Thursday, September 30, 2010

To All The First Time Parents

Ok, I just found out that there are a few new parents out there that don't know about all of the free stuff and coupons that you can get when you register as a new or expecting parent online. I know a lot of hospitals register parents but they don't tell parents about what can be done to save money.

I know that if you are planning on bottle feeding, you can register for Enfamil and Similac on the websites. I received several cans of Enfamil in the mail after my son was born. I didn't register for Similac until my son was a few months old, so I got coupons in the mail to use toward the purchase of Similac in the mail. Enfamil still sends coupons and checks for their products, and the coupons have changed to more age appropriate foods.

I recently registered on the Playtex website, (I don't know why I didn't register sooner) and I'm getting coupons for spill proof cups, and the bottles that we are currently using. If you are expecting, I strongly recommend that you register prior to the arrival of your baby. (A friend of mine had twins, and got a Diaper Genie free) You'll see that it is a few minutes well spent.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cloth Diaper Challenge

Different kinds of inner cloth diapers. Baby d...Image via Wikipedia
Yes I grew up with parents that were Hippies, my mom used cloth diapers and my dad sang songs to us with his acoustic guitar. Perhaps that is why I decided to give the cloth diapers a try.  Now for those of you that are thinking that I'm using safety is a new millennium, and the diapers are much better than that now. I did a lot of research on the Internet, and decided to use BumGenius cloth diapers.

You can find them at,, or if you are in the Houston area;  They are cloth diapers that can be adjusted to fit your baby. They have Velcro tab closures like disposable diapers, and they are extremely soft to the touch on the side that touches your baby's skin. There are inserts that come with the diapers that you adjust for absorbency. Initially we used one thin insert, but now that we have been using cloth diapers for nearly one year now, we use two thin inserts for our daytime diaper, and one thick insert combined with a thin insert for our night time diapers.

Now I'm not going to sugar coat the cost, they were expensive initially, but once I purchased enough diapers to keep up with my baby, it became more cost effective. I went to Bebeverde and attended an instructional class on cloth diapering and got a discount. I bought 20 diapers in the beginning, I could not keep up with the laundry and take care of a newborn (trying to breast feed), and sleep when the baby slept. It was overwhelming.

Now I have 30+ cloth diapers there are fewer diaper changes and cloth diapering has become a breeze! Yes I do have to wash the diapers still, (approximately every other day) and I still cannot get my husband to understand that I do not want him to use fabric softener when we wash the diapers (it makes the diapers less absorbent). The savings alone have been well worth it. I do have two older children, (used disposables on both) and I remember having "leaky" diapers and DIAPER RASH, I really didn't have those problems this time. We did have a couple of accidents, but those were indicators that I needed to adjust my inserts to accommodate a larger baby bladder.

My son is almost a year now and has taken his first 3 steps. I'm looking forward to potty training, not because I don't want to use the cloth diapers, it is because he has learned how to open the Velcro closure when his diaper needs to be changed.

Now here is the challenge, I need to convince my husband that we should have another baby!
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Organizing Your Home??

HoardersImage via Wikipedia
I've been watching "Hoarders Buried Alive" on TV, and it has given me a different perspective on the time I spend sorting the mail etc. If you haven't watched it or aren't familiar with it, it is about people who have the need to collect things without discarding anything. Ultimately they become overwhelmed with stuff that they have accumulated over time. It is beyond belief!

My family doesn't know why I watch it, but it makes me wonder if I may become like that. I mean, I cannot keep up with the junk mail that I receive. I put it aside hoping to get to it, and then in no time I have a pile of papers that I don't know what to do with.

I will not allow myself to become like that, and I've decided that I will use modern technology to help me with this. Don't ask why, but I have two printer/scanner/copier machines, that are sitting collecting dust. (still not a hoarder) I tend to hold onto paper, so I decided to scan the documents onto and external hard drive. It is easier for me to organize them and if I need to see them, I can go straight to the computer (a lot faster to search for a file) all of those statements...shred...goodbye paper pile!

I've created both jpeg and pdf files that I can use to store the documents, and my next project will be to scan and label all of my photos that are getting ruined due to the heat and humidity in my garage.  I know this may sound bizarre, but I live in an area that may get hit by a hurricane. It will be a lot easier for me to evacuate with all of my pictures and important documents since they will take up less space.
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Monday, September 27, 2010

When It Rains It Pours!!

Logo for The Home Depot. Category:Brands of th...Image via Wikipedia
The house seems to be needing repair after repair, after repair. First it was the microwave, then it was the hinge to the door, not to mention that the bathtub has a really bad leak, now the kitchen sink is leaking and the drip pan to our air conditioner has a leak too.

We have looked, and even though I may be frugal, I would like to get a microwave that still matches the existing appliances. So we have put that on hold. It gives us more time to save money for the Maytag microwave. On the other hand, I need to do something about the money going down the drain! My water bill has gone up $10 every month consistently.

I started to look online for some ideas. I found this site: and learned that you can use barrels to collect rain water. No we won't be drinking this water, but in Houston, when it rains, it doesn't just pour, it FLOODS! I can collect the water to use later and save on my water bill. We can water the yard. I can collect the water that is dripping from the faucets to use later. No more money going down the drain. I didn't get one since it is a little more than I can afford right now. I did get one from Home Depot that doesn't look as rustic, but will serve the purpose. I'll have to give you an update in a month or two.

They make some decorative items to use to collect the rain water, called rain chains: soon as I can afford one, I'm getting one!
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

One more step towards FREEDOM!!

I've been gone a while, I'm sorry that I haven't had time to post. It has been a crazy month, with the kids starting school again and adjusting to the routine, the blog sort of fell to the wayside. I'm sorry to all of my followers.

With that being said, my husband and I have been having a few discussions about how we should spend the money that we have saved.We don't have a lot nor do we have a lot to lose. Our babysitting expense is causing us to feel stressed. (I think it is the combination of the baby, house note and two truck notes)
I downloaded a spreadsheet that I could use to determine how long it would take to pay off my credit card debt. I'm not a Dave Ramsey follower, but I'm pretty sure that there is a debt calculator that you can get from him too. We entered most of our debts, and it will tell you how to allocate your monthly payments to get out of debt and how long it will take you to do so.

The outcome was: WE PAID OFF HIS TRUCK!! We only owed $4,200.00 to pay if off, my truck is approximately $5,000 - $6,000 so we could have an additional $350 per month to use toward babysitting or any other credit cards that we still need to pay off. I know, I know, my Dave Ramsey followers are going to say that I should have paid off the credit cards first. But our monthly payments for credit cards were $100, and we need money for the babysitter NOW. I will still try to pay off the credit cards in the next few months.  It was a strategic move for us. Now we will have a car for my 17 year old to use for school when he goes off to college.

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It will take a month for me to see if this really works, but for some reason when it rains it pours! Now we are having a few household repairs come up one after the other...UGH, bear with me as I figure out a way to save on that.

Until next time, thanks for following!
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