or order it from Amazon.  No matter how you get it, I HIGHLY recommend everyone read it.  Dave Ramsey uses easy to understand terms as explains exactly how to fix your financial situation.

What is the best way to keep track of day to day spending?

There are a few different ways of doing this.  It doesn’t quite matter HOW, it just matters that you do it and that you stay consistent.

For years we used an excel spreadsheet that my husband made.  It took quite a bit of work for him to put it together, but it worked out really well.

About 7 years ago we discovered You Need a Budget.  It is so user friendly and very affordable.  You can download the app onto your phone and update it as you spend.  This is not sponsored in any way, we REALLY do love it!  A similar program is Every Dollar, I have never tried it, but have heard lots of good things.

There is also the good ol’ standard paper and pen method.  I’ve never tried this method, but I do know other people who enjoy it!

0E64DCA0-2819-4C5C-8DB4-6B7A0511F4D1

When tracking spending it is important to stay consistent.  Pick a day of the week, schedule a time, and develop a routine for tracking your spending.  We do it every Monday evening.  We save all of our receipts and go through each item one by one and write it down.  It is not necessary to write EVERYTHING down, for example:  when buying groceries, just write groceries and the amount.  There is no need to write down bread and bananas, etc.

You could track your spending daily on your phone, or weekly like we do.  Try a few different things until you find a good fit for you.

How do you start the envelope system?

Using cash envelopes is a great way to limit your spending.  I have an article written all about how to get started and the benefits you’ll gain.  You can check it out at The Envelope Money System: A Beginners Guide.

How do you make a grocery budget?

My grocery budget has been all over the place.  When I first started budgeting, I set the grocery budget FAR to low.  I kept going way over the budgeted amount and couldn’t figure out how to cut the costs down.  I finally decided that I needed to budget more money for our weekly groceries.

I tell this story to give you encouragement that all budgets, but especially grocery budgets, are trial and error.  It might (and probably will) take you a few months before you have the best budget for you.

While you are tracking your spending you should be able to see how much you are normally spending on groceries.  This gives you a good ballpark figure to begin with.  If you feel it is unnecessary spending, you can try to slowly bring the budget down week by week until you get it to a place you feel comfortable with.

How do you minimize grocery costs?

Groceries are one of the biggest expenses for most budgets.  This is one of my personal struggles.

The number one way I have found to keep those costs low is to meal plan.  Plan out every meal you want to eat for the week.  As you meal plan, write out your grocery list, and stick to this list while you shop.  I’ve found using Walmart Grocery Pickup has helped me to stick to my list, AND my budget.

A few other ways to lower grocery costs are to cook from scratch (avoid convenience foods), shop sales, and use the cashback apps regularly.

What are the easiest apps for frugal beginners?

I love cashback apps!  Long gone are the days when you have to sift through ads and cut out coupons, now all you need is a receipt and an app on your phone!  I actually love these apps so much I already have an article written about all my favorites.  You can find it here:  My Favorite Cashback Apps.

What should my budget look like?  What is normal for our family?

No two budgets will look the same.  My normal will be different than your normal.  What I spend on groceries, will be different then what you will spend on groceries, etc.  This is one of my favorite parts of a budget.  You can customize it and find something that works for you personally!

I prefer a zero based budget.  Start with the amount of money you expect to make for the pay period.  Then, using your budget, find a spot for every single one of those dollars.  Keep budgeting until you have “spent” on paper every dollar of your paycheck.

This WILL take some adjustments and some TIME.  Focus more on giving every dollar a place in your budget, and less about how it compares to other budgets.  Again, I recommend Dave Ramseys, Total Money Makeover book.  He gives good advice about how much your percentage you should be spending in each category.

Coming Soon:  I am currently working on an article to share my personal percentages in each category.  Hopefully this can help you get an idea of where to start.

What can you do when you cut back, budget and still don’t have enough?

I loved this question; because it is such relatable and real situation for many of us.

My first piece of advice is to keep your head up!  You are NOT alone!  There are so many dealing with similar struggles.  I strongly believe that together, we CAN help each other reach our financial goals.  Reach out to facebook groups and instagram accounts that discuss this issue.  Surrounding yourself with others in this situation should give you the strength, support and ideas to help get you through it.

