New Walgreens Coupon for 7/31 ONLY

Here's the link to a $5 of $20 at Walgreens. I will post some of the scenarios later today or tonight. (I'm still recovering from vacation!)

It Was VEGAS!!

I know, I am too cool!! Have many deatils and interesting things to post about. Signing out via remote location.

Big Surprise

A big milestone is headed my way at the beginning of next month. A birthday. A big one. And, as it turns out, and interesting one!

A surprise is headed my way. You see, on Thursday night, my sister will head over to my house and pick up Son and Daughter. They will be staying at her house and at Grandma and Grandpa’s house FOR THE WEEKEND. Then, Friday morning, I am getting up early. My bags will be packed (and not by me) and we are headed out the door; Just Husband and I.

Where are we going, you ask? Good question. Honestly, I have no idea. What a birthday surprise! I know that we will be headed to the airport. I know that I am bringing a swimsuit, two dressy evening outfits, and otherwise vacation clothes. I know that it will be warm where we are headed. I know that we return home late in the evening on Sunday night.

I was not meant to know as much as I do about this, but I can be persistent. And so, I see a mystery in my future. I can’t believe it. While the kids have stayed at my sister’s or their grandparents’ house for a night, this will be the first weekend. I am so excited for them as well. We are so blessed to have this kind of family! My kids will be on their own vacation, staying up late, watching the movie Cars and probably having all types of special treats.

What is the best part of this surprise? I know the trip and the quality time with Husband is going to be awesome, but I think the best part is looking around and seeing my family and how much they care about me. To be willing to take on all that is going with this trip and the kids and the packing (they are packing the kids too!) and keep everything hush, hush is absolutely amazing. I am so blessed.

Walgreens Diaper Deal

This deal came around a couple of weeks ago and I stocked up on diapers. This week, it is here again. So I thought I would share how it is working for us.

Walgreens’ brand jumbo packages of diapers are on sale this week for $5.99. There is a coupon in the EasySaver catalog. (Remember, these are usually at the front of the store by the ads and if you can’t find one, just ask someone! You don’t need to pull out the coupon. Just bring it up to the counter and they will scan it.) The coupon is $5 off the purchase of 2. Because you are purchasing three packages, the coupon ends up taking off $2.50 from each package. Let’s check out the math:

(3) packages of diapers @ $5.99 each = $17.97 minus the EasySaver coupon (-$7.50) = $11.47 (add some tax $1.10) and your total comes to $11.57

If this were the end of the deal, this wouldn’t be too bad for diapers. It comes to about $3.50 a package (before tax). But, the deal gets better. After you have paid, you will receive a Register Reward for $5 off your next purchase. This is like cash at Walgreens except that it has an expiration date and there are certain things you can’t buy with it.

So, what do we do with the Register Rewards? Remember, we want to try to “roll” the deals, creating the least amount of money out of pocket for these deals. You can’t “roll” this RR to purchase more diapers. So, here’s an idea:

If you look in the ad this week, there are some items that are on sale, making them free after the rebate. I purchased Crayola Doodle Markers ($2.00) and Pilot G2Pens ($1.00). I will submit my receipt online and receive $3.00 back in the form of a recharge on my gift card.

Also, there were a lot of school items on sale. My sister is a teacher and always needs items for her classroom. She also has a “treasure chest” as a reward system in her classroom. I scanned the ad and picked up many items that were on sale for 5 cents each including mini composition books, highlighters, etc.

My total came to a little over $5. I used my RR and paid very little. Then, I will take my receipt and enter it online for this month’s rebate. I will receive $3.00 back on my gift card. (Plus the 10% extra for choosing the gift card recharge.)

There are other free after rebate items this month, so I will probably go back, buy more diapers and then turn around and use the RR to purchase rebate items.

If you try this out, be sure and post in the comments about what you did and how it worked for you!

Free Manicure/Pedicure ~ Who knew?

Check out Herbal Essences. The promotion states, “Free manicure or pedicure at participating salons with purchase of 2 specially marked Herbal Essence shampoo or conditioner products.”

At Fry’s, Herbal Essence shampoos and conditioners were priced $2.50 each. (Outrageous if you ask me; they are usually free J) Currently, when you buy 3 Proctor and Gamble items at Fry’s, you get an instant $3 off your shopping order.

