Category Archives: Money Saving Ideas
The Hospital Birth Part 1
I was recently asked to tell my story of why I chose and choose to have a home-birth over a hospital birth. I know some people are skeptical as to the whys. Here are my whys and why nots. But first I just have to say this. A home-birth is not for everyone. If you have ever had a complication with a child during birth, the average midwife will tell you that she will not deliver in your home. She will be more willing to deliver in a birthing center or a hospital.
So here is our hospital story.
We have 3 children – 2 boys and little girl. Our oldest was born in the hospital. We thought about a home delivery with him but we had 100% insurance coverage because of the job I was working at. Our insurance was awesome we literally didn’t pay a cent for our hospital birth. Because of this we took advantage of all that money we spent every month. We arrived at the hospital about 1 o’clock and I was told by my doctor that he was going to go ahead and break my water. I needed to get on some antibiotics since I had strepB. Yeah!!! “sorry a little sarcastic.” So there I was laying down and I started to have contractions. I got up a few times and walked around sat a little bit at a table on an exercise ball to fill out some paperwork. But pretty soon the contractions picked up a lot! When I think back I wish I knew what I do now about birth. I wouldn’t have laid back down!!!
My contractions got worse and worse as they often do…. I couldn’t take it. The pain was unbearable but I refused to do an epidural… I had heard way to many things about epidurals and none of them were good. I decided to take a drug that would take the edge off. I still felt my contractions but they didn’t hurt as bad. I will tell you this, that drug made me feel a bit on the drunk side. At least that is what the doctor told me it would feel like, since I had never been drunk in my life I wasn’t sure what to expect. I guess I was also quite hilarious. The nurses, the doctor, my sister in-law and my hubby were laughing quite a bit I heard.
Isn’t he adorable?
Well the time had come. It took 40 minutes of pushing and my baby boy was born. Afterwards I was wheeled into my room where I got to snuggle with my newborn baby boy. By this time it was 9 at night I was exhausted. But my baby was WIDE AWAKE. We couldn’t quite figure out the whole breast-feeding thing and between the two of us we were both frustrated. But come 4am we both finally passed out! Needless to say those next 2 hours went by way too fast. Doctors and nurses came a flooding in between 6am and 12pm. No sleep for this tired mama…. I could have cared less about my blood needing to be drawn or eating breakfast or taking my vitamins. I JUST WANTED SLEEP! However I wasn’t going to be rude and not let my friends and family come and see the baby and I. I toughed it out. The next several days went by in a flurry. I was so glad when I got to go home.
My likes and dislikes of the hospital
- Beds were comfy
- Nurses were nice for the most part “Except for the ones that decided to talk about 4-H and their cattle in the middle of my pushing”
- The food wasn’t bad
- The whirlpool bathtub was great
- My doctor was great
So yeah that is about all I can think of that I liked about the hospital
- The nurses who couldn’t stop talking about 4-H and it took my husband to say something
- The contractions were really really strong – I found out later that they were stronger than normal since the doctor broke my water versus it breaking on it’s own.
- It didn’t matter what my birth plan was. I was still asked every so often if I wanted pain meds. “You would think they get paid more if the patient takes them”
- The fact that someone didn’t really show me how to breast feed
- I was woken up at 6am for blood work and everything else
- I almost didn’t get to eat supper at one point because I almost ordered food way to late – “I had a 5 minute window left to order”
- I was made to watch videos about Shaking baby syndrome and SIDS. Not that big of deal for someone who hadn’t seen them before. But I had just got done watching them 2 weeks earlier.
- Some of the nurses were rude about the videos – Ok that’s being nice. They were all rude about the videos. I finally just left them on just to make them happy.
- I really wasn’t comfortable. The hospital gowns really are not that conservative in the ways of apparel.
- I didn’t feel like I could relax.
- I was always worried that someone might walk in on me while I was dressing, going to the bathroom and so on.
