Saving Money on Vitamins and Supplements

Posted 08-31-2011 at 11:15 AM by Mel

Over the last few years the supplements my family takes has increased as I’ve learned more about health and nutrition. However, as most of you probably know supplements can get expensive. I love our local health food stores and I want to support them, but I also have to be able to afford the supplements my family needs.

I LOVE iHerb! I found them a couple years ago and have saved a fortune. They offer quick and affordable shipping and their prices are AMAZING. Plus, they have a rewards program. You can give out your rewards code to friends and family which gives them $5 off their first purchase and you earn money towards your purchases every time they make a purchase. It’s a good way to get affordable vitamins and supplements as well as make a little extra money to go towards them. If anyone is interested you can use my rewards code for $5 off your first purchase: INI139

I have heard great reviews about Vitacost as well, but have yet to try them out.  Definitely worth checking into as I’ve been told their prices are great.

Diaper Swapers

The Dukan Diet: Week 1

Posted 08-31-2011 at 10:00 AM by blairmarie333

My grandmother was reading a magazine and saw an article about the “Dukan Diet.” She told me about it and I wanted to check it out. I have gained a good amount of weight since I had my two daughters and I was looking for a way to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I think I may have found it.

Background: I am 5’10” and I weighed 190lbs when I met my husband. I gained about 15lbs over the course of our 2 year relationship, which I refer to as my “happy fat.” I gained almost 70lbs with my first pregnancy, lost about 50lbs before my second pregnancy, gained 30lbs with my second pregnancy, and lost about 20 of it so far. This puts me right about 235. I really want to get back to 180-190lbs.

Phase 1 – Attack: In the first phase, of the four phase diet, you are only allowed to eat protein for 3-10 days depending on how much weight you want to lose. I am going to be on for 10 days.

Food: You are allowed to eat low fat beef, eggs, tofu, chicken, fish, turkey and low fat dairy. That’s pretty much it. You can however eat as much of these things as you want. The one thing that’s good is that you don’t ever have to be hungry.

Liquids: You have to drink at least 60ozs of water per day. You are also allowed tea and diet pops (I have only drank unsweetened tea and water.)

Exercise: You have to walk for 20 minutes per day.

Oat Bran: You must eat 1.5tbsp of Oat Bran each day. This gives you your daily fiber.

Week 1: I started Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 233lbs. I have stuck to the diet like glue. To my surprise I have dropped 8.8lbs so far. Almost, 9lbs in 5 days! I am so excited. The food is getting very boring, but I know I can do it since the pounds are just pouring off.

Priorities

Posted 08-31-2011 at 09:45 AM by Krista

My aunt once told me that if she could do it over again, she would have played more with her son while he was growing up, instead of always worrying about the housework. She was a single mother for most of his life (they divorced when he was four and she has never remarried) and a nurse to boot.

I find myself in a similar situation. I am not a single mom, but I have two children, only twenty months apart. You moms with multiple children know that each additional child just adds to the chaos! I am a working mom, though I work from home, as well as attending school.

Between chores, assignments, and cooking meals the day tends to get away from me. Whenever my husband, J. says he doesn’t have time (usually in reference to my honey-do list) I always remind him that we make time for what we want to do. It annoys him, but it’s true. Right now, as I write this, he is playing video games. He is choosing what to do with his time, as do we all.

I am bad about it, too. I know I need to spend more time with the girls. Often, my daughter will run over and try to pull me out of the computer chair. She probably thinks I am stuck to it, otherwise surely I would have gotten up by now!

First Birthdays

Posted 08-30-2011 at 01:42 PM by Krista

When my daughter, Alison, was nearing her one year mark, my husband was insistent that we throw a birthday party, and shocked that I had different feelings. We were very tight on money at the time, and I couldn’t justify the expense of a party for a baby who wouldn’t even remember it. My mother in law hurried to back up J, (of course!) and offered to share the expense with us.

I discovered that first birthdays have their very own section at the party store, complete with decorations for the high chair, and #1 candles that cost $4 a pop. J and his mom got carried away. We had a personalized party hat (that she wouldn’t wear) a huge candle that wouldn’t light, and balloons and expensive decorations that covered every available surface.

Halfheartedly, I made the preparations, wincing every time I saw another receipt from the party store. I just didn’t see what the big deal was.

You only get one first birthday, everyone kept telling me, as though this justified the insanity of buying a toddler her very own cake. By that logic, we would be killing ourselves to throw a birthday party every year, and December is already a very hectic month.

When the day arrived, I was very nervous. What if she cried through the entire party? What if she was indifferent to birthday cake?

Extending the life of your cloth diapers

Posted 08-30-2011 at 09:15 AM by whitneywalters

Since many people use cloth diapers to save money it makes sense that people would want to get a lot of use out of them. I started using cloth diapers about three and half years ago, I bought almost all my stash used and I even still have several of those diapers now. With proper care your diapers can have a very long life time and last through several children.

1. Make sure you have a decent amount of diapers in your rotation.  Like any item of clothing, the more you wash it, the faster it will wear. Having enough diapers in your stash ensures that you will not be washing the same diapers everyday.

