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Grocery Haul 9/10

Hello all you frugal grocery shoppers!  I’m excited to start sharing some of my grocery hauls!  I get asked a lot what we eat and how I shop, so I want to share with you what is a part of my weekly budget.

I probably won’t share ALL my grocery trips, but I will try to share some from time to time.

This week I went to Walmart Grocery Pickup (which, FYI, is the best invention ever) and to Smiths to take advantage of their case lot sale.  I spent a total of $80.

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I bought granola bars from Smiths.  We will be making smores this week so I bought and marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers for that.

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Peanut Butter from Smiths Case lot sale.

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Mt produce this week consisted of bananas, apples, mandarin oranges, carrots, onion, garlic, and lettuce.

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I was able to get this milk for free as part of a promotion.  I also bought butter, cheese, and greek yogurt.

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In the meat department I bought a bag of chicken breasts and a pork shoulder roast.

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I struggled keeping in budget this week!  There were so many great deals at the case lot sale and I had to really limit myself.

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5 Easy Ways We Cut Costs While Eating Out

My husband and I do not eat out very often.  We both learned years ago that we are able to save such a huge amount of money simply by eating at home.  We still enjoy eating out occasionally, we just try to do so frugally.

It is possible to enjoy eating out at restaurants from time to time, even while being on a tight budget.  The most important thing is to include the expense in your monthly budget and try to cut out a few common restaurant costs.

Here are the 5 ways we try to cut the costs when we eat out:

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1.  Eat Out For Lunch

Go out to eat for lunch instead of dinner. A lot of places will have cheaper lunch options to choose from. You will also be much more likely to order a cheaper meal, such as a sandwich or salad if it’s during lunch time.

2.  Skip all the Extras

Order water instead of ordering a drink. I will usually request a lemon in my water so I feel like I’m getting something slightly fancy. 😉  Always skip the appetizer and desserts as well.  They are both very overpriced.  Try to order a big meal to fill up on instead.

3.  Shop the Deals

Become familiar with your local restaurant deals. A lot of restaurants will have kids eat free nights. Our favorite Italian restaurant offers buy one entree get one free during a certain day of the week. Find out the deals in your neighborhood and plan your outings around those days.

4.  Split the Meal

Only eat half of your entree and take the rest home for another meal. This way you get two meals for one price.  Or, you could split the entree with a spouse or friend.  Most restaurants will be more than happy to serve you one meal with two plates.

5.  ⠀Turn an Appetizer into a Meal

Consider ordering an appetizer instead of an entree.  Appetizers are usually much cheaper than entrees and still provide a large amount of food.  Look for a restaurant with a trio appetizer for a well rounded meal.

It is possible to still enjoy eating out at restaurants while on a tight budget.  It takes a little self control and some planning, but it is still possible.

What are some of your fave tips for eating at a restaurant while on a budget???? Share below in the comments, I always need fresh ideas!⠀

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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!

 

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How to Make the Perfect Zoodles

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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.

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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.

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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!!!

 

 

 

 

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What I Learned From the July Pantry Challenge

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I just finished my month long pantry challenge!!  If you’re not aware of the term, a pantry challenge is meant to encourage you to use up items you already have in your home, (pantry, fridge, freezer, shelves, etc.), instead of spending money at the store on groceries.

My goal was to save a little extra money during the month by spending less on groceries.  To do this I decided to cut my regular grocery budget of $400 a month in half.  This would mean I could only spend $200 for our family of five.  This was no easy task and I was incredibly intimidated from the beginning, but I was determined to make it work.

The pantry challenge is now officially over (thank goodness) and I am proud of how the challenge went.  I would LOVE to say that I was able to only spend $200 on groceries….but I didn’t quite accomplish that.  I went over budget by $1.98.  I spent $201.98 on groceries for our family of five….and you know what I am so PROUD of MYSELF!!!

I wanted to share all about how I was able to make it work and what I learned during the process.

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Make a Plan

The ONLY way I could be successful with this pantry challenge was to plan ahead. I’ve always been a meal planner, but I learned quickly I needed to be much more detailed about planning every snack and meal.

At the beginning of each week I looked through my pantry, made an inventory of all our food.  I wrote down the meals and snacks we could make with what we ALREADY had in the house.

I was able to eat out of the pantry exclusively about 50% of the time.  The other 50% of the meals I tried to only plan really frugal meals with only a few cheap ingredients I would need to buy.  This meal planner that I use is available as a Free Printable in my Free Frugal Living Challenge.