I love Dave Ramseys quote to be “gazelle intense.”  When you have done EVERYTHING you can think of and the money is just still NOT adding up, that means it’s time to take more extreme actions.  Here are a few ideas to take when you need to be “gazelle intense.”

  1.  Sell items in your home (see 10 Items In Your House You Can Sell Quickly To Make Money  and 5 Places Online To Sell Your Clutter and Earn Cash).
  2. Start a side hustle.  Is their a side job you could take on to earn some extra money?  Google side hustles ideas and you should be able to find a good variety of ideas.
  3. Look through that budget one more time, what else could you sacrifice?  Could you cancel your tv subscription, quit eating out, lower your phone data plan, cut out all entertainment, etc.  None of these things are FUN, but they might be necessary in this situation.  Here is an article where I share What we cut from our budget to save over $2500 a year.
  4. Could you ask for a raise?  Would it be beneficial to make a job change?
  5. What could you downgrade?  Perhaps trade in your car for a cheaper model or move into a more affordable home?

I understand it is NOT easy when the money just ISN’T there.  ESPECIALLY when you feel as if you have sacrificed again, and again and again.  I get it.  I have been there!  Keep your head up.  Keep trying.  Be “gazelle intense.”  I believe in you!

FAQ from Budget Beginners (2)

I hope these questions and answers helped you in some way as you begin the exciting, yet sometimes difficult world of budgeting.  It’s never easy to develop new habits and start fresh.  Most things in life that are hard, and the ones worth doing.  I can guarantee keeping track of your finances are one of those things.

 

Affiliate · Bargain Buys · Fabulous DEALS Friday · For the kids · Frugal Life · Gymboree

Fabulous DEALS Friday: Gymboree Labor Day Sale PLUS Secret Code for an EXTRA 20% Off!

I am a member of the Gymboree affiliate program.  I may receive compensation from purchases made through links in this post.  All opinions are my own and I never recommend anything I don’t truly love and support.

Gymboree is having an AMAZING labor day sale!  I actually REALLY struggled trying to narrow down my favorites to share!  Be sure to check out Gymboree because it is LOADED with lots of cute, marked down deals.

One of my favorite ways to shop is to stack coupons.  I was so excited when Gymboree sent me a secret code for all of my wonderful readers.  This will give you an EXTRA 20% off your entire purchase!  Just enter AUG20AFF at checkout for your extra discount.  This code will only be good through 9/1, so don’t waste any time!

I love shopping labor day sales because this is the time when I like to stock up on summer clearance sales.  I always try to shop for my kids clothes a season ahead.  So, I will be buying them a huge pile of summer clothes for NEXT year!

Here are a few of my favorite Gymboree deals:

Gymboree Girl Deals

Remember to check out with code AUG20AFF for an EXTRA 20% off, the prices listed, do NOT include that extra discount!

This Ruffle Skirt is darling!  I love the soft coral color!  It is on sale right now for $4.89!

I love these Strawberry Flip Flops.  They just say summertime to me!  You can get them right now for only $5.59.

I am so happy about the positive affirmation on the No Bad Days Tee.  Affirmations is a big part of my parenting and for only $6.99 I’m excited to buy this shirt for my daughter.

My girls are so in love with the cactus trend!  I was excited to see this Cactus Nightgown.  I know they will love it!  And at only $6.99, I love it too!  😉

Is it weird that I seriously want this Diamond Romper in my size?!?!?!  It is only $6.99, and still has all size options available!

I obviously have a thing for coral!  These Trim Shorts are so fun and summery.  I love the ruffle trim!  They are a great at price at just $6.99!

This Flamingo Tee would actually pair cute with the coral shorts!  Flamingos are so trendy right now, and this shirt is only $6.99!

I really like buying my kids high quality swim suits, but I REALLY don’t like spending over $10 on one.  (yes, I am a cheapskate!)  Gymboree has a lot of cute swim suits right now, ALL for under $10!  These are a GREAT quality swimsuit.  If you’ll be needing to buy one next year, I HIGHLY suggest buying one of these.  I loved this Zebra Swimsuit for $8.39, but they had a lot of other cute varieties.

The Gold Bow Sandals are adorable!  They are only $8.39, and I seriously can’t get enough of their cuteness!

