Saturday, February 27, 2016

Scrap paper

Do you write a lot of things down?  I am always making lists of all kinds for this, that, or the other.  I love the dollar aisles at Target for the paper pads.  However; I also find paper in other places that I can use too, especially if it's just to write a quick errands list or something I don't need to keep.  My favorite place to get free paper, is from picture frames.  You know how whenever you get a picture frame it always comes with that fake photo inside?  Well the photo is on paper, and the back is plain white and perfect for making lists on!  Or even to give to your toddler, or child because if you're making a list, then they need to be too right?  And what better to give them to write on than a free piece of paper, because whether the paper was in the frame or not you were still going to buy it. 

  

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Date Night

Ok let's talk date night.  First of all it was so much cheaper before kids!  Now, by the time we figure in babysitting, dinner and whatever else you plan to do it can add up!  Not only that, but my husband and I have to factor in me staying at home now. Where spending money on eating out, going to a movie and then someone to watch our kids used to seem a lot, now it makes us think about what we could spend our money on (or save it rather on) instead.

Now, I have to say date nights are important to marriage.  It is so good for you to get some time alone with your spouse away from the kiddos every so often.  It is worth spending a little money, but it doesn't have to break the bank. I have a few different options that vary in price.



1st: Date Night at home

There are tons of ideas for home date nights on Pinterest.  My husband and I have started trying to hang out more at night together spending more quality time and less just watching T.V. together.  Our new favorite is playing card games. We even keep score in a little notebook. Now, I will say some nights we pair playing cards with watching a T.V. show that we fancy, but some nights we try to stick to just playing cards and talking. It is great to reconnect in this way.  We use to play games in college together and it's fun to do that again as a married couple.


2nd: Date Night out 

So this one my husband and I stumbled upon by accident. We are part of a bible study group that gets together a couple times a month. This happened to us back when we just had Baby Girl. We had set up a babysitter for the night and everything. Then probably about an hour before the sitter came we realized we had the wrong night. We didn't have Bible Study that night, but rather it was the next night. So what were we to do just an hour before? Canceling was an option, yes, but we figured we already had a sitter planned so why not have a date night?  

We ended up just going to Culver's and walking around Walmart, enjoying being able to talk.  This option all we paid for was the sitter and dinner at a fast food resturant.  We didn't need to go do anything that cost a lot, but just enjoyed being able to be together outside of our kids. 

3rd: Date Night Swap 

This is my favorite! Good friends of ours pitched this idea to us about a year ago and we are so glad that we said yes. We alternate date nights each month with a month in between of getting our families together.  For example, this month is my husband and I's date month, March will be theirs and then in April we will get together as families at one of our houses for dinner.  

It's the best of both worlds.  One couple gets a date night with free babysitting, so depending on what you go do the night could be entirely free!  The other couple gets their kids to have a night over at their friends' house for a little bit.  This is what we typically do, let's take this month for example.  Our friends will come over around dinner time with their kids, my husband and I will head out for our date.  When it's bed time, one of the spouses (typically the husband) will take their kids home, while the other (typically the wife) will stay and put our kids to bed.  Then next month we will flip flop.  

It really has been such a great thing added to our lives. We've made it a game/challenge to try and spend little to no money. So other than usually getting dinner we really have almost a free date. In the spring I look forward to going for a walk together in our town or one close by. If you have some close friends, I really suggest this idea, even if you just get out once every couple months for free that's something!  

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Cloth Wipes

I decided to use cloth wipes with my 2nd daughter.  Now, I do have to say that I still use disposable here and there, life happens and I forget to wash them, or when traveling it's just more conveient to use disposable.  I've never used either cloth diapers exculsively, nor do I for wipes, but I use them most of the time.  My sister made me some homemade wipes, so score for them being free! I like them because they don't have chemicals in them. Another benefit is if you're already using cloth diapers it’s more convenient to throw both the wipe and diaper into a pail instead of taking the wipes out to throw away separately. They really are easy to use, but if you don't want to buy them and can't make your own you can always use a washcloth. Washcloths work just as well and can be a little cheaper depending on where you get them, or if you have extra on hand then they are free.  

As I said above I use cloth diapers for Peanut, I did for Baby Girl too, up until she was about 18 months. Then it just didn't work and we switched her to disposable, but now she's in underwear, YAY!! Since I'm staying home with Peanut I'm hoping to keep her in cloth until underwear.  I believe cloth diapers are better for babies, so if you can I encourage you to try them.  I have more info on a guest blog I wrote at TuesdaysTantrums, you can check it out here.



