Ways That I Save Money on Baby Monkeys.

Going from a double income family to a single income family is, by no means, easy.  It takes work and budgeting and paying attention to where you are spending and on what exactly.

I have had a few friends ask me to do a post about how I use coupons and save money on baby things.  So here are some of the main ways that I do.  I am by no means an expert at this, these are just suggestions.

Never pay full price for diapers.  Ever.  Avoid ever being in the situation where you need to pay full price by stocking up when you find a great price.  Know the price point for what you can get diapers for, and stick to it.  The bigger the diaper size, the less diapers you get per pack, so the higher the cost per diaper.  Eli is in size 4 right now so I aim to spend .20 per diaper.  I mostly get diapers at Target, as they offer “buy two get a gift card” promotions often and you can usually double stack (or triple stack if you use cartwheel) coupons.  Yesterday, I got two packages of Pull-ups for .14 a Pull-up.  I ordinarily wouldn’t have bought these, but since they were lower than my price point for size 4 diapers, I got them.  Plus, they are helpful for the potty training and leaving the house.  We can’t really let the monkey pee on other people’s carpet…I also will buy diapers at CVS.  They offer promotions where you receive Extra Care bucks back if you spend a set amount, so when you have coupons too it is usually a nice price.  Costco has good prices when they offer the coupons, but the regular price usually isn’t low enough for me.  I would love to use organic diapers on my baby monkeys, I love the Honest ones I received in a trial pack, but it is just so hard to pay double for an item that gets pooped in and then tossed.

7Ways

Elijah likes to shop at mama’s happy place, too.

Find a few coupon blogs that you like, and check them often.  For me, I check these daily:

Hip2Save — This blog has the easiest “drugstore deals” to follow.  She also posts great online deals, promotion codes, and when new coupons are released.

Totally Target — This is a blog with Target deals.  I love shopping at Target.  Now that they have fresh groceries, it is sometimes the only shopping I do in a week.  She lists the coupon stacks for the weekly ads on Saturday nights and updates throughout the week.  There is also a database of Target coupons which can be helpful as well.

Bargains to Bounty — Bargains to Bounty is a Metro Detroit area blogger.  She lists the coupon match-ups for all the grocery stores in our area.

I also follow all 3 of these blogs on Facebook.  This can be helpful, especially for Bargains to Bounty, because if a great sale is posted people will post that the item is all gone or there are restrictions on it, etc.  There are so many coupon and deal blogs out there on the internets, so find one that you like and find easy to read.

Utilize Mom to Mom sales and resale shops.  But be picky about what you buy and how much you’ll pay.  I love getting play clothes for Elijah at Mom to Mom sales.  Name brand shoes such as Stride Rite or Robeez are great finds too, since tiny feet grow so quick!  I know not all areas have Mom to Moms like we do around here, but if your area has them, go.  And try not to bring the littles with you.  And if you are very pregnant, take snacks and wear layers.  And bring your own reusable shopping bags.  Sometimes they can get pretty bananas.  Also, try to know what you are looking for; they can get pretty overwhelming.  Garage sales in the summer can be a pretty great place to buy toys and gear.

Shop online for toiletries.  I find the best prices for the baby toiletries that we use online.  Watch for sales, sign up for email lists, take advantage of dollar off promotions and stock up.  I mostly find that drugstore.com and Vitacost have good prices/promotions for the organic toiletries I like.  If you like Johnson & Johnson, Desitin, and Aveeno, there are almost always coupons for these and you can get great prices at Target on them.  Target also offers a wider variety of organic toiletries; so when there are sales and coupons out for products like Babyganics, Burt’s Bees, or Seventh Generation, I will buy them there.  I always check online prices before buying them in the stores.  Amazon sometimes is the best place too.  You just have to know what you’re looking for.

Join rewards programs.  This isn’t exactly “saving” money, more like “earning.”  I think the most rewards sites are Huggies, Pampers, Disney Movie Rewards.  Disney Movie Rewards probably not so much if you aren’t obsessed with Disney like my family is.  Sometimes it can be a hassle to remember to type in the codes every time you open a new pack of diapers, but it can be worth it.  I just tear the little code off and put it aside and then input several at once.  I almost always redeem the points for gift cards…mostly Starbucks because I am an addict.  So rewards programs can be a nice bonus for Mama.

If you do shop online often, join Ebates!  I find buying baby items online can be my favorite way to shop for them.  Especially in a polar vortex like Michigan at the moment; no one wants to take littles out in this.  I have ordered so many things for the new baby girl monkey’s nursery online.  So.  Many.  Things.  (And when Elijah was just a tiny, tiny monkey, I would think of things I needed and order them from Amazon.  Amazon Prime can be a mama’s best friend.)  Ebates is super easy.  You just start at Ebates, and then type in the store you’re going to make your purchase at and then follow their “shop now” link.  Some stores have tiny amounts, 1% or 2% but there are double cash back days and you get a gift card after you make your first purchase through them.  They send you a quarterly check in the mail, so you never have to go through steps for “redemption,” other than depositing the physical check in your bank account.  I earned $133.22 last year.  Like I said, I do a good amount of shopping online.

