Next Week is Coupon Week

Next week, we will be starting a new feature called the Coupon Grab Bag. If your thrifty, then you know that coupons are an essential way of life.

I clip hundreds of coupons a week. I clip every single coupon from my Sunday paper and All You magazine subscription. Hey, I don't pay for them to just throw valuable money away! Well, I have many, many coupons for dog food, dog treats, cat food, and cat treats. I don't own a dog or a cat and don't plan on getting one anytime soon, so I have no use for these coupons. In addition, I have many almond, peanut, and pistachio coupons. I am highly allergic to nuts, therefore I'll never use these coupons. This is where the Coupon Grab Bag comes in. Every week, we'll post an updated list of coupons that are up for grabs. We ask that in turn for "grabbing" some coupons on the list, you send us any coupons you have that you won't use. We will then update the list with coupons sent to us from you!

Following the premiere of the Coupon Grab Bag, we will be starting a series on How to Become an Expert at Couponing. So stay on the lookout for that on Monday as well.


Making $ doing surveys

If you're looking for a good company to do paid surveys for, Opinion Outpost is a good one. I cashed in my first Amazon gift card with them and I got the code for it immediately. All surveys pay at least $1. Some survey companies are kind of shady but this one is worth it in my opinion.

Sign up here!

There are lots of other survey companies out there, who do you use?


A Simple Way to Store Your Breast Milk

Don't you hate when you bag up breast milk and put it in the freezer? Next thing you know, you have clumpy, awkward bags taking over your freezer. Well, I stumbled upon a great tutorial last week, for breast milk storage. This is an awesome idea. You can watch the full version, or click on the top right corner after pressing play, to watch the shorter version. The materials needed are listed after the video.

Materials Needed:
  • Breast milk storage bags 
  • A standard sized gift bag
  • A pair of scissors
  • Scotch tape

Thanks to the greenlitebites's Channel for sharing this awesome video!

    Summer Escapes 15 Foot Pool Review

    Luke's 3rd birthday party was last weekend, and we're still trying to recuperate from it. It's been in the high 80's to low 90's all this week, so Delvin has been taking Luke swimming a lot. Last year we bought a 12 foot Intex pool from Wal-Mart towards the end of the season on clearance. We got to use it for about a month before we had to pack it away. Well, this year we have an extra family member, so we decided to sell our 12 foot pool and get a bigger one. We decided on the Summer Escapes 15 foot round pool. It is great quality, and it came with a ground cloth, cover, and accessories kit (vacuum, skimmer, and an extra filter). The one we had last year, had the pump that sits on the ground, but the new one has the pump that attaches to the side with the skimmer, which is great. No bugs, or pool of water on the ground. It's great! And it's deeper then our old one, which is good for the grown ups. We're hoping to have Luke swimming with little to no help by next summer. He loves swimming with our help now though.

    If you don't have a lot of land, or can't afford to get a pool installed, this is the next best thing. The price is reasonable, and as long as you take care of it properly, it will last. There isn't much of a difference in maintenance between a small (10'-18') pool and a professionally installed (20'-40') pool. Of course, you use less product, but you still have to maintain the pool on an everyday basis. It's very simple once you get the hang of it.

    Overall, I would give the Summer Escapes 15 Foot Pool a 10/10. For the price compared to the value you get, I definitely think this pool is worth it.

    **Note: I have not been compensated by Summer Escapes in any way for the review of this product. This is my families personal experience with this swimming pool.**


    Last Week's Poll Results

    Last week, Amy asked "Do you use cloth diapers?". The poll is closed and the results are in. Here they are...

    Do you use cloth diapers?

    A) Yes, only cloth.
    B) Yes, both cloth and disposables.
    C) No, but I would consider it.
    D) No, never!
    E) I don't have kids.

    According to our readers, 66% answered B) Yes, both cloth and disposables. The rest of our readers answered A) Yes, only cloth.

