Frugal Parenting Tips and Tricks

Here are some great ways I've learned to be a frugal parent over the years. Got more frugal parenting tips? Do share! :)

Peas and the Sauce – An Unlikely Combination

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So my kids are a little weird.  First, my son -who just turned two- didn’t initially seem to be a fan of sweet peas.  He would literally rather shove them up his nose than eat them.  Yeah….

But a friend mentioned a trick to me, and my kids have been eating it up ever since.  Frozen peas.  Yep.  Frozen.  Peas.  I serve them in fancy little ramekins, and they gobble them up like candy.

One day, I happened to serve frozen peas at the same meal with applesauce, and -wouldn’t you know it!- a new, weird marriage was formed.  My 4 year old daughter got the genius idea to dunk her peas in her applesauce.  It’s been a strange hit ever since.

Peas and the Sauce [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Rhyming with Preschoolers – review

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I recently had the opportunity to review Rhyming Unit Mega Bundle: 17 Rhyming Activities with my 4-year-old daughter.  Boy, did we have fun with this one!
Rhyming with Preschoolers - Rhyming Unit Mega Bundle
My 4-year-old daughter and I enjoyed doing a few of the activities this weekend from this bundle – and reinforced her skills with rhyming all at the same time.  First, we did a quick matching game with a set of rhyming cards – she read the words (paired with pictures) and found another word card in the same rhyme family.  As an extension, and completely on her own, she started making rhyming sentences with the word pairs, like “The fox was in the box.” [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Healthy Organic Kid-Friendly “Fast Food” for Pennies

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I am super-pleased to have Robyn, founder of Active Mama’s show you how to create healthy organic fast food for your kids.  Also,  find out how to win a munchie mug (see below) from Active Mama’s.

Healthy Fast Food

It’s possible to feed your children healthy organic fast food that has no hormones, no steroids, no pesticides and no refined sugar for just 61¢ per meal.  Yes, you read that right, less than one dollar a meal.

Put your preconceived notions to the side.  I have only 3 disclaimers:

  1. Your meal size should depend on how much your child eats.  My child is 2 years old.  It generally takes him two sittings to finish one of my meals, but if he’s in a growth spurt he wolfs it down in one.
  2. How many vegetables you need depend on the size of your vegetable.
  3. You know your kids allergies.  Don’t use an ingredient if your kid’s allergic to it. (Okay, I know you know that… just saying).

Just try this plan once, you’ll be delighted.

Here are my tips for healthy organic fast food for your kids. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Potty Training Essentials & Tips

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It’s been almost two and a half years since I potty trained my daughter in four days at 26 months.  Once we finished those four days, she never ever looked back!  With that total success, and with my son (22 mo) on the brink of being ready, I’ve devised and revised some of my favorite potty training tips for other parents.

Potty Training EssentialsHere’s what I consider potty training essentials and/or what I’d recommend when undergoing the process:

  • Foam hand soap – it just makes hand washing more fun, and makes hand-washing easier.  You can always check for coupons to print before you head to purchase!  😉
  • Keep towels for drying hands on counter in reach, if your towel holder is too high; I still keep hand towels on the counter for my now 4.5 year old daughter.
  • Potty seats for the big potty, as well as little portable potty chairs, because you never know what might interest him most!  When you’re on the go, consider a foldable potty seat.
  • Step stools — for the sink, for the potty, for each bathroom he’ll be using; some portable potties double as step stools.  If your child uses the big potty, you’ll definitely want something to plant his feet on, to make going a little more comfortable.
  • LOADS of paper towels. No explanation needed.
  • Throw in a good pair of gloves, preferably disposable.
  • You’ll want to invest in at least a few packs of toddler underwear. I think I started with three packs for Carol: one with princesses, and two generic packs. On the first day, I constantly reminded her to keep the princesses dry.  Here are some girl panties and here are some cute boy undies.
  • panty liners – yep.  You read that correctly.  Place one towards the back of the undies (where the fanny lies) to help minimize -um- skid marks.  Thanks Lady Poppins for sharing this tip!
  • Lots of fresh, juicy fruits. We lived on cantaloupe, watermelon, and milk that week!  This is essential if you utilize Three Day Method.