ImageBonus of shopping online…free boxes to play in.

Never pay extra for shipping.  I broke this rule of mine just a month ago, when I ordered baby girl’s curtains and rod from Land of Nod…but I did ask customer service for free shipping and they offered me 15% off instead, so it ended up being close to the same as shipping.  Go to Retail Me Not for free shipping promo codes or just leave the items in your shopping cart.  You’d be surprised at the amount of emails you’ll get offering promotions when you do not checkout the same day.

These are just my favorite, easiest ways to save.  I do get an obscene amount of junk email each day, because most of the ways to get coupons and promotions involve giving your email address.  So you may want to consider starting a spare email account.

This post contains referral links.  If you join using my referral, I will receive credit.

December. According to instagram.

I can’t believe it will be February in one week.  I kept meaning to post about Christmas and then, clearly, never got around to it.  So we are just skipping the “Our Christmas was awesome because…” blog post and moving on.  It is freezing.  Literally.  And I feel like I have a million things to do before this baby girl monkey decides to make her appearance.  (Finish the nursery, put away baby clothes, make cute things like I did for Eli’s nursery…oh and Elijah’s birthday party next weekend!)

Anyway, here is what our December looked like, according to my instagram feed.

Image

Elijah was enamored with our Mickey lights.  I’m glad we bought them last year, thinking he would get excited about them this Christmas.  And we are currently “those people” who still have their lights up…we don’t turn them on anymore.  Since Christmas was a whole month ago.

ImageWe spent New Year’s Eve at our friend’s house, with a bunch of our friends who all have kids now too.  We were all out the door by 12:15.  We know how to party…

Image

He was not terrified of Santa.  He loved pointing at him and yelling “Santa, ho ho ho!” When it was time to sit on his lap, Elijah didn’t LOVE it.  But he was okay with it.

Image

He did love the snow.

Image

Since I am quite pregnant, I often have Elijah walk himself into the house from the car, especially if I have other things to carry.  Every single time I do this, he insists on walking on the snow just beside the walkway.  He fell face first into the snow once, got real upset, and then kept walking in it.

Image

Our after-nap-ritual is to cuddle on the couch and watch a show or part of a movie.  I love this ritual since it is really the only time that he will snuggle me anymore.

Image

Sometimes I feel like all this kid ever wants to eat is fruit.  And carbs.  He asks for chips every single day.

Image

Eli has developed a love for dancing.  Whenever there is music on, he busts a move.  This was at my OB, waiting for the doctor to come in.

Image

Oh, we started the whole potty training thing…so Elijah rarely has pants on.  Not like the whole not-wearing-pants thing is a crazy idea for this kid or anything.

Image

This picture still makes me laugh whenever I look at it.  He is so silly and happy all the time, its hard to get mad when it takes half an hour to get him clothed after a bath.  Plus, doesn’t he look so tall?

Image

We spent a lot of the cold, snowy days staying in our pjs until after nap.  I’m not even embarrassed about it.

Image

Elijah learned the joy of baking.  Or in his eyes, sampling all the chocolate items.

Image

And here he is eating peanut butter straight from the jar.  I won’t pretend that he didn’t learn that one from me.

Image

We went to the Christmas Extravaganza at our church.  The highlights for Elijah were the train room; this obstacle course pictured above; and the candy cane walk…which really was more like Elijah running in circles even when the other kids stopped.

Image

I love when he will sit all cuddled up like this.

Image

It got warm for a second in December.  It felt like spring and everyone had the same idea as we did to spend the afternoon at the mall.

Image

After a costco trip, he played with a paper fowl roll for hours.

Image

RJ bought me a heated back massager and Eli often climbs up and turns it on.

Image

I love him in underpants.  Especially boxer briefs.  Elijah also loves them and can never decide which pair he wants to wear.

if you want to follow me on instagram, i am @jessgrune.

The Many Positions of a Monkey

This evening, while daddy had class, Elijah and I watched Toy Story 2. I was folding laundry on the couch and he sat in the chair–and apparently could not get comfortable.
I took all these photos in 30 minutes.
Enjoy the many Pixar-watching positions of my silly monkey.

20140106-214815.jpg

20140106-214824.jpg

20140106-214842.jpg

20140106-214834.jpg

20140106-214852.jpg

20140106-214902.jpg

20140106-214916.jpg

20140106-214927.jpg

20140106-214942.jpg

20140106-214934.jpg

20140106-214952.jpg