This Colorful Hearts Tee could be cute for summer, or back to school.  It is on clearance right now for only $8.39!

My girls LOVE to wear jeggings.  They are ALL about the comfort, and I am OK with that!  These Denim Jeggings are at a great price, only $9.08.  When you can find good jeans under $10, it’s stock up time!

These Ombre Shorts are really cute and have a lot of great reviews.  They are currently only $9.09!

Gymboree Boys Deals

Remember to add the EXTRA 20% off to each of these deals to dropthe price even lower.  Code:  AUG20AFF.

My son is going to love this Motorcycle Tee.  It has a lot of great reviews and is only $5.59.

The Red Henley is really cute, and would actually work well for back to school!  It is on sale for only $6.99!

These Board Shorts are a great price at just $6.99!  They still have all sizes available and great reviews!

I love slip on sneakers for my kids!  They are just so much easier than dealing with shoe laces!  These Camo Sneakers are so cute and perfect for easy on and off!

I am buying this Plaid Shirt for my son.  I love the colors, and it’s only $9.09!

These Relaxed Shorts are my sons favorite to wear.  (Did I mention my kids were all about the comfort???  😉 )  They are currently $9.79!

Be sure to check out Gymboree to browse all the other deals!  The ones I shared are just a sliver of what’s available.  I also found so many cute baby and newborn deals!  Remember to use the secret code for an extra discount!

Happy bargain shopping!

 

Affiliate · Amazon · Bargain Buys · Farmhouse · Frugal Life · Good Ideas · Homemade · Recipes

How to Make the Perfect Zoodles

Sweet Frugal Life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

My zucchini plants have been generous this year, and I have loved cooking with this delicious vegetable!  Zucchini is one of my favorite veggies because, it’s the vegetable that just keeeeeps on giving, and it is also so versatile!  We have been enjoying zucchini in bread, cookies, on the grill, fried, etc.

One of my very favorite ways to cook zucchini is to turn it into zoodles!  Zoodles is a great, healthier alternative to noodles. (and if you pick the zucchini from your garden….it’s also FREE!)  I will usually serve it under marinara or alfredo sauce, but any of your fave pasta sauces will work great!  If cooked correctly, the zoodles are really not a lot different from regular noodles.  They are also much more filling, with much less calories!  Sometimes my kids don’t even realize what they are eating……emphasis on the sometimes.

8131E17E-D9A9-4A94-A8B8-2DB63C432804

Homemade Zoodles Tutorial

A vegetable spiralizer is my best friend when it comes to homemade zoodles.  I couldn’t find the exact one that I use, but this spiralizer on Amazon is very similar in price and design.  It is also only $15.99, great deal!

First things first, if your zucchini is long, you will want to cut it down into smaller chunks.

7C52071C-3E16-46CC-BEDC-A8E9923A337F

Next, you will need to prep your vegetable spiralizer.  I use the Thin Spiral for my zoodles.  Put your thin spiral attachment in the spiralizer and then stick one of the zuchinni chunks into the middle, in between the handle and the blade.

Now, all you need to do is twist!  This part is so simple (and…kindof fun….really!).  The zucchini will spiral through the blade, be sure to have a plate to catch all the spirals!

You can eat the zoodles raw or cook them over the stove.  I prefer cooking them for a few minutes (don’t worry it is quick!).

Heat up 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauce pan.  Once the oil is hot, add the zoodles.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss in oil.  Continue to gently toss the zoodles while they cook.  Cook for 2-5 minutes.  I like them to be soft, but also slightly firm.

Serve with your favorite pasta sauce.  ENJOY!!!

 

 

 

 

Affiliate · Amazon · Family · For the kids · Free Fun · Frugal Life · Homemade · Parenting · Recipes

How to Make Ice Cream in a Bag

Sweet Frugal Life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

I’ve always said that I was born in the wrong decade!  I truly yearn for the simple life of the early 1900s.  I think that’s partly why I love being frugal.  I get so much satisfaction from growing and making my own food; and living a simpler, less materialistic life.

When we make our own ice cream it reminds me of simpler times.  It’s a way for the entire family to make our very own ice cream, no need to go to an ice cream parlor or the grocery store.  We can do it on our own!

We always have ice cream in a bag on our summer bucket list.  It’s easy (the kids can do it themselves!).  It’s cheap.  It’s fun.  I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand.  And, who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot summers day????  I know we do!

