Growing things!

Today my child ate dirt. Like actually took it out of the  box and ate it. …

image

But he is pretty cute. We gardened today. Well we got the dirt put in the box. I’ve got to add more and I want another box but I’m pretty excited about the square foot gardening thing. I want to grow and freeze veggies. I want fresh melons. I want Carl to pull weeds with me in a few months. I want to become a better gardener.

It feels good to want things again. Ive got tomatoes, peppers, herbs, watermelon and I want to get squash seeds to go withy cucumber and lettuce seeds. Go plant something!

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The Baby Inventory: All the rest!

Something rather exciting happened to me yesterday! I got an email request for my spreadsheet. I’m rather pumped. I’m hoping the recipient will be willing to give a review of it so that I might tweak and perfect it a little more. Two weeks ago I talked about my Baby diapering inventory and then last week I went over the Nursery portion, then came Baby Feeding and then came Baby Clothing. This week I want to talk about the last part, the Miscellaneous baby stuff portion of the spreadsheet. These items covers all the things I anticipate needing that aren’t really covered in the other portions. Using Excel I made a spreadsheet that including the some of the following categories.

Baby carrier

Car seat

Stroller

Car Seat

Trash can

Baby toiletries

Thermometers

Bumbo chair/tray

(a less blurry version will appear if you click on the picture)

Screenshot 2015-03-24 10.57.47

You can customize this to fit your individual needs. When looking at this portion of the spreadsheet I basically made a list of things I thought I would want to get based on what I found useful when working at the daycare and from other experiences.  Most everything on the list has already been purchased, and most of it I either received as a gift because making the list helped me know what to register for or I bought second hand. I have about $100 invested in this part of the needed items, and most things have already been purchased. This doesn’t count the cost of the 4D ultrasound or the cost of the labor class. This list helps me keep up with everything I still need vs everything we already have and when I start to have nesting panic attacks I can just look at this very helpful spreadsheet. I have location of the items and price (whether I bought them or they were given to me via shower or whatever) which allows me to keep a running tab of how much I have spent. The spreadsheet also automatically calculates how much I need of whichever item after I put in how many I have. Obviously your needs and wants will look differently than mine but I would be happy to send a sample of my spreadsheet to you, just make the request and provide an email in the comments.

Hopefully in the next few weeks I can talk about total costs and how to save even more here and there along the way.

How are you or do you prep for baby?

Thrifty Thursday: Yard Sale adventures of 2015!

It is finally upon us again! Yard Sale season!

This is really my favorite time of year. I absolutely love a good sale. I’ve been waiting patiently all crabby winter long for the cold to go away and the awesome sales to commence. Have I mentioned that I love this time of year! Faith and I had a fun little adventure this past Saturday involving several awesome sales. Two local churches had their annual fundraising sales. There was also a rather huge baby related sale in Killen which we went to. Unfortunately it was mostly girl stuff, but still, it was pretty awesome. I ended up finding several things that have been on my mental list as well as my baby inventory.

I got this neat mesh bath! I already had the hard tub but I wanted one of these for when he cant get his navel immersed. Baby bathing makes me a bit nervous. I also got several pairs of shoes and I indulged in this police car.

IMG_1678 IMG_1681

Probably my favorite purchase of the day was a Maternity outfit. It was $2.00. Tights, shirt and sweater are all Motherhood Maternity brand so they have resale value. The sweater, camisole thing is made of the softest material imaginable. I may not be able to give it up.

I found a random embroidery hoop, several cute baby outfits, including this one which I think will probably be his Easter outfit next year.

IMG_1685

All things considered it was a great day full of much productivity.

Did you all get out and shop the sales this weekend?

The Baby Inventory: Baby Clothing!