    We also posted this poll on our Facebook page this week, and we got a good amount of votes. Five people chose B) Yes, both cloth and disposables, and unfortunately seven people chose D) No, never! :-(

    Amy just wrote a post on Eight Weeks to a Cloth Diapering Stash at $20 Per Week - Week One. Maybe this will encourage some of our readers who voted D) No, never! to reconsider. 

    Eight Weeks to a Cloth Diapering Stash at $20 Per Week - Week One

    When I was pregnant with my son I was interested in cloth diapering. I asked around on a message board where I knew that a few moms used cloth diapers. I remember someone mentioning bumGenius and I checked out the diapers. I remember thinking that there was no way I could buy 12 or more diapers like that up front. I knew that cloth diapering would save money in the long run, but I didn't have money like that to start.

    "cute" diaper: Fuzzibunz onesize
    There are essentially two kinds of people who cloth diaper. Those who have money and those who don't. In case you're wondering, I fall more into the second group. Some moms cloth diaper to save money and some do it for environmental or health reasons. Cloth diapers are also really cute! I have talked about how to save on cloth diapers before, but I wanted to do something different. I wanted to show you how to start cloth diapering by spending no more than you would normally spend on disposables. Most of the examples I will give you will be without using sales or coupons. If you find coupons or good sales, the price could be even cheaper. The first week or two might suck, but it would be worth it in the end. I will post what to do week by week for 8 weeks (the posts won't be a week apart though,) by 8 weeks you will have a decent diaper stash and can start spending that diaper money on other things (or buying more cloth diapers, if you need them.) My hope is that this little "project" will help someone be able to cloth diaper who didn't otherwise think that  they could afford it.

    For the purpose of this "experiment" I am going to say that $20 per week is spent on disposable diapers. That is how much you would spend if you bought one big package of disposables a week. I know that I used more than one package a week when my son was a newborn, so your actual cost may be slightly more or less. I do NOT recommend using the cheap Gerber prefolds/covers that they sell at Wal-Mart or Target. Those prefolds are junk and don't work in diapers very well. If you happen to have $50 to spend upfront, I recommend this kit. It contains 12 prefold diapers, 3 covers and a wetbag. Use it for the first week instead of what I recommend, if you only have $20, read on:

    Week One:
    receiving blanket folded into quarters
    The very first thing you should do (if you haven't already) is sign up for Swag bucks. My guide to Swagbucks can be found here. It may take a while to earn the swag bucks but it is totally worth it. Once you earn 450 you can trade them in for a $5 Amazon gift card. Amazon has lots of cloth diapers and free shipping with Amazon mom. By the end of the 8 weeks you should have at least one or two gift cards.
    Almost all moms have some receiving blankets. I am assuming that you have at least 4. You will need at least 12 for the first week. If you have more, great! If not, head out to a thrift store or kids consignment store. I've seen them at both for $.25 each. Buy 8 so that you have a dozen. This should last for a day, more is better so if you had more to begin with you're doing good. Cost: $2.00 Now head over to cottonbabies.com and buy two Econobum one-size covers. I snagged a Flip cover on cottonbabies for $9 (normally $14) once so check clearance first just to make sure there are no cheaper covers on sale. There are many covers out there but this is one of the cheapest places that has free shipping. Total cost: $20. If you have a few extra bucks throw in a snappi with your order for $3.95. If not, find some diaper pins somewhere for the first week. My mom still has the pins she used with MY diapers 24 years ago, she uses them to pin socks together. If you prefer to shop on Amazon (free and faster shipping with Amazon mom) try this Kushies cover. It is "two sized" so you might get a better fit. If you just don't have the money to spend on the cover and wait for it to arrive, pick up a couple pairs of the icky plastic pants from Wal-Mart or Target. These are pretty much the worst of the worst when it comes to cloth diapering, but they'll work in a pinch. These are super cheap so if you buy them, buy more receiving blankets so that you can go longer without washing.

