Pampers: 15 New Points

Pampers Rewards

There’s a new 15 point Pampers code available today. Simply enter the code TWIT89CNMECKE14 in your Pampers Gift to Grow account to claim the points.

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Simple Savings: Start a change jar.

1 - Start a change jar.

Welcome to the first day of our 31 days of Simple Savings! I’m so glad you are here to see what this series is all about. I am a frugal girl. I always have been but sometimes it is still hard to save. There are house projects and unexpected car repairs and larger than expected household bills. Lately, I have been reflecting on how important it is to save.

For that reason, this month, I am going to share with you a daily tip / idea / strategy to help you save money. We’re all looking for ways to save more so that is why I am writing this series. Maybe we’re saving to build our emergency fund or pay down debt. Maybe we’re saving for Christmas or for an upcoming vacation. Maybe we’re saving for retirement or a child’s college fund. Maybe we’re saving for all of these reasons – and more!

Ever since I became a stay at home Mom with the birth of my son 6 months ago, I am re-committed to saving however and whatever I can. Saving our family money is part of my new job. As I look for more ways to save, I am continually amazed at how many ways there are to save! Some of these savings tips may not be new ideas to you. Maybe you’re already doing some of these. I certainly hope so. Some of these ideas equal bigger savings than others but I am sharing them all because when you are saving, we know that every penny counts! Finally, I mean what I promised in the title of this series. All of these tips will be simple. I want to share simple savings ideas that everyone can implement immediately.

The first saving tip is one that I hope many of us already do. Start a change jar. When your wallet (or pocket) is full of coins, add them to the jar. Slowly but surely, watch the jar fill with your loose change. When the jar is full, cash it in at your bank. I believe most banks will count your coins for free. I know our bank does so for us.

At our house, we have a quart-sized glass mason jar that sits on my husband’s dresser to collect our spare change. I’m always pleasantly surprised by how much the jar equals when we cash it out. It takes us awhile to fill the jar (about once a year) but last time we cashed out, we had over $100 in the jar!

I also encourage you to set a purpose for your change jar. For us, the money goes to our travel fund – specifically, our someday trip to Alaska. It’s a far off dream but again, every little bit helps. Knowing that you are actively contributing to some goal makes it less tempting to take change out of the jar. It could be fun to have a date night change jar, too! Do you have a change jar already? For what are you saving your coins?

Come back tomorrow – and every day this month – for another idea on how to save. To make sure you don’t miss any, you can sign up for daily emails via the subscription box in the right hand column of my webpage. I look forward to sharing this series with you!

31 Days of Simple Savings - A series of simple tips & tricks to help you save because every little bit counts

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A Bride in Store Review

I don’t read nearly as much as I used to before Nathan was born. I’m slowly but surely picking up my reading pace again. It took me over a week to finish Melissa Jaegear’s latest book when it used to take me just a day or two. Oh well. I still enjoyed reading this story.

A Bride in Store is the story of mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell. She comes to Kansas to marry a store owner, only to be robbed on the train as she comes West and then arrives to an absent groom. After a couple of days, she starts working with her promised groom (Axel)’s business partner, William Stanton. Eliza has a head for business and is determined to make the store a success. Unfortunately, Will doesn’t know much about business other than to oppose her ideas.

It was an entertaining story but I knew where this one was going from the beginning. There were a couple of unique twists, including Eliza’s friendship with a circus lady, that I did not predict. This book was a nice way to spend my evenings.

Being a mail order bride intrigues me but I don’t know that I could have (would have) done it. What bravery these women showed to leave their homes and families to get married to an unknown man. I think that is what draws me to mail order bride stores – the bravery shown as love grows.

Please note that I did receive a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Mperks: Free Dannon Creamery

Free Dannon Creamery

Log into your Mperks account to claim a free offer! Enter the code Creamery14 in the promotion / offer box and a coupon will appear for a free carton of Dannon creamery yogurt. I also received a bonus coupon for a free carton of a petite cerme yogurt. Both coupons are good through October 2nd so you’ll have to redeem them quickly.

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Nathan @ 6 Months

Before we begin October (and my Simple Savings series), I want to share this month’s update on Nathan Reagan. Look at this! I’m actually posting his update on the very day that he turns 6 months! Yay for that. Now, if I can just keep his Shutterfly baby book up to date…

We started out the month with a visit to Illinois for Nathan to meet this Barz Great-Grandparents. Nathan is blessed to have 7 of his 8 Great Grandparents still living. We know this is a blessing, especially since Andy & I married later and didn’t have Nathan right away. My Grandpa and Grandma Barz were the last ones of the 7 to meet Nathan. They were all excited to meet one another! We were glad we could spend the day with them before they returned home to Cheney, Kansas.

Meeting Great Grandparents

Nathan and I have really settled into our at home routines. One of which is a daily walk around town – or at least to the post office. The weather cooled off enough for us to zip up into jackets. Nathan does love riding in his stroller to see what he can see.

Nathan Walks

Nathan went to his first birthday party as his friend Kate turned 1! Okay, Kate’s Mom is my teacher friend, Allison. We’ve decided that, of course, our babies will be friends! We try to get together for play dates, and we enjoyed celebrating Kate’s birthday with her.