Let’s work the math. Purchase 6 bottles of shampoo/conditioner.
Total cost: $15.00.
Then, you would get $6 off because of the P&G promotion.

So far: $9.00

Then, add manufacturer coupons ($3 off two Herbal Essences shampoos or conditioners were in the P&G inserts a couple of weeks ago) If you have 3 coupons, add those to the mix.

$9.00 – (3) $3 off coupons = $0.00

That’s right FREE. So, as I said before, Herbal Essences is running a manicure/pedicure promotion, so I chose the bottles at the store that were marked with the promotions label.

At the end of the day, I have spent about $1.22 (I can’t get around paying the tax for the items) and I will mail in my receipt and receive 2 vouchers that I can use for either pedicures or manicures.

This was a deal I couldn’t resist!!!

Wii Fit

We finally got our Wii Fit today! We had been waiting for a little over a month now. It is just as good as I thought it would be. We are all set up and have done the "Body Test" to see where we are as far as fitness, BMI and weight. Let's just say that it was eye opening and interesting.

The funniest part so far? Son was so excited when it arrived. He had no idea what it was, but he knew it belonged to the Wii and he wanted to try it. My sister came over and we set it up, but it took a little while to figure it all out. Then we started the Body Test and Son was beside himself with excitement.

So, he has a set of cardboard building blocks that we play with often. I pulled out the red one (shaped much like the Wii Fit board)and set him up with it. I put it in front of the tv, right beside mine. Everything I did, he did. It was the funniest thing. I have to admit, I was pretty impressed by how long he could hold himself in the tree position.

Tonight, before bed, he put his block away and let me know he will get out his board in the morning so we can work out.

Daughter was another story. She just wanted to stomp on it. So when she finally realized that wasn't going to happen, she just walked around the family room with her hands up in the air. I guess that was her version of the tree position.

I will get out a full review after we have used it for a while.

"This Real Mommy" come on down!"

I found another talent that comes from couponing! I am pretty sure that I can make an absolute killing on the Price is Right! Seriously, if anyone has any contacts there, you have to get me in! I think I could go all the way!!

Which cost more, the pizza rolls (Totino's) or the Gold Bond lotion? Well, I always get the Totino's Pizza Rolls for free, so obviously, they'd be cheaper! I can just see a Showcase Showdown in my future.

Walgreens August EasySaver Rebate

Just got a sneak peek at the new rebate book! YIPEE!! August will be better than July!

Some other things to think about when it comes to the Walgreens

Can we take it one step further? How would you like to make money on your rebate? Obviously, what could be better?

When you use a coupon for a rebate item, you get to pay less for the item, but receive the full rebate for the item. Here’s an example from this month’s catalog to help you understand what I mean:

Nature Made RX Essentials Pack (30 or 60 pack) (rebate up to $9.99) There was a $1 coupon for this item in the paper on the following dates: April 20th and June 1st.

At the register, you will pay $8.99 + tax for this, but when you request your rebate you will receive $9.99

I realize this is not earth-shattering and you will not be able to retire early by making money through the Walgreens EasySaver rebate, however, there is always another way to look at things. For me, it is all about the Venti, non-fat, iced Chai at Starbucks. I just need four deals like this, and a Chai is paid for!!! I think this is a pretty slow month for Walgreens, so usually; there are many more opportunities to save or turn a small profit.

Store Coupons

Walgreens has been randomly been posting money saving coupons on the website. (If you all promise to start participating in these deals, I will start adding links to these coupons on the blog. – I am going to need some serious commitments in the comments section!!!) These coupons are usually something like $5 off a $25 purchase or $10 off $30.

Let’s look at how this would work for us: Let’s say that next month, if you were to purchase all of the free after rebate items it would cost you $30. Let’s add in some coupons and see what would happen. You have (3) $1 off coupons. So your total drops to $27. Then, you add a store coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase. Your total drops to $22 dollars. And, the best part, you submit your rebate and you are refunded the money that the items were worth - - meaning your rebate is $30. You have “made” $8. Also, if you request a gift card, another $3 will be added, making the total rebate $33.

Register Rewards

This one is super special!! I have to admit, sometimes it is difficult to sit back and wait for a rebate to come or that gift card to be reloaded; so Walgreens has come up with a little instant gratification for you. Register Rewards (RR) print out of the machine beside the cash register. (For future reference – at the grocery store, they are called catalinas.)