    What about wipes?
    I didn't factor the cost of wipes into this experiment so I am assuming you have some already. I used disposable wipes with my cloth diapers for about a year before making the switch to cloth wipes. If you do want to use cloth wipes baby wash cloths, pieces of flannel or cut up receiving blankets work well. Stuff the pieces into a disposable wipes container with water and a tiny bit of baby soap.

    Now you have your diapers, what do you do?
    Mikaela in a receiving blanket "diaper"
    We are going to use the receiving blankets like a flat diaper. There are many ways to fold flat diapers but for those who are new (or those, like me, who are lazy) to cloth diapering might find these folds intimidating. Instead fold the diaper into quarters (shown above) and use it like a prefold. Check out this site for different folds, it's an older site but I think she does a good job explaining. I prefer the newspaper fold, for a small baby, if your baby is larger you can simply tri-fold and stick it in the cover. I am certainly not the best at folding prefolds or flats so if I can do it, you can do it! This may not look perfect but it held up great under a cover.

    Washing Diapers - How to:
    I have posted before about laundry issues with cloth diapering. I realize that many people don't have the extra money to spend for a cloth diaper specific detergent, so for this week just use what you have. Make sure that you do not use fabric softeners, bleach, or dryer sheets. These are all bad for your diapers. Simply wash the diapers with about 1/4 of the amount of recommended detergent. Many people have had luck washing their diapers in Tide. When I first started cloth diapering I just used regular detergent (eco-friendly brand from Sams club) and it worked fine. Line drying will prevent stains (you may not care about them on the blankets but you will later with "real" diapers and it saves money. Always line dry your diapers covers or dry them on very low heat, otherwise they can get ruined.

    What about being out of the house?
    Use the diapers as usual when you are out of the house. If you have extra disposables from last week you can use those, otherwise use the blankets/covers. Use a plastic bag to put the dirty diapers in. In a couple of weeks you will be buying a wetbag but for now just use the plastic bag. Make sure it has no holes in it or double up.

    Other cheap cloth diapering ideas:
    Check out diaperswappers for pre-owned diapers. After you sign up make sure to check the FFS (free for shipping) category. This stuff goes fast but a lot of times they have FFS lottos that you can sign up for, many of them are only for those who truly need diapers. There is a LOT of drama on this site and if you want to avoid that stick with the FSOT (for sale or trade) part only.
    The Cloth Diapering Foundation does diaper grants to those who really need them. I don't know much about it, but check it out. :)
    Make your own! There are lots of sites with diaper patterns if you are crafty enough.

    So there you have week one. I just want to show how it's possible to cloth diaper on very little money. Next week (like I said before, I'm not actually posting these a week apart, they're just examples) you will be buying "fancier" pocket diapers.


    "A Day in the Life" Sign-Ups Still Open

    We are still searching for great women all around the world to star in our (coming soon) "A Day in the Life" feature of the week! If you don't know what it is, you can read all about it here. We've gotten a good amount of readers that have already signed up, but we're looking for more.

    If you're interested or you know someone that may be, you can email us or send us a message through our Facebook Page.

    We can't wait to post our first ever A Day in the Life feature!

    Copco Sierra Tumbler Review

    I mentioned a while back that I was going to buy some of these tumblers on Amazon whenever I got my gift card from Swag Bucks. The prices on Amazon vary but I managed to get two (pink and blue) for about $5 each. Now that I have used them I have to say I really like them! I love the built in stirrer and they're pretty hard to spill. I also like that the straw can't fall out because of the stirrer, so it's harder to lose. I think that these are great because you can take them with you without wasting money on drinks. I've used them for water and tea so far. It also saves on plastic bottles and cans. They are reasonably priced and it seems like they will hold up pretty well over time. The colors are really nice and the cups are a good size (24 oz)  I give these a 10/10 and would recommend them to anyone looking for a money saving/eco-friendly drink solution.