B34FD7DA-3066-4B3A-9FBD-65D79EFA51FD

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag Recipe

1 cup Half and Half (I usually just use plain milk and it works just as good!)

2 TBSP Sugar

Favorite Mix-Ins:  any combination of the following

1 TBSP vanilla

1 TBSP cocoa

Chocolate Syrup

Fruit

Mix half and half, sugar and one or more mix ins (we used cocoa) in a quart size Ziploc freezer bag.

In a gallon size Ziploc freezer bag dump in a lot of ice and about 1/2 cup ice cream salt (I never measure this, I just kind of guess).

04076B8B-C36D-4E88-B658-744C082E9759

Take the quart size bag with the ice cream ingredients and get out all the air and seal it shut.  Make sure the bag is sealed tight so no salt will get inside.  Place the quart size bag inside of the gallon size bag.

Now for the fun part.  You shake it!  This takes about 5-10 minutes of HARD shaking. It’s important to be shaking it constantly. I will usually help my little kids to make sure it gets nice and frozen.

Once the milk mixture looks frozen, take the quart size bag out and rinse it under cold water.  This helps to wash off any excess salt.

Pour it into your bowl, top with sprinkles if you’d like, and ENJOY!  I love the simplicity of this activity, and the excitement the kids get out of making their very own personal ice cream!

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!  It’s fun to try to make different flavors!  My daughter had the idea to use a little mint extract and chocolate chips in our next batch for our own chocolate mint flavor!  There is really no right or wrong combo!

2A2616F1-6A60-4439-B6A1-40B2F864DC6A

 

 

Affiliate · Fabulous DEALS Friday · For the kids · Frugal Life

Fabulous DEALS Friday: Kids School Uniforms

I am a member of online affiliate programs.  I may receive compensation for purchases made through links on this post.  All opinions are my own and I only share deals I truly believe are fabulous!

Have you been busy back to school shopping like I have????  It’s always a stressful time of year for me because I want to get my kids good quality clothes while also spending the least amount as possible!  Check out last weeks post for all the best deals on school supplies!

My kids are required to wear uniforms at their school.  I have been searching the internet all day trying to find the best DEALS on all things uniforms!

I wanted to share with everyone my findings, just in case you are also needing to buy uniforms for the upcoming school year!

Uniform Polo Shirts

Old Navy currently has the cheapest polo shirts I could find.  Select styles are currently on sale for only $4 each.  This is stock up price!  Be sure to shop through ebates and you will receive 6% cashback on your Old Navy purchase.  You can find the girl polo version here and the boy polo version here.

product photo

product photo

 

 

Uniform Pants

The Childrens Place currently has the cheapest uniform pants.  They are ONLY $8.00 AND Children’s Place gives FREE shipping on ALL orders!  If you shop through the ebates app you will get 1.5% cashback from The Childrens Place.  If you’re going to buy it anyways, you might as well get some cashback at the same time, am I right?!?!?!  You can find the girls uniform pants here and the boys uniform pants here.

Girls Uniform Skinny Pants

Boys Skinny Chino Pants

Uniform Skirt

The Childrens Place ALSO has the cheapest uniform skirts.  They are just $7.47 and again you will get it with FREE shipping and 1.5% cashback by shopping through ebates.  You can find the uniform skirt here.

Girls Uniform Pleated Skort

Uniform Jumper

The cheapest uniform jumper is found at Old Navy for $9.50.  This is a great deal and they have two color options available!  Don’t forget to shop Old Navy through ebates for the extra 6% cashback.  You can find the jumper here.

product photo

Boys Uniform Sweater Vest

Crazy 8 has the cheapest boys sweater vest.  I love dressing my boy up a little fancier than he probably would like!  This sweater vest is perfect for that!  It is only $8.44!! Shop Crazy 8 through ebates for 1% cashback.  You can find the boys sweater vest here.

Where have you been finding the best back to school deals????  Leave me a comment below sharing all of YOUR great tips!  Happy Frugal Shopping!

Affiliate · Amazon · Bargain Buys · Fabulous DEALS Friday · For the kids · Frugal Life

Fabulous DEALS Friday: Back To School Supplies

I am an affiliate through online stores.  I may receive compensation from purchases made through my links.