- If it hadn’t been for our insurance we would have had to pay $10,000 just to have a baby in the hospital – Those fees also included all “baby well visits” as well. Not to mention the cost to have a premium insurance plan – a little over $480 a month Which came out to about $4,320
I was so glad to get home. Now not everyone’s experience is going to be like mine. Some of you may have had a great experience and some of you may have had it worse than mine. It will have to be something that you will need to weigh the pros and cons of before you decided to have a hospital birth, home birth or to have the baby in a birthing center.
What was your experience? Did you like the hospital or did you chose to have a home-birth? I would love to hear your feedback 🙂
Have you ever thought of creating your own tees for a fundraiser, team, group or even just for fun? It is really easy and simple to do with Teespring. I love this site and I have had time to play around and mix things up and be very creative. This site is great if you are trying to raise money for a fundraiser, team and group. You can even design and sell them to make extra money.
With Teespring it is so easy to get started and it doesn’t cost you a penny to do it. So yes it is FREE to design a tee, set the price you want to sell it for, set a goal. Then advertise with facebook, e-mail and the rest of the world you decided to share it with.
It is so simple to do. It takes only 3 easy steps from beginning to end.
While you are working on the first step you need to decided what brand/style of a T-shirt you want to use. Along with what color. There are a lot of options to pick from, along with cost. You can also add your own art or use one of the art graphics they have available.
Want a design or wording on the back of your t-shirt? Well it is possible to flip your t-shirt around using the button below the t-shirt that says “see back”.
Go ahead and edit this side as well if you have something extra you want to do. You can write a saying, a couple of words & or even art If you don’t have anything to add just leave it blank. It really is all up to you. The options and possibilities are endless.
When you are finished you can click the green button that says “Next Step”.
Now you are on step 2. This is where you will set your sales goal – “How many t-shirts you want to sell”. How much you want to sell them for. Once you have set those 2 things, look at the bottom of the page the bright green digits will show your profits. This will tell you what your estimated profit will be. When you have everything set. Go ahead and click “Next Step”
Step 3 here we come. Next enter the title of your Campaign. Give a description of your t-shirt and or why they should buy it. You can also put a link to a website or a picture/design into the description. You then can choose your campaign length of time and choose your URL – This is not where you put your website name this is where you just put a simple name or team name for instance we used economicalmommy “http://teespring.com/economicalmommy” This way when you give the link out it directs people right to your campaign. Then decide on your shipping options. When you are all finished Click “Launch Campaign”
Once you have clicked “Launch Campaign” another screen will pop up showing you the buy it now tab along with how many you have sold compared to your goal. There you are all done.
Wait did I say you were all done? Not quite 😉 Now that you are ready to sell your tee. Make sure to share it with friends and family!
Once you have shared it you can sit back and watch your group, team, fundraiser or see the extra money you need come in.
It really is that simple and it really doesn’t cost you anything to get started.
Give TeeSpring a try for your next fundraiser, group or even to make a little extra money on the side. It is an awesome company. One that is worth giving a try.
If you would like to purchase our first ever Economical Mommy Tee “Where Piggy Banks Rule The Day” Click here.
I’m not sure if you have ever tried juicing but in our family when cold and flu season start we bring out the juicer and we hit the store for fresh fruit and veggies. We have tried several different juices “Different fruit and veggies in our juice” but our favorite seems to always be Carrots, Celery and Apples and sometime a hint of pear.
Needless to say I’m the first to get the cold in our family this cold season…. Bummer I know, Right? Well This mama needs to keep up her energy and needs to get over this cold very soon and fast. Plus I can’t have anyone else catch a cold either.
Well This is what I’m doing to overcome this dreadful cold….. Lots of Vitamin C “I love Emergenc and Airborne”. Plus some Zinc Lozenges and I also Juice 2 to 3 times a day.
To make your own juice it is really important to have a juicer. We use a Jack LaLanne express. Now I will be honest over time it doesn’t work as well as it did in the beginning. We really want a vitamix. They are bit more spendy but I feel that it will be worth it in the end.
Once we have our juicer put together we gather our fruit and veggies that we plan on using.
