How to save on baby stuff
Are you looking for ways to save on baby stuff? If you’re like most parents, it’s likely that you are!
Here are 3 easy ways to save money on items for your new baby:
Purchase used for as many baby items as you can.
You can find fantastic bargains on clothing, toys and even strollers and play pens at yard sales and thrift stores. Facebook marketplace is another great resource for used goods and the way I find most of my used purchases.
The only items you may not want to buy used are a car seat and crib. Those are things you want to invest some money in, since they will be used heavily and safety is a priority.
Do you know someone with kids? If so, there’s a good chance they have baby items that they no longer need! Ask if you can borrow those items until your child(ren) no longer need them.
Great items to borrow include play mats, change tables, bassinet, bouncy seat and crib mobile.
Be sure to pay it forward the next time a friend or family member needs baby items!
Buy in Bulk
When it comes to things like diapers, wipes and formula, a great way to save is to purchase these items in bulk.
Consider shopping at a wholesale store, such as Costco, to pick up these items.
In addition, watch the sales at your regular grocery and drug stores. There are always coupons available for baby items and when matched with a sale, you can often get these necessities inexpensively.
These are 3 simple ways that you can save money on baby items.
Don’t believe the myth that babies cost you thousands of dollars every year. By being frugal with your purchases, you can easily save quite a bit of cash on the things you need to buy for your child.
I’d love to hear your tips for saving on baby stuff! Let us know in the comments below.
Today, I was looking at what my daughters were playing with and I realized that they have consistently been playing with this purchase since March. That doesn’t happen often around here! However, I have been trying to be way more intentional with the toy purchases that I make this year. My main criteria has been toys that have open ended play capabilities and toys that appeal to both girls. (Ages 4 and 8.)
This toy that I purchased in March meets the criteria and has been the most loved purchase!
Magnetic tiles for the win! These have been by far our favorite toy purchase!
In the picture above, they are currently being used as a house for Peppa Pig and Calico Critter toys. (also favorites!) The particular tiles I bought are PicassoTiles. If you can snag the set for less than $60, you’re getting a great deal!
We also own Magformer tiles, but the girls love this style way more because they can create floors so their little toys don’t fall through.
I’d love to know, what has been your favorite toy purchase lately?
You don’t have to be a wannabe chef to whip up some delicious meals. You don’t even have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, which is great news for anyone who prefers spending their free time binge-watching a show on Netflix or catching up on their reading.
All you have to do, is dig into your pantry and grab a few basic items to whip up these recipes. Best of all? You won’t even have to turn on your stove or touch your oven because they’re no bake recipes!
No Bake Recipes Using Pantry Staples
3 Ingredient No Bake Oatmeal Cookies
Want a no bake oatmeal cookie recipe that’s impossible to mess up? Then follow these instructions to create a batch of oatmeal cookies that are delicious and gluten-free. Best of all, you don’t need oil or butter to make them. Here’s what you will need:
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup of syrup (you can replace with about 20 drops of Stevia, or ½ cup of sugar)
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
Grab a large mixing bowl and add all the ingredients together. Make sure to mix well until they’re combined. Then, use your hands to form 12 small balls and place them on a large plate lined with parchment paper. Press each ball into the shape of a cookie and add the chocolate chips on top. Now refrigerate for about 30 minutes until they’re nice and firm.
Extra Yummy Microwave Cheese Sandwich
Craving a cheese sandwich but don’t feel like driving to the nearest fast food restaurant or turning on the stove to cook one? Then try this microwave cheese sandwich recipe. It makes a perfect go-to breakfast meal. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A few slices of turkey or ham
- 1 tablespoon of salsa
- 1 tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 split and toasted whole wheat bagel or two slices of bread
- 3-4 spinach leaves
Place one of the pieces of break on the bottom of a custard cup, a ramekin, or a dish that’s microwave-proof and coat it with some salsa. Sprinkle with the cheese and microwave for 30 seconds until the cheese is melted. Now add some salsa, the turkey slices, and some spinach leaves to the other slice of bread and close the sandwich. Heat it up for 10 more seconds and enjoy this delicious mini treat.
3-ingredient Cookies & Ice Cream Pie
A cookies and ice cream pie recipe might sound complicated, but it’s actually quick, simple to do, and perfect for any occasion. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 20 chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos or any kind of sandwich cookies you like)
- 1 cup melted chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups of softened ice cream
Place the sandwich cookies in a gallon sized plastic bag and smash them with a pan or rolling pin until they’re crushed. Now pat the cookie crumbs in to the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish. Then spread the softened ice cream on top and even it out. Then drizzle the top with some melted chocolate and place in the freezer for 4 hours to harden the ice cream.