I’ve already done a post on the Baby diapering inventory , the Nursery portion, and the Baby Feeding portion. This week I want to talk about the clothing portion of the spreadsheet. This part is rather extensive and a little more complex than the previous ones. This is mostly because instead of just tracking what I have and will need for Carl for the first few months or a year, I have sizes NB – 4T. I did it this way for a few reasons. My hero, Amy DAcysion has a similar set up in one of her books and she would shop for her kids clothes years in advance at garage stores and thrift stores. This is a great way to save a ton of money and that is my plan here. This inventory is a basic list of what I anticipate needing for clothing Carl no matter the season for the next several years. Obviously I have a lot more NB and 0-3m things than 3T and 4T but the spreadsheet allows me to keep up with it all.  The spreadsheet includes sizes

NB

0-3Months

3-6Months

6-9Months

9-12Months

12-18Months

18-24Months

2T

3T

4T

Screenshot 2015-03-11 10.46.57

(the image is better if you click on it)

You can customize this to fit your individual needs. When looking at this portion of the spreadsheet I basically made a list of things I thought I would need for each stage of growth and it is somewhat particular to my climate. Obviously you will need more 2T-4T clothes because the growth of my toddler should be slower than the growth of a wee new baby.  This list helps me keep up with everything I still need vs everything we already have and when I start to have nesting panic attacks I can just look at this very helpful spreadsheet. I have location of the items and price (whether I bought them or they were given to me via shower or whatever) which allows me to keep a running tab of how much I have spent. The spreadsheet also automatically calculates how much I need of whichever item after I put in how many I have. Obviously your clothing needs will look differently than mine, especially at first and depending upon when your baby is born, but I would be happy to send a sample of my spreadsheet to you, just make the request and provide an email in the comments.

How are you or do you prep for baby?

Thrifty Thursday: What to look for!

bumbo

In case you hadn’t noticed I am a rather thrifty (sometimes even cheap) sort of lady. When getting ready my little wee one who is soon to come and meet me I have tried to be as careful as possible with what I spend. I really believe that so many things that you need or want for baby need not be bought brand new. I want to share with you all a few common thrift store/consignment sale items that you can get for greatly reduced prices. If you are having a baby and plan to buy these things please consider getting them second hand. Chances are they won’t last long and if you look you can find them in great condition or barely used or sometimes even brand new.

What I have acquired second hand thus far:

Bumbo seat and Tray

Baby Swing

Bouncy seat

Chest of drawers

Changing Table

Toy Box

Globe decorations

Pac and Play

Baby Go pod

Glider rocker

clothes

Nursery decorations

Baby wearing carriers

Maternity clothes

Bassinet

shoes

lamps

While I don’t expect that everyone will be able to or even want to get everything second hand, I really recommend taking a look at what is out there. I’ve been given a ton of NB and 0-3M clothes that are in almost pristine condition simply because I knew someone who was getting rid of them. Searching through various thrifts stores I was able to find all that furniture and more clothes, shoes in like new or new condition, and all sorts of neat things to decorate the Nursery. I was able to find the bouncer and bumbo chair and tray on the online local networks for less than a quarter of what they would have been new. One baby wearing carrier was given to me and the other was acquired in a thrift store expedition a couple of counties over.

I have been lucky enough to receive a brand new stroller and car seat but I see them all the time at consignment sales, yard sales and thrift stores that are still well within their expiration date. Other things I have seen, but don’t personally need are crib bedding. There are four cute sets available at the thrift store closest to me right now. There are all sorts of options out there. Be thrifty and consider them. You can use all that money your are saving for a prenatal massage or better yet,  a college fund.

Have you been thrifty this week?

The Baby Inventory: Baby Feeding!

Something rather exciting happened to me yesterday! I got an email request for my spreadsheet. I’m rather pumped. I’m hoping the recipient will be willing to give a review of it so that I might tweak and perfect it a little more. Two weeks ago I talked about my Baby diapering inventory and then last week I went over the Nursery portion. This week I want to talk about the Bottle and Feeding portion of the spreadsheet. These items covers all the things I anticipate needing for feeding baby (besides the actual food) for the first year of his life. Using Excel I made a spreadsheet that including the some of the following Feeding related categories.

Bottles

Bottles sleeves

Bottle nipples

Breast pump

Breast pads

Baby food freezer and fridge containers

Baby food steamer

(a less blurry version will appear if you click on the picture)

Screenshot 2015-03-02 11.33.44

You can customize this to fit your individual needs. When looking at this portion of the spreadsheet I basically made a list of things I thought I would want to get. If you are wondering why so many things I still don’t have, I haven’t had a single shower yet, though I have two coming up in this week. This list helps me keep up with everything I still need vs everything we already have and when I start to have nesting panic attacks I can just look at this very helpful spreadsheet. I have location of the items and price (whether I bought them or they were given to me via shower or whatever) which allows me to keep a running tab of how much I have spent. The spreadsheet also automatically calculates how much I need of whichever item after I put in how many I have. Obviously your feeding needs will look differently than mine but I would be happy to send a sample of my spreadsheet to you, just make the request and provide an email in the comments.