We cut everything up a bit. It just fits in the juicer easier.
Then in the fruit and veggies they go and out comes the juice. 🙂
Once it has all been juiced I place in cups and in the mouths it goes. Yes my kiddos LOVE juiced carrots, celery and apples.
And Juice just wouldn’t be the same without those mustaches!
This batch made about 3 1/2 cups of raw juice…. No sugars added, no preservatives added and non of the other junk that you find in juice bought in a store. Raw Juice is SO MUCH better for you!
Here is an idea of the nutrients that are packed in this awesome drink
This was one of the best websites I could find for this recipe for nutrients.
Do you juice? If so what are your favorites recipes and why do you do it?
Padi Blanket Giveaway
Sponsored by: Elli and Nooli
Hosted by: More Than Mommy
The Padi Blanket is a one-of-a-kind blanket made of organic cotton pique, and designed to keep your baby snugly warm without overheating. Because of its special design, this blanket will never fall off and works well for all strollers and car seats.
You can read a full review of the Padi Blanket at More Than Mommy.
Elli and Nooli and More Than Mommy are teaming up to give away one of these fabulous blankets! They are also available for purchase on Amazon. (RV $42) There will be only one winner, 18+, U.S. only. One entrant per household, please.
*I have not been compensated in any way for sharing this giveaway with you. More Than Mommy and this blog are not responsible for prize shipment. More Than Mommy received a Padi Blanket in return for her honest opinion. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are not affiliated with this giveaway.
Recently every restaurant we go to my husband will ask for a vanilla coke. Needless to say he hasn’t had the greatest luck. If you are unsure of what that is, it is a Coca Cola with vanilla flavoring.
On one such occasion with the answer being no and me saying honey it can’t be that hard to make our own. After we left the restaurant he went to the grocery store and picked up a 2 liter of Coca Cola and some vanilla. Both of us thinking it was that easy to do. A little bit of vanilla and some Coca Cola. Well needless to say that wasn’t the case. It was gross.
So I did a little research and found that you need vanilla syrup to mix with the Coca Cola. I went to the store and well that stuff was very expensive. Not very economical. So I pulled out my smart phone and started to look recipes up on the internet and I even called one of my sisters who works in bar to see if she knew how to make it. She pointed me in the right direction for making our very own Vanilla Syrup. Who knew there were websites for making cocktails and other alcoholic drinks. We really don’t drink so that be why we had no clue. LOL oh well. The website Drinks Mixerseems to be the place to go. The recipe was easy to follow and very economical to make. So here is the run down.
You will need the following:
- Sugar 1 1/2 cups
- Salt 1/2 tsp
- Water 1 1/2 cups
- Real or imitation Vanilla flavoring *we used the real stuff! 2 Tablespoons
- Drinking glass
- storage container
Simple as that. I found while making this it reminded me of the Maple Flavored syrup I made a while back for all of you.
to start with this recipe put your sauce pan on the burner on medium heat with 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix until it becomes clear and starts to boil.
Hard boil it for 5 minutes. Once it has boiled for the 5 minutes remove it from heat and add 2 tablespoons of vanilla. Stir it up and then let it sit until it cools down.
“I stick it in the freezer for a bit to help the cool down process along.” Once it is all cooled down put 1 “shot” per can of coke. Now I will tell you that my hubby and I found that less is more in this case. You will have to play with the measurements to see what you like the most. We like it with 3 tsp of vanilla syrup in an 8 ounce glass of coke with ice.
We were able to make the batch above for about .50. This recipe will make about 500 milliliters. If you plan on buying the vanilla syrup in the store you will be paying almost $8 for a container. Also it only has about 750mililiters in the container. Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.
Have you ever had vanilla coke in a restaurant or heard of it? What were your thoughts on the yummyness of it?
I don’t know about you but I love to throw birthday parties for my little ones. Plus you can have a fantastic one for $50 or less. Not bad huh?
It might just be me getting lucky at this time of the year for sales.
That or I’m just starting to really learn how to be thrifty.
