Saturday, July 23, 2011

Diaper Wars!

If you know me, you know I am the queen of research...I will spend hours looking stuff up online in order to find a coupon code or a good deal before I go to the store. Diapers are expensive aren't they! But if you're like me and cringe at the thought of cloth diapers, they are a necessary evil and a blessing at the same time. With my first baby, I bought one of every kind/brand of diapers that Walmart sold. I ended up choosing Pampers above all others and now use them again with this second baby. I now have a 5 month old and have yet to buy any diapers since I stocked up while I was pregnant. And I won't have to buy wipes for at least a year...

So what kind of deals are available online for diapers?

Well, I tried and used a first-time user coupon code for a discount. After that, it was much cheaper to continue buying them from Walmart with the paper coupons I had for like $1.50- $3.00 off.

Then I discovered AMAZON MOMS (a section of Amazon Prime).
The online prices are unbeatable and the system is marvelous! Here are a few facts:

You get the discounted price by signing up for "Subscribe and Save" (This means you select to receive this product every X months- you pick at what interval.) Don't worry! You can CHANGE or CANCEL your order at anytime! (I always make sure there is a way out from any automatic orders before signing up)

So to compare the two, here is a short example:

I shall compare buying Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive, 156 count, Size 3 at both places:
                                        Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive Diapers Economy Pack Plus Size 3, 156 Count (Packaging May Vary)
Amazon Moms:                                      
3 months of free shipping at sign up,                    free shipping on orders of $49
1-2 day shipping                                                1-2 day shipping
(For every single order of $25 or more               (You can sign up for a loyalty program
more of baby items, you earn an                         and save $5 on every case of diapers
additional month of free shipping,                        you buy
up to 1 years worth)                                          *you can use online coupons provided
*no minimum to use free ship on                         by
next orders
Final price:
     $30.73                                                          $40.48 ($43.99 + 2.99 shipping
                                                                                       -$5 loyalty program
                                                                                       -$1.50 temporary online coupon)

(The price of diapers fluctuates...when I bought these diapers from Amazon last time they cost 27.29)
*I will mention that I have not looked up prices on any other brand of diapers on either site
The kicker for me was that you can buy all kinds of household goods through Amazon Mom!
I also signed up to have Pampers Thick Care wipes, 504 count on auto order for 6 months from now. Costs $9.79.... doesn't have that count size, but they do have it in 360 count for $16.99, Ouch! (And shipping would not be free yet again, b/c it is less than $49)

Pampers ThickCare Unscented 7X Wipes 504 Count
Oh yeah, I also signed up to have my Charmin toilet paper mailed to me every 3 months...its cheaper than buying from Walmart, costs nothing to ship with my current 8 months of free shipping I have, and I get a kick out of the mailman handing me my box of toilet paper...   :)
Procter & Gamble Products - Procter & Gamble - Charmin Ultra Strong Big Roll Bath Tissue, 176 Sheets/Roll, 4/Pack - Sold As 1 Pack - Outstanding quality, softness and strength. - Diamond weave texture. - White - Safe for sewer and septic systems. -

I'm not saying this online system is right for everyone, and some people know how to get great deals in stores...Side note, If you are one of those people, would you please email me and let me know how you do it?! I've told a couple moms about Amazon Moms and they've used it and loved it. Let me know if you check it out and find that it saves you money! And I always want to hear your tips on how to save money...
So what's your method for buying diapers? (Or any baby essentials!)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Coupons, Groupons, and Daily Deals....Oh My!

I've been so intrigued since I heard of the show Extreme Couponing. I have yet to see an episode but I've seen clips of it and other similar shows. The whole thing confuses me to no end! I am SLOWLY picking up on things I read here and there about how to do it, but it still doesn't seem very doable for me. I did accidentally buy something for free a few months ago...I had a coupon for body wash that was on sale and I got it for free! That felt good!  :) The thing about this crazy couponing is I don't want to buy things I don't need, ya know?! Anyway...I've tried several methods to organize the coupons and I've found the way I do it now is the most effective for my family, so I will share it with you...

For non-grocery coupons, I have a small 3-ring binder that has see-through sleeves and pockets. I have a section for baby needs, baby food, eating out, car, etc... For small coupons, I put them in a see-through business card holder sleeve. (All the sleeves and binder accessories I got from Target).

For grocery food items, I need them to be easily accessible so I can quickly flip through them and see which ones I need. It wouldn't work to keep them in the binder since I would have to pull them all out each time to view them all. My solution is to hole punch them and put them on a ring. I then hang that 'Ring of Coupons' on a hook on my fridge...

Speaking of those little metal ring things...i just love them! I used them this past week on an impromptu project for my brother. I had got him several Groupons and gift cards and wanted a better way to give them to him than just shoving them all in a card. So I came up with this:

17 balloons on the front.  :)   I made a pocket on each page to hold his gifts. I quickly decorated each page and tied some ribbon around the rings. (don't judge my slapshot decorating...I'm sure he through it away after he took the good stuff out.)  :)

But overall, I loved it and will definitely use this concept again for future gift certificate givings.  :)

Decorating update:
I would just wait until I was done with the project to post, but since it is only getting worked on during free time and is taking a while, I will post as we go. (And that Len is very proud of his for him, I present you with these pics)

We lined up all the slats we cut to size, then secured the backing-vinyl garden fence stuff. The slats came from our backyard when we replaced a bunch of old slats last year that were damaged. Here's pumpkin cheering us on!!

I am thrilled with how it turned out! It went from a pile of trash to something "beautiful". (Or at least that's what I kept saying! It adds so much to our living room.) Next step is to adorn it with my family values script I am working on...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thank God for Clouds

It was SO good to get a break from the sun and the 105 degree weather thanks to some clouds! We took this lovely opportunity to plant our tree we've been growing to some day provide some shade in our shade-less backyard...

Daddy and Ry about to dig!

Getting the plant set!

First Picture of Ry & Her Tree! 

 The past week has been very interesting...a couple visits from multiple electricians, several phone calls to the landlord, a visit from the plumber...a hole in our bedroom wall, a fridge scare (turned out Ry had just turned the fridge 'OFF'!), a visit from ATT, am I forgetting anything...
 No big deal...we can handle anything this piece of wonderful crap this old house can dish out. :)

Some progress: mirror painted and edges sanded. I bought some plastic chickenwire-like stuff to experiment with. I finally have a vision for what's going inside the frame! You'll see it when I get to it... :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nothing says 'Welcome to our home!' like a...

Bowflex in the front room!
This does not mean I lost the battle for the front room, but merely that I love the husband....a lot! He knows I plan on finding some way to conceal it eventually.

One project I'm so excited about this month is a lady bug baby shower I'm hosting! Here's a pic of the invites in the works:

The past week has been crazy busy but I did get caught up on my card bundling. Did you know cards are kinda my thing? Well, they are! I just LOVE getting cards...and sending them. I save almost every card  I get. Random ones go in my shoe box (every member of the fam has their own shoebox for special things) but occasion cards get bundled together:
Birthday cards: First they get displayed for a week or two on 'the' shelf...
Then they get sorted by height, hole-punched, and strung with ribbon. Add a tag stating the occasion and they're done!
For graduation cards, I also included my announcement and thank you card I sent everyone. (I decided to put them here rather than scrapbook them)

First time I ever did this was with our wedding cards...I still love going through them and remembering who was there.