I based my spreadsheet on the idea that I would be exclusively breastfeeding for the first six month and then making Carl’s baby food and storing it in the freezer and fridge. If you don’t plan to breastfeed, or if you plan to buy all your baby food then you obviously would need a different sort of spreadsheet or list. However I would highly advise looking into making your babies food. It is quick, relatively painless…and those cute little glass jars and plastic containers or baby food are $0.50-$1.50 per container…for just a few ounces of often times over preserved mushed vegetables and fruits.  That is a lot of money. A ton of money. In the end I think at least considering steaming and mushing some of that sweet potato you intend to eat for dinner and freezing or placing it in small baby size containers is a much more viable option. Hopefully I will be highlighting some good DIY baby food posts soon.

How are you or do you prep for baby?

Thrifty Thursday: Walmart Super Saver App review

super saver app

Just last week I talked about coupons and why I am not a big fan of them. This week I want to shift that just a little bit and talk about the only savings app I use. Wal-mart, while I think it does a lot of things wrong, it cannot be argued that many things you can buy there are much cheaper to buy there than stores like Publix, or even Foodland. I don’t buy mean from Wal-Mart. I don’t buy furniture or things I don’t need. However I do buy groceries when I they have things that I need that I know are cheaper there. For many years now they have allowed people to bring in adds from competitor stores and if another store has a lower price Wal-Mart will match that price. Wal-Mart’s Super Saver App compares your receipt prices to those of all the different stores in your area that sell those same items. I am in full support of this app. I was really skeptical at first because frankly I don’t shop there often, but it turns out it is a really neat and useful thing.

Using the Super Saver App you can turn in 7 reciepts per week from Wal-Mart purchases. I use my own receipts, my sisters receipts, and all my work purchase receipts. In the month of January I got about $10 back. That’s kind of huge. I didn’t change my buying pattern or what I bought. It only takes a few seconds to input the receipts. If I continue to do this every month and get about the same amount back I will have gained $120 at the end of the year. Now the money your get back can only be used at Wal-Mart. You can use it to purchase items from their website or you can print out an e-gift card and use it in the store.

Last week I finally printed my e-gift card off to use in the store. Its really easy to use. You need to go to an actual cashier rather than the self check out which I usually use. Other than that you just show them the paper and they scan the bar code just like a coupon. If you are looking for a coupon alternative and you shop at Wal-Mart regularly or know people that do that are willing to donate their receipts it is definitely worth a few minutes to input the receipt into the app.

 

How are you all being thrifty this week?

The Baby Inventory: Nursery!

Being thirty weeks pregnant is a lot like having a parasitic infection. I took Parasitology in college and we all laughed when our professor told us that cute little babies were the very epitome of parasites. I’m no longer laughing. I’m exhausted and all I did was take a shower. The struggle is very real. I find that I’m twice as tired this week as I was last week. It makes me a little nervous about the weeks to come. On a happy note I am continuing on with talking about my baby preparedness spreadsheet. I can work on this from the comfort of the coucha dn the safety of my laptop without expending too much energy. Last week I talked about my Baby diapering inventory. This week I want to talk about the Nursery portion of the spreadsheet. Using Excel I made a spreadsheet that including the some of the following Nursery related categories.

Crib

Crib Sheets

Bassinet

Blankets

Waterproof sheets

Baby Monitor

And so on…

(a less blurry version will appear if you click on the picture)

Screenshot 2015-02-27 05.58.38

You can customize this to fit your individual needs. When looking at this portion of the spreadsheet I basically made a list of things I thought I would want to get. If you are wondering why so many things I still don’t have, I haven’t had a single shower yet, though I have two coming up in two weeks. This list helps me keep up with everything I still need vs everything we already have and when I start to have nesting panic attacks I can just look at this very helpful spreadsheet. I have location of the items and price (whether I bought them or they were given to me via shower or whatever) which allows me to keep a running tab of how much I have spent. The spreadsheet also automatically calculates how much I need of whichever item after I put in how many I have. Obviously your Nursery needs will look differently than mine but I would be happy to send a sample of my spreadsheet to you, just make the request and provide an email in the comments.