I REALLY don’t like to think about it but, back to school is right around the corner.  I just wish we could freeze time and keep summer for a little bit longer.

Back to school means back to school supplies.  Crayons, glue, rulers, folders.  It’s a fun time for my kids to gather up all of these new items…..but it can get expensive!

I have learned that the BEST way to save money on back to school supplies is to start shopping early!  The minute you get the back to school supply list, start watching sale prices.  It takes a little bit of effort, but the savings can really add up.

To save you a little bit of time, I searched a few of my favorite stores (Amazon,  Walmart, and Target) comparing a few popular back to school supply items.  I’m sharing a few of my best finds today!

C3A10F9D-0BC7-47B9-B13F-AFD1CF4F2327

Crayola Crayons

I’ve been buying my kids crayons at Walmart for years.  The little secret that I have learned is the 24 Crayola Crayon box is cheaper than both the 8 pack crayons AND the 16 pack crayons.  The 24 Crayola Crayon pack is currently ONLY 50 cents.  If you shop through the ebates app, you will get an 5% cashback which brings the crayons to only 48 cents!!

Elmers Glue

Target has the cheapest 4 oz. Elmers glue, right not it is priced at for only 50 cents.  Be sure to buy it with your Target Red Card for an addition 5% off, bringing the price down to ONLY 48 cents!

Crayola Colored Pencils

You can currently find a 12 pack Crayola Colored Pencils at Walmart for just 97 cents!  If you shop through ebates and after receiving your 5% cashback the total comes to 93 cents!  This is a great deal on colored pencils!

Crayola Watercolor Paint

Between the three stores Walmart has the cheapest Crayola Watercolor Paint tray.  This 8 count tray is just $1.97.  Shop through the ebates app and the total drops to $1.88 after cashback.

Expo Dry Erase Markers

I found the best deal on dry erase markers at Walmart.  A 4 pack of Black Expo Markers is $3.17.  After receiving cashback for shopping through ebates the total comes to ONLY $3.02.

Crayola Markers

Walmart wins out again with the best deal on Crayola Markers.  The Classic Colors broad tip markers are only 97 cents.  Shop through ebates to receive 5% cashback and the total lowers to just 93 cents!!!

Kleenex Tissues

Target has the best deal currently on Kleenex Tissues.  You can get a 4 box pack of Kleenex Tissues for $4.99.  If you use your Target Red Card you will get an extra 5% off bringing the total to $4.75.

What great deals have you found????  Remember if you shop at Walmart to scan your receipt into the Walmart Savings Catcher.  If their are any lower advertised deals in your area you will receive cashback on the difference.  (This is SO easy to do!)

Affiliate · Bargain Buys · Fabulous DEALS Friday · Uncategorized

Fabulous DEALS Friday: Gymboree Semi Annual Sale, Undet $10 Back to School Clothes

I am a member of online affiliate programs.  I may receive compensation from purchases made through my links.

Gymboree is having their semi annual 75% off sale right now.  I love this sale, it makes for the perfect time to stock up.

I’ve been doing some back to school shopping (yes, I know summer just started.  I like to plan ahead) with my kids so I picked out a few favorite deals for back to school clothing.  Everything I chose is under $10!

Gymboree Girl Deals

This Confetti Top is darling.  I love the periwinkle color, but I noticed a few other colors in the same style.  I love the back criss-cross detail, flowy style AND it is only $4.99!

I love a tulle skirt, and this Aqua Tulle Skirt one is the perfect color and such a cute fit.  This would be perfect for the first day of school or class picture day!  The best part is it’s only $5.99!

The Fan Club Shirt is so cute and fun.  This is a style my daughters would love!  Sizes appear to be limited, so don’t waste any time if you’re interested in it!  It is only $6.99, making it a great deal!

This Bestie Tee is a similar style to the Fan Club Shirt.  How cute would it be to have matching Bestie Tees with your bestie????  Super cute!  It is another great deal for only $6.99!

My kids wear uniforms at their school, and these Ponte Pants are the only style they like to wear.  They are uniform approved, but so comfortable with a great a stretch.  I have never seen them this cheap before, only $7.99!

These Ankle Zip Pants are adorable.  I love a good colored jean!  They are priced right at only $7.99.