    **Note: I bought these Tumblers with my own money and was not compensated in any way for my review.**

    Happy 3rd Birthday Luke!!

    Happy 3rd Birthday Luke!!

    Meagan's cute little boy, Luke, is turning 3 today. Make sure to wish him a happy birthday! It seems like just yesterday Meagan and I were both pregnant with Luke and Kainan. They are growing up so fast.


    My experience with making laundry soap

    Since Meagan posted about making laundry soap I had been wanting to try it. I was just waiting to run out of my regular laundry detergent (All Free&Clear) so that I could use the container for storing my homemade soap. Although the original "recipe" calls for using Fels-Naptha soap I heard that it can be harsh on babies skin. My babies do have sensitive skin so I wanted to be careful. I read that a lot of people use a bar of Dr. Bronners soap so I decided to try that. I used a $5 gift card purchased with Swagbucks and bought the bar of soap (it was about $4.) The washing soda and borax were things that I already had, I bought them at a local grocery store. I had also previously bought some bars of Fels-Naptha. I did use some of the bar of Fels-Naptha (just a little) and the entire bar of Dr. Bronners. I followed the directions exactly and everything seemed fine. I decided to try to liquid version (Meagan uses the powder) because it lasts longer. Everything went fine making the soap until the end. You are supposed to put it in a 5 gallon bucket to "thicken" overnight. Well, it didn't thicken. It also didn't "gel" when I put it in the old  detergent container. I'm not sure why, because I followed the "recipe" exactly. I know others who have used Dr. Bronners without having this problem, so I don't think it's the soap. I used it today to wash a load on laundry and they are clean, so I guess that's what matters! I recommend that anyone tries this, whether you use the liquid or powder recipe it will save a lot of money on laundry detergent.


    Wal-Mart deals

    If you live near a Wal-Mart (and it's pretty safe to say that most people do) you should definitely check your Wal-Mart to see if they have any baby deals going on right now. The Wal-Mart closest to me rarely has super cheap sales (the kind outside the store) but I found one in Springfield last week. We were in Springfield for my husbands doctor appointment and happened to run by Wal-Mart, outside the store there were racks of baby clothes for $1! They also had a few other items but mostly smaller (girly!) baby clothes. Here is what I got:

    Most of these were for Mikaela, although there are some boy onesies there for our pregnant cousin too. I didn't need any clothes for Mikaela now, so I bought some for next summer, and even a few for the NEXT summer! They were very cute clothes too, and at that price you really can't go wrong. It's hard to buy cheaper clothes even at yard sales or consignment stores.
    I also got these, the hoodie and long sleeved shirt were for me and the jacket was for my mom. Also just $1 each! I had meant to go to Walgreens and use some coupons for a few things but they were out (end of the week) of most of there sale items. The Wal-Mart deals definitely made up for that. I am attempting to use coupons combined with store sales for bigger savings. I'm not much of a "couponer" but I am hoping to learn. If you are interested in doing this, check out this site. It has links to all the bigger stores as well as which coupons to use for maximum savings. It also has links to grocery store deals in your state. Check it out!


    Last Week's Poll Results

    Last week, Amy asked "Would you consider yourself more 'natural' or more 'thrifty'?". The poll is closed and the results are in. Here they are...

    Would you consider yourself more "natural" or more "thrifty"?

    A) Natural
    B) Thrifty
    C) Both equally
    D) Neither

    According to our readers, 71% consider themselves C) Both equally natural and thrifty. The rest of our readers consider themselves B) Thrifty.

    We also posted this poll on our Facebook page this week, and we got quite a few voters. Three people said they were more natural but VERY thrifty, one person chose natural, four people chose thrifty, and unfortunately we got one vote for neither. :-(

    Hopefully through our blog we can change the vote of the person who chose neither. :-)  Look for our new poll coming soon!


