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.
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.
Bonus 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.
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