What’s cuter than flamingos?  This Flamingo Shirt is so cute!  I wish it came in my size!  It is only $7.99!

This Striped Cardigan is perfect for all things fall and back to school.  It’s hard to find these sweaters under $10, but this one is just under it at $9.97.

 

 

Gymboree Boy Deals

If you have a dinosaur lover I’m sure he would love this Rex Tee. It is all things boys and only $7.99!

Here is another great deal on a uniform.  These Uniform Shirts are really high quality and only $7.99.

Jeans are SO expensive!  These Straight Jeans are stylish AND a good price.  They are only $8.99.

I love the Stripe Tee is colors.  It looks so soft and comfortable.  The shirt is a great deal at only $9.99.

I love seeing my boy in a collared plaid shirt.  This Plaid Shirt is a great deal at only $9.99!

This Fighter Hoodie is perfect for your Star Wars fan.  It has just the right amount of Star Wars flare to keep it cool and enough trend to keep mom loving it!  It is also only $9.99!

 

This Pocket Tee is simple but so cute.  It is on sale for only $7.99!

 

Feel free to browse the rest of the clothes in Gymborees Sale.  I saw a few adorable baby items for under $10!  Just remember, if you don’t NEED it and it’s NOT in your budget, than don’t buy it!

 

Affiliate · Amazon · Bargain Buys · For the kids · Frugal Life · Frugal Living Challenge · Money Helps · Parenting

15 Baby Items You Do NOT Need On Your Baby Gift Registry

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

11641791-C581-4791-93A0-DE34BC0308AC

I have had 3 kids, my youngest is now 5.  I’ve spent the past couple of years sorting through baby supplies.  It’s taken me years because I have struggled with closing that baby chapter in my life.  I love the memories that come flooding back to me as I look through my boxes of baby items.

I have sold most of the items, gave away a few things, and saved a couple of special items to help remember my sweet babes.  As I’ve sorted and cleaned I’ve realized that so many of the items I thought were necessary, actually weren’t!

There are many articles out there telling you what to add to your baby registry, and a lot of them have some good advice…but I think so many of the things we THINK we need….we actually could do without!

I have come up with a list of 15 items you do NOT need to add to your baby registry.  I also added some alternative, more frugal options to consider.

8B78AE07-B4C3-454F-B32C-7A694C57B747

15 Baby Items You Really Don’t Need to Buy and their Frugal Alternative

1. Car seat cover

I really wanted a beautiful car seat cover with a fun design.  It’s all I saw while at the grocery store.  So, I bought one.  It was cute and trendy and looked good on the car seat.  And then…2 months later I took it off and it stayed in the closet for the next few years until I gave it away.

Frugal Option: A great alternative is just to put one of the many baby blankets over the handle.  Blankets are something you always have on hand and are just the right size to cover the car seat with.

2. Baby food maker

Baby food makers look pretty and claim to offer convenience and ease to all your baby food making.  While that might be true, it is not a necessary item.  You CAN make baby food without it.

Frugal Option: Baby food is very easy to prepare just by using a pot and a blender.  It only took me an hour or two to make large batches of baby food and I did it without a baby food maker.

3. Baby Shoes

Let’s face it, little tiny baby shoes are adorable!  So many colors and styles…and oh so itty bitty!  However, as darling as those little shoes are, babies don’t really need to wear shoes until they are walking.

Frugal Option:  Baby socks are necessary for those sweet little toes.  Instead of buying shoes, buy some cheaper socks.  Find some that have a cute style.  I love these socks that look like shoes.

4.  Baby nail clippers

I will agree that baby nail clippers were useful for trimming up those tiny baby nails.  However, when I threw mine away I realized I really could have done without them.

Frugal Option: Most people already own a pair of nail clippers.  These would work just as good for babies as they do for adults, you’ll just want to be extra careful not to clip any of that sensitive skin.

5.  Hooded Towels and Baby Washcloths

I was really excited to buy cute hooded towels and small baby washcloths for my babies.  But, I have come to learn they just aren’t necessary.

Frugal Option: Use a towel you already have at home!  They will work just as good and your little one will never even know the difference!

6.  Nursing Cover

If you are planning on nursing you probably will want something to help you cover up while in public, I know I did!  You really don’t need to buy a special cover for that though.

