Seeking Toddler Bedtime Advice

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I am in need of some toddler bedtime advice.  My 22 month old son, formerly known as “The Boy who LOVES to Sleep”, is suffering from terrible night-time separation anxiety. He’s having trouble parting with me at night, to go to sleep.

Toddler Sleeping Advice

For the last few nights, when I put him down per our normal bedtime routine, he starts whimpering immediately. If I pick him up and rock with him, an action I’d done previously with great success, he’ll fall asleep, but awaken crying the very moment I place him bak in the crib – no matter how careful I am.

Currently, we are coming in his room in intervals (right now about 20 min) to comfort him with a hug, pat on the back, and remind him it’s time to go to sleep – staying for no longer than one minute.  I’ve ensured his nap is no more than 1-2 hours, and ends no later than 3 o’clock – so that he’s tired at bedtime.

But, he is unrelenting. My husband says our daughter did the same thing -and I’m sure she did – I just don’t remember what we did to help her through this. Ah, the power of hindsight, I suppose. Oh, wait. I *do* remember. It involved laying next to her crib pretending to fall asleep until she actually did fall asleep. That plan didn’t work, because she would just stand in her crib and try to toss things on us, from her limited selection of things to toss from her crib. (This was NOT my idea, just for the record!)

Any advice? What would you do? It’s 10 o’clock, and he’s crying/calling out “I’m done, mommy. I’m done.” (meaning, he’s done sleeping and wants to get up)

I’ve scoured the books, but would love to also hear form some real parents who’ve been down this road. Thanks y’all!

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

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Does Buying in Bulk Bulk YOU Up?

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I came across this article recently on buying in bulk, “Why Buying in Bulk Is Bad for Your Health and wanted to see what y’all thought.  I know with the recent rise of “Extreme Couponing” (y’all-don’t-get-me-started!), we are seeing more people buying bulk.  But this article makes the arguement that this practice can be detrimental to your health.  Read the article here, and then come back and let me know what YOU think.  Do you agree or disagree?  Have you found ways to buy food in bulk, while maintaining a certain level of health and nutrition?  Do you think it’s possible to stockpile/buy in bulk, while also eating healthy?  If so, please share!  


Keep on saving!  :o)

–Barbara
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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!**

Coupon Class for the Atlanta Area??

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I’ve been pondering this for a quite a while now, so I’m just going to go ahead and put it out there: I’m considering hosting/offering a coupon class for those interested in the Atlanta area.  There’s a TON of research I’d need to do to get it beyond the hypothetical stage, but I’d like to know:

1) Would you be interested in attending such a class? 

 2) Also, if you’ve already attended a couponing-type class, I’d love to hear from you.  Let me know what you’d like to learn from such a class. 

3)Further, if you’ve ever GIVEN a couponing class, I’d really love to pick your brain.  

I’ll be putting out some preliminary forms via Google Docs soon, but wanted to just go ahead and see if there’s much interest in a coupon class before I go any further.  If you can answer any of the above questions, please do so, either by commenting directly on the blog, on Facebook, via Twitter, or by emailing me.  

I’m a teacher by profession, and a Couponer by -well- instinct?, so putting these two gifts together just seems to make sense to me, if there’s an interested amongst y’all.

Thanks in advance, y’all!  :o)**This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it.**
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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!**

Readers Respond!! Latest Rite Aid Haul!!

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READERS: Do you have a great “haul” you’d like to share?  Don’t be shy — this is the place to brag about it!  :o)





Although SnowMaggedon 2011 tried to keep me trapped inside, I finally made my way out to Rite Aid on Thursday.  I knew there were some good deals to be had, with manufacture coupons, Video Values coupons, BOGOs, and Up Rewards, combined with carefully planned transactions — and I was right!  For 15 items, I paid $6.19.  But read on, it gets better!




(P.S.  If you’re unfamiliar with all the goodies at Rite Aid, start here.)




Transaction #1
(2) Stayfree Maxi Pads 24 ct. 2/$5.00
In the end, I was out of pocket $1.70 for ALL THIS!

