This is the first time I really utilized my shopping experience with coupons. Yes, I’ve used these handy little paper slips before, but this time, I tried to work them like a true couponer. I’ll admit I’ve got a long way to go, but I’ve got a lot of inspiration and mentors to help me. I combined store sales and my coupons to get the best deal I could. It was mainly just pocket change that I saved. But I’ve made a promise that I’ll put EVERY penny of the savings into my hubby’s change jar (more on that later…) to save up for a rainy day.

 I apologize for the blurry photo.
Here’s the results of this first shopping trip.
Total before store discounts: $69.42
Total before coupons: $67.77
Total paid: $64.47
Saved $4.95

Now I realize this is small change to those major couponers so please remember I’m just starting 😀
I’d also like to note, that I also saved about $15 on formula by buying the store brand.

Please note the following: There are 3 cups of yogurt missing, when I got home I accidentally dropped them on the floor and the lids leaked a little bit so I put them in the refridgerator right away along with the milk, 64 oz container of Old Orchard Juice and a container of Orange Juice. Also, one can of spaghetti o’s is missing. I was hungry. And one jar of baby food is missing because that went straight to the baby’s tummy. Lastly, the cantelope is missing. I forgot it on the kitchen counter when I set the picture up. 

Let me outline my savings.
The Nestle water was on sale AND I had a coupon!! It was $3.48 per pack and is usually $3.88. I had a coupon for $1 off two. Saved a total of $1.80 on two packs.
Rice cereal was not on sale however I had a coupon for 55 cents off two boxes.  Saved 55 cents.
Gerber Apple juice. Coupon for $0.75 off two. Saved 75 cents.
Baby food was $0.46 per jar and is usually $0.53. Saved 7 cents per jar for a total savings of $0.49.
Yogurt was on sale AND I had a coupon!! It was only $0.50 per cup and is usually $0.56. I had a coupon for $0.50 off 6. Saved a total of $0.86 on 6 cups.
I also saved $0.50 on the container of Old Orchard Juice (not pictured) by using a coupon.

If you’re looking for more ways to save (and I ALWAYS am) check out Savings Angel. They really helped me save!!

Thanks also to my fellow bloggers, you inspire me!

Butterfly Kisses and Tasty Dishes
Mary Potter Kenyon
Where the heart says ahh… 

If anyone has any advice for me or if you also blog about couponing and saving $$ on groceries, COMMENT! I will gladly check out your blog!

This week, I’m taking seven to tell you about the joys and sorrows of Motherhood. 

 
 -1- 

I need to set one thing straight. I’m a first time mom with a 7 month old son. My husband is being held hostage (not literally!!) by the US Air Force and is living 1400 miles away from us. By many standards I’m a single momma. But I need to make in clear that I don’t know everything and I’m constantly seeking advice from others. This is obvious by an earlier post asking for help about cloth diapering and offering the chance to win a $10 Babies “R” Us Giftcard in exchange. 

–2–

If your baby has never had a diaper rash and is still in diapers, don’t assume he/she will not get one. My son has had 0 diaper rash problems since he was born. That being said, this week..he got one. A major one. (Or rather two if you count both cheeks.) The pain I feel for my baby is not equivalent to the pain he feels when he’s wiped/patted/or held by his bottom. 

—3—

If you ever need help, it’s there, and there, and there. It’s everyone. Really. Your mom, your mother-in-law, your father-in-law (really!) and this lovely invention called internet social groups. I’m part of several private and public forums for moms, consultants of the same business as mine, coupon junkies. Help is there, you just need to ask for it. 

—-4—-

Cloth diapers really are worth the effort. This comes from someone who uses disposables. I use them because I always feared the work it would take to use cloth diapers. And the disgusting cleaning job. But in the past few months and way more in the last week, I’m leaning toward switching to them. Or at least trying them out. If anyone has had experience using Fuzzi Bunz diapers, let me know anything I should know about them. But comment in this post so that you can get an entry into my giftcard giveaway

—–5—–

When your baby talks. Listen. Even if all you hear is “Bwaaah neau shhhhhuuu bu bwa thhhu pfff.” Because I promise you, if you can carry on a conversation, one day it will pay off when you’re trying to tell them about “the birds and the bees” because they’ll already know you’re willing to listen. 