How are you or do you prep for baby?

Thrifty Thursday: The Coupon

The title is rather deceptive. I can almost guarantee this is the one and only time where you will see the word coupon appear on my blog. If it appears again it will be a total fluke. That is because I do not coupon. I don’t buy into the lie that it will save you money. I know, I know, there are extreme couponers out there who would hang me by my toes and then have me burned at the stake for such blasphemy, but hear me out.

There are two very simple aspects to the coupon question that I researched a long time ago and have stuck with ever since.

1. Coupon are generally only printed and therefor only good for name brand items.

Yes, you can save a dollar here, fifty cents there, and it can accumulate into quite a bit at the check out counter, but how are you “saving” this money. You are buying name brands first off, which tend to be more expensive, and yet no more effective or better tasting or longer lasting than their cheap off brand neighbors. Lets take for example

St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub, 6 oz

St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub

$3.87 at Wal-Mart for 6oz

Equate Refreshing Apricot Scrub

$1.97 at Wal-Mart for 6oz

I couldn’t find a current coupon for the name brand but I see them every now and again for lets say $0.50. Even with that $0.50 savings your totals still come to:

Name Brand: $3.37

Equate Brand $1.97

This is still a difference of $1.40.

That may not seem like a lot to you, but over time it adds up. I’ve used both and they work just the same. You can take nearly any facial cleanser and find a store brand that will work just as well. Your family doesn’t like store brand conditioner or chicken nuggets and so on and so forth. Keep that name brand bottle and put the store brand in it. If they ever notice the difference I will be astonished. We like name brands. We are supposed to. They spend a lot of money trying to convince us that we like them.

2. Couponing has a cost

There are several hidden costs to couponing that Idon’t think  get enough credit. Firstly, typically if you are buying a paper to acquire coupons then you are spending money on that endevour. If you get a paper subscription just for the coupons then chances are you aren’t saving any money. Even if you use one the zillions of online coupon printing resources you are still spending money just not in the way we traditionally see it. Your time is valuable. How much time does it take to sit down and find the coupons, cut them out, organize them, keep up with which ones are in date, and then find the best place to use them. I plan all my grocery excursions and I generally have an idea of the prices in various places, and I take a glance at the sales papers that come in the mail for free with the local Courier Journal and that does take a little bit of time, but you have to do that anyway whether couponing or not to find the best deals.

This weeks Thrifty Thursday money saving tip is to use your head. Just because something seems like it will save you money doesn’t mean it actually will. If you just love a particular name brand item, then by all means buy it, but really consider what it is you are buying and whether or not that coupon is actually saving you any money.

How have you been thrifty this week?

The Baby Inventory: Diapering!

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned my Baby Spreadsheet. As part of my All About Baby posts I am going to share with you all in a little more detail the various parts of my spreadsheet. This week I would like to talk about diapering and the various and diverse things that go along with that. Using Excel I made a spreadsheet that including the following diaper related categories.

N Diapers
Size 1 Diapers
Size 2 Diapers
Size 3 Diapers
Size 4 Diapers
Size 5 Diapers
Wipes
Baby bum cream
Diaper Bag

It ends up looking like this (click on the image to get it less blurry)

baby inventory diapers

You can customize this to fit your individual needs. I took a basic estimate of how many diapers I experienced that babies go through at the various stages, as well as looking at the numbers other people have come up with which is how I got my totals. I estimated a little more than 2 wipes per diaper change which is admittedly low. I have location of the items and price (whether I bought them or they were given to me via shower or whatever) which allows me to keep a running tab of how much I have spent. The spreadsheet also automatically calculates how much I need of whichever item after I put in how many I have.

If you are going the cloth diapering route you can adjust this spreadsheet to fit your needs. I’ve also got a diaper bag listed and baby bum cream which will probably be needed at some point.  If you are a stock piler this is an awesome way to keep up with everything. I would be happy to send a sample of my spreadsheet to you, just make the request and provide an email in the comments.

How do you prep for baby?