RR can be used like cash at the Walgreens. They have some limitations, so after they print, you may want to read the fine print. Some say cannot be used with other RRs, some say they cannot be used on gift cards, and some say you cannot use them on stamps. Otherwise, they are good to go.

You earn RR by purchasing certain items of a certain number of items. You can always find out about these in the ads. You can use coupons and still get RR and they provide great opportunities to cut costs. Again, if I get some promises to check the blog and comment and start “Working Walgreens,” I will try to post some of the crazy deals that I am doing with RR.

You can “roll” your gift cards into RR and then turn around and use your RR to purchase the free after rebate items to then have the money added back to the gift card. Does that make sense? If not, read it very slowly and just imagine shopping and going through the motions.

Walgreens: EasySaver Rebates

Walgreens' EasySaver rebate program
is another easy way to save. The monthly catalogs can usually be found at the front of the store near or beside the weekly ads. You can also find the catalogs online.

Walgreens recently updated their program to allow its customers to enter their rebates online. This saves so much time, it is easier to track, and you in some cases you can receive you rebate in less than a week. (This will not be the case if this is your first time requesting a rebate – just to clarify.)

You can start saving by purchasing each of the free after rebates items. Let’s say you wanted to start this month. You would go to the store and purchase the following items:

Therabreath Started Kit (rebate up to $10.99)
Herbert’s Fully Loaded Chocolate Bars (rebate up to 99 cents)
Nature Made RX Essentials Pack (30 or 60 pack) (rebate up to $9.99)

SAVE YOUR RECEIPT! It is very important to save the receipt. Am I repeating myself? You need the receipt to claim you rebate and there is nothing worse than buying these things and then loosing track of the receipt. Did I mention you should save your receipt?

So, now the easy part. You can log onto the Walgreens EasySaver rebate website and create an account. This is very easy and should take under 10 minutes. You need an email address (this is the way they will contact you about your rebate. After creating a username and password, you are ready to log in and enter your receipt. Easy, Easy!

You can add to your rebate as many times as you want during the month; then when you are ready, you can request your rebate. You can request a check, although I am not sure how long it will take to arrive. I can’t remember the last time I requested a check. I usually request my rebate in the form of a gift card because Walgreens will add an additional 10% to your rebate. For me, the extra 10% covers the tax and the gift card is a great idea because I know that I will be making other purchases at Walgreens.

The first time you choose a rebate in the form of a gift card, it may take a little while to come in the mail, but on the upside, when you request your rebate for the next month, you can just have the money added to your current gift card. This can take as little as four days and then, you are ready to shop again. (And yes, if you are wondering, I have it down to a science. I request my rebate and I know just about the exact time that the card will be loaded. It’s part of my job. Ha, Ha)

Playroom Economy Going Strong

Today, I purchased bananas, apples, grapes, bread, juice, milk, eggs, and some cereal for $3. What a deal right? If only the real world ran like the playroom. A little later on, I purchased all the toys in the playroom plus my groceries and the price went down to $2.

Son does a great job as the store owner. The only problem is that every time I go to check out and pay for my purchses, he gives me money back. I think taking him with me to CVS is warping his sense of shopping and money.

A Great Opportunity at CVS

This week is a great time to begin shopping at CVS! Check out these posts to get you started:

How it Works

Keeping the Extra Care bucks Rolling

Maximizing CVS for your family

If you have not started shopping at CVS, this week provides a great opportunity for you to begin! You can get (1) 4x6, 10 page hardcover, Photo book for $3.99 (reg. 5.99-7.99) This is a great deal, but it gets better. After creating the book and paying for it, you will receive $3.99 in ECB, essentially making the book free.

You can also create (2) 6x8, 10 page, hardcover Photo books for $7.99 (reg. 12.99) and receive $7.99 back in ECB for each book.

These books make great gifts and also create an innovative way to display and keep photos. You can find direction in the ad or you can always get help from someone in the photo lab.

Good luck!!!

Testing Out Some New Internet Knowledge

I want to try out a new way to add links to the text. Please excuse the editing and reposting. I am hoping that if you are subscribing, you are only going to get this once, not everytime that I edit it.

Here goes:

has a great rebate program.

My Blog

Yipee! I think I have this figured out!!!

Is An Apology Too Much to Ask?

