A new mommy's mishaps, mayhem, and majesty

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Developments

Well, it only took 9 and a half months, but Lily finally cut her first tooth! She cut her first bottom tooth the other day, and her first top tooth broke through today. Her other top front tooth looks like it will cut in the next day or so, and maybe her other bottom tooth as well. At her 6 month appointment the dr prescribed vitamin drops with fluoride since our water is not supplemented, but miss Lily wanted nothing to with them- she spit them out and refused to take them. A few weeks ago I decided to prepare her formula with fluoridated water- thinking when her teeth did come in she would need the fluoride so her teeth might be strong. I guess she just needed the fluoride- three or four of her teeth are coming in at once!

At her checkup last Wednesday, Lily was 20 lbs. and 28 inches long. She made a little jump on her weight. She started taking Zantac to see if her frequent spitup and hunger cues might be related to an esophageal reflux. So far it is helping. We're also trying to get her in to see a pediatric pulmonologist to find out why she always sounds sick.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

One of "those people"

Ok, so I found a new obsession: coupons!

Yeah, I know, I'm turning into one of THOSE people: the ones you HATE to be stuck behind while checking out at the grocery store. The people you see wandering through Wal-mart with 2 carts and a huge binder, haggling with the cashier and generally being an eyesore. One of those people: the ones you envy when everything is tallied up, because they might have a lot of stuff, but their grocery bill is significantly lower than yours. Yeah... those people.

I got hooked on the idea as I was channel surfing one day. None of my favorite shows was on, so I was just looking for some interesting background noise. I ended up watching extreme couponing on TLC. I was amazed at how much these people got for so little. And a lot of it was free! That week I saw an ad for a free coupon class and decided to check it out. They were offering a discount on the Sunday paper, so I signed up to get 5 copies of the paper each Sunday.

After we came back from vacation in California, I started getting 2-4 coupon inserts in each paper, separating them and cutting them out. A big disadvantage to living in this area is the lack of retail stores in general. We have a Wal-mart and a Kent's, and usually I get most of my groceries at Wal-mart because Kent's is a little more expensive. You have to be to stay in business down here. Walmart will price match though, so I started using the savvyshopperdeals.com website to compare prices on foods at various grocery stores in the state of Utah. They have a shopping wizard you can use so you don't have to print out the whole list (there are about 3500 listing on it usually), and I just take that into Walmart with me when I go shopping.

I will brag a little about some of the deals I've snagged after only a month of using coupons. I got 25 boxes of cereal for $16.75 total on my first trip, and 5 free bottles of Matt's shampoo. A few days ago I got 8 large tubes of Crest Pro-Health toothpaste for $3 total (4 were $0.25 each, 4 were $0.50 each :D). I also got 5 packs of Bic Soleil razors for $0.99 each, among many other great moneysaving deals. The space under Lily's crib is taken up by several boxes of Huggies that I got for a great price too ($13.99 for each box- same price as Walmart's Parent's Choice diapers.) Mostly I've used Huggies because I've gotten higher-value coupons than Pampers. if Pampers had higher value coupons I would use them too. But hey, $3 off vs. $1.50 off two.... sorry Pampers.

It takes awhile (I've heard) to build up your stockpile to where you are spending way less on groceries per month than without coupons. I'm still spending about the same right now, but I'm buying a year's supply instead of a few weeks. It's building up slowly, a few products at a time. Once I have my food storage built up, I will get to the point where I won't stock up on it unless it is free or just about.

My sister is moving up to Utah next week, and when she comes I am going to take her shopping with me so she can see how it works. She is showing an interest in coupons as well, and I can't wait to help her get some of the same great deals that I am getting. It is rewarding, but be warned: it is a lot of work. It helps to know what you are going for before you go to the store, and to be prepared. I carry sticky notes so I can write the price and the store and stick the note to the product so it is easier for myself and the cashier when I check out. If I spend too much time in the store, my brain starts to melt so I have to make sure I've had a good meal before I go. I try to just get a few "stockpile" items each trip- I had to leave my first time because I ran out of cart space. It does take longer to get through the store, and I get a little embarrassed sometimes because I feel like I look silly with all my coupons and papers and sticky notes, etc., but it's the sort of thing where you start to see results right away- unlike a diet and exercise plan. I'm getting a lot more for my buck. And I'm proud of myself at the end of the day. So if it does my family some good, I'm okay with being one of "those crazy coupon ladies".