Robbie Potty w Blankie

Not necessarily things you’ll need, but my additional two cents on potty training essentials and tips:

  • Make sure your child has the physical skills.  Well before you start potty training, begin working on, and encouraging child to pull pants up and down – when undressing and when changing diapers.  Getting them involved in the steps also helps her feel more independent and in control of the process.Potty Training Essentials - Motor Skills
  • Keep your laundry room available. You WILL be washing those cute li’l undies at least a few times during the process.  This means you may need to shuffle your laundry schedule a bit.
  • Have as much prepped ahead of time as possible. On day one with Carol, I turned my attention to preparing our (simple) lunch, and that’s when she stood on her little chair in the kitchen and peed all over the seat, because she couldn’t tell me in time, and because I didn’t pay attention to follow her cues.  (Remember what I said earlier about paper towels and gloves?)
  • If you use the Three Day Method, you’ll want fun activities, but you can’t get *too* involved in activities because they’ll forget to go potty! Pull out puzzles she hasn’t seen in a while (or new ones), introduce new library books, dolls, trucks, etc – things that could even be brought in to the bathroom while she goes potty.
  • Incentives.  Of course, it’s always best to start something like this with non-tangible rewards (verbal praise, high fives, phone calls to loved ones, “happy dance and song”, etc.), but just in case that doesn’t fully motivate your tot, have small tangible rewards  at the ready.  M&Ms are popular, as are animal crackers, stickers, and other small trinkets.  Consider creating a rewards chart.  Sometimes, the simple act of placing a sticker on a chart is rewarding enough, but pair it with an additional small prize after so many stickers, and you’re golden!  Check out these cute potty training charts here.


 

Keep your eyes on the prize: no more diapers!!  Commit to ditching the diapers, and don’t look back.  Investing in this time with your child, in taking this big step will pay off HUGE in the end!

Got any additional tips to add on potty training essentials?  I’d love to hear from other seasoned potty trainers what’s worked. Leave a comment here on the blog, so others can see.  🙂

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Seeking Car Seat Advice

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Oh car seats.  We started with the infant carrier, and got a taste of the super-cool rear-facing Graco® Snug Ride® Click Connect™ 40, which rocked my socks.  But, alas, children continue to grow, and we need to explore more options.  *sigh*

 

So now, I need some car seat advice:
My daughter is 4 1/2, and weighs 35 lbs. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Whatcha’ Reading? Harold and the Purple Crayon

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Promoting literacy is such an integral part of my life, as a teacher and a mother, and I wanted to extended it to all of you. Therefore, I aim to bring a series “Whatcha Reading” to AFM. Here you will find book picks for children, adults, as well as tips for promoting literacy within your home.

Harold and the Purple Crayon - WhatchaReading

I recently re-read Crocket Johnon’s Harold and the Purple Crayon to my daughter. We marveled at how he kept the moon in his sight, and at how he used his crayon to carry his imagination even further, yet still end up safe and sound in his comfy bed. This was a perfect book, also, to enhance her beginning reading skills: we payed careful attention to the sight words she already mastered, as well as the ones she’s currently working on. Further, it was a great opportunity to introduce a few new words, like “moon”. (This was a great one, since we’ve been discussing the /oo/ sound with her “word eggs”; and its a simple phonetic spelling.)

Further, Harold served as a catalyst the following day in our driveway, bucket of chalk in hand, to create our own world, and travel far on our own adventures!

Later, we were inspired to pull out our copy of Harold’s Trip to the Sky, which extends his adventures with his trusty ol’ crayon.  We had discussions on what we would do if our crayons had that kind of magical power.  And given that I have a 4-year-old daughter, most of her responses involved princesses, fairies, mermaids, a sprkingling of pixie dust, and a few unicorns.  😉

Harold was a childhood favorite of mine, which I was thrilled to share with my children, when we found a copy of it at a garage sale a few years ago.  I was further elated when I saw it as an HBO animated series for kids.  We’ve caught it a few times, but I most enjoy the magic of Harold that is nestled between the pages of our books.  So……

What are YOU reading? 🙂

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Whatcha Reading? – Princess Pigtoria and the Pea

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Promoting literacy is such an integral part of my life, as a teacher and a mother, and I wanted to extended it to all of you. Therefore, I aim to bring a series “Whatcha Reading” to AFM. Here you will find book picks for children, adults, as well as tips for promoting literacy within your home.