    Munchkin Snack Catcher Review

    During the Amazon coupon promotions I happened to find these Munchkin snack catchers. Many of the reviews say they were used for younger toddlers (around one year) but I use them for my three year old. Kids can be pretty messy, especially in the car! These snack catchers are perfect because they don't spill but little hands can still get to the snacks easily. They are just over $6 for two. They certainly aren't the most natural thing and might not be great for families trying to cut back their plastic useage. That being said they are BPA free, reusable, and really nice to have around. :) Some of the reviewers on Amazon said that they didn't like that the snack catchers didn't come with a solid lid. Honestly it's never been an issue for us and I never thought about it until I read it. I wish they come in more colors (they don't, at least not in the 2 pack) but other than that I rate these 9/10! They are convenient and easy for toddlers/preschoolers to use. I would highly recommend them.

    **Note: I have not been compensated in any way by Munchkin for my review of the snack catchers. This is something that I bought myself and my personal opinion on this really cool product!**


    Redbox Summer Fun and Games

    For people like me that don't have Netflix and live in a pretty built up city, Redbox is a great choice for movie rentals. We have at least four locations within 2 miles of our house, so it's very convenient for us. Even though the DVD one night rental fee is only $1 and the Blu-Ray one night rental fee is only $1.50, there are more ways to get free rentals. I'm signed up for Redbox Emails and The Redbox Text Club. At least once a week I get a promotional code emailed or text messaged to me. So, we normally get at least one free movie rental a week.

    Last week I rented Gnomeo & Juliet and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs for the boys. I did watch Gnomeo & Juliet with them however, and it was really cute. Anyway, because I rented two DVD's in one night, I received an email with a promotional code in it for a free rental. In this email it mentioned their most recent promotion- Redbox Summer Fun and Games. If you rent any two movies at the same time between now and Sunday, June 12th, you'll get a free one night DVD rental. Be sure to enter your email address at checkout, so they can email you your promo code.

    Redbox is also giving away $10,000 to two lucky winners! You can enter up to 3 times per day. Ways to enter are; renting a movie, reserving a movie at a Redbox online, signing up for the email list, or by texting SUMMER to 727272 (only two messages per week).

    Wednesday Discounts on Family Fun:
    Redbox is also offering Wednesday discounts on family fun online. Every Wednesday from June 22 to July 27, reserve a family-friendly DVD, Blu-ray, or video game online & Redbox will take 50¢ off the first night's rental fee of that item at checkout! Discount applies to select titles and games only that are reserved online between 12:00am and 11:59pm CT on Wednesdays from 6/22/11 to 7/27/11.

    The titles that qualify for Wednesday Family Fun Discounts:
    Video Game

    Take time inside (away from the heat), to settle down on the couch and watch a great movie with your family this summer!

    Video: How to Make Homemade Facial Scrubs

    I was watching some videos on Swagbucks today to try and get a few more SB's for Luke's birthday presents, and I found a great one! This is Jeannie Mai (host of Style Network's "How Do I Look?") showing us how to whip up three facial scrubs. Whether you have oily skin, sensitive skin, or dry skin; these are all super simple to make. I'm going to be trying one this weekend!



    My sister called me the other day and said she found a program called Troopons™. This is the official Support Our Troops® coupon program. She is what I would consider an almost extreme couponer. She normally gets around $200 worth of stuff for around $35-$40. Anyway, she told me how she was going through her coupons and she found a bunch that had expired recently. Being the crazy couponer that she is, she felt guilty just throwing them away, so she went online to see if there were any donation programs. That's when she found Troopons™!

    The unique Support Our Troops® coupon program enhances the welfare of overseas military families by sending them food and non-food manufacturer coupons to make their dollar go farther.