The Easiest 3 Ingredient Cheesecake in the World
Looking for a 3-ingredient cheesecake that is very creamy and will take your taste buds on the greatest adventure in the history of cheesecakes? Then try this recipe:
- 1 liter plain double cream yogurt (Greek yogurt works amazingly well too!)
- 1 tin condensed milk
- 200g crushed biscuits
Press the biscuits down into the bottom of a microwave-safe deep dish. Then mix the condensed milk with the yogurt and pour the mixture over the even biscuit layer. Now smooth the top and microwave the entire thing on high for about 6 minutes. Then let it cool in the fridge and serve.
Other Easy Desserts:
Here are the best pantry staples to keep on hand at all times
This list of 18 food items that you should always keep in your pantry, will help you create frugal, healthy, and quick meals. When you keep these pantry staples on hand, dinner time is so much smoother. These items will help you to feel great about your grocery budget and what you’re feeding your family.
I would highly recommend buying in bulk, the items you know your family loves, to get the best bang for your buck.
1. Nut or Seed Butter
Nut butters and seed butters are not only great for sandwiches, but can be a great addition to sauces and baking!
Pasta allows for so many meal options! And with a variety of pastas on the market for various dietary needs, pasta is a real family favourite.
3. Rice or Quinoa
Having rice or quinoa on hand allows for great nutritious side dish options that cook quickly.
4. Canned beans
Dry beans are a great inexpensive option as well, but for quick meals, canned is the way to go! Here are some I like to keep on hand: Pinto, Chickpeas, Garbanzo, Kidney, Black, Cannellini and Refried.
5. Canned tomatoes
Canned tomatoes are so versatile they can be used in things like chili, soups, fajitas, spaghetti and more! I like to have these in my pantry: Tomato Sauce, Diced Tomatoes, Crushed Tomatoes and Tomato Paste.
No meal is complete without some seasoning from spices! Even if it’s just pepper and salt! Here are some of my favourite spices that get regular use around here: Onion powder, Garlic powder, Ginger, Cumin, Seasoned Salt, Cinnamon, Salt, Black Pepper, Chili Powder, Dried Basil and Dried Oregano.
Applesauce is a great food staple to store in the pantry because it can be used to replace oil in a crunch. It binds all the ingredients together while baking things like cookies, loafs and cakes. If stored properly, it can last 12 to 18 months on the shelf.
8. Canned Tuna
Canned tuna or salmon are excellent sources of protein and omegas that don’t have to be cooked.
9. Stock or Broth
Pre-made stock or broth makes so many meals faster and easier. Some varieties that I like to have on hand are: Chicken, Vegetable, Beef, Bouillon cubes or powder.
Oatmeal is a breakfast staple in a lot of homes, especially when the temperature gets cold in the winter. Not only does it make for a great hearty breakfast, it can be used to make oatmeal cookies, granola bars and even bread.
11. Baking Ingredients
Having staple baking ingredients on hand at all times will save you big bucks on your grocery bill. It’s always so much cheaper (and tastier) to create from scratch than to buy something pre-made. Here are the baking ingredients I suggest you have on hand: Flour, Sugar (white, brown and powdered), baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, yeast, oats and chocolate chips.
12. Condensed soups
While you can make your own cream of “something” soups, I highly recommend having a few cans of condensed soup on hand to make meal prep really easy on hectic days.
Having condiments on hand at all times is something else I recommend to make delicious meals. Here are the ones we regularly keep on hand: Ketchup, mustard, dijon, soy sauce, vinegar (white, apple cider, red wine, rice), BBQ sauce, Worcestershire, honey, maple syrup, peanut butter, mayonnaise and salad dressing.
14. Pasta sauce
Spaghetti is a meal that is on regular rotation here. I don’t over complicate it by having a few jars of pasta sauce on hand. Sometimes I like to add some fresh vegetables like carrots or mushrooms to jazz it up a bit along with the usual ground beef.
Tortilla shells are so versatile. They work for taco night, pizzas, wraps and so much more! I even have a recipe for making your own! See the homemade tortilla recipe here.
Potatoes can keep for a long time if they are kept in a cool dark place! The same goes for sweet potatoes too.
17. Frozen vegetables
I prefer having frozen vegetables over canned vegetables because I find they are more cost effective and I can control the sodium. (I always have fresh on hand too!) Frozen vegetables make for great quick side dishes and additions to soups or casseroles.
18. Cooking oil
My favourites are olive oil, grapeseed oil and avocado oil. I use each of those oils for stove top cooking, but I only use grapeseed oil and avocado oil for baking because they don’t have a strong flavor.
Related pantry staple articles:
In case you need some easy cheap meal ideas that you can create with some of these staples, I created a list of ideas for you!
Pantry Staple Meals
- Quesadillas: Butter one side of a tortilla shell, place grated cheese and other toppings (meat, salsa, tomatoes, peppers…etc), then fold the tortilla in half and fry until lightly browned and cheese is melted.