Princes Pigtoria - WhatchaReading

In my constant quest for books that satisfy my daughter’s thirst for all things princess, without indulging too much in to the whole glamorized “happily ever after once you’ve found your prince charming” fantasy, I found this little gem at the library recent: Princess Pigtoria and the Pea by Pamela Duncan Edwards.  It’s a clever combination of alliteration in its refreshing and witty use of the “p” sound, as well as a twist on a classic tale.

Princess Pigtoria collage

Find this at your local library, or head over to Amazon to snag your very own copy!

Check out these other great titles by Pamela Duncan Edwards, too!  Edwards has a nice series of children’s stories using imagination and alliteration, hand in hand.


 

 

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Free and Cheap Goods For Expecting Mothers

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When you’re expecting a baby, or if you already have a few little ones, finding free and cheap quality products is a MUST.  Here is my latest list of baby-related products I recommend you check out.  Some are completely free, some you just pay shipping.  Check each offer carefully!  Also, any of these make great baby shower gifts!

  • Get your FREE subscription to American Baby magazine.  It’s got all the information expectant moms want and need – from health and safety issues to the latest and greatest products for baby. I got my free subscription when I had each of my babies, and thoroughly enjoyed this magazine each time.  Subscribe Now – it’s FREE!

  • Pampers Rewards program – Love rewards? Then join Pampers and we’ll spoil you with 100 points!  Pampers Rewards is our popular rewards program that’s as simple as 1, 2, free.

1 – Join @ pampers.com
2 – Find codes on your Pampers products
3 – Get Rewards! You can redeem your points for fabulous free rewards including adorable toys, educational books, strollers and of course, gifts to spoil mom! So join Pampers today and receive 100 points as a bonus welcome gift.


  • FREE carseat canopy (a $49.95 value). Click “Shop Now” and select any canopy you would like. You will automatically be directed to the “shopping bag” where you can enter the promo code “BABYSAVINGS”. This promo code will take off 100% of the canopy purchase and all you are required to pay are the shipping fees. You can use the code more than once – you just have to open a new browser/window to do so. Due to its nature, this offer can’t last long so please hurry!

 

  • Free nursing pillow (just pay shipping) Click the link/banner below, then click on “Shop Now” and select the Nursing Pillow of your choice in any of our 9 prints! Enter the promo code “BABYSAVINGS” and only pay shipping.

 

  • Get a Free Baby Carrier from Seven Slings. Just use promo code: “BABYSAVINGS” at checkout. Click “Shop Now”, select any baby carrier you would like (be sure to go to their sizing page so you can get the right size carrier for you). Once you have selected your size, you will automatically be directed to the “shopping bag” where you can enter the promo code “BABYSAVINGS” This promo code will take off 100% of the baby carrier purchase and all you are required to pay are the shipping fees. You can use the code more than once – you just have to open a new browser/window to do so. Shipping is $11.95.


 

  • Get a Free Breastfeeding Cover from Uddercovers. Just use promo code: “BABYSAVINGS” at checkout. Click “Shop Now”, select any breastfeeding cover you would like (be sure to go to their sizing page so you can get the right size carrier for you). Once you have made your selection, you will automatically be directed to the “shopping bag” where you can enter the promo code “BABYSAVINGS” This promo code will take off 100% of the breastfeeding cover purchase and all you are required to pay are the shipping fees. You can use the code more than once – you just have to open a new browser/window to do so. Shipping is $11.95.