    Things to Know:
    • Expired Coupons Are Accepted Until They Are Two Months Old.
    • Coupons older than two (2) months expired on the date of mailing are no good. People at the base must have time to process them there, and families need time to use them in their budget stream.
    • Only “Manufacturer’s Coupons” can be used.
    • They can be from the newspaper, dispensers in grocery stores, tear-pads, internet and elsewhere as long as they state "Manufacturer's Coupon" on them.
    • Store Coupons are not accepted.
    • Restaurant coupons are not accepted.
    • Put food coupons in one bag and non-food coupons in another bag.
    • Don’t use rubber bands, paper clips, etc.
    • Write “food” or “non-food” on the outside of the bag.
    • Write the approximate value on the outside of the bag.
    Mail your coupons to:
    Support Our Troops®
    P.O. Box 70
    Daytona Beach, FL 32115-0070


    Summer = Natural Heat

    How do you dry your clothes?

    Do you use a clothesline outside?
    Do you use a drying rack inside?
    Or do you think that it takes too long to hang dry clothes, so you give in and just use your dryer?
    Have you ever even thought about it?

    Now that it's starting to get warm outside, it's the perfect time of year to start using natural heat to dry your clothes (if you don't already). Not only does it work wonders on stains (check out Amy's post on Sunning Cloth Diapers), but it's also a great way to save some money on your electric bill each month by using the most natural "dryer" available... the sun! It doesn't matter where you live or what you live in, you can still use the suns heat to dry clothes. Here are some of my suggestions, depending on where you live.
    Traditional Clothesline

    If you have your own home and backyard, the ideal setup would be for you to install a clothesline. There are many different kinds available. The Umbrella-Style Clothes Dryer is very popular for smaller yards. The Steel T-Post Style Clothesline is also very popular. This works best if you have a large area in your yard to dedicate to your clothesline. Don't forget the clothespins!

    Apartment with a Porch
    If you don't own your property, you want to avoid installing a drying system in your yard. Your landlord may not approve and may not let you remove it when you decide to leave. In this case, I would suggest an Expandable Drying Rack or a Winged Drying Rack. These are both great for using on a porch. You can fold them up when your not using them, and pull them out when you need them. If you live on the second floor or above, and have a balcony then you should also pick up some clothespins. The last thing you want is for your clothes to fly away in the breeze!

    Apartment without a Porch
    If you don't have a porch to set up a drying rack on, that doesn't mean you can't hang your clothes to dry. It just means you have to get a little creative. How about a window that let's in the sunlight? That is the perfect spot to set up a Folding Drying Rack or a Tripod-Style Clothes Dryer. Just open your blinds and let the sun shine in!

    For Smaller Items
    Clip Drying Hanger
    I have at least 4 or 5 Clip Drying Hangers that I use for my cloth diapers, bras, underwear, even hand towels and washcloths. They are great! They hold a ton of small items and fit anywhere. I normally hang them from my curtain rod in the bathroom. I also have a Tension Rod that I rigged in my "laundry room", right in front of the dryer. So, when I'm taking the clothes out of the washing machine, I can hang up all of the shirts and pants right away. I keep empty hangers on the rod, so I'm always ready to go.

    I hang over 90% of my personal clothes. Mainly because I've had 2 kids and never got a new wardrobe, so I can't afford for anything to shrink. I also hang cloth diapers, all of Delvin's shirts, all of my delicates, and our towels and washcloths. I will use the dryer on things I wouldn't normally throw in the dryer, if I know someone will be needing to wear that item soon. Also, I always tumble everything after I take it off of the line, to make sure it's nice and soft.


    Sunning Cloth Diapers

    When I first heard people say that they "sunned" their diapers, I thought they were insane. What could the sun possibly do to get stains out of diapers?? Well a lot, as it turns out. I don't own or ever use bleach so the sun is really my only option. It saves energy and wear on your diapers to hang them out to dry. You will also avoid stains entirely by leaving them in the sun for a few hours. Just in case you don't believe me, here is a before and after picture of a diaper that was out in the sun.