- BBQ Chicken: Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker and pour a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce over top. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours. Shred chicken with a fork and serve over buns or potatoes.
- Spaghetti: Brown some ground beef and stir in a jar of pasta sauce after draining the grease. Red lentils also work really well in pasta sauce! Boil your favorite pasta noodles.
- Italian Chicken: Place chicken breast in the slow cooker and pour a bottle of Italian dressing over tip. Cook on high for 3 – 4 hours or low for 5 – 6 hours. Shred with a fork.
- Tacos: Brown a pack of ground beef, turkey or chicken. Drain the grease. Add a packet of taco seasoning and some water. (You can also make your own taco seasoning.) Serve in tortilla shells or crunchy taco shells with your favorite toppings.
- Pizza: Using a homemade pizza crust, store bought crust, tortilla shell, naan bread, pita bread or even bagels, spread pizza sauce over top and sprinkle with mozzarella and your favorite toppings. Bake at 400℉ for about 15 minutes.
- French Toast: Mix 2 eggs with 2/3 cup milk. Dip 6 pieces of thick bread into the mixture until fully coated. Cook in a frying pan on medium heat. Flip once, until both sides are browned.
- Pork Chops with Cream of Mushroom or Chicken Soup: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pork chops in an oven safe dish. Mix cream of mushroom or chicken soup with water until smooth. Pour over pork chops then bake for about 25 minutes or until the pork reaches a minimum of 145 °F in the middle. Serve with rice or potatoes.
What are some of your go-to meals using pantry staples? Any staples you would add to my list?
18 of the best pantry staples to have on hand to create delicious, budget meals.
There’s nothing more frustrating than starting to bake or cook something delicious only to find that a key ingredient is missing. Ugh! But there’s no need to scrub a recipe and sulk in frustration. If you know what you’re doing, you can just substitute it with something else! Here are a couple of ingredients that are bound to be in everyone’s pantry or fridge and are a dish-saving substitutes.
Read on to see the complete list, or download your own printable PDF copy using the button below. (I recommend hanging it up somewhere in your kitchen for easy reference!)
Substitute with butter, margarine, coconut oil or apple sauce
Apple Cider Vinegar
Substitute with white vinegar
Substitute with apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
Substitute by mixing one part Tomato Paste and one part Water.
Or substitute with canned tomatoes and adding onions, garlic and some herbs.
Baking Powder (1tsp)
Substitute with 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Substitute with cracker crumbs, crushed cornflakes, ground oatmeal, or even cooked quinoa.
Brown Sugar (1 Cup)
Substitute with 1 cup white sugar and 2 Tbsp molasses.
Substitute with margarine, oil or shortening
Buttermilk (1 cup)
Substitute with 1 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar and enough milk to make 1 cup
Or substitute with 1 cup plain yogurt
Substitute with honey, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup
Substitute with cottage cheese or cream cheese.
Fresh herbs (1 Tbsp)
Substitute with 1 tsp dried herbs
Honey (1 Cup)
Substitute with maple syrup, corn syrup or 1 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup liquid (whatever is called for in the recipe)
Substitute with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Substitute with sour cream or plain yogurt
Substitute with beef broth, chicken broth, vegetable broth, apple cider (not vinegar), water, tomato sauce, white grape juice or non-alcoholic wine.
Yeast (1 tsp)
Substitute with 1/2 tsp Baking Soda and 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
Substitute with Quinoa. (Quinoa also provides twice as much protein and fiber which promote a healthier digestive system.)
Substitute with 1 Tbsp ground Flax Seeds or Chia Seeds and 3 Tbsp Water. Mix until gelatinous.
Or substitute with silken tofu.
Or substitute with apple sauce or mashed banana
Pastry Flour (1 cup)
Substitute with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch combined with enough all-purpose flour to make a cup.
Often times, substituting salt for herbs and other seasonings like onions, lemon or lime can make a dish taste really flavourful.
Substitute with 1 and 3/4 cup of powdered sugar.
I hope you find this substitutions list useful! I’ll leave you with the button to download a free printable PDF copy of the list, in case you missed it earlier in the post! 🙂
I don’t know about you, but all this cooking at home has me constantly looking for shortcuts. While I don’t hate cooking, I don’t like spending hours upon hours in my kitchen. I want easy, fast, flavorful and cheap!
That brings me to rotisserie chickens. Time and time again, grocery store rotisserie chickens have saved my sanity when it comes to dinner time. They are easy, already seasoned, already cooked, and can be used in a lot of different recipes. There are so many ways to use a rotisserie chicken!
On that note, I have rounded up a list of easy and cheap rotisserie dinners! I hope you enjoy!
First of all, if you wish, you can make your own rotisserie style chicken in the slow cooker with this recipe I found.
What are your favourite ways to use rotisserie chicken?