 — use BOGO coupon from this Sunday’s paper, which made it 2/$2.50

 — got $2.00 in UP Rewards
(2) Carefree Liners 60 ct. 2/$5.00
 — use $0.50 coupon from Sunday’s paper, which made it 2/$4.50
 — got $2.00 in UP Rewards (thus, giving me $4 so far)
Tylenol Precise Heat Patch 3 ct. $5.00
 — use $5.00 coupon from a few Sundays ago (sorry I can’t recall anything more specific!)
 — got $3.00 in UP Rewards (yep, they ended up PAYING me to buy this!)
(2) Purex 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets BOGO @ $7.99
— use (2) $1.00 coupons from free samples received earlier
— got $1.00 in UP Rewards (bringing UP Rewards total to $8.00!)

— used (1) $4.00 off $20.00 purchase coupon, from Video Values program
— used (3) $1.00 off coupons, also from Video Values

Total after tax and coupons: $7.18 
(I had a $4.78 giftcard from earlier returns w/o receipt)

Transaction #2
(2) Right Guard deodorant sticks BOGO @ $2.99
(2) FiberPlus Cinnamon Crunch cereal BOGO @ $4.79
 — use (2) printable $0.70 coupons from here
 — got (2) $1.00 UP Rewards (I wasn’t even expecting this!)
 — PLUS, will mail in rebate for $4.49
Sippy Cups 3 pk $5.99 (luxury purchase!)
Munchkin Sippy Cup $3.99 (another luxury purchase!)
(2) M&Ms 1.69 oz $0.88 each (to get me right to $20)

— used (1) $4.00 off $20.00 purchase coupon, from Video Values program
— used (3) $1.00 off coupons, also from Video Values
— used $8.00 in UP Rewards from previous transaction

Total after tax and coupons: $3.79 

Summary
After giftcards and rebates, I paid $1.70 for $69.09 worth of goods!  That’s a savings of almost 98%!!  And, remember, I still walked out with $2.00 in UP Rewards from the 2nd transaction!

Oh, how I love that coupon HIGH!



**My point in sharing this with you is to show you how, with a little planning, you can walk away paying next to nothing for a good amount of name brand stuff!  I apologize for not sharing the deals at Rite Aid with you sooner, but hope that this (and the other “hauls” I’ve shared) will serve as an example of how to combine sales, coupons, and store rewards to help stretch your dollars further.



READERS: Do you have a great “haul” you’d like to share?  Don’t be shy — this is the place to brag about it!  :o)

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it.**

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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!**

Moments of Doubt

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I often question if I am absolutely off my rocker, creating and trying to maintain this here blog…  I wonder how many people are actually reading what I post.  Moreover, I wonder more seriously how many people actually CARE about what I’m writing about.  I share this, not to drum up sympathy, but to really get a gage on how worthwhile this whole blogging thing proves to be.  I’m juggling a few other (less-populated) blogs.  Oh, and a part-time job, and motherhood, and a somewhat slightly visible life outside of the aforementioned.  



After having the blog up for almost three months (gasp!  where does the time go!?), I have accumulated almost one hundred “fans” on Facebook, and am slowly growing a smaller following on Twitter.  But reader feedback is still scarce.  Seriously, seriously scarce.


So, is it worth my time to pour over these blog pages daily, hour upon hour, for -hmm- perhaps a handful of people to read?  I don’t know.


What I know is I’ve gotten two much-needed compliments within the last twenty-four hours about AFM.  (Y’all know who you are — bless you!)  Those compliments came at a time when I was truly wondering if I should just throw in the towel…  After all, a mom-blog about saving money?  That’s certainly far from original.  However, if I know that my readers are coming away with something worthwhile from reading my blog, then, by all means, I shall blog away.


{Feel free to shower me with your thoughts and feelings about the blog at this point.  Compliments, critiques, rude remarks, and general nonsensical babble are all welcome. It may help save Atlanta’s Frugal Mom, in more ways than you could ever imagine!}


**This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it.**

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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!**

A Dilly of a Pickle: The Coupon Dilemma

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Readers: Share your thoughts and experiences

As a “couponer”, I have had my fair share of experiences where a cashier refused to accept perfectly good coupons, hassling over the deals gotten with these coupons, and just downright nastiness…  I believe it is just par for the course in the world of coupons and couponers, and I have learned to accept this, and have taken proper measures to ensure that I can politely argue my case, when the situation arises.  



