Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Very Own Name Book

For Charlie's 1st Birthday he received this wonderful book from his Grandma Sue. Every page is a different letter of his name associated with a different animal. Our favorite animal is the Newfoundland because he is so cute and Charlie loves dogs. I had a personalized book when I was a little girl and I always loved it and now we love Charlie's too. Make sure your little kiddo has a book written just for him or her also! What a special book!

Personalized Children's Books. Click here!

Monday, September 15, 2008

How We Afford Disposable Diapers

I have a system for buying diapers that I'm not quite sure how to put on paper (or a post, actually) but basically I will never pay more than $.15 for a diaper and usually pay less. This week for example, I was able to purchase the above two family packs of Luvs for a total of $17 or $.12 per diaper, which is pretty good for size 5's. These will last us about one month and we like Luvs. Although we have discussed moving to cloth for economical and environmental reasons, we have been able to keep the cost of disposable low enough to feel it is worth it for the convenience. If you are interested in cloth diapering, please buzz over to Kim's blog for her Cloth Diapering Series.

This is how I was able to get today's deal:
-Luvs were on sale for $15 per box at Target
-Target was offering a $5 Target gift card with the purchase of two boxes
-I printed 2/$2 off Target coupons from Full Cup Target Coupon Generator
-I had saved a $1/1 and $2/1 coupon from the Sunday ads (you can pair a manufacturer and store coupon in most stores but can not usually pair two manufacturer coupons, depending on the state and the store)
- So, spend $30, use the $7 in coupons and get a $5 Target card. For a grand total of $17.

Here are some strategies I have used to keep costs down that may help you:
-I use store brands and less expensive brands when possible. The exception is with a brand new newborn. Those little newborn bums are so little I really think the Pampers Swaddlers are the way to go and worth the money.
- I buy ahead (at the beginning of the month when we start a new budget or on a great deal) so I never have to run out and buy full price because we are almost out.
- I monitor prices in ads, online and on blogs such as Baby Cheapskate
- I am registered at Huggies, Pampers and Luvs online so I get as many coupons as possible. I also get coupons from the Sunday paper.
- I use Freepeats to get free diapers and diaper coupons.
- I buy diapers in consignment shops when I can find them- Occasionally I find some diapers on Craig's List in my neighborhood
- I only buy when the diapers are on sale and I can pair with a coupon. Some common scenarios for this are:
  • Babies R' Us will have a sale on Especially for Baby and then offer an additional $5 off a box on certain days.
    Safeway occasionally runs a deep discount on name brand diapers that can be paired with manufacturers coupons

  • The Entertainment book has a coupon for B1G1 on anything that is there store brand. This includes diapers and means I can get two jumbo packs for $7.99, I get extra coupons from anybody who isn't using the one from their book.

  • Target will run special deals that allow you to get Target cards if you buy two packs. I pair these with manufacturers coupons.

  • Costco occasionally runs a coupon on Kirkland Signature or Huggies diapers. I buy them here if those are available, depending on the deal.

  • I always cruise the diaper and/or clearance aisle of the grocery stores and discount stores I frequent to see if anything has been discontinued. You can get some awesome deals here! Ask the store manager next time you see him when they will be doing the next diaper reset and go in that day. Then I combine the discount price with a coupon!

Here are some brands we are content to use:
- Pampers (although we rarely get a good enough deal to purchase these)
- Huggies
- Kirkland Signature (Costco brand)
- Luvs
- Target brand
- Especially for Baby (from Babies R' Us or Toys R' Us)

We haven't had the best luck with very cheap store brands such as Walgreens, Bartells and Safeway. Although, I have been known to use one of these brands during the day when we are just hanging out at home (if the price is amazing) and then use the more expensive brand at night and when we are out of the house for extended periods.

If you aren't willing to put the time and energy into finding the best available price on diapers then Costco is the way to go. They have, on average, a lower price on diapers than the grocery or discount stores. But, you will be paying at least $.20 - $.25 a diaper depending on what size your munchkin is.

Baby Cheapskate has a great resource to help figure out what your cost will b. The How Many Diapers Per Pack chart is great!

How do I buy wipes? Kirkland Signature from Costco is the only way to go. Even with coupons and sales I haven't found a better deal. Costco currently has a $3 off coupon available for these wipes, but just through 9/28/08.

Do you have any tricks to share for getting a great deal on diapers? Do you have any brands you like that aren't on my list? Please share your wisdom!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Those of you that truly know me, know how much I love OxiClean powder. We use the Versatile Free Version becuase I don't like to do our laundry with anything scented. I can very honestly say that I have yet to have a stain that it hasn't taken out. I never needed anything other than Shout before having Charlie but it just wouldn't get out newborn poop or toddler messes.

For regular old stains that likely won't come out with just a regular wash, I just soak the items for about 12 hours in cold water with Oxi and usually the stains are totally gone before I throw it in the regular wash.

For bad stains (red pen, blackberries, chocolate, etc.) I make a paste out of the Oxi powder on the stain and soak it for at least 24 hours. Remember, use cold water!

I have even missed stains and washed them once or twice before using Oxi and it still gets it out! It's somewhat miraculous, actually. It doesn't get out bleach though. That's the only thing I've found it hasn't worked on. Don't waste your time on the OxiClean Spray, I don't think it works as well.