2. Do not use bleach, it wears down the fibers in your diapers and is also very harsh on your babies skin. Also, be sure you are using the right detergent, it should be free of phosphates, enzymes and optical brighteners.

3. Do not use diaper creams unless

Swagbucks: An Easy Way To Earn

Posted 08-30-2011 at 08:40 AM by Mel

About a year ago my friend introduced me to Swagbucks. At first I was really confused on how it worked, but after taking some time to learn the ropes it became a breeze. I changed my search engine on my browser to Swagbucks and I started earning. I use my Swagbucks to buy $5 Amazon gift cards, but there are many other options as well. They offer several different ways to earn Swagbucks in addition to using their search engine.

Coupons – You can earn Swagbucks just by printing and using coupons from their site at your local grocery store. Yes, you save money on your groceries and earn Swagbucks at the same time. Now that is a real win-win situation!

Daily Deals – Purchase one of their daily deals and earn Swagbucks. I have not tried this option, but from what I’ve seen they have some pretty good deals.

Promote – Share your referral link with friends and earn Swagbucks off of them too! Plus, they will be earning Swagbucks to put towards great rewards as well.

The cost of having a baby

Posted 08-30-2011 at 07:37 AM by Krista

With the economy the way it is, a lot of people are waiting to start a family. You know how the old saying goes: if you wait until you can afford a baby, you’ll never have one. With that in mind, I decided to put a list of costs together, with also a list of the benefits of parenthood. Hope this makes you smile.

COST

  1. Diapers
  2. Formula/baby food
  3. Clothes
  4. Toys
  5. Crib/Highchair, etc.
  6. Medical Care
  7. Replacing things they’ve broken
  8. College Fund

Failure to Communicate

Posted 08-29-2011 at 01:22 PM by Krista

Who hasn’t heard those famous words, “What we have here…is a failure to communicate.” Those words echoed my struggle to understand my babbling two year old. Like her mommy, she is very strong-willed, and prone to temper tantrums when she doesn’t get what she wants (OK, maybe I don’t do that last one!) When I misunderstood her grunts and gesturing, the fallout could be astronomical. She would scream and cry, tears running down her face as those blue eyes glared at me and silently accused me of breaking her tiny heart. Sometimes, I’d almost be in tears myself.

“What do you want?” I’d beg. “Just tell me what you want.”

In my social life I have run into a similar issue with women.  We use words, but aren’t always honest with one another. When I first had my second daughter, I had two children twenty months apart. Both girls were in diapers, I was waking several times at night, only to have to wake up early in the morning with my oldest daughter. Dark circles under the eyes became a familiar sight staring back at me in the mirror.

On a rare occasion that we finally got out, an acquaintance asked me, “So, how are things?” She has two daughters of her own, and her smile was perky, her makeup flawless.

“Chaotic,” I replied, suppressing a yawn.

Her wide grin froze. “Good chaotic or…” She didn’t even finish the sentence, and I got the feeling that I was making her uncomfortable.

Crock pot special — Chicken Enchilada Chili

Posted 08-29-2011 at 12:15 PM by Monica Beyer

This is my absolute favorite crock pot recipe. Hands down. I can barely stand smelling it cook all day, so I try to make it when I know I’ll be out of the house as much as possible. It is just simply delicious. Best of all, it is gluten free and can be served dairy free as well (important in my houseful of celiac disease and food allergies)!

I love the crock pot for so many reasons. It doesn’t heat up your house so it’s the perfect cooking appliance during the warmer months. It does almost all of the work for you (who wouldn’t love that?). It’s portable, easy to set up and cute too. You can make all sorts of things in it, from your favorite soups to big hunks of meat. You can even bake bread in one, although I’ve yet to try that out.

I slightly adapted this recipe from here, which is chock full of wonderful and sometimes weird gluten-free crock pot recipes.

Try it, and try not to die from how much you love it. And let me know how you and your family liked it. I hope it becomes one of your favorites too. Click the link on the right to see the full recipe!

The top five baby items I could not live without

Posted 08-29-2011 at 11:37 AM by whitneywalters

Being a mom of four children I have tried a lot of baby products. Some items I loved and there are some that I never would try again or recommend that anyone else used. Below is a list of the top ten items that have made my life so much easier.

1. Slings or baby carriers
- I have several different styles of baby carriers. I have been using them since my first was a newborn and I love them. When my son was a baby I was still working out of the house. I worked as a manager for my parent’s coffee house and luckily I was able to bring my son to work with me. Using the sling I was able to have him with me at all times while still doing my job. When my second child was born, she proved to be a very difficult child. The sling made it so I was able to do things still without having to listen to her cry. With my third I used it every time we went on a walk, that way I could have my older two in the double stroller. It was wonderful being able to take all three of my young kids on walk and feel like they were all safe. Now that I have my fourth child my sling is just my go to for everything, I have not used the stroller for once since she was born. She loves being in the sling, I love being able to carry her and have my hands free and most of all I love that I am able to discreetly nurse in public while walking around.