——6——

Coupons can be amazing. I’m blessed to have found two website that have been so beneficial to my fight to financial freedom. http://www.huggies.com and Savings Angel. I joined the Huggies Baby Network back when I was about 8 month pregnant with Abel. Every month since then (count em…that’s about 8!) I’ve been getting coupons in the mail. It’s always the same 3 coupons but I look forward to them. Why? You can’t beat two coupons for $3.00 off diapers. You really can’t. 

And Savings Angel has been great because it’s an online community of couponers who share links to printable coupons (I printed 22 today, for a savings of $26.80.) and the best feature about the website, they highlight the current sales at many leading grocery stores including Walmart, Target, Kroger, Publix, Rainbow…and so on so that you can know the store deals without buying the newspaper or waiting until you get to the store. So you can plan your list accordingly and get the right coupons BEFORE you head out the door! 

——-7——-

As I close out this edition of Quick Takes, I want to take a quick moment to thank my husband. He does so much for us and sacrifices so much. It’s been almost 4 long months since he left for basic training. It’s been almost 1 month since he graduated from BMT and moved to Mississippi for job training. He’s missed over half of his son’s life. Why? Because he’s supporting his son, his wife, and most of all, he’s supporting all the sons, wives, daughters, mothers, fathers, etc in this country. I love my husband and I couldn’t imagine life without him. That said, I’m excited to announce that in just 2 weeks, my son and I are moving to Gulfport, MS so that my brave husband doesn’t have to miss another weekend with our baby. Wish us luck! We’ll need it! 

 
Just a note. Conversion Diary isn’t hosting an official 7 Quick Takes this Friday, however I’m still linking to her main page. 
And…I’m providing a Mister Linky list for you to post a link to your 7 Quick Takes this week! Don’t worry, I’m not hosting this full time, I’m just taking it on for this week. The Mister Linky may be a bit different than normal, please bear with me…I’m not an expert 😉
 

Just a simple thing I love. I was on Savings Angel, a website I like to use to find coupon deals and this was on somebody’s signature line.

“Fighting Store Pricing Crime, One Coupon at a Time”

“I will no longer feel embarrassed for hanging up the check out line for a measly 20 to 60 coupons being scanned. I will feel sorrow for the grumpy people behind me who are insensative to me on what it means to BE FREE of financial grocery bill burdens. In turn I rejoice in knowing I am sharing a blessing by my example and hopfully , they will get it! ”

“Now , get out and shop!”

Be inspired like I was by this! It’s okay to be free of debt. Use your coupons. Every penny you save, is a penny you’ve earned. Throw it in the savings account and see what you’ve got in there a year later.
Consider this post to be the jumpstart to MY financial freedom. Look forward to post detailing my savings using coupons.

My poor baby has a terrible rash. I posted yesterday asking for advice about cloth diapers and suggestions on brand preferences. I’m doing a giveaway for all users that post a helpful comment on that blog post.

Anyway..after getting some help from a nurse from our clinic, I have mixed her advice and the advice of some friends and this is how today has gone so far.

This morning, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to check on his diaper and change if neccessary. It was completely dry from my side peeking observations (I wasn’t going to wake him up!). So I left it.
I woke up again at 7:30 to check on him and change him. The nurse I’d spoke to told me to put him in a bath with 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda for 10 minutes, 3 times a day, followed by diaper cream.
So I did:

This lasted for just over 10 minutes when he had a nice In-Bath-BM. This actually wasn’t so bad, since it meant not having to wipe him up to much, saving him the pain from his very rashy bottom coming in contact with a wipey. Speaking of wipes, the nurse also suggested NOT using regular diaper wipes and temporarily switching to paper towels and warm water. Which I’ve done and it seems to be less painful for him.

So this is the current state of his tub and toys. Soaking in Bleach Water.

After getting him out of the tub I quickly, loosley pinned on one of my cheap Gerber Pre-folds. I did this because a friend suggested giving him “naked time” to help his bottom air out, however with his increased BMs, I don’t think that’s entirely practical. However putting the cloth on him is perfect because it’ll catch a  mess but it’s so loose I could literally stick my hand in between his bottom and the diaper. Naked time without the naked.

I hope you caught all my little snippets of tips.
For cleaning up a dirty bottom and dealing with diaper rash at the same time I recommend:
1) Wiping with a cloth or papertowel and warm water. No Huggies wipes!
2) Tub with 2 Tablespoons baking soda, 10 minutes at a time, 3 times a day.
3) Bleach tub baby has a Bath-time-BM.
4) Very loose pre-fold for 5-10 minutes for Naked Time.
5) Wipe up any additional mess and secure a regular diaper (disposable or cloth, whatever you use).
6) Playtime or naptime.