Back to the wipes! The link to the left can help get you started, they're the wipes I would recommend unless you can make you're own. In addition to the wipes, I have a small squirt bottle that I keep water in and I use that to add to the wipes. For a while Peanut was getting really bad diaper rash and so I googled some ways to help. One idea I found was to use 1 cup water and 1 tsp vinegar combo and use to wipe down baby. My squirt bottle actually holds just under 1 cup of water, so I added a tsp of vinegar to it.  I've just continued to do that and it has really helped to keep the diaper rash down. 

This post includes affiliate links, which means if you click on the link I get a portion of any sales at NO COST to you.  See my disclosure page for more details. 












Thursday, February 18, 2016

Feminium Products

Ok this post is for the ladies.  

Warning men, you won't want to read! 



Let's talk tampons, yes... tampons. (Now men do you believe me you don't want to read?) 

How much money do you think you spend on tampons? I will say its been a while since I've spent money on tampons, but I calculated an approximate amount and here's what I figured out:

Playtex Gentle Glide 40 count                     $6.97


***Again, remember prices will vary based on location and store.***

I figured about 3-4 a day, depending...you know, depending.That's about 21-28 for the week. Which comes to 252-336 tampons a year! Making an annual cost of around $58.  Now I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but think about how many years you are buying tampons.  If I were to need tampons only until my mid-forties, I'd spend about $1,800!  Starting to add up right?

Well how about paying only $35.00 for 10 years! You start saving money within the first year.

What I'm talking about is The Keeper. The Keeper is a latex cup that you can use instead of tampons.  It is washable and reuseable. There is also the Moon Cup which is made of silicone for women who are allergic to latex. One keeper or moon cup, can last 10 years, and like I said before it only cost $35.00.

Not only is it more cost friendly, it is also environmentally friendly and healthier for you too!

Environmental Impact:

As I said above one woman can use about 300 tampons a year and that is a lot of waste, whether you throw it in the trash or flush it, waste is waste. 

Health:

Tampons and pads both are bleached. Bleach is a chemical that is for external use only. Need I say more? 


The Keeper is a product that comes in 2 sizes, making it super simple to buy. Size A (afterbirth) or Size B (before birth or C-section) Some women can even wear their size B after vaginal birth too.  Even so, 2 keepers is still a lot less than the cost of tampons.

For more information, check out the Hyperlink above. The site answers any questions and explains the environmental and health impact even more!


Saturday, February 13, 2016

HIIT!


Want to work out, but don't want to buy a bunch of equipment?  Or can't pay for a membership to a gym, or fitness place?  My husband and I have been wanting to get in better shape, but with me staying at home we needed to find a cost friendly way to do it.  However; we didn't want to just do your typical home workouts, so my husband found the book, The Idiot's Guide to High Intensity Interval Training at the library.  We liked it so much that we ended up buying our own copy.  You can buy it on Amazon.com.

This post includes affliate links, which means if you click on the link I get a portion of any sales at NO COST to you.



It is filled with workouts that you can do at home, without equipment.  We do our workouts together now in our living room after the kids are in bed.  Another great thing, you can taylor the workouts to your schedule, only have 5 min, you can do just one round.  Have some more time then you can do a few!  This is great for us, because some nights it doesn't work to do a long workout.  

We did end up purchasing a couple yoga mats to do our workouts on along with the recovery streches.  But for only a one time purchase of about $35.00 we have been able to get more in shape, on our own time.


***Remember costs vary depending on location and store.  We paid around $35.00 when we bought our equipment, but that may not be what you pay, so make sure to do your own research.***





Like the idea of working out, but don't have the money to spend on another book and or some yoga mats?  Check out my friend Kelsey's blog post, she has a great way to work out without spending any money!


What's your workout routine?  How do you balance working out and spending money?  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Homemade Latte

Coffee is definately my favorite drink.  Lately, I have been really craving lattes and so have started making one every night.  Well, mostly every night, but I enjoy each and every sip.  With living in my small town I don't have the luxery of going to Starbucks or Friedricks like I did when I was living in Des Moines.  Nor would I have the funds to buy one every night either now that I'm staying at home.  So making my own has been great and so easy to do!

3 easy ingrediants: 

Coffee
Syrup flavor of your choice; I prefer hazelnut
1 Cup milk
*optional: frother




Now you can make your coffee a little stronger for your latte, but I just use the coffee that I didn't drink from the morning (that way I'm not wasting it, again every little bit saves).

Latte How-to: 

1st: Steam milk on stove top or microwave for about 1 minute.
*If you have the frother, froth the milk.
2nd: Add milk to mug
*Hold back the froth for the end if you used a frother.
3rd: Add 2 Tablespoons of syrup
4th: Add coffee until mug is filled.
5th: Stir and ENJOY!!



