resource


Yes, Believe it or not, this is Cheap Parenting – and Stacy isn’t the only parent. I’m usually more of the behind the scenes guy on this blog, but as we were talking, Stacy mentioned it might be good for me to occasionally pop in and give my experiences with some of the changes we’ve made.

I feel like we have a lot of lady readers out there, so I was wondering if any of you have shared Stacy’s posts (cloth diapering, make your own cleaning supplies, dropping paper towels, etc) with your man. What was his response? Did he have questions? Was he interested in trying any of our cheap tricks?

I’m happy to share the insights that have helped me with these transitions to a more alternative/non-consumerish lifestyle. Β Yes, I checked wikipedia, non-consumerish is a word.

Let me know how I can help.

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I have a confession to make, I am addicted to cheap things, free things and blogs. Completely, insanely addicted. (There are worse things I suppose). Here is how it started…

The end of last week I stumbled across a blog that a friend had mentioned. And it just so happened that that particular day she was having a blog giveaway. So I signed up. I didn’t win, but I also didn’t invest anything.
But that was probably a dangerous move, because this week it has been extremely S L O W in the office, and I am the only one there. So after I filed and re-filed things, twiddled my thumbs and organized my desk I got on the same blog again, and found a link to another blog that was having a giveaway. That is when I got lost.
Apparently there are simply a TON of blogs that routinely give away free things. Some products are eh so-so but most times there are some pretty sweet things. I have signed up for everything from diapers to necklaces. And I certainly won’t bore you with all the details. But I will share a few blogs that I stumbled accross that I thought were pretty neat.
Totally not parent related, but a cool giveaway I will share are these beautiful necklaces .

Ok my two new favorite blogs to check out -not just for the frequent giveaways-
www.mamasmoneysavers.com lots of giveaways and product reviews. I have decided I really like product reviews, because even if it is something that is too expensive for me, I can take the idea and figure out how to modify it to my budget πŸ™‚
The other website that is really cool is mommies with cents. This website is awesome! It has recipes, coupons, giveaways, and the best part…. They go through all the major stores and lay out what deals they have going on that week. Including if they were shopping what they would purchase to get the best deals. Right now they have photo deals up through shutterfly and kodak. It really is a great resource.
No I haven’t actually won anything yet, but thats ok… one of these days if I enter enough I might win something… and if I don’t… I didn’t spend a dime πŸ™‚
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Odds are, if you are about to become a parent, you have parents yourself. Maybe you are the first in your family to bring them a grandchild, or maybe you are the last of your siblings. Either way, it’s been a while since they last had to connect with such a young member of their family. I found a neat website that suggests all sorts of activities for grandparents to do with their grandkids.

Check out http://www.grandparents.com/ to check it out. If you aren’t very web literate, have your grandkid get you there. It even lets you select your grandchild’s lifestage (teen, infant, etc) to show you more relevant articles.

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The internet is a WONDERFUL tool to get information about what is going on with your baby & your body, as well as information about different products. Additionally, it is a great resource for deals and coupons. Which all of us of course love! But with all of these news letters, coupons, and quality control reports that arrive daily in your e-mail inbox. It can become a tad bit overwhelming. How do I find that e-mail about the family get together in the middle of the 27 e-mails from baby-gaga and what to expect?

The answer is simple: get a second e-mail address.

It keeps your main e-mail box clear of the “spam” and easy to find that important e-mail that tells you what to bring to the family dinner. At the same time it still allows you to benefit from the resources on the web. There are several web based e-mail servers you can use (such as Yahoo or Google -gmail) And of course the best part of the web based e-mails is that they are free!

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OK, so it is time for a little honesty. I am not organized. In fact (as my family will attest to) I am quite disorganized. I have dreams of being one of those people who has a place for everything and everything in its place. Believe it or not a lack of organization bothers me, but it also depresses me to the point where I just want to ignore it, therefore making it worse… and so on. So in attempts to get more organized (baby steps people) I have tried little things. Like writing all of my class plans in one notebook that is labeled ‘debate class’, so when I teach again I don’t have to look for miscellaneous papers. This might sound rather obvious to you more organized people. But to me it was a breakthrough. πŸ˜› Well when we knew we would be parents, I knew that I needed to get organized.

But I can’t do it on my own. So I started to price pregnancy organizers. (Its like keeping all of our baby plans in one notebook) those things can get EXPENSIVE! Then I found this amazing organizer, at my favorite price, FREE. Just because it is free (actually it was 3.99 b/c you have to pay for S&H but that was a small price to pay) doesn’t mean that they skimped. I love it and could go on and on about it, but since I already have gone on and on I’ll give you my highlights.

Section 1 A Healthy Start
*Interview questions for your OB or Midwife
* Place to keep track of info from each Prenatal visit
* Tips on healthy eating & diet tracker
* Fetal movement chart
Section 2 Preparing for baby
* 10 pages of suggestions for baby registering (of course all organized wonderfully between basics & helpful extras πŸ™‚
* 3 pages for thank yous to be sent out.
* A place to organize your borrowed items
* Suggestions for saving time around the house.
* Pediatrician and daycare interview questions
* And of course a place to put your favorite baby names, your spouses favorite baby names and then the ones that you can actually agree on. (That list is rather short πŸ˜‰
Section 3 Preparing for Childbirth
* A walk through on deciding your birth plan
* Packing lists
* Check list for my wonderful husband
* Contraction tracker charts
* A place to record your childbirth memories
Section 4 At home with baby
* Feeding and diapering charts
* Diaper bag essential check list
* Well baby & postnatal check up record
Section 5 Resources
* 5 Pages of books and websites to check out.

Of course since the book is free there are a lot of advertisements to pay for the book. But they aren’t overwhelming and they are helpful (some coupons are involved!) I have learned that the quickest way to overspend is to not have a plan. And this organizer certainly helps you to develop a plan. So in the long run I would say its a pretty good return on $3.99.

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