First of all I just want to say sorry to all my followers for not blogging for over a year, I have had a baby, her name is Susie and she is adorable.
Most of the organizational advice that you will find on the internet focuses on big budgets that can cover the costs of expensive boxes, and other things that help you with organizing the things you’re not going to need for a whole season. My tips are mainly going to be focusing on saving when you have a baby.
Put stuff on Ebay
You take a look at a room that is stuffed with useless stuff – you can tell in one stare that what stuff you want to get rid of. It’s better to keep it simple and purge out the stuff that you don’t need instead and put it on Ebay.
Start going through all the items in your room one by one and don’t think twice about keeping the things that you don’t need.
Use Coupons And Product Testing Sites
First of all when you want to go shopping don’t spend on items you don’t need. Use coupons and free testing sites if you want to save money as they offer free products in return for reviews. That can save you lots of money each year. One that comes to mind is bzzagent.co.uk.
Hand Me Downs
Contact friends who have had children who are now older and ask if they have any baby items they no longer need.
This year the penny challenge went viral so I started it on the 1st Jan, and you have to save 1p on the 1st, 2p on the second and so on. If you stick to it for a year you will have a total saving of £667.95 which is great way to save.
On an average, it can cost up to £200,000 to raise a baby in the UK but you don’t have to worry because you can use the below mentioned tips to save yourself some money while the baby is on the way.
How to Save Pennies
- The author of “How to Afford Time Off with Your Baby, Becky Goddard-Hill says, “Don’t be tempted to buy fancy muslin cloths, but look for cheap, plain white muslins in the supermarket,” Looking for the cheaper muslin cloths in the cleaning section of a supermarket can help save a lot of money.
- Signing up for shop loyalty cards can save you a reasonable amount of money. You get four points for every £1 spent on Boots. One point is usually an equivalent of a penny. You can let them add up and buy a bulk supply of nappies for you kid.
- A lot mums get many new-born clothes on the arrival of the kid and do you think you have some spare ones? “Take a few packs back and change them for the next size up. That way you get more wear out of your freebies.” says Becky.
How to Save Pounds
- A lot of upgrades and changes have been made to the benefit system in the past few months and you should make sure that you avail them because you are eligible for them. According to Archna Luthra of www.moneysavingexpert.com:
“Do a five-minute benefit check at www.turn2us.org.uk, all you have to do is enter your details and the rest of the work is done for you.”
- You can survive a couple of more weeks in your trusty jeans by using a belly band even if the pants don’t button up. You will have to look out for a maternity pair on a longer run but using this technique will allow you to only go for one style at the end.
- You will be doing a lot of washing when the baby comes and looking for washing powder deals and then stocking up on them can help save a lot of pounds. Make sure you go for the non-biological brands that help avoid any skin irritations or allergies in newborns.
- Becky suggests that:
“Before you buy new paint to decorate your nursery, ask a friend whose color scheme you like where they got their paint from and see if they have any left,”
Family and friends always love to help in such scenarios and they would appreciate the fact that you are following their taste.
- Make sure that you get the maternity exemption form from your midwife. NHS offers free dental treatment and prescriptions to pregnant women until the baby is one year old.
- There might be a lot of stretch mark creams available in the market but if you like, you can go with the olive oil too. You don’t have to use a lot of it and you will also notice your skin becoming softer and smoother with its application.
- You can also save by getting free samples of nappies and baby wipes, there are many out there that will offer you with fantastic offers.
Holidays season before having kids are nothing but a joy, you can shop around for how long you might want, you don’t have to care about the kids waiting back at home or getting tired and ohhh the crying when they get tired when you take them out with you. There are always a lot of things going around during the holiday time and getting to deal with a kid does offer a distraction. But the efficient mom that I am, I studied my holiday routine and came up with some techniques the make the multi-tasking more efficient. Read on.