Now all of our kids birthdays fall within a 2 month period of time and 3 months for all 5 of us.
August, September and October are very busy when it comes to birthdays.
I love celebrating each year my children turn another year older. They only get to be that old once.
So I want to make it memorable every year.
Here are some tips for just how I spend $50 or less on a birthday party.
One thing to remember when planning a party is how many people will be attending. More people there are the higher the cost it will be.
A good thing to do is grab a piece of paper, set a budget and DON”T GO OVER IT!
Remember most people won’t even know that you forgot or didn’t have money to buy something.
Goodie Bags and or Treats
Do without the goodie bags. The average kid won’t even know that there are usually “goodie” bags at a birthday party.
They will be to caught up in the moment.
Some birthday parties have a pinata. To save costs you can make one yourself.
To save money on a “venue” go to a park or host it at your house or a family members house.
I love the park because the kids can play while the food is cooking and there is no need for entertainment because they are otherwise occupied.
To help save money on food keep it simple! Below is a simple menu an approximate cost for each.
Hot Dogs – .088 cents – First off you don’t need to spend a ton of money on food. stick to the basics. Kids LOVE hotdogs, it’s simple and easy and remember if adults complain about the food remind them the party is not for them it’s for “munchkin ‘s name”. The cost here can vary depending on how many kids and adults come. I usually can get a pack of hot dogs 10 in a pack for .88 cents on sale. Remember your average kid will eat between 1 and 2 hot dogs. So your one package will feed approximately 5 kids.
Buns – You can usually get a package of buns at your local Kwik trip or dollar store for about $1 a package. There are usually 8 in a package. Each package will feed 4 kids. “that is saying each kid will eat 2 hotdogs.
Chips – I will be honest here I love the taste of the potato chips at our local dollar store. They are made from all natural ingredients and they are only $1 a bag. Each bag will feed between 6-10 kids
Watermelon – .99 – $1.49 a lb depending on the season. This is very cheap to buy and easy to dish up. I don’t know many kids who don’t like to eat it either.
Cake – I know it is easier and faster to buy a cake but this really is where one of the biggest costs come in for a birthday party. However it is cheaper to go buy a couple Betty Crocker cake mixes and whip them up yourself. I use about 1 box cake mix per round birthday cake and 2 box cake mixes for rectangle cakes. They cost about $1.49 – $2.00 for a box sometimes you get them for $1 if you buy them when they are on sale. You can buy the frosting or click here for making some easy recipes that are really cheap to make and easy. If you have a little extra time you can make your own fondant. Click here for a how to.
Ice Cream – yes it is easier to go out and buy your own. but hey there is nothing like a little excitement in making your very own. This is also a great idea for kids to do at the birthday party themselves. Ice cream in a bag is the way to go. Click Here for a simple and easy how to.
When looking at food cost you can use the chart below to help you prepare a little bit for costs
Item Cost Feeds
Hot Dogs .88 – $1 a package 4 – 5 people “saying everyone has 2 hotdogs each
Hod Dog Buns $1 – $1.49 a package 4 people – “saying everyone has 2 hotdogs each.
Chips $1 – $3.49 a bag 6 – 10 people
Watermelon $1 – $1.49 a lb 12 – 15 people
Cake $1.49 – $2.00 a box 10 – 15 people
Ice Cream $2.00 – $4.00 15 – 36 people “depending on size of container”
$7.37 – $13.47 4 people approximately
$10.37 – $15.96 8 people approximately
$12.25 – $18.45 12 people approximately
$15.13 – $24.43 16 people approximately
Now I love the dollar store when it comes to party supplies. Why? Everything is $1!!!!
Usually when I plan a birthday party most everything comes from the dollar store or is made from scratch.
Paper plates – $1 – $3 depending on where you buy and what style.
Last week we celebrated my daughters 1-year-old birthday. I had 15 people attend the party.