I hate to complain. In fact, I have been working on a post on complaining and how change complaining into problem solving. However, I can’t help it. I have to address something. We have lost the art of apologizing.

Friday night, I went to check out a clothing store. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but that never stops me from shopping. I found a pair of shoes and an amazing dress. When I got home, I discovered that the security tag was left on the shoes. SO frustrating! It was too late to return to the store that night, so I headed over on Saturday.

As if it wasn’t bad enough to have this happen, it got worse at the store. I walked up to the return counter and the security sound went off. I have no idea why it didn’t go off when I left, only when I came back. Interesting. The lady (her tag read: shift supervisor) looks at me, points her finger, and says, “You just set that off.” You think? I was trying so hard to just be nice, and get this over with.

I take the shoes out of the bag at the counter and tell her that the security tag was left on the shoes last night. She takes the shoes out of the bag, takes off the tag, puts them back in the bag and says, “Here.” I can’t lie. I didn’t move. I just stood there looking at her. Part of it was shock, part of it was frustration, and part of it was just good old fashioned anger. That was it. No apology! Not even a lame, “Sorry.”

I think sometimes these things are allowed because managers and people who are in charge don’t realize what their employees are doing. I asked for a manager and explained the situation. There was no need to make a huge deal out of it. It was just a quick 2-minute conversation about what happened and just the fact that I thought it would be nice to just have someone apologize. She agreed and asked who it was. I discreetly pointed her out and went about my way.

Sometimes things happen in life that I think have more meaning than meets the eye. Here are some things I came up with:

We accept being treated poorly and very weak customer service. We don’t have to. This can be addressed with management or in a broader sense, we can chose to not return to these places and spend our money there. (I can’t lie, this one would be so tough for me!!)

When it is addressed, it doesn’t need to be a big dramatic scene. Some people believe that the louder they are and the more outrageous they are, they will be taken seriously. It is unnecessary.

How sincere are we when we apologize? Do we even know what we are apologizing for?

Any other ideas on this topic?

Redbox Code for Monday, July 14, 208

Today's Code is:


It expires at midnight tonight! Happy movie watching!!

Not Your Everyday Author

Ted Dekker. You have to discover for yourself. He is not for everyone.

I try to always have a fiction book and a non-fiction book going at all times. (A little weird, I know, but helpful. They both serve different purposes.) I had read a few of Dekker’s books a while ago and was impressed. I found him through Frank Peretti – another “Not Your Everyday Author.” More on him another day . . .

I was out of fiction to read at home and this means looking for something at the library. I pulled up the online catalog and ended up entering his name to see what was new. As it turns out, I am pretty far behind. He has quite a few books out that I hadn't read. I ended up choosing two: Skin and Adam.

His books are interesting. They are unlike traditional religious fiction in that usually those stories end with everything tied up neatly in a bow. The main characters become aware of the state of their souls and quickly turn toward God. There is nothing left to question at the end.

Dekker’s books leave you questioning your own soul. He directs his reader to look at the world around them in a different way. Things that happen are almost always unexplainable, unusual, and undone. The book may end, but you can’t help but continue the analysis. Often, the story is disturbing.

“Why would I wan to read a book like that?” you ask. He will keep you sharp, keep you guessing, keep you thinking. You will read one and maybe take a break for a book or two and then come back. If you are looking for something different Dekker is not your everyday author.

Books I Have Read:
(The first three are part of The Martyr’s Song Series )
Heaven’s Wager
When Heaven Weeps
Thunder of Heaven
House (with Frank Peretti)

Books I Am Looking to Read:
(These first three are part of a series and meant to be read in order. They are complicated. I have started Black. It takes a little getting used to. I love a challenge.)
Blink (also published as Blink of an Eye)
A Man Called Blessed (with Bill Bright)
Sinner (to be released September 2008)

Holy Poop Batman!

Potty training is one of those things that we just can’t get out of. I love when parents say that their kids just decided one day to be potty-trained one day and they just never looked back. Right! If we could just be honest, it doesn’t happen that way.

We have been done potty training for a while now. It was an interesting roller coaster ride. I should clarify; when I say potty trained, I mean he sleeps through the night without a diaper and accidents are VERY infrequent.

I can see how mom’s get confused about when to say their child is potty trained. The first time Son peed on the pot, I called my mom and announced that he was potty trained. She laughed at me for about an hour. The conversation continued, but every once in a while, she would just bust out laughing. I now know what it really means to “potty train.”

