Oh, Baby! Five Ways for New Moms to Save Big

new moms save big

Becoming a new parent is exciting, nerve-wracking, and expensive.  The average cost of raising a child in the United States is $245,340.  But we’re not about average here.  We’re about extraordinary.  And cashing in on extraordinary savings can happen before your bundle of joy even arrives.

Here are five ways you can get parenthood started out on the right foot; at least financially:

1. Accept Hand-Me-Downs

New moms want tend to want to have the best of everything for their children.  It’s an understandable pursuit, but can end up being an expensive one.  The temptation to get everything new and brand name is one that can end up costing you more money than you’d care to think about.

So accept hand-me-downs.  Especially when you have or are expecting a young baby.  Infants grow into toddlers so quickly that many people that donate their gear and clothes to your cause will give you stuff that’s never been worn.  Some of it may even have price tags still attached.

2. Repurpose Craigslist Furniture

Have you noticed how much free stuff there is on Craigslist?  If not, go check it out.  Depending on your area, you should be able to get enough furniture to furnish baby’s room without spending a cent.  We recommend picking up some sand paper and paint, and having the non-pregnant parent-to-be refinish the furniture to make it your own.  This way you don’t have to worry about everything you “buy” matching; you can make it match yourself.

While this strategy works well for things like dressers, bookshelves, and sometimes even rocking chairs, we advise against it for cribs.  Those should meet the most recent safety standards.

3. Use That Health Insurance

Health insurance can be a hidden gold mine.  Depending on your plan, you may be able to get the cost of a breast pump 100% covered.  Most plans will at least pay for a rental if your new arrival has feeding troubles.

Another great reason to look at health insurance is that it can cover extremely expensive hypoallergenic formula.  If your child needs this, insurance could be the difference between going broke and staying afloat.  In fact, 14 states have legislation that requires the coverage, even if insurers would rather not pay up.

4. Don’t Buy All of the Things!

Again, as a new mother, you’re going to want to get everything you could ever possibly need.  Remember that you’re being marketed to.  Remember that the human race survived just fine before all of those plastic, light up toys.  Get the necessities: clothes, diapers, and a crib.  For everything else, it’s good to be prepared.  But don’t stress out if you don’t have every last item on your “have to buy” list before baby arrives.  You may find that you don’t really need it.  Skipping an unnecessary purchase entirely trumps buying something you need, no matter how big the sale.

5. Shop Sales, Rewards, and Promo Codes

For all of those things that you do find you need, and need new, shop sales.  Apply promo codes when shopping online to compound your savings.  You may even want to consider doing your shopping for all things new exclusively at one store.  Many stores that offer baby registries, such as Babies R Us, also offer store rewards.  You get these not only every time you shop, but every time someone buys something off of your registry.  That way, when you get to the end of your shopping list, you may just have enough points to get those last few items for free.

 

If you’re looking for great sales on new stuff, don’t forget to check out Jolly Chic.  They have cute wardrobe items for mom and baby, and today is the last day to use our exclusive code for 15% off $35+!  Enter code JOLLY14 at check-out to take advantage.

Nine Awesomely Fun Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer!

Summer is nearly here and your kids are either out of school or will be soon! They’re probably anxious for some downtime, but we know that TV and video games all summer are not options! And we also know that entertaining your kids each day can get expensive. We’ve come up with cool activities for all ages that will keep the kids busy.

1. Sea Shell crafts

There are so many things to do with sea shells! Plan a beach trip and collect sea shells. The next day, paint, decorate, glue, or string up. If you’re feeling really ambitious, check out these Koalas made of shells from Martha Stewart, and be sure to display your shell creations about the house! Decorate for many uses, like jewelry holder or dish for your ketchup!

Shell Koala Creatures

2. Set up a water park in your backyard! Get a large kiddie pool from Walmart or Target, put the sprinkler on (at my house, we put the slid under it) and unroll the slip and slide (or make your own on a piece of tarp!). Set up an obstacle course and time them. The kids will be tired out in no time.

3. Check out the library programs. It’s a given that most town libraries have reading programs, but many town libraries feature other events like musical events, nature events, and crafts. See what (free) enrichment programs your town has to offer.

4. Get a little dirty. Have your kids decorate one another with body paint. Just hose off when your finished!

5. Take a hike. Make a checklist of things to see or find and have your kids check them off along the way. It will keep them busy and active.

6. Have fun with chalk art! You can set up learning activities on the driveway. Have the kids unscramble words, play hangman, or create games where they have to jump to the letters you call out, or the right number that fits the equation. (Hop on the number that equals 9-7!) Better yet, turn your driveway into a huge gameboard. Paste numbers for the die on a bean bag ottoman!

7. Feed the ducks! Pack a picnic lunch, including extra bread to head out and feed the ducks. This will keep small children busy for hours!

8. Be an entrepaneur! Set up a lemonade stand or a trike-wash (like a car wash!) and take an opportunity to learn about money.

The Biggest Promo Code Ever

the biggest promo code ever

Sometimes, you run into a sale that is too huge not to talk about.  It’s exciting.  It’s exhilarating.  And it’s something only you can share with the world.

