Friday, April 30, 2010

PoOpEd

So I am going to do it. I am going to switch Marilyn to cloth diapers. I know that she is getting big to transition her into cloth diapers but I am getting so tired of her having diaper rashes. We go through a big 40 dollar box a month so disposables are costing a fortune. I am hoping that her rashes will start to disappear.
I have done a whole lot of research on the Internet to see what kinds of diapers are popular and which ones work the best. I am getting a few different brands to try them out. Maybe by the time that we have our next child we will know what we like and dislike about different brands and we may get some more... if I get the hang of washing all of them.
I have researched how to wash them. I found out that the laundry soap that we use was the top rated soap for washing diapers. I guess it washes out the smells and the stains well while at the same time the fibers in the diapers don't fall apart as fast with this kind of soap. I was getting buying it in the first place because so far it's the only one that I have found that Spencer isn't allergic to. I got lucky on that one. I can give you all of the steps to washing out the diapers. I am not sure if it's worth your time. I googled and youtubed how to do it and some of the people that showed how to do it I thought that they were doing a step wrong. Howcast did the best job on doing it the right way in my oppinion.
I only know a couple people that use cloth diapers for their children. One of the girls uses them to help the environment, the other uses them because she gave up on trying to find diapers that her son wasn't allergic to (she was using a diaper service and paying them 20 cents a peice to wash them with the soap that she gave them. The things you do for kids). I guess I am switching because Marilyn's rashes, to save money in the long run, and to help potty train her. I can admit that I am sick of paying for diapers to find out that she can't wear them. It breaks my heart more than everything else when she has a bad rash that I need to wipe poop off of.

I told myself with Texas that I would never use cloth diapers because I thought they were unsanitary (a poop covered rash it way more unsanitary than a diaper that has been pooped in before). I think my change of heart is a last resort. I'll post an update after a couple of weeks of using the new diapers to let everyone how it is working out.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Neige


http://www.neigeclothing.com/home.html

So I registered for this site that is called bTrendie dot com and one of the brands that they were selling for half off is named neige. I was looking and I think that they are the cutest collections for children ever!
I won't pay what they are charging still for their clothes. I normally do the whole Carters, or OshKosh outlet with a 25% off coupon and search through the clearance or I go online to Gymboree clearance section and wait until they are having a 30% off sale and giving gymbucks for every fifty you spend. (I normaly save 80% of the original price of kids clothes at any store) And even less often I look through the clearance over at Target for things like pajamas. At times they have a 75% off rack, that is the only time that I think it may be worth it.
When I splurge for kids clothes it's over at Janie and Jack and their clothes are on clearance so they are about the same prices as Target when the clothes are not on sale.
Blah blah blah blah... blah. Wow. Ok, ok so the clothes that I get do look a little bit generic but people say that I dress my kids cute (or they are lieing!!!). I just get whatever is cheap. Limit 10 dollars for dresses (I get alot of dresses for 2 bucks), 20 for coats (and most jackets in the closet for the kids cost me about five), five for tees (most T's have cost me a buck or two), seven for jeans (I love when oshKosh has a 3.99 sale), one per each pair of socks or undies. There you have have what I pay for my kids clothes. I am not paying 50 bucks on little dresses.

What to get at the dollar store, what to get somewhere else?


http://couponing.about.com/od/bargainshoppingtips/a/dollarstores.htm

On About.com they have an article on what is cheaper at the dollar store and can save you mulah. I agree on almost all of it. At the dollar stores by our house they even have a produce section that rocks.
What is kind of sad is that everything on their list of what is a better deal at the dollar store I have bought there in the past year.

Here is the list of items:

Cleaning Products
Snacks
Bath and Beauty
Bath Products
Gift Wrap
Scrapbooking Supplies
Containers
Kitchen Gadgets and Tools
Children's Books
School Supplies

Here is the more in depth "Jennifer" list of items:

Cleaning Products: Arm and Hammer, Mr. Clean, bleach
Snacks (food): candy
Bath and Beauty: Bonnie Bell lipgloss, curlers, hair clips, goodie hair ties
Bath Products: pump soap, luffas, brand name soap
Gift Wrap: I get almost all of my gift wrap there
Scrapbooking Supplies: 3m tape, crayola cutter, stamps, disney everything
Containers:sterilite CD tubs, mop buckets, food storage
Kitchen Gadgets and Tools: high temp silicone spatulas, high temp silicone basting brushes
Children's Books: Nick Jr, Disney, and Sesame Street
School Supplies: name brand crayons, scissors

Other things that I have bought at the dollar store:
Drinking glasses
sun glasses
plants
dress ties
socks
electronics
gardening
binkies
Gerber graduates
Gerber dishes
Tony's dirty rice, eggs, spices, at ours they even have a gourmet section.
The list can go on and on...