    This is a bumGenius newborn AIO. The good thing about little baby poo is that it doesn't stink, the bad thing is that it stains easily. By line drying my diapers I have avoided stains on all of Mikaela's diapers. Line drying can help get rid of old stains too although it may take several "sessions" to make a significant difference. It is very important to make sure the diapers are wet (so right out of the washer) when you hang them up.

    What you can buy with Swagbucks

    Meagan said that I should post some of the stuff that I've bought on Amazon. Now I went to my Amazon and had made 69 purchases in the past 6 months so I don't think I'll share ALL of them. Before you think that I am some crazy shopaholic I should mention that 63 of these were purchased with Amazon coupons and cost me little or nothing. In fact, since I am WEIRD I have a spreadsheet detailing all of my Amazon purchases and my total cost. In case you were wondering my total for those 63 purchases was $188.66. That sounds like a pretty good deal, but when you consider that $125 of that was a carseat for Kainan the total comes to $63.66. So basically less than $1 per purchase, not bad huh? Okay I've gotten off topic. Most of that $63.66 was Amazon gift cards that I have bought with my swag bucks. You definitely don't have to use your swag bucks to buy gift cards, but here are some of the things I have purchased on Amazon using swag bucks (combined with gift cards as I mentioned.)

    Rockin' Green is the only soap that I use for my diapers. I have used regular laundry soap and it just doesn't get the smell out of diapers as well as Rockin' Green does. There are many places that sell Rockin' Green online but I buy mine through Amazon because of the free shipping. Rockin' Green can also be used on regular clothes (although I don't because I am cheap) and has many uses besides laundry.
    Amazon has a lot of different cloth diapers. Cloth diapering saves money (as long as you don't go overboard!) and using swag bucks to buy Amazon gift cards saves even more. I bought this Fuzzibunz Onesize diaper with Amazon coupons and paid only $1.97 for it (which was covered by my gift cards from swag bucks.) I also bought two others for $3 and $5. Just as a warning, this diaper does not NEARLY fit to 45 pounds like it says it does (Kainan is just under 40 and it won't fit him at all) but it works really well for Mikaela and should for months.

    Diego cups
    Amazon has lots of cups, bottles, binkies, etc. and a lot of times the price is cheaper than it would be a store like Wal-Mart or Target. During the Amazon coupon promotions I bought two sets of cups for Kainan. One with Diego and one with Backyardigans. Kids seem to lose cups so quickly it never hurts to have extras! I also bought some 2 packs of Playtex Drop-ins bottles (in the 4oz and 8oz sizes) as well as Playtex Breastmilk storage kits.

    organic cotton toy
    Amazon also has a lot of natural baby products for very good prices. I bought a 3 pack of Johnson's Naturals baby wash (I was curious to try it even though I'm not a fan of the Johnson's brand.) I also bought a 2 pack of Burt's Bees Bubble bath, which I love. Amazon has really good prices (much better than Wal-Mart) when you buy multiples and it never hurts to have extras. I also bought some organic cotton stuffed toys, organic cotton blankets, BPA free teethers, and organic cotton preemie prefold diapers (tons of uses for these.)

    I had to dig through those 69 entries to see if I had actually bought anything for myself. I lost my camera battery charger (I have since found it) and ordered a replacement. Sometimes Amazon has the best price on electronics also. Amazon is also great for buying movies and books. Years ago all that you really thought when you heard "Amazon" was books! Wow has that changed.

    I bought Kainan a Graco Nautilus car seat on Amazon. I didn't use swag bucks for this (I didn't have any) but I used a $10 off coupon and Amazon had the best price at the time anyway. Kainan is very large for his age and was getting too big for the 5 point harness in his other two car seats (an Alpha Omega Elite and a Graco Comfortsport) so we bought him this. I have to recommend this carseat to anyone who has a bigger kid! They can be in the 5pt until 65 pounds and after that it is a high back or backless booster also. It is only forward facing so it is obviously not an infant seat but it works great for bigger kids.