And so, in celebration of this, I thought I would share a few stories about our adventures. These are all true stories, no matter how odd and unbelievable they sound. Also, a warning: these stories are not for a weak stomach or someone who is grossed out easily.

Son is in the playroom with Dog. He is in big boy underwear and I call him into the other room. He doesn’t answer. (Never a good sign.) I call again and ask him to please come here. He answers this time, but says that he can’t leave. Interesting. This time, I realize that something is going on and it isn’t going to be pleasant. I had no idea. I walked quietly into the playroom (it is always more interesting to see what your kids are doing before they know you are there). I wish I hadn’t. He had his favorite drumstick (from his drum set) and was sticking it into his underwear. Next thing I know, out comes poop. It gets worse. The dog is sitting there in front of him and he is offering it to her. She is licking it off the drumstick. I know, hideous. The worst part? I stop him and he can’t figure out what the problem is. The whole time he is in the tub, all he can say is, “But Mommy, she liked it. I think she was hungry.”

Another time, early into the potty training, we had some friends over for dinner. All was going well. They have a son about Son’s age and they were playing so nicely. Suddenly, Son runs into the bathroom. We know what this means and try to give him some space. He is in there for a while, and then comes out and announces that he pooped on the pot and everyone should come take a look. (He’s really proud of himself.) We all go into the small bathroom and even our guests are clapping for him and telling him what a good job he did. I have to say, it was a pretty proud moment. Until that night. Husband is putting Son to bed and mentions that he is really proud of him putting poop it the pot. He tells Husband, “I didn’t put poop on the pot.” Husband is confused. He tells Son that he did put poop in the pot. “Remember, we all came into the bathroom and clapped and cheered.” Son tells him, “Actually, I just pooped on the floor. Then, I picked it up and put it in the pot.” Thank goodness we washed his hands that night.

And so, if you are in the midst of this crazy ride called “potty training,” hang in there. You will make it! You will survive! And best of all, the things that are happening to you now, will be funny when it is all over.

YRG Yoga for Regular Guys

(I guess this is a little like a product review, but also a way to let you know what is going on with me and something new that I am tryingJ)

I am not a yoga person at all. The thought of doing it makes me laugh and I have to admit, I make fun of it - - often. I can appreciate what it does for you and the flexibility etc., but the thought of all the new age type stuff that goes with it is the real turn off.

Husband went to a meeting at work the other day and was told they would be doing yoga. You should have heard our conversations leading up to the meeting. We were not only making fun, but really looking at it as a waste of time. When Husband came home that night, I was eager to hear about how things went, expecting him to tell a few jokes and make light of the whole experience. Instead, he came home with a whole new perspective on yoga.

The leader for the meeting was Diamond Dallas Page a 3 time World Champion Wrestler. He talked about his experience with yoga and how his DVD and program are different from regular yoga. He lead the group in one of his yoga workouts. Husband really enjoyed it, felt like he had really worked out, and thought I would enjoy it as well. He came home with the DVD.

I was skeptical, but it was interesting to hear what Husband had to say about it. Could he really be talking this positively about yoga? I had to see for myself. We went through the 20-minute workout together and I was so impressed. It was not like any other yoga that I had seen or done before. Each pose is associated with something familiar and the explanations are easy to understand.

The best part - - its just working out. You don’t need any equipment, it takes 20 minutes and you are done. There are two other DVDs that are included, but I have yet to brave them. One is a Fat Burner DVD – 40 minutes and the other is the Fat Burner Plus – 60 minutes (I think). I have yet to venture out to try these two but my sister said they were great.

And so, I have set another goal. I have done it a few times so far and I want to try to incorporate it into my weekly schedule, eventually building up to the next two dvds. Husband is on board to do this with me and tonight, my mom and sister joined me. I guess its fun for the whole family. I am struggling with the balance part. (I keep falling over J)

You can check out the website at

You have to see the story on Arthur Bowman. You can see his picture in the first row of pictures all the way to the right. What you really want to watch is the video entitled “YRG Helps Disabled Veteran Walk Again.” Impressive!

I will keep you up to date on the progress. So far, so good.

Just Between Friends July 25th & 26th

I hadn't heard about this before, but someone gave me a flyer about it at church on Sunday.