  • Baby Einstein Book Club – Welcome package includes 3 board books and 1 plush book, discovery cards with an attachable ring for only $5.95.  With this membership, you’ll get:  a bonus book 50% Off: Jumbo board book, Baby’s First Words; a parent page with tips on how to introduce your baby to language, music, animals, nature and art.  Also make connections between images in the book and in the real world, create lasting memories while developing a life-long love of reading.  Shipping is FREE!  You can control your membership online.  Best of all, it’s risk free. Cancel anytime with NO purchase commitment!


  • Only new, first-time Citrus Lane subscribers who start a monthly subscription are eligible for the TAKEHALF offer. Gift subscription and multi-month packages including 3, 6 and 12 month packages do not qualify. Limit one TAKEHALF offer per household.
  • This promo only works for for ½ off your first box; however we will be credited for any package that the user signs up for.
  • Description:
  • Have the best, age-appropriate products for your child delivered to your home each month. Perfect for new parents and as a gift.Select the plan that works best for you and your little one. Plans start as low as $21 per month.Tell us your little one’s age (from newborn to 3) so we pick just the right products for your box.We deliver a special box to your door every month…and shipping is free!
  • User Flow
  • User chooses subscription, creates account, enters billing information and places an order. Conversion occurs after credit card info/order is submitted.
  • Conversion Description and Exclusions
  • A valid conversion occurs when a user signs up for a monthly subscription or purchases a 3 month, 6 month or 12 month box package.



  • Kindermint: They buy designer kids clothes. Clean out your kid’s closets and get paid for it!

1. Order a free MINT PACK from Kindermint
2. Stuff the MINT PACK full of kids clothes you wish to sell
3. Drop the Pre-Paid MINT PACK in the mail (UPS or USPS)
4. Cash in! Your choice of check or deposit to your PayPal account.

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Easy Puzzle Storage Solution (and CHEAP!)

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Easy puzzle storage solution: YES!  It is possible to find a clutter-free way to store all those wooden puzzles your toddlers and preschoolers love.  A friend of mine came up with an ingenious way to store toddler/preschooler’s puzzles in an efficient manner: a file folder box!  She used hanging file folders to separate each puzzle, and the clear storage container allows you to easily see each puzzle, and contain them in a small space.  With a lid, you ensure pieces won’t spill, and it won’t take up too much space.  She was able to put this together for under $10.

In addition to hanging file folders, you could also use large plastic baggies.  Can you think of other creative solutions for storing your child’s bulky toys?

 

Easy Puzzle Storage Solution

Heaps of thanks to Dr. Cassie B. of Connected Family Chiropractic for sharing this wonderful idea!!

Also, check out this nifty storage solution for your kitchen:

DIY Rollout Pantry - 13sqft of space for $60!

DIY Pot Rack

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Summer Reading Program: Dig in to Reading!

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



The Summer Reading Program is just the first in many for my “Whatcha Reading” series.  Promoting literacy is such an integral part of my life, as a teacher and a mother, and I wanted to extended it to all of you. Therefore, I aim to bring a series “Whatcha Reading” to AFM. Here you will find book picks for children, adults, as well as tips for promoting literacy within your home.

Summer Reading Program WhatchaReading

Among my many lofty goals to accomplish this summer, summer reading tops the list. (Specifically, working on teaching my daughter to read. But I’ll dive in to that topic on another day…) We recently hit up our Gwinnett library, and signed up for their summer reading program, called “Dig in to Reading!”

Upon signing up, our “kit” included some great tools to help us get started, including a log to help us reach our reading goals, stickers, a some bookmarks. (That it also contained a coupon for a FREE Chick-fil-a kids meal, good anywhere in Gwinnett, and a coupon for a FREE slushie at Sonic were but mere bonuses!)  Along with their program, there are events happening at each location throughout the summer, including puppet shows, story times, and more!  If you’re a resident of Gwinnett, I highly encourage you to check it out!

Similar summer reading programs for children can be found throughout the metro Atlanta area.

Check with your local library to see what they have to offer!  Here is Dekalb’s program, and here is Fulton’s.
Summer Reading Program

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Atlanta's Frugal Mom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. In other words, if you click through to Amazon from some of the books or products I recommend and make a purchase, I get a small percentage in exchange for your purchase. It's a small way you can support AFM.