Say No to Malls
The first thing that you don’t want to consider during the holidays season is to not end up at a mall. There is always a lot of hustle going on there and it becomes difficult to stay with your plan when you have to deal with such crowded places. Instead of going to a mall, I always prefer going to a shopping plaza around the corner which offers a lot of shops where I can buy a little something for everyone on my list.
It’s always a good strategy to plan before you attack. I personally have to keep in mind that when my kid will get tired and plan accordingly. It’s always a good idea to shop things first hand that require more time, like I know I’m gonna take a lit bit longer at a shoe store and I always prefer getting done with it before my kid gets tired. One more thing that you must have before you start planning your shopping tour is the map of that specific plaza you’re looking forward to go to. Add regular intervals for rest and getting a snack in between your shopping to stay sharp and fresh. A quick stop at the Starbucks can be very rewarding when your kid needs a break; you can get the much needed cup of coffee and a hot chocolate for your kid, win-win for both.
IPhone to the Rescue
You have to get to the change room to find the right fit during your shop to shop tour and as my experience tell me, your kid can never be a fan of this situation. The best solution that I came up for this problem is that I hand over my iPhone to my kid, he gets engaged with the apps that I’ve installed for the sole reason of keeping him entertained while mommy have to pay attention to something else. Another win-win situation for both parties.
You have to keep the little master happy on your shopping trip if you don’t want to hear any sirens. I know once my kid’s little tummy is full, he turn out to be very supporting. We stop every now and then during our shopping trip to get something to get energized again like milkshakes or candy for the little guy which keeps him excited about the trip.
I know every parent out there is always concerned about the screen time there kids are exposed to, same is the case with me. I’m always figuring out new methods to teach my kids in a fun way, like solving puzzles, learning ABC and teaching my 3 year old son how to write his own name. Instead of letting your kids waste their time in front of a television or playing with some silly toys, there are a lot of apps out there that can help them learn things while they play and have fun, the best ones out of them are discussed below.
This is an amazing app which offers a variety of games, songs, puzzles and other playful and learning activities that my son loves. There are a lot of theme packs offered by this app which included fruits, vegetables, cars, animals and insects and a lot of other things. There are a lot of activities included in every different theme pack which doesn’t let my kid get bored as there is always an activity that he haven’t tried before. For a $45.99, there are so many games, sing along songs and puzzles offered by this app that you wouldn’t have to worry about you kid getting done with an app. You can also buy one theme pack at a time for $1.99 if you don’t want to purchase an yearly subscription.
Like other quality products offered by PBS, this app is an incredible one too. There are a lot of engaging and learning, fun activities in this app like, there’s a game called “At the zoo” in which the kid has to get 6 bananas to a monkey which turns out to be a learning process. There’s another app called “at a restaurant” in which you have to feed a gorilla the food which start with the initial letter of its name which helps the kid learn how to spell different foods. This app is best suitable for kids between the ages of 3 and 6, and can be purchased for a reasonable price of $2.99.
Fish School HD
This is a simple app but very interesting and engaging, and teaches the kids how to spell alphabets and numbers in a Fish School. Alphabet songs play in the background while fishes unite in a pattern to make an alphabet. The Fish School HD costs $2.99 and I suitable for kids between the ages of 1 and 3 years old.
Zap Zap Math
A lot of parents have to nag about practicing math and learning the basic skills associated with the subject while dealing with their school going kids. This app is just the thing you are looking for. Zap Zap math offers a large variety of fun and interactive games that helps your kids to learn basic math skills while playing. Another brilliant feature that this app has to offer is that parents and teachers can also sign up for an account on the app’s website to keep an eye kid’s progress and learning. This app is not only free but also targets the kids between the ages of 1 and 6 years old.