“We had more invited, not everyone was able to make it though”
So here is what it cost me
$15 for 3 dozen corn
$3.52 for 4 packages of 8 hotdogs
$4 for 4 packages of hotdog buns
$2 for 24 plates
$2 for 24 cups
$2 for 40 napkins
$1 for ketchup
$0 for mustard – We already had some
$3.99 for a large watermelon
$4.79 for Chips
$1 for cake mix
$1.29 for marshmallows
$1.39 for Powdered sugar
$4 for 4 2 liters of pop
$1 for party bags – I only needed 8
$6 for 6 different party favors and treats
My grand total
$52.98 for a party of 16 people
** Now I wasn’t planning on spending the $15 for 3 dozen corn.
My hubby went and bought that from a farmer and then told me he bought some.
We also never did end up using the watermelon** So without those 2 things my grand total would have been $33.99.
We also didn’t use ice cream since it was too hot that day. So that too helped save us money
My daughter had a blast at her party. It was simple and didn’t cost us a fortune.
If you have questions or ideas as to also help make a birthday party as cheap as possible please leave a comment below.
Tonight is the first blue moon since November, 21 2010 and the next one wont happen until May 21, 2016.
To find out more about the Blue Moon and the hows and whys click HERE
Here our my TOP 5 memorable Blue Moon activities for you and your family.
- The Blue Moon is a great opportunity to keep your kids wide awake and take them star-gazing and look at the full Blue Moon. Pack them up in a vehicle unless you are already lucky and live on a farm or far enough away from city lights. Make sure to grab a picnic blanket or two and some blankets to lay under if it is too cold.
- If you love to camp take them camping or let your kids pitch a tent in the yard for your kids to sleep in.
- Make some sugar cookies cut them out in circles and frost them with white or blue frosting.
- If you are not up to camping or star-gazing take your kids for a walk in the evening when the moon is starting to come out.
- Have your kids color and decorate a circle “moon” on a piece of paper.
With any of the activities that you plan on doing make sure to tell your kids about when and why the blue moon occurs. Allow your kids to ask questions. This is a great opportunity to tell your kids that even though it is called a blue moon it does not mean that the moon is actually blue in color.
For more information about the Blue Moon click the links below. 🙂
For all you gardeners out there. Have you ever gotten into your growing season and have found some random vegetable or fruit-growing in a place you never planted it or even close to your garden? Well, I have. I find it on the funny side when it happens and I also see it as an unexpected blessing from God.
To talk about randomness of vegetables. Growing up on a hobby farm we had a compost pile. It was my chore to empty the compost out every day into the compost pile and on one such occasion I found a pumpkin growing up a tree. Yes a pumpkin growing part way up a tree. The crazy thing was it had my initials carved in the pumpkin. Which only meant one thing. My mom had found the pumpkin and had done that. Which by the way it made my day!
Pumpkins and many other “fruits” like it. Yes it is considered a fruit. Now if you want to surprise your kid or kids carve their name or a picture in a small pumpkin or other squash/gourd. As the fruit grows the fruit will scab over and grow with the fruit. It really is a neat thing to see. Also your kids will be overly surprised.
two years ago we planted tons of tomatoes and some tomatoes fell to the ground because they were rotten. So last year we were really surprised that we had 15-20 yep 15-20 random tomato plants growing. Granted it was great since we started our garden a little on the late side and missed the chance to plant tomatoes.
This year 20 odd miles from our garden we find a corn-stalk growing by our house. Yeah a corn-stalk.
Conner came running inside a couple of days ago. Very excited. He was talking so fast because he was so excited. he kept saying mama, mama, mommy, mommy, mom, mom. “yes all of those variations” I found some corn-growing in the yard. I found some corn, I found some corn. Come look mommy, come look. hurry mommy. I can’t believe my eyes. I a little on the skeptical side of things was like ok show me. I half expected to just some really tall grass. don’t know why I wouldn’t be surprised at the randomness of any vegetable or fruit by now.
However here it is.
It is about knee-high which in this neck of the woods it is very much on the late side of growing. It is about a month late. Corn here needs to be knee-high by July 4th in order for it to be considered a good crop. So we shall see if we actually get any corn from it.