Nathan's 1st Birthday Party

Nathan loves to stand. He always has. I went to a local baby resale and picked up this exosaucer for only $9.50. It was in great condition and at a great price! Nathan absolutely loves it. I love that he can stand and play to his heart’s content.

Nathan in Exosaucer

We celebrated Andy’s birthday this month and met him at the zoo. Andy took his class on a field trip so Nathan and I helped him check the answers for the scavenger hunt he gave the kiddos. It was a fun day! I love this picture of my two boys watching for the sea lions. Andy is such a great dad!

Zoo with Daddy

The big adventure is that Nathan started eating solids, just last week! So far, we’ve introduced rice cereal followed by oatmeal. He’s tried avocado (yum) and today, gets to eat peas. As you can see from the first time he ate cereal, he was ready and eager to eat! We’ll continue with the green vegetables before orange ones, followed by fruits. And yes, I am making my own baby food. I have some jars that I bought for when we’re out and about. But for now, I’m doing homemade – because it is so much cheaper and quite easy to do, too.

Nathan Helps Feed Himself

When I weighed Nathan at the end of the month, he weighed 15 pounds, 8 ounces. He can roll over from front to back and back to front. He can sit by himself, which is very exciting! He does push-ups as he attempts to crawl already. We finally got him on a sleep schedule this month. He eats at 7am and sleeps through the night until eating at 5am. He eats again before sleeping for another hour or two. Of course, he caught his first cold this weekend (boo!) so his sleeping has been out of sorts since he’s had trouble breathing. Eating, sleeping, rolling over, sitting up – what a busy month! Happy 6 months, Nathan Reagan!

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$0.50 Sierra Mist with Coupon

$1.00 off ONE SIERRA MIST 12pk or TWO 2-Liters

Here’s a new coupon that makes for a good deal! 2 liter bottles of Sierra Mist regularly go on sale for $1. In fact, they are currently on sale at Kroger for that very price. Use this new $1/2 Sierra Mist coupon to pick up 2 bottles for only $0.50 each. In my family, we mix Sierra Mist with cranberry juice around the holidays so I will use this coupon to be ready for that festive drink! It’s also nice to keep some on hand for when there is an upset stomach in the household.

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Recyclebank: 20 New Points

The City of Brotherly Love is setting a new standard in city-wide green initiatives. Learn how by clicking on the image above and earn 20 points. Whether you are into “green living” or not, Recyclebank is an easy rewards program. Collect points for coupons, magazine subscriptions or even gift cards. I find it well worth the little time it takes to earn Recyclebank points.

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Free Sample of Dial Acne Wash

Dial Acne Wash

Visit the Target site to request a free sample of Dial Acne Control face and body wash. Please note the sample is only available in select areas – and that doesn’t include Fort Wayne. Maybe your area can request it?

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Pampers: Rare 50 Bonus Points

Pampers Rewards

Wow! There’s a rare Pampers code available for 50 bonus points when you enter the code 50WICFSCL201415. Hurry and add this code to your account now!

Thanks, the Savvy Bump!

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Introducing a New 31 Days Series on Savings

31 Days of Simple Savings - A series of simple tips & tricks to help you save because every little bit counts

This series has a 5 year history now with me. If you’re new here, let me fill you in a bit.

In 2010, I followed 8 wonderful bloggers who wrote about specific topics for the whole month of October. It was an ambitious challenge – but I enjoyed reading all of their series. The following year, they opened it up to the public and at the encouragement of my cousin, Bethany, I decided to join up. I didn’t know what I was getting into but it has been an adventure and a good challenge for me over the past years.

In 2011, I wrote for 31 days about how to Joyfully Thrive. It’s the reason I began this website and I appreciated the challenge to expand upon this concept with a variety of ideas.

In 2012, I wrote for 31 days about Chocolate. This was one of my favorite series because I love chocolate. Who doesn’t? If you’re looking for recipes about chocolate, this series is for you! I always have homemade chocolate syrup in my fridge as a result of this series.

In 2013, I wrote for 31 days about Freezer Cooking. I felt like I was finally getting the hang of a series this momentous. This series helped me stock my freezer and has gotten lots of Pinterest interest, too!

This year, in 2014, I will be writing for 31 days about Simple Savings. Saving is something we all know we should do and it’s something we all want to do. It is the act of saving that sometimes eludes us. Yes, there will always be surprise expenses. Yes, it will be challenging, but yes, we can all do it!

This month, I am going to share different tips and ideas for ways to save. Some of them will be very simple and some more complex. Some will save us a few pennies here and a few pennies there – but all of the ideas will help us save. You may already be doing some of these things but there is always room for improvement! I’m excited for the opportunity to jump start our savings again. I hope that you will find encouragement with me to save through this series.

There will be hundreds of other bloggers participating in this challenge. If you want to follow some new blogs, you can visit this website on October 1st to view all the participants. They are sorted by category which makes it fun to browse. I always discover some new favorites during this month!

To make sure you don’t miss anything, you can sign up for daily emails to my blog via the email subscribe button on the right. Just look over in the sidebar column and enter your email address. I will only email you when there is something new posted. Otherwise, check back here daily for the updates! This series will start October 1st and run for 31 days – the entire month. I look forward to seeing you then!


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