Today is one of those times for us.  We’ve got something big.  So big that once you hear about it, you’re going to want to share it.

The Biggest Promo Code Ever for Jolly Chic

Jolly Chic is a must-shop site if you’re a fashionista.  They’ve got on-trend, stylish clothes that sell for low prices.  Right now, they have some sales going on, most notably in the swimwear department where you can get up to 54% off before promo codes.

On top of those sales, they are running the biggest discount in their history.  And they’re running it exclusively with PromoPro.  The details of the sale are this: you get 15% off when you spend $35 or more.  To get it, you’ll need to use this code  that you won’t find anywhere else:  JOLLY14.

Your Shopping Guide for $60 or Less

Just to illustrate how big this sale is, we wanted to put together some shopping lists and how much they would cost you after the discount is applied:

 

Look List #1: Classic Black and White

Contrast Color Crew Neckline One Piece Bikini– On sale 27% off for $18.99

Short Sleeve White Lace Patchwork Playsuit– On sale 28% off for $12.99

Lace Hasp Closure Women’s Handbag– $3.99

Shopping list total after applying code JOLLY14: $30.57

 

Look List #2: An Elegant Night Out

Hollow Lace Elegant Ruffle Sleeveless Hollow Back Sexy Dress– $27.99

Solid Low Cutting High Thin Pump Heels– On sale 8% off for $21.99

Shopping list total after applying code JOLLY14: $42.48

 

Look List #3: Shimmer-Tastic

Sparkling V Neck Sequins Jumpsuit– $33.99

Zodiac Sparkling Rhinestones Watch– On sale 30% off for $6.99

Shopping list total after applying code JOLLY14: $34.83

 

Look List #4: Gorgeous Curves

Plus Size Solid Beads Embroidery Cotton Top– On sale 47% off for $8.99

Nautical Print Cropped Pants– $16.99

Polka Dot High Waisted Shorts– $15.99

Shopping list total after applying code JOLLY14: $35.67

 

Look List #5: For Your Little Princess

This could easily pass for an Elsa Dress– On sale 15% off for $10.99

Mustaches and Polkadots– On sale 13% off for $12.99

Timeless Crew Neck Plaid Dress for Girls– On sale 25% off for $11.99

Shopping list total after applying code JOLLY14: $30.57

 

Look List #6: For the Bride

White Off-the-Shoulder Mermaid Wedding Dress– On sale 24% off for $70

Shopping list total after applying code JOLLY14: $59.50

 

Just to recap, that’s a wedding dress with pretty darn good reviews for under $60, a potential Elsa dress for the little girl in your house for under $11,  a flattering swim suit for under $20, or the super cute zodiac watch for under $7.  Plus all of the other fabulous finds above.  To top it all off, all of those prices are before applying the promo code.

Want even more?  Use code JOLLY15 to get $18 off your order of $100 or more, or check out the Anniversary sale where you can get up to 70% off top items before applying your code.

Deals this good don’t come along everyday.  And right now, you won’t find them anywhere but PromoPro.

If you’re as excited as we are, do your shopping, and then go share the good news with the world.

 

Backyard Beautiful–Cheap and Easy Tips

Landscaping can cost a fortune. We have a few great tips modified from Better Homes and Gardens to bring life back to the yard to create a space that feels more like a sanctuary than an eyesore. Here are a few tips to spruce up your backyard this summer!

GardeningKnowHow.com

  • Pergolas can be a relatively inexpensive way to transform a garden. The fencing above defines the space it encloses in a way that looks natural with the surroundings but adds a classic and upscale edge. Privacy shrubs can be very expensive, especially evergreens and this is a low maintenance alternative to make the space feel like a true garden environment.
  • What better way to be covered outdoors than by nature herself? Vines are classic and might be the piece that brings your entire space together. Instead of doing a covered pergola, cover it with clematis or other flowering vines.
  • Try Pea Gravel, instead of expensive stone. You’ll still have to excavate a little, but stone gravel with floating larger stones is so much less expensive and easier for a DIY-er.
  • Use garden stools. They’re colorful, chic and easy to move around. Three in a row are a great alternative to a coffee table and will serve as extra seating for your party. In the cold weather, these can work indoors as accent pieces, too. Garden stools get expensive, but Target and Homegoods have great options at low prices!

  • Splurge on one thing per year,  like outdoor lighting, fire pits and fountains. These goodies are going to be the difference between your backyard and your place of respite. A fountain or fireplace can serve as a focal point that defines the space, around which you and guests gather for a glass of wine. Lighting and/or fire also make the space that much more useful.

LivingLandscapes.net

  • Create shade and do it in style. Umbrellas are not just for the center of the table. Use a patterned umbrella beside your lounging area as well. We love Pottery Barn for their classic, yet modern collection, but Lowes and Target have great options at lower  prices.
  • Add a hammock. This might be close to your backdoor if you plan to use it every day or as a piece of décor. Or, it can in a corner far away from people and reality. If you aren’t lucky enough to put a hammock between two giant oaks, don’t worry–a rustic hammock on a wood frame can look as chic as it feels.

    Island Bay Sage Harbor Stripe Quilted Hammock

    Hayneedle.com $60!