Conner has been very diligent in watering this corn-stalk. He will ask me every day if he can go water it’s roots.
So randomness in our gardens no matter the distance always seems to happen and I will always welcome it with open arms. 🙂
Have you ever found any random fruit or vegetables growing?
What was your response to the randomness?
- a light weight cotton
***half yard “for infant” 3/4 yard for toddler or a yard to two yards depending on how tall your child is.***
- You will also need to buy another light weight cotton if you are planning on doing a layer inside the dress for finishing touches.
- Sewing Machine
- Measuring tape
- Safety pin
- Your child
Take your measuring tape and measure your child from shoulders to knees or to however long you want the dress to be. write it down. Then measure your child from one side of the torso to the other. You will then add 4-8 inches or more depending on how wide you want your dress to be. Here you can be a little bit more lenient on.
Next you will want take the length that you just measured and place it on your fabric. You will want to add anywhere between an 2-4 inches on the top and 4-6 inches on the bottom. You will need this for hemming later
Next lay your fabric on a clean smooth surface
Please leave a comment and tell me what you think.
Not sure if you have worked with fondant or if you have ever bought a cake with fondant on it. After my experience yesterday decorating my son’s birthday cake with my very own fondant. I will never buy the stuff in the store again let alone I probably won’t decorate another birthday cake with frosting from the store! It was so EASY and SO Cheap! Yes it did take time and patience. I started making the fondant and finished decorating the cake in a matter of 2 1/2 hours. Granted there a lot of disturbances and breaks to help kiddos and a few other things. In the end it probably took an 1 1/2 hours to make and decorate. Still not bad. I loved the end result and I loved the fact that if I cut something wrong or it tore while placing it on the cake I could remove it and roll it out again. Unlike creamy frosting where if you make a mistake it is harder to fix.
Here is this fantastic recipe and also a how to: Video on Youtube by Sweet art Factory
- Grab a 16ounce bag of MINI Marshmallows
- 2lb bag of powdered sugar
- 2 – 3 tablespoons of water
- If you want flavoring you can add clear flavoring. “I didn’t use any”
- Gum Paste “Optional” I didn’t use it.
Place your powdered sugar in a large bowl and create a crater/well in the middle of the bowl. Next place your mini marshmallows in a microwavable bowl along with 2 tablespoons of water.
Put you bowl of mini marshmallows and water in the microwave until the marshmallows are melted. “NOT BOILING” Take out of the microwave. You can add your flavoring into the melted marshmallows
Next pour the mixture into the crater/well of powdered sugar in the bowl. Make sure it doesn’t touch the sides. Mix with your fingers. My recommendation on this try not to touch the marshmallow mixture AT ALL. You will find that it sticks a lot to your fingers. To help with this add a little bit of shortening to the mixture.
Take your fondant once it is all mixed and knead it on some powdered sugar on your table or counter top. Once it is kneaded really well divide your fondant into what colors you plan on using.
Sorry I did forget to take pictures for all of you. 😦
Once you have divided your fondant go ahead and start adding your food coloring, and Knead and knead until you get the right color you want. Add more food coloring and knead as needed. Just a reminder if your fondant is sticky add a little bit more shortening. . Continue this step with all colors you need.
Here is my first step in the batman cake I made for Conner. Make sure to roll your fondant thin but not to thin or it will tear really easily. I ended up having to do this step twice because it tore.
After I placed the first color on the cake I cut around the edges to give it a more finished look. Than I did step 2 and added the next color, black,
To cut the fondant make sure to use a knife that has a smooth blade not one with grooves in it. Here is step 3.
The stars are not fondant. I used glow in the dark stars. 🙂 yes I know I cheated. 😉
Here is my little boy with his birthday cake.
“Yes I know Spiderman is owned by Marvel and Batman is DC” 🙂
I had a blast making this cake and I hope you have fun making yours as well.
I would love to hear any experiences you have had with making or working with fondant. Please leave comments or questions below.