Archive for September, 2010

Kids Winter Clothes for Pennies

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

At the latest large consignment sale I was able to score some winter clothes for the kiddos at rock bottom prices.  As with most of the large sales, the clothes racks are stuffed to the gills with mostly gently used items.  I always wait until the very last day of the sale when the majority of the remaining goods are marked down.  At the most recent sale, the last day was 50% and 75% off day. 

Oliver is now wearing 18 months and will probably grow into 2T during the winter.  We have a few pairs of pants, a couple of long sleeve shirts and a handful of short sleeve shirts already.  Our baby girl will be born at the end of November.  We plan to reuse much of Oliver’s baby clothes and jammies, but Oliver was born during the summer.  The seasons are all opposite and he doesn’t have any winter 0-6 month clothes.  At the consignment sale in July, I picked up 3-4 little sweaters to layer over his summer clothes.  At this sale, I wanted to get some pants for her to wear over his onesies.

Here’s what we ended up with:  18 pieces of clothes (6 infant pants, 4 toddler fleece pants, 1 jumpsuit, and 7 long sleeves shirts)

Here’s what I paid: $11.43 (including tax)

What a bargain!

Frugal Tip of the Day:  I will say it again and again.  If you have children, check out your local consignment sales.  While they are young and not picky about their outfits, wait until the last day to shop for the deep discounts.

Find a Coupon or Discount Before You Buy One More Thing

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

A penny saved is a penny earned.  I once told a friend that with access to the internet one can find a coupon, discount, or sale for pretty much anything.  At the time I had found her a BOGO (Buy One Get One) for Amtrak train tickets so she could come visit me from DC.

Today, another friend sent me a link to a website that pretty much consolidates thousands of sales out there.  The site lists weekly ads for retail and grocery stores.  It posts online and printable coupons for retail stores, restaurants, and grocery items.  There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of stores, retailers, and products listed.

I am going to love comparison shopping between my local grocery and drug-stores.  Usually, I wait until Wednesday and then go to each of the stores’ websites and run through a rigamaroll to get their weekly ads to pop up.  Now I can go to this website and just click on the store I want to see.  $1.99/lb roasts and $.99 cantaloupes be wary… I am coming for you!  This will also be helpful with my occasional soujourns to AC Moore, Michaels, JoAnns Fabrics, BabiesRUs, etc…  These stores typically always have some sort of coupon (20% – 40% off) in their weekly circulars, but since I don’t shop there regularly I tend not to keep the flyers on hand.  Now when I need to run out and get something, I’ll just print the coupon from the store I want and head out the door. 

FYI – if you think that I am getting anal about finding discounts and don’t think they save you all that much here are some true stories.  I recently spent $22.41 on 10 sewing patterns with a savings of $146 from the original price.  That’s a huge difference and not one to sneeze at.  In the case of my Amtrak friend, we were able to get 2 round trip tickets for her and a friend for a total cost of $86, down from $172.  For an intern, that was a huge savings for her. 

The site also posts money-saving articles, in addition to a blog which features the latest great deal out there.  I’ve only listed a few things that you can see on the site.  Go check it out for yourself and start saving some big bucks.

Be Frugal: Every Dollar Matters  – http://www.befrugal.com/

Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Today we celebrated our wedding anniversary and couldn’t believe how fast the time has flown by.  We’ve been married for 3 years now (seems like forever!).  I slaved over a hot stove all day cooking up a fantastic dinner, set the table with candles, and then we ended up eating in our pajamas and going to bed early exhausted from work and toddler chasing. 

It was the best anniversary I have ever had.

On each of our dinner plates were white envelopes and small brightly colored wrapped boxes.  We had each picked out “genuine leather” wallets for each other to celebrate our third anniversary.  As if that weren’t enough of a coincidence, we picked out the same EXACT card for each other too!  We were meant to be…

We both feel like we’ve finally found the other person that “gets” us and it is a good feeling.

Here’s a picture of us when we first started dating four years ago.  We were so young! :-)

The first year was paper and the second was cotton.  This year it was leather and next year is linen/silk.  We like following the traditional gift giving themes as it helps to keep our spending in check by giving us a category to choose from.  We also set a max of $50 each.  I told him that the max goes out the window when diamonds come around for the 65th, but he said that if I stayed with him that long then I have earned them! :-)

Frugal tip of the day:  When buying gifts for each other, set some guidelines, such as spending limits, that will allow you to have realistic expectations.  We had no pressure operating within the “rules” and there were no let-downs or disappointments in the end.  Some people have argued that it takes the fun out of gift giving.  I say that it is more liberating.  It lets us focus on the little things that make events special, such as cooking a favorite meal or giving a nice foot rub.

Third Trimester: 30 weeks down, 10 to go…

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

We are in the home stretch now!  8-10 weeks to go before Peanut II joins the family.

How have we spent the past 3 weeks?  We’ve all been nice and sick over here.  My hubby brought home a cold from work, passed it to Oliver, then ended with me.  In short, we’ve been miserable.  On the plus side, baby girl is doing fine.  We just had our 30 week Dr. visit today and she has a nice strong heartbeat, has plenty of room, is kicking up a storm, and is right on track to be born at the end of November.  My health is good too.  My blood pressure is nice and low, my swelling is minimal, and I’ve only gained 6 pounds in 30 weeks. 

Oliver is also doing great at 15 months.  He’s had one developmental breakthrough after another and is soaking up every little thing like a sponge.  He loves reading books, both with one of us and by himself, loves climbing, and loves trying to “do” things himself.  His vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds.  He doesn’t say many words yet, but he has dozens and dozens of labels down.  He likes to go around and point to things and have us tell him what they are.  After hearing the name once or twice, he actually remembers it and can go back to that thing when we tell him to.  It’s pretty amazing actually. 

He is also big into doing for himself now.  He gets the first crack at brushing his teeth, getting his shoes on and off, unlocking doors with keys, turning on the dishwasher, wiping his hands and face after each meal and feeding himself with utensils.  He’s mastered turning lights on and off, shutting doors, retrieving his little glasses from the cupboard and drinking milk from them, and then putting his milk away.  He can follow 20- 30 commands now and is starting to chain them together.  For example, I can tell him to put his milk away and then we’ll go bye-bye.  He’ll bring his milk to the fridge, put it on a shelf, shut the door and then head to the front door and try to turn the door knob.  It’s the little things like this that thrill me each day. 

Today he learned how to give kisses and it’s the sweetest thing.  Staying home has been worth every penny that we can scrimp.

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