With the increase in global warming to an alarming level, a new trend has started which involves people caring about their carbon foot prints at a personal level. If we want to save this planet for our future generations then we are supposed to promote green alternatives in our daily life. Unlike our last generations we are more aware of what’s good and what’s bad for our health and our environment. There are hundreds and thousands of research papers coming out every day that point out the little factors which affect our health and lifestyle, and we definitely know more of the consequences of our daily life decisions. I’m pretty comfortable saying that ever since I’ve stopped using household chemicals, my health has never been better. I never have to deal with any stomachaches and allergies like I use to in the past.
One major step that I took to reduce chemicals was tripping to MyGreenFills. The laundry products offered by MyGreenFills have less harmful chemical ingredients, and it also help reduce carbon footprints by sending you refills in a paper bag which means you only have to buy one plastic bottle. You get the refills, you get it mixed with hot water already, and you’re good to go.
The company’s visions statement says, “Production of sustainable non-toxic products that work great and save money.” The founder of this company, Ruth Smith came up with her own green laundry detergent to save her children from sever skin allergies. MyGreenFills products are made of essential oils mixed with non-toxic chemicals and each bottle provides you with 50 oz of detergent and according to my experience 1 oz is enough your laundry needs if you have a high efficiency washer.
I have been using this detergent for weeks now and have noticed that it doesn’t leave that unpleasant scent and starchy feel on your clothes like you get from regular detergents. It comes already mixed with hot water and dissolved which make things easier, and you don’t have to deal with the dry particles left at the bottom of your dispenser anymore. Once you add your clothes to wash along with the soap, the softener and brightener works better than they would with the detergent alone. If you add the stain remover directly into the washing clothes then it will work far better too. Some of the stubborn stains can be easily removed by rubbing the stain remover on them a little bit.
All the things that this product can do are simply amazing for a 0.10$ per load price. I would love to recommend this product to all of my fellow parents who are concerned about the use of chemical household products and carbon foot printing. To me it’s a great product which is more than just a quality detergent. If any of you have an experience with TheGreenFills then I’d love to read about it, do share!
I haven’t seen a perfect couple yet, there are always a capacity of different opinion and views about the ups and downs in life, and these differences can lead to an argument and the tension builds up. When it comes to holding a family together, the last year was really hard for every family that I know. The decline in oil prices, last year in 2015 affected all markets and a lot of people were fired from their jobs. My family was no exception; my husband was one of the thousands of victims who were affected by the downsizing of the companies happening all around in our city. Once he lost his job the financial pressure increased on our household, and we had to go throw a lot of stress in between the 8 months of his unemployment. We also learned a lot from our situation that’s why I thought I should share some few tips that kept our family together during a stressful period.
The best thing that you can do when you have to face an unexpected situation is not to panic. When you panic, you start expecting the worse and it drains you out of all the positive energy which you would otherwise use to make things right. You can either surrender and let everything fall apart or you can otherwise think of the glass half full and keep yourself calm to elaborate the situation more wisely and plan accordingly.
Start Working on a Plan
Making a plan about what you’re going to do next to get out of the situation that you’re in will not only keep your mind away from negative thoughts but will also give you the much needed hope at that difficult time. Remember; where there is a will, there is a way.
It’s hard to plan ahead if you don’t know what you next steps are gonna be. In this scenario, it’s not a bad idea to share your thoughts and seek advice from your parents or close friends. Networking might get you a reference for a new job if you’re having difficulty with your career. You can also seek advice from a career counselor. If it’s a medical diagnosis, getting an opinion from another doctor can be helpful and you can always research about your issues and learn how to tackle them.
Complement Each Other and Have a Little Fun
This is the most important thing which reassures a couple that even if things aren’t good around them, they at least have a stable relationship and someone to lean on. It’s very important that you build up each other’s confidence during a hard time. Ladies especially, must not take out their frustration on their partner and should instead focus their energies on doing positive things. Showing affection lets your spouse know that you’re there from him/her no matter what. It is also very important to have a little fun to take the stress off. You can call your friends over for a board game or take a walk with your partner in the evening, or anything that might help take your mind off of the routine.