However, the other night, I found myself on a completely different end of couponing, and found the experience equally uncomfortable.  Hubs, tot, and I decided to indulge in one of our favorite places* for dinner, with coupons and a $5 giftcard in hand.  As I ordered, I asked if using more than one coupon (each good for a free large soda) was allowable.  (This place has always accepted multiple coupons in one order, but I find it’s always polite to ask.)  The gal said that it was permissible.  She saw that I had additional coupons for additional various items.  She indicated that I could use those coupons to bring down my total, even if I didn’t want said items.  In other words, she would take off the price of the drink ($1.65-ish), even if I didn’t intend to order the item indicated on the coupon.


That’s when it got uncomfortable…  The cheap-cheapie in me was quickly excited at the idea of getting our meal for even LESS out of pocket…  However, morally, I just didn’t feel that this was precisely how this particular franchise intended for their coupons to be used.  So, I compromised: I used one additional drink coupon (which took off $1.65ish), and held on to the other three coupons.  Thus, I came away with two chicken sandwiches, a waffle fry, and two large sodas for less than three dollars out of pocket, after using three coupons and a $5 giftcard.


I could have come away with a completely free meal and had some left over on the giftcard, but I just didn’t feel that was right.  This restaurant, this particular location, has been exceptionally wonderful to us, as I know it has to many of its other customers.  “Beating the system” by using the additional coupons simply didn’t feel right.  To be honest, I feel slightly bad for using a third coupon the way I did, but it was a decision quickly made in the moment, and I cannot undo it.


As a mother, I strive to teach my daughter to be an honest, responsible citizen.  I firmly believe the best way to teach this is to lead by example.  Therefore, I try to always be honest and responsible in the way I shop, even if it means passing on questionable deals.  In the past, I’ve gone all the way back in to the grocery store after loading up our (reusable) grocery bags, to pay for the soda I’d forgotten to pay for while initially checking out. 


…I digress.  I found myself in an unlikely situation the other night that I did not expect to be in. Further, I don’t think this kind of situation will arise very often.  I simply hope that I can, indeed take the morally high road, if for no other reason, than to serve as a good model for my children.  :o)


Readers: have you ever found yourself in a morally sticky situation while shopping?  How did you handle it?


*I will not mention the actual restaurant, but you can probably figure it out from the story…  


**This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it.**

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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!**

Locals I Love!

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Readers: Who are some of your favorite
local(ish) money-saving gurus?

Everyone seems to know my cheap hero, Clark Howard, and his wonderfully fiscal ways.  He’s our local financial legend, teaching the Atlanta area how to make smarter moves to keep more money in our pockets, keep our credit scores in tact, and be more financially sound.  For years, he’s been making frequent appearances on Channel 2’s news, as well as WSB radio; oh, and he’s got a nationally syndicated radio talkshow, which is also available via podcast. You can find him on Facebook and on Twitter, too.  (Can you tell I like the guy?  …just a little?)



Recently, I have additionally discovered a columnist in the AJC , who I simply must share with y’all: The Atlanta Bargain Hunter.  She has a blog featured on AJC.com, and has a weekly column that appears in the physical AJC paper.  
And I will end this post by posing a question to y’all:

Do you have additional homegrown financial heroes?  I’d love to hear all about them!   Please leave a comment here, or on the Facebook page, sharing about your favorite local financial guru.  

(Please keep it LOCAL, as in the Atlanta-ish area, please!)

I can’t wait to see y’alls responses!  :o)


**This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it.**

Follow Me on Pinterest
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!**

Discussion: Where do you take your child around town?

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Readers: Where do you
take your kids around town?

I am always on the lookout for more great places to take my toddler (free, or almost free….but preferably for free).  We frequent the pool when it’s open, the local playgrounds (like Brooke Run), story times and  “Building Blocks” at the local libaries.  I’ve taken her to Discover Mills a few times as well; it seems to be fairly kid-friendly there, too.

Anyone been to the playground near PDK?  There seems to be a buzz about it!

What are some other places that are fun for kids?  We can only take so many leisurely trips to Target and the mall!

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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!**

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