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Successful Meal Plans

I listed out a few of the meals and snacks I found to be the most helpful in keeping the grocery costs low.  A few of these recipes (starred) are also available for free in my Frugal Living Challenge.

Breakfasts

*Fluffy Eggs

Pancakes

Eggs and Toast

Oatmeal

*Breakfast Potato Casserole

*Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Lunch

Muffin Tin Lunch

Sandwiches

Salad from Garden

Leftovers

Dinner

*Freezer Burritos

Layered Zuchinni

Spaghetti

*Taco Soup

*Balsamic Chicken

Pasta Bake

*Taco Tortilla Soup

Grilled Chicken

*Korean Beef

*Baked Island Chicken

Snacks

Pretzels

Homemade Cookies

Energy Bites

Popcorn

Canned Fruit

Bananas

Homemade Pudding

Homemade Bread

Grocery Shopping

I am a little obsessed with grocery shopping using Walmart Grocery Pickup (hello, shopping in my PJs and groceries loaded in the car FOR ME!  Sign me up!).

With my $200 monthly grocery budget, I was only allowed $50 a week.  One of my favorite things about Walmart Grocery Pickup is the ability to watch my cart total while I’m shopping.  (I know I COULD use a calculator at the store, but I’m just not great at it….) Being able to see how much I’m spending WHILE I’m shopping was crucial for me during this challenge.

If my cart ever went over the $50 amount I knew I needed to go back through the cart and delete a few items.  This was MUCH harder to do than I had anticipated!  My family all had to sacrifice a few items we were use to having regularly in order to make the month work.

Getting the Family Involved

I would LOVE to tell you that my family was totally on board and excited about my little July Pantry Challenge Experiment……but, they didn’t really love the idea.  When they saw the amount of food I was bringing home with each grocery trip they started complaining about the lack of food.

I tried to get my kids excited about the goal and had them help me make a lot of our homemade snacks.  They liked being able to help and were somewhat excited at the thought of having a challenge.

Unfortunately, this only lasted a couple of weeks.  As the month went on they began to get a really tired of the challenge.  The biggest problem was the snacks.  They are use to having snacks in the pantry, and we just couldn’t have those this month.  I decided to make a list of snacks we did have available and I hung it on the fridge.  This helped them a lot!  I think they had gotten so use to those convenience snacks (not awesome parenting, I know) that they had forgotten about all the other great options we had.

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Even though my family didn’t necessarily ENJOY the pantry challenge, I am really glad they were able to go through it with me.  It was such a good life lesson for my kids to learn about stretching dollars and how much food really costs.

What I learned

My biggest takeaway from the July Pantry Challenge is that I CAN live on less than I usually do. Yes, it took A LOT more effort, (preparing a lot more food from scratch and a lot of time planning), but I CAN do it!  We survived.

Moving forward I have a new sense of motivation to stay in budget, shop my pantry, and really spend with a purpose.  I’ve always told myself the lie that I HAVE to spend money on this food because we NEED it……but, we don’t!  We were just fine having less food around.  I am excited to take this new knowledge and adjust my grocery shopping from here on out.

What’s Next

My pantry challenge is over!  Does this mean I get to spend a lot of money next month restocking my shelves?????  Absolutely NOT!

I will be going back to my regular grocery budget of $400 a month.  I will slowly try to restock my pantry, but I will always stay within that $400 budget.

I honestly was terrified for this challenge!  I really didn’t know if I would be able to meet my goal, $400 a month is usually a little bit of a challenge.  But I did it, and I’m so glad I was willing to try!  If you are wanting to find a way to save a little extra cash, try having your own personal Pantry Challenge.  Be sure to come back and let me know if you did it and how it went!!

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Fabulous DEALS Friday: Back To School Supplies

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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!

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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!)

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

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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!

 

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

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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.

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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!

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

 

Affiliate · Bargain Buys · Fabulous DEALS Friday · Groopdealz

Fabulous DEALS Friday: Womens Summer Clothing from Groopdealz

I am an affiliate with Groopdealz.  I may be compensated for purchases made from clicks on my links.  

It is finally heating up where I live and today is my kids last day of school.  This can only mean one thing!  SUMMER TIME!  There is nothing that I love more than the laid back summer life full of pool days, popsicles, and bbqs!

I decided to do a little researching and found so many darling clothes from Goopdealz, all perfect for summer wearing!

I love wearing casual tees all summer.  They are cute, comfortable, and the perfect “mom uniform.”  This Hustle Tee immediately caught my eye.  It is only $15.98 shipped and I love the meaning!  We are hustling, right!?!