The only extra ingrediant that I have to purchase is my syrup.  I already have coffee & milk so for only about $3.98 at Walmart, I can have multiple latte evenings.  That's equivalent to one tall latte at Starbucks!  Remember prices vary depending on location and store, so make sure to do your own price research based on your location.

The frother I added as optional because while it does make more like a coffeeshop latte if you don't have one it's not a necessary purchase.  For the last few weeks I didn't have one and my lattes have been great.  Recently, my mother-in-love gave me one for Valentine's Day and I'm super pumped to put it in use.  

What's your favorite drink after a long day, or just because?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Baby Food update

I just had to do an update on the homemade baby food.  Peanut still strongly detests peas, even when I mix it with any fruit.  It just baffles me, because Baby Girl loved peas.  I guess we had it pretty easy with her.  Maybe she was an odd ball.  Anyone else's little ones like peas or was Baby Girl on her own?  

Anyways, I ended up running out of carrots one day and forgot to make more, so Peanut had to have peas that day.  For lunch it didn't go too bad, I'm pretty sure  the combination ended up being 1 part peas & 2 parts applesauce, but I got her to eat them.  Dinner she actually ate them without problem, I was surprised and thought maybe she's starting to like them.  So since that night was crazy busy I decided she could go one more day with peas, boy was I wrong.  The next day she refused to eat any of the baby food.  That night I made her more carrots, I felt like such a great mom making more carrots for her because that's what she likes.  Oh babies, that's all I can say.  The next day I got her carrots all ready for her, feeling so proud of myself.  Would she eat the carrots? Nope, not only does she shake her head and clench her mouth, the one time I get a little on her tongue she justs sits there holding her mouth open with her tonuge out, refusing to swallow.  Such a stinker!!  She use to LOVE carrots!  I had to mix her carrots with applesauce as well, then she ate it no problem.  So I guess at least she ate them compared to the peas.  Oh the fun of having a baby!

So any tips out there to get your little one to eat their veggie baby food?  Do you have any baby food that your little ones prefer?  I'd love more recipe ideas for fruit, I'm not the greatest with fruit baby food other than applesauce. 

Missed my post about homemade baby food.  Get the how-to here



Thursday, February 4, 2016

Everyday Things

While drinking coffee this week I was thinking about the little daily things in my life that I do that saves money.  Three things came to mind, our towels, glasses & my coffee.   First, I should say that you know I'm trying to save money when I start messing with my coffee.

TOWELS:

Let's start with towels.  In our house we only wash our towels once a week. That means only one load of towels a week! Or if you're like our family, you have multiple towels, so that would be 1 load every 2 weeks! Now if you are use to washing towels after each use, this might seem extreme, but what if you did every few days instead?  Remember every little bit adds up. I also just read a blog about minimizing the clutter and stuff in your house. One of the things she mentions was to limit your towels to 1 per person and then a set for guests. After reading that I counted our towels, I'm almost embarrassed to say this, but we have 8 towels, just for the main bath; that's 4 towels each!! After counting I decided the hubby and I could survive with 2 towels each and then I would only need 2 towels for guests. That's 2 towels I can purge or donate which adds up to more cupboard space. So just by planning to wash towels less often you can save some space and simplify your life a bit too. 


GLASSES:

How many of you, or your kids, get a drink and then put the glass in the sink! I'm terrible at this. After multiple times a day, this equals a lot of dishes! I've been known to have many cups of 1/2 drank coffee all over the house. Then the kids (ok, or adults) only drink a little and then dump the rest. Not only is that multiple dishes piling up, but it's wasteful. I've started trying to put my glass that I don't finish back in the fridge. By keeping them cold there's a better chance that I'll finish it later. I also, try and re-use that glass as many times as I can, usually until I get something different to drink.

If each member only used one - two glasses a day think about how many less you'd be using compared to before. And those glasses add up to time back in your day you don't have to waste loading/unloading the dishwasher or washing by hand. Try it for a week. Designate one glass per member of the family until they switch drinks (milk to juice, water to milk, etc.) & see how many less glasses you use.

COFFEE:

While this idea has been mentioned places before, I have found it helpful. Like I said, when I start messing around with my coffee, you know I'm pretty serious about saving some money. The 1st day brew your coffee like normal. Then instead of dumping the grounds leave them for tomorrow, or whenever you will make coffee again. The next time you make coffee again add 1/2 the amount of grounds you normally would. This way you are getting new coffee, but not having to use as much coffee.  I also just save the grounds in the frenc press so there's no extra storage needed.  This works great for when I decide to make more coffee for the evening, then I'm not using 2x as much but rather a little less. Just think, if you make coffee everyday for a month, a bag that would normally last 2 weeks could last an entire month.

Pinterest