Frugal Option::  I found that a large light weight blanket worked just as good as a nursing cover, and I always had it in my diaper bag anyways.  One less thing to pack!

7.  Bathtub  

A baby bathtub was an item I thought was so important to buy when I had my first baby.  In hindsight, it was handy for a few months, but then the babies just grew out of it in a few short months and the tub was stuck sitting in my basement.

Frugal Option:  If I were to do it all again I would purchase this Bath Sponge instead of a fancy tub.  It is much cheaper at only $6.39 and it won’t take up as much space.  This would be a much more frugal option.

8.  Nursing Pillow

This is another one of those items that I thought I just HAD to have.  I ended up not using my boppy pillow as much as I thought I would have and I have since decided it really wasn’t worth the money.

Frugal Option: I found that I preferred nursing with a couple of small pillows under my arms instead of the nursing pillow.  I was able to smash them in a way that felt most comfortable and I didn’t have to worry about the bulky nursing pillow.

9. Changing Table

Changing tables are so pretty in all the magazine nursery pictures.  But, once your baby grows out of it, they really aren’t super functional.  Changing tables usually don’t have a lot of drawers or great organization.  I found I needed to buy a dresser later on to help supplement with space.

Frugal Option: Instead of buying a changing table AND later a dresser, how about just buying a dresser.  Try to find a short dresser so that it will be the perfect height to changing your baby on.

10.  Changing Pad

While we are discussing changing stations, let’s discuss the changing pad.  You’ll find all sorts of different changing pad shapes and sizes and all the darling patterns for a cover to go with it.  These are cute and fun to buy, but really not necessary.

Frugal Option:  A couple of soft towels (that you already own) folded up and placed on the baby dresser will work JUST as good for a changing pad.  They are easy to throw in the laundry and clean, and they are free (big win!)!

11.  Diaper Pail

You will find a diaper pail on almost every baby registry idea list.  I do believe they can be convenient and very useful.  But, they can also be really expensive, especially when you have to buy the pricey refills (which you will need to do….A LOT).

Frugal Option:  We had a cheap trash can next to the changing table (I should’ve chose a dresser!).  With all the late night diaper changes with newborns, it was very nice to have somewhere to put alllll those diapers.  I would change the bag daily and fortunately newborns messy diapers usually don’t smell bad!  After about 4-6 weeks, once baby starts sleeping a little longer at night, I just started taking the messy diapers out to the dumpster outside.  It only took a few minutes and felt good to get a little fresh air.

12.  Diaper Organizer

I’ve seen these fancy diaper organizers around for a long time.  They look really cute in a nursery and I can see the appeal for them.  I don’t however think they are must have.

Frugal Option:  How about use one of those top drawers of the dresser (aka changing table).  They will be within arms reach during diaper changes, and it didn’t cost you anything extra!  It’s also so nice to have them concealed away.

13.  Wipe Warmer

Baby wipes are cold and you might feel a little guilty wiping the baby with a cold wipe.  The problem is that you won’t always have a wipe warmer with you, so it would be good for the little one to get use to the cold wipe right from the beginning.

Frugal Option:  I unfortunately have no frugal alternative for a wipe warmer.  I’ve found that babies really do get use to a cold wet wipe.  So, just use them as is and save yourself some extra cash.

14.  Sound Machine

My babies slept much, MUCH better with a little white noise next to them.  You do NOT need a sound machine though to accomplish this.

Frugal Option:  You can download white noise apps for free on your phone or ipad and place them in babies room while they are sleeping.  Or, we just used a small cheap fan.  We placed it next to their bed and pointing it away from.  Our babies slept great this way!

15.  Bottle Drying Rack

I’ll start with a disclaimer…..I actually never fed my babies a single bottle….so you can take my advice on this one with a grain of salt.  I have seen the bottle drying racks in ads and have always assumed that even though they look super fun and handy, they just aren’t very frugal.

Frugal Option:  How about just placing your bottles upside down on a dish cloth and let them air dry.  A dish cloth should work just as well as a drying rack, but wouldn’t cost you a thing!

1DA92068-3185-4D77-B490-31D0F44284B8

What baby item did YOU buy that you wish you hadn’t????  Let me know in the comments all your Frugal Baby Alternatives!