Almost all of the items on the list that I wrote down cost twice as much or more at any other store. I had a friend that told me that she never went to the dollar store. She has now. I just don't see the point of spending over five bucks on something that you can get for a buck.


Other deals that you can sometimes get a better deal (some things when you have a coupon) are things like:

soap
lotion
toys
cereal
meat
milk
in season produce
candy
cake mixes
flour
sugar
butter
bread
light bulbs
makeup
cleaning suplies (with rebate at times)

Recently I have gotten some of these items for free with coupons or for more than half off the price of the dollar store.

If you don't have room in you home to stock pile I say try coupons because most of the time the smaller items you can get for almost free (but if you need to buy more then the other items will cost even more than the small items plus the others... if that happens see if you can buy bulk). If you have a big family and you need more pray that your town will get a case lot sale and clip coupons (So sad, California doesn't have case lot sales).

This should come to some people as a big fat duh. But there are people that have never been into a dollar store and other people that have never gone to a bulk section of a store (I ♥ Target's bulk section, it's way better than costco!) Figure out what works best for you.

P.S. The person that I thought was cheap called me the cheapest person she knows lol. I just get a thrill out of getting a better deal than what the average person gets and I feel guilty when I need to spend an arm and a leg on something (even if I do have the money, who cares!). Some people have requested for me to send them emails of the really good deals where you get things for free with coupons. It feels like I just won something if I get it for free. Who doesn't like being a winner?

House of Blues


Yes, I went to the house of blues for the first time ever with one of my long time friends Rachel and Spencer's coworker Chris. It was kind of a double date. I was able to snag a gift certificate at restaurant dot com. The site is really cool because you can get a 25 dollar gift certificate for 10 bucks and then they have coupon codes so I got a 25 dollar gift certificate for three bucks. You heard me right.
We sent the little ones to the baby sitter and the place is in down town Disney Land. We got lost trying to find the right parking lot and then got lost again in the Grand America Disney Hotel.
What I thought of the house of blues:
I thought that my food was good. I tried some of Rachel's cat fish that she ordered and it tasted dirty like catfish lol. I ordered the best thing at the table. I had a blacken chicken sandwich with sour cream and green chillies on it and a side of sweet potato fries. Spencer had some gumbo and Chris had something that looked like a steak.
The place was super loud. So loud that it was hard to hear the person next to you. It was weird because at some places they dim the lights when it starts getting noisy.
I think I will go there again but maybe we should get a table outside.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Whew! Marilyn, You're Freaking Me Out!


I can't go back to sleep. That is nothing out of the ordinary. Why I can't go back to sleep is different. I am one of the parents that will check up on the kids from time to time when they are sleeping. I checked on Marilyn and she wasn't breathing! Her chest wasn't going up and down, I couldn't feel a slight breath on my hand, her arms were limp, and I tried to tickle her foot to see if she would respond to that. Nothing! So me in a panic yelled her name and started to pick her up and then she gasped. She wasn't breathing for a good seven seconds or more. I woke up Spencer in the process of me yelling her name.
There was another time when I noticed that she wasn't breathing but after I tickled her foot she snapped out of it and I just thought in my head that it was maybe my imagination.

After this happened all that I can think about is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sleep Apnea. Wondering if some babies just don't wake up because of some kind of form of Sleep Apnea.

I googled to see if some babies do have sleep apnea because my heart is still thumping. I guess it is something that happens:

http://www.babycenter.com/0_sleep-apnea-in-babies_1741484.bc


When I go out to Utah I think I am going to get Marilyn checked out because most of the Doctors out here really don't care. Whenever I take the kids to the doctor for a checkup they say that there is nothing wrong with them and I am just being a paranoid mother (well not in those words, but you get my drift). To the doctors out here all that I am is a number that they can write off to the board or heath. I don't see something like this as me being paranoid. What if Marilyn never wakes up one of the times.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Yeah for SALES and COUPONS!!!