    Mikaela's room (which she is never in) has a Fisher price Rainforest/Precious planet theme and Amazon had some great deals on decorations for that. I bought this wall plague and also some wall stickers. Amazon had lots of other stuff to fit this theme but it was mostly stuff that I already had.

    boy colors
    If you cloth diaper having wet bags is very important. I made my own hanging wet bags and pail liner, but I did buy two sets of these Kushies 2 packs (boy and girl colors) on Amazon. They are just over $10 for two wet bags. These are really great to use in the diaper bag when you are out. Even though they are drawstring I haven't had any leaks at all. Even if you don't cloth diaper these little bags have many uses. They can be used to hold dirty clothes, sippy cups, bottles, clean clothes, toys, etc!

    I use Dr. Bronners soap Fels-Naptha. I used a $5 gift card that I bought with swag bucks to purchase this and only had to pay $.25 out of pocket!

    soon to be my new cup!
    So as you can see there are a LOT of options for what you can buy with Amazon gift cards purchased with swag bucks. I have one $5 giftcard right now and I am about to have a $15 credit to my account. I will also be getting 2 or 3 more $5 cards soon so now comes the fun of figure out what to get! Meagan sent me a link to some super cool reusable cups and I am definitely getting some!! My husband has a reusable coffee mug that we bought at Wal-Mart and they have lots of similar stuff on Amazon. I am definitely going to buy a couple of these for Josh and myself, and maybe one for Kainan. They seem kind of expensive at nearly $8 each but when you consider that buying a soda or other drink while you are out costs close to $2 they're not so bad. While looking at these kinds of cups I found so much more reusable stuff that I'd never thought of like these snow cone cups. Using products like these saves money and is better for the environment, so everybody wins!

    My Latest Swag from Swagbucks!

    I snagged a bracelet from the Swag Store last week, and wanted to show off just how pretty it is. I'm a huge bracelet nut, and I never spend any Swagbucks on myself, so I figured I deserved it. My husband (of course) was thrilled that it was free!

    It's the Pearl Elastic Bracelet in the Jewelry section of the Swag Store. Mine isn't picture in the store, but I love it! It says it comes in assorted colors and shapes. I was kind of worried, since you can't choose the color you want, but I was very happy with their choice! Plus, it was only 379 SB, so it was totally worth it! It's very well made and can be dressed up or worn with a pair of jeans.

    I know a lot of people only use their Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards, but there really is some great swag in the store. When I get Amazon gift cards, I always end up using the cards on stuff for the boys. So why not get something nice for myself for a change?

    Let's see your swag!

    Clean House Challenge Progress: Day 3 - 4

    I finally got my kitchen cleaned. With a sick toddler, it's been a challenge, but I finally finished! Luke was even able to sit at the kitchen table for the first time. Though he didn't eat anything because he doesn't feel good. :-(  I wanted to post my progress pictures last night, but it was a very rough night for Luke, and we all ended up staying up half the night. I apologize ahead of time for the crappy "after" pictures. My batteries died in my camera, so I had to take the pictures with my phone.

    Here are the before and after pictures:

    These two pictures show the only free wall I have in my kitchen. As you can see, it's taken up by the microwave cart, highchair, trashcan, and recycling bin (which is an old diaper box).

    These pictures show my very embarrassing kitchen table three days ago. My fabric was literally swallowing it up! Granted, there was a lot of other stuff that didn't belong there either. 
    Now it's a table again, and I think it looks pretty good! :-)


    These pictures are just taken from a different angle and show my sink, stove, and kitchen counters. The paper and Tupperware on the table in the after picture were only there because I was clipping coupons from the Sunday paper.


    This is a picture of just some of the fabric that was consuming my kitchen table. It's all nice, neat, and folded now!

    Phase two of my Clean House Challenge is to conquer the living room. This should be fun! How is your Spring Cleaning coming along?

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