Do you have any other great stain-fighting ideas?

I usually buy our Oxiclean at Target where it seems to be cheaper than the grocery stores (watch for sales!). You can sometimes find a $1 manufacturer's coupon in the paper also. They do carry it at Costco also but they don't carry the Free version there.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Top 15 Baby Items You Don't Need

I was inspired by Baby Cheapskate to finish my own list of baby items you don't need. Mine is not the same list as the one they did, but there is definitely some overlap. You can see their list here. I do completely disagree with one of their items, the diaper pail. Where are you supposed to put those stinky things if you don't have a system that controls the smell? I have the Diaper Genie II (which I like) but recommend the Diaper Champ, because you don't have to buy expensive refills. I have heard wipes get stuck in the Champ though.

I have one disclaimer, what seems worthless to me may seem useful to you and vice versa but this is my blog, so I get to share my opinion. And, I only put items on this list that I really figure, nobody needs. I have some opinions on things we don't need that others might but I didn't include those. I would love to hear your comments on why I am right or wrong! And if you are convincing enough, I may change my list!

Here are my Top 15 Worthless Baby Items (in no particular order):

Dishwasher Basket
No Scratch Mittens
Shopping Cart Cover
Wipe Warmer
Baby Robe
Sterilizer (use the dishwasher!)
4 0z. or 11 oz. bottles (just use the 8oz ones)
Sleep Positioner
Pacifier thermometer
Diaper Stacker
Formula Mixer
Expensive baby monitors
Bottle/Food Warmer
Wee Wee Blocker
Dedicated Changing Table (Use a dresser! It's cheaper!)

I am really sorry to those of you that purchased some of these items for me when I registered for them. I really didn't know better. Why didn't anybody tell me? I actually still use most of them, out of guilt and not wanting to be wasteful. And I love them because you purchased them, and I love you. And some of them I never did buy, because even I was smarter than that.

Hope I didn't offend anybody with this post! And, as always, I may just change my mind at sometime with a little convincing from my dear blog readers. Do you have any other items that you would say weren't worth purchasing?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Phil and Teds Sport Double Stroller

Coming to a mailbox near me...a new stroller! After months and months of debate on if this stroller is worth the investment, we are about to be the proud new owners of a Phil and Teds Sport double! Although we really won't need it for a while, it was too good of a deal to pass up. And, I can use it as a single until the new baby arrives.

Things I love about the Phil and Teds Strollers:
1) It is setup for one or two kids, depending on if you use the attachment or not.
2) Both seats recline in the Sport model
3) The resale is great.
4) Everybody I know who has one, loves it.
5) It fits two newborns, two toddlers, a newborn and a toddler, however you want to do it and fits kids up to 55 pounds!!
6) You can latch an infant car seat into it with an adaptor.
7) It is the size of a smaller size single jogger, yet fits two children!
8) It fits nicely in the back of my Volvo wagon.
9) The swivel front wheel is the only way to go on a jogger.
And those are just the ones that popped in to my mind. There are lots more!

Reasons I felt it was worth purchasing:
1) I got an awesome deal. Honestly, I could resell it used in a year for about the same price I purchased it at. The good news is I won't have to sell it in a year because it should last for several years and as many kids as we have!
2) I can sell my old strollers to cover about 1/3 of the cost.
3) We use the stroller almost every day so we will definitely need a double with two kiddos 22 months apart. I could have gotten a cheaper one but it wouldn't have been as functional and really, not that much cheaper.
4) I am probably going to be babysitting another kiddo Charlie's age until the end of February. This way the three of us can leave the house without me losing my sanity and those sweet little boys running into traffic.
5) I hadn't spent my birthday money yet.

So mommies and daddies, learn your lesson from me! Before you buy three strollers trying to find just the right one, just shell out the dough for the Phil and Teds single with your first child and buy the double kit when #2 comes along. You will save money, hassle and garage space in the long run.

I found the best price at Pish Posh Baby - $459 with no shipping or taxes. I have been watching the prices for several months. Normally this stroller is $509 for the double set up and this was the best deal I have seen around. However, I think I got the last one! But if you do choose to shop from Pish Posh Baby, you can use the coupon code Save5 to get 5% off also.

Just a few of the online retailers that carry Phil & Teds strollers are:
Baby Center
Right Start
Baby Ant
Albee Baby

Check everywhere (Google and Yahoo shopping, and major search engines) before you purchase and don't forget to search for coupon codes for the retailers you are looking in to purchasing from. And, as always, never pay shipping or tax! Let me know if you need help finding a deal!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I need your help...

I really love the idea of sharing my baby product experiences with others but I haven't quite figured what direction I want to go on this blog. Rather than only tell you about products I love, I would like to share with you how I make the decisions, what my experiences have been as well as opinions of others I trust on this subject. Because everybody has different baby gear needs, my picks won't necessarily help everybody! So, what are some things you would like to see posted? Here are some of my ideas that I am working on:

- The Wish List - what I think I need (or want) for Baby #2
- The 50 items to register for
- The stroller debate - how to pick the best stroller for your needs
- How I find the best price on all this stuff
- Baby gear you don't need

Any other ideas or things you would like to see on Love it Baby? I'd love a little input on this one! Or, which topic would you like to see blogged about first??

Thanks for your help!