Remember Momma, take time for yourself!


And don’t forget to check out my $10 Babies “R” Us Giftcard Giveaway.

This post is linked to Real Clean Wednesday: Flipping a Mattress.

UPDATE: My blog has moved. Follow this link to my party post on my new blog and this link to this same post on my new blog. Sorry for the inconvenience.

 

…I’ll be giving away a New Momma Prize Package from Pampered Chef.

It will include the Must-have Quick-Stir® Pitcher and Twixit! Clip Combo Pack!!

I love using this pitcher for mixing formula for my son, Abel, and I recommend it to all Mommies who will need to use formula like I have had to (that’s another story) and for mixing Kool-Aid when your child is older.

I love the Twixit!s for just about everything, so much in fact that I once blogged about them (just wait..I’ll link it).

I’ll also be including a $10 gift certificate to be used on my Pampered Chef Website.

This giveaway is open to everyone in the United States. Stay tuned, I’ll be updating this post with more information on winning.

For more information about the Ultimate Blog Party, you can visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

When I was younger (in my tweens or preteens throughout my teens) I kept a devotional book. I would get a new one each year from my aunt in Alaska. For 3 years, she sent a devotional book by the group “Point of Grace” called “Girls of Grace.”

What’s the importance to this? Well, I didn’t remember that part of my youth until I read this blog post by We Are That Family this morning. I follow this blog and read her posts at least once a week. I read that post and the only thing I could think was “Where the heck have I heard of Point of Grace?” Well duh Shelby! Auntie Libby!

Anyway, if you’re familiar with the group or would like to be, go ahead and enter the blog giveaway. But only if you promise to share your winnings 😉 Just kidding.

And while you’re at it, check out my $10 Babies “R” Us Gift Card Giveaway.

So two things have forced me to write this post and ask for help.

1) I watched “No Impact Man.” A documentary about a man in NYC and his wife and young daughter who spent a year (That’s right, 365 days) trying their best to make little/no negative impact on our Mother Earth. One of the first things they did was switch their daughter to cloth diapers. Something I’ve wished I had the mental strength to do since Abel was born and just never did. Aside from mental strength, we’d gotten so many bags of (disposable) diapers as gifts that we went 6 1/2 months without buying diapers.

2) Abel has developed an awful rash due to an increased number of BMs lately. I can deal with the increase in BMs, but the awful rash on my baby’s bottom makes me wonder if using cloth diapers (at least until it’s cleared up) will help him feel better. I got a pack of 12 Gerber Cloth diapers (see pic for reference) from my MIL with the words “Just in case you ever run out [of the disposables] and aren’t able to buy any in time.”

Thanks Momma, now I’ve got them, washed them in the sink with warm water and Johnson’s Baby Wash (I don’t have a washing machine therefore the sink and Baby Wash). I’m letting them air-dry in my dining room on a clothesline strung from the chandelier to the fireplace mantle. (Hey…I don’t have a dryer either!)

I need to ad an EDIT: I’ve been reading reviews of this particular brand/style of diaper that apparently they don’t work well as a diaper. If I could get some honest input on this brand/style as well that would be great.

Anyway, HELP!! What do I do next?? The instructions on the package consist of 3 tiny little pictures and I need help!! Please comment and help me out. What do I do now? Mind you, this is temporary at the moment, I don’t intend on investing my money in a bunch of stuff for 1 week of cloth diapering.  If it turns out we really can deal with this, I may change my mind, but for now.

1 week of cloth diapering. What would you do? Have any tips or tricks? HELP!!??!
If I can get over 10 helpful comments, I will be drawing for a $10 Babies “R” Us Gift Card. I will be using a random number generator to pick the winner. Please don’t comment more than once (unless you honestly forgot to include something) only one comment per person will be included in the drawing. I look forward to your responses!

Gift card drawing will take place on April 7th or when we get 10 comments. Whichever is last 😀

Thanks in advance for all the help!
**TERMS & CONDITIONS OF “R” US GIFT CARDS
Use of this card constitutes acceptance of these terms: Card may be used only for purchases at Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada, or at Toysrus.com or Babiesrus.com. Not redeemable for cash, except as required by law. Remaining value on a lost, stolen or damaged card may be replaced with proof of purchase.