Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cutting our Grocery Budget: Bread Edition

Over the last year I've been buying bread at The Dollar Tree.  They sell loaves of Natures Own whole wheat for, you guessed it, a dollar a loaf, which is a significant savings over regular prices.  There are only two problems with this:  1. I loathe making a special trips, so I only go after we've been to the pediatrician.  2.  The store doesn't consistently have bread, & can't predict when they'll receive it, so you have to get while the gettin's good.

Consequently, when I do find bread at the store, I buy at ton; a minimum of eight loaves at a time.  In order to prevent freezer burn & the bread drying out, I've figured out the optimum method for storage in the deep freeze.

I simply bag two loaves of bread at time, tie the ends of the bag, reverse the opening of said bag, & slip it into another grocery bag.  This keeps the bread fresh for several months & allows the bread to stack nicely & keep the freezer orderly.  Not only does this method prevent having the run to the grocery frequently, but it saves us several dollars per loaf.  Win win. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

18 Household Tips To Help You Get Through Life

I'm a sucker for a good list, especially one that provides ways to re-purpose common household items.  Quite a few of these were new to me, & many seem quite useful.  Check it out.  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Make It Do: Big Girl Undies In A Pinch

Once Emerson was potty trained, (Hallelujah!), I was shocked by the price of little lady underwear.  Even on clearance, underwear can run $2 or $3 a pair, which, in my opinion, is exploitation for the amount of cotton received.

While putting away laundry, the solution came upon me:  dress bloomers.  These underwear shaped little bloomers, which are designed to cover unsightly diapers are the perfect solution.  They run rather large, so I pulled out the 18 month bloomers & they are the appropriate size for our 3 year old Emerson. 

I just love solving a problem with things we already have!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentines Schmalentines

I personally hate Valentines Day.  I think it's a day of unrealistic expectations & consumer hokum.  That said, I'd really rather try to keep my cynicism to myself, so the girls are not jaded about Valentines day at the ripe ages of 3 years & 10 months.  

The girls & I spent the morning at our local library's toddler time, which is totally free (yeah!!), is filled with songs, books, a craft, & snack.   In addition to the regular festivities the library has a puppet show, which Harper loved, & Emerson enjoyed it despite her odd fear of all things mascot-esque.

We then headed to the craft room for delicious treats & the Valentine craft.

                                                Followed by loads of play,

checkers, & a little reading.  

How cute are these Baby Lit board books, by the way?!

After naps, the girls & I went outside & enjoyed the warm weather with some bubbles.

Once J.C. came home we had a  lovely family supper, followed by dancing around to our wedding video.

Not such a bad way to celebrate a holiday I'm not totally wild about.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Trimming the Fat: Reducing our Utilities

In the ever enduring quest to cut back wherever possible, we have recently canceled our basic cable package & replaced it with a HD antenna, a Roku box, & a Netflix subscription.  Which got me to thinking, why was I content to pay $38 a month for internet, when our current carrier had an online promo for $20 a month & a competitor was offering DSL for $14.95?

After procrastination & some serious dread, I finally got the guts up to call & negotiate our high internet bill.  The man I spoke with was so kind & helpful, so when I said we were a one income family & we were willing to switch providers to save money, he went straight to their best offer--$20 a month.  He even offered to lock that promotional price in for a year, which will amount to a  savings of $218 over the next year! (Oh my heart just sings with the savings!)

As much as I absolutely dread making such phone calls, I have found the savings handsome enough to void any feelings of embarrassment.  So there you have it, if you swallow your pride, & ask, the majority of the time you will receive.   Happy negotiating!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hooray for Recycled Dishes!

I recently came upon these Re-Play children's dishes at our local Walmart.  They're inexpensive (approximately 5 a package), made from recycled milk jugs, BPA free, & manufactured in the USA.  The plates have deep wells, so it's easy for E to scoop her food , & the plastic very thick & sturdy.

While the plates are not microwavable, they're dishwasher safe & durable as all get out.  If you're in the market for some sturdy, environmentally friendly children's dishes, I'd highly recommend buying from Re-Play.  They're fabulous!