So I did it again with the budgeting. I didn't go over though. I just looked super silly going to three grocery stores to get a couple items at each place. I went to Stater Brothers for just cereal. They had it on sale for 1.50 a box and then I used my nice 1.00 off two boxes of general mills cereal. The lady at the checkout called me crazy. After I did that I went to Albertons and got some hamburger helper, tuna helper and chicken helper. It was on a three day sale for 88 cents (it's normally 2.99). Used a 75 cents off of three, so that makes them 63 cents a box; score. Now we have some food storage and I didn't need to go out of budget. At each place I went to I saved over 50% of the original price of the full receipt.
I just made BLT's to celebrate (don't worry, bacon was on sale). I am still really sick of chicken. I made BBQ chicken last night, it wasn't bad tasting, I am just really sick of chicken.

Right now the really good sales at Target (when you use coupons) are:
Vaseline lotion: use a Target coupon and one from redplum, makes it FREE (or 50 cents if you want to get a bigger bottle. That is still not bad)
Light bulbs: Target coupon and coupons.com coupon, makes it FREE
Kellogg's cereal: Target coupon and Kellogg's coupon, makes it about a buck
Huggies little swimmers: Target has a coupon and so does Huggies, save 2.50-4.50
I clipped some other coupons but those are the ones that are really good. I feel like I am getting the hang of couponing. It's really nice because now there is more veriety in our food storage and what we eat for dinner.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Splurge for the Holiday

So I stayed in budget for Texas' birthday by five bucks (or it was more like four dollars and change). He had everything that he wanted, I got goody bags and he got his watermelon shark that I searched hi and low for that watermelon and at the same time I stayed in budget. The party went smothly and everyone had fun.

I went shoping today. I searched through all of the adds and because there is a holiday that is tomorrow the only thing that was a good sale was the hams. I really wanted a ham so that is where we went. It was 90 cents a pound. Albertsons was three times the price. It put a pit in my gut when I realised that I was buying eleven pounds of ham. I don't even like ham. This ham is just for Texas and Spencer to eat and for me to feel festive.

I went over budget by TWENTY DOLLARS! I guess if I skip going to the grocery store next week I will be safe. I was doing so good and then I just messed it all up.

Do you want to know how I went over? Well first off I bought a ham. It cost less than everywhere else but it's was still over ten dollars worth of ham. The second thing was that the other day Spencer went out and bought two things of Dryer's icecream and I found the reciept. Holy Cow! My husband spent ten bucks on just icecream (and it was just two things). Because he did that I knew at the store that we were going to had ice cream on sale so I bought some. I also bought a HUGE jar of pickles because we havn't had any in our house in forever and they looked super good. Now I have a gallon of pickles. Never go to the grocery store when you are hungry.

Friday, April 2, 2010

CouponGal

http://www.coupongal.net/2010/04/hot-toys-r-us-deals.html

I don't know how long this link will work but I am the "Jen" that sent the email saying that the Mr. Potato Heads and the Glow Worms were on sale. The Mr. Potato heads come out to 1.99 before tax at the ToysRus by my house. I know that some of the other stores have different prices. The hasbro site only let me print off two of each coupon but that is still a stellar deal. :D

The day before (yesterday) I went and picked up FREE games from ToysRus. ToysRus is having a sale then I use coupons, if you spend more than 20 dollars before promos and coupons, you get five back and then there is a rebate for most of the games so you get an additional 2 to 4 dollars back for each game you buy. I went through the line a few times so I could keep on getting my five dollars back. All and all, Hasbro gave me the games for free and I get an extra $3.20. WootWoot! On coupon gal she paid 33 cents each. (33 cents is still way awesome!)

With the gift card from the games that I bought, I bought the Glow Worms and the Mr. Potato Heads. Miss Marilyn is getting one in her Easter Basket.

Found out after I went to ToysRus twice in two days that for every elefun game you get a free toy. I went back again with a coupon for a Sit-n-Spin because that was on sale too and I got it for 10 bucks.

So all together I spent about 15 dollars (that was my gift card that they gave me from the games) on 10 games, a stuffed animal, a sit-n-spin, a couple of glow worms and a Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. If I bought this over at walmart without coupons it would of came to about $240.00. I counted.

I also want to thank whomever Coupon Gal is because I thought it was super sweet that she posted the deal that I sent her. I am WAY flattered that she mentioned me.