Be a part of the Nation's leading children's and maternity conisgnment sales event. Shop, sell or volunteer. (If you sell your items, you keep 65%)

July 25 & 26 Sabbar Shrine 450 S Tucson Blvd. Friday 9am - 7pm, Saturday 8am - 3pm. Saturday Noon to 3pm, many items will be 1/2 price. or call 520-861-8736 for more information.

Shopper, we accept cash, checks, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, & Debit cards

Also, teachers, sellers, and volunteers can shop before the public.

Just thought some of you may be interested. If anyone goes, or if you have ever participated in this before, please post and let us know about your experience.


The free movie code for today only is: FW72JG.

Some Helpful Leads for Clothing the Little Ones

See the previous post "Clothing the Little Ones" (Fixed the Glitch!)


Target & Walmart – clearance
The Children’s Place Outlet (@ Foothills Mall) – they are usually in the bins and it will take a while to look though all of them, but it’s worth it!


The Children’s Place Outlet (@ Foothills Mall) – there is always some type of sale going on! My favorite sale is the “99 cents sale.” There will be large sections of the store that are all marked 99 cents. Also, they usually have sale items with an additional % off. These can also be great deals! The clothes are always good quality and last us the entire season. They can be washed over and over and still look great.

Target – clearance – I always check in the clothes section and then I go over to the baby section. Lot’s of times, there are clothes just thrown on an endcap (especially when there are a large number of the same thing – like sweatpants, turtlenecks, shorts, t-shirts, or onsies.

Walmart – clearance – Usually all items are put together on one rack with the price clearly marked at the top. For the most part, these clothes hold up well to the washing, but I do find that they shrink a little more than others. (it could just be me J)

Old Navy – clearance- Another one of my favorites. There clearance sales are okay, but a couple times a year, they have to make room for new inventory and so they take an additional 50% off the clearance price. Son is still has clothes in the closet, with the tags still on them from this sale last winter. It will be quite some time before he needs jeans or khaki pants. How can you beat it for $2 and $3? Also, as an added bonus, many of the pants and shorts from Old Navy come with adjustable waistbands. Even if you child isn’t quite into a 3T, you can adjust the waistband until they fit correctly. (When I found clothes like this in the clearance section – I was the happiest mother alive!!)

Kohl’s – clearance – For me, this is hit or miss. Sometimes, I can find a ton of things; other times I can look around for a long time and come up empty handed.

Socks & Underwear:

I can usually find these on clearance at Target or Walmart. Remember, if they don’t have the size that you need right away, look to the future. Children grow and there is no getting around it!! They will eventually be whatever size you are looking at. Also, look ahead to potty training. Underwear were a pretty hot commodity in this house the past year!


Here’s another one of those things that kids are always going to need. If I find a GREAT sale on pajamas, I purchase them no matter what. They can be long sleeve, short sleeve, pants or shorts. There will always be some point in the year when the kids will need to wear that specific type of pajama. Stock up on these things. Again, the children tons of pajamas for the winter. Every time I found a great deal, I purchased them. These also can make great gifts for nieces, nephews and friends’ children because everyone can use them.


Fourth of July is coming up and both of the kids have new, patriotic outfits that cost next to nothing. Most of the places mentioned above clearance out their seasonal items the day after the holiday has passed. You can pick up some great finds then. (Or, if you are really brave, you can give it a couple of days or even a week or so. The longer the items are around, the more they will be marked down.

We do this for Halloween (we haven’t done it for costumes yet, we have a benefactor on that one who picks out the cutest costumes ever - - Thanks ACDC!!!) I do get them t-shirts or pants or pajamas. This year, Daughter will have a crazy pair of tights with pumpkins on them.
Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day are all great times to pick up some things for the kids. You can also find items that are not totally specific to the holiday that the kids can wear. (For example, Son has a super cute pair of shorts that look like the American Flag. While they were a from a Fourth of July sale, he can wear them anytime. Daughter has a cute dress made of red, white, and blue flowers that she can wear anytime.

Clothing the Little Ones

With the addition of little ones into a family many new expenses begin to appear. Today, I walked into Walgreens just to purchase diapers. The cashier looked shocked as I brought nine packages of diapers up to the counter. (You know me, there was a sale, I had coupons, and it was a killer deal.) Some of these expenses are inevitable. You can’t get around diapering your child. But, there are ways to cut the cost.