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This is another darling tee!  Floral print is so popular right now and I’ve found I just can’t seem to get enough!  This Floral V-Neck is only $15.98 with shipping!

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Here is another fun tee, perfect for summer bbqs and holidays.  The Stars and Stripes Tee is just $19.98 shipped!

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There really is nothing more flattering than a peplum shirt.  I wear these all.the.time.  Seriously so great for the “mom tummy” or even that “taco tummy!”  The Empire Waist Top only costs $16.98 after shipping!

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I am seriously obsessed with this dress!  I was immediately drawn to it and just might get one for me…AND my daughter!  It looks comfortable, stylish, and very flattering, plus it is a really good deal!  It comes in 7 different colors, but this blue was my favorite.  You can get the Short Sleeve Swing Dress for only $16.99 shipped!  Such a great deal for a dress!

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I don’t usually wear bikinis, but when I saw this one I fell in love.  It is really cute and I love the high waisted bottom.  Plus, the price tag is SO good!  There are two different colors/styles to choose from.  This Ruffle Swimsuit is only $20.98 after shipping!  Such a good deal!

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Happy Frugal Shopping!  And HAPPY summer!  YAY!

 

Disclaimer:  A good deal is NOT a reason to use credit cards or spend money that has not been budgeted for.  Budget first, and IF you have money in your budget, then it’s time to bargain shop and see how far you can stretch that budgeted money!

Affiliate · Amazon · Bargain Buys · Finances · Frugal Life

Why we Cut the Cable and NEVER looked back!

“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 am a member of online affiliate programs.  I may be compensated for purchases made from links on my site.

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I remember very well telling my friends that, “I could never live without my DVR!”  I loved having my DVR and being able to record shows whenever I wanted and watch them whenever I wanted.  I loved skipping through commercials and I really could never imagine myself going back to life before DVR.

Well, I am here to tell you that I CAN actually live without my DVR!  🙂

Five years ago we decided to begin cutting some costs out of our budget.  When the talk of whether or not we should cut out the cable I wasn’t super thrilled with the idea.  But, I wanted to trim our budget and knew that my precious DVR was not a need.  We canceled our cable, including that DVR.

And you know what.  There has not been a single day when I have regretted it.  There have definitely been a few times when I have MISSED having a DVR (usually when I have to sit through a boring commercial),  but I have never regretted getting rid of it.  The amount of money that we save yearly is so worth it.

There are so so many alternative TV options available today.  It wasn’t hard to find a few cheaper services for our family.

The first and cheapest option we did was to buy a digital antennae.  This was a one time purchase of $30 and enables us to get all of the public channels for free.  The only TV we had for a few months was this digital antennae.  If you are on a strict budget, this is a GREAT option for you.  It provides great TV without any monthly payments.  My kids love watching PBS Kids and my husband and I enjoy the news and a few other evening shows.

We have since added a few subscription services to our TV options.  They are all still so much cheaper than cable or dish.  Here are a few of my favorites:

We use Netflix every single day.  My kids have a couple of favorite shows they always want to watch and I have my favorites (Gilmore Girls!).  We use the cheapest Netflix option of $7.99 a month and we think it’s worth every single penny.

I have recently fell in love with Hulu.  I only signed up to take advantage of the free month trial, but I became hooked and decided to keep the service for a few more months.  I have been so impressed with all of the TV options available on Hulu and new releases they have available.  Fixer Upper and This Is Us have been my favorites lately.

My sister loves using the Roku.  The Roku gives you the ability to access all of these subscription services in one easy place.  We already have a smart TV so felt the Roku was unnecessary.  My sister didn’t have a smart TV so it only made sense to need something a little easier.  It is a one time price and very user friendly.  There are hundreds of apps/channels available to add to your device.

I have many friends and family that use Amazon Prime for TV watching.  We are content with Netflix and Hulu for now, but Amazon Prime really is a great deal if you take advantage of all it has to offer; including their TV/Movie options, free shipping and music available.

I did a conservative estimate of how much extra we are saving a year by cancelling our cable service, it came to $480 yearly savings!  In the 5 years since we cancelled the cable we have saved $2,400.  Think about what you could buy for $2,400!  I don’t know about you, but I would rather put that money somewhere more useful than spending it on TV!  If you only use the digital antennae, with no other TV services, you will save over $650 a year.  These little expenses ADD UP!

How do you save money on TV Viewing?  What is your favorite subscription service?  Tell me in the comments so we can all help each other out!