Clothing is one of these inevitable expenses. You can’t get away with not clothing your children. However, while they are little and don’t have major opinions about brand name clothes or styles, now is the time to take advantage of “shopping the cycles.”

I am sure there is a better name for this, but alas, the creative juices are a little stunted today. Shopping in cycles for our family means that I am always looking ahead and purchasing clothes and shoes that will fit in the future. At the end of each season, stores put many of these seasonal clothes on clearance or have major sales to rid themselves of last season’s clothes. It is here, with a little planning, you can score big.

Many of the clothes that my children will need in this winter have already been purchased. I have them stored away, awaiting the cooler months. With summer here, the kids are wearing clothes purchased for them last year. It takes a little getting used to and it does not always work perfectly, but here are some tips that I have learned along the way:

Guess their sizes too big instead of too small. Pants and shorts can be fixed with belts. Other items can shrink a little in hot water and then again in the dryer.

Don’t buy all the same size for a child that is young and growing quickly. Last year, Daughter was only a couple months old and I was out buying this summer’s clothes. I wasn’t sure exactly what size she would be, but I estimated using her brother’s growth and her rate of growth thus far. I purchased clothes in sizes 12 months as well as 18 months. Now, she has outgrown some of the 12 months items, but not all and I have given her some room to grow. Son was different. With him being three, he is at a point where he is growing lengthwise but not around the tummy so he has been wearing the same size for a while.

Shoes on sale can be purchased just about any time. Kids always need tennis shoes. Our kids always need shoes for church and they can wear sandals for a large chunk of the year. Every time we need to go to Target, I walk down the children’s shoe isle. (same with Walmart and Kohl’s) There are always shoes that are being clearanced. I may not know exactly when my children will end up wearing these shoes, but this is for sure, they will grow into this size eventually.

The more you shop, the more you will be able to spot a good deal. I don’t like to purchase things unless they are at least 50% off the original price. (Sometimes, when I have not planned well enough for shoes, I can only find them 30% off and I grumble to myself the entire way to the checkout.

Would you believe that even socks and underwear go on clearance? You can find everything that your child needs for a fractions of the retail price.
Something to think about: (My son believes getting dressed is simple. He just wants to wear his underwear around all day long. If I ask him to put clothes on, he simply adds a pair of boxers over the underwear – easy enough.)

Posting Comments

I updated the comments section of the blog. I hope it makes it easier for all of you to make comments!! Let me know if things are going more smoothly.

Overwhelming Children’s Section in the Library

It’s a jungle in there! I know the books are all organized and neat in the shelves, but it is insane to take it all in. I love taking the kids to the library. For me, it is so easy to reserve my books in advance and when I stop in, I go to the reserve section, pick up my books and I am done. It is so efficient. There is no need to browse or look around.

For the kids, browsing and looking around is one of the most important parts. They can pull books out, look at the covers, and open up the pages. This is a great process to a point. But there are times when I would just like to go in and pick a book that would be great for the kids without pulling out ever single book.

Don’t get me wrong! I love to see the kids explore the library, it just becomes a little crazy when we are late for naps. Daughter, one, has climbed up on the lap of the teenager sitting at her desk helping other kids read. Son, three, is asking every other person, child, librarian around if they know where the Lightening McQueen books are and follows that with a loud car revving sound.

Also, our process of checking the cover of the book to decide if we want to read it is not foolproof. Two weeks ago, we checked out Old Pig by Margaret Wild. There was a great illustration on the cover and the first page talked about an Old Pig and her Granddaughter and how they lived together. What a great story, right? We get home and later that afternoon, we are sitting on the playroom floor for story time. I start out reading with great fervor until I get to the part about the Old Pig not wanting to get out of bed because she doesn’t feel well. I keep reading until I am telling the kids that Old Pig is getting her affairs in order and telling Granddaughter that she will be okay without her.

At this point, I am crying. (I promise, contrary to what you might think, I’m not much of a crier, but this one was really sad.) The kids are totally confused and Son asks what happened to Old Pig. I am sure this wasn’t the right thing to do, but I told him that she was going on vacation; I turned the page and announced, “THE END.”

I am sure that someone dealing with death would benefit from reading this book with kids. For us, it just turned into a downer. I’m not sure how to find the right books for us. And so, another quest begins. I will post some of the books we love to read and hopefully, others can share theirs as well.