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“Budgeting in the Baby Stuff” – Second Official Update

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WARNING: I’m an over-sharer who will be talking about trying to get pregnant once in a while here on BFS, and hopefully in the future, about pregnancy itself and a baby and a kid and so on. If you didn’t know, all of that stuff includes subjects that some people may find too personal or think it’s “too much information” (TMI). If you are that sort of person, my blog is probably not for you but specifically, these posts aren’t for you. Move on or be offended – totally up to you.  Thanks! I’ve been getting more emails and a few comments asking for baby-making updates.  I think it’s pretty cool any of you would really be interested. That said, here’s the second official “Budgeting in the Baby Stuff” update! Nope, still not pregnant. I’m 33 years old. I was using the Nuvaring for birth control for more than a decade. I stopped in November 2015. It seems to be completely out of my system now – girl stuff is happening with gusto (*sarcastic yay*).  I am happy that my system seems 100% back to normal again. I still have no idea when or if I will get pregnant. I’m still not worried … Read more

“Budgeting in the Baby Stuff” – First Official Update

This post may contain affiliate links.

WARNING: I’m an over-sharer who will be talking about trying to get pregnant once in a while here on BFS, and hopefully in the future, about pregnancy itself and a baby and a kid and so on. If you didn’t know, all of that stuff includes subjects that some people may find too personal or think it’s “too much information” (TMI). If you are that sort of person, my blog is probably not for you but specifically, these posts aren’t for you. Move on or be offended – totally up to you. Don’t post about your bad choice of reading and being offended or I will just delete it and call you an idiot to my husband and friends. Thanks! I’ve been getting emails and a few comments asking for updates about us trying to have a baby. I think it’s pretty cool any of you would really be interested and I love being the center of attention. That said, here’s the first official “Budgeting in the Baby Stuff” update! Nope, not pregnant yet. I’m 33 years old. I was using the Nuvaring for birth control for more than a decade. I stopped in November 2015. It seems to be … Read more

Pregnant? Maybe You Can Get a Free Car Seat Too…

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WOW, this will save me a TON of money for my infant! Car seats are expensive and I had no idea I could get a brand new, good quality one for less than $40. This is a huge budget saving hack for parents that everyone needs to new ASAP. It could save you $200, it helped me save that much.

The following is another post from my younger sister, Teresa Ward.  She already wrote about how she got a free breast pump.  Now she found out how to get a free car seat! I promise not to bombard Crystal’s loyal readers with baby/toddler bargains, but just like the free breast pumps, I had to share my latest insurance steal that could save parents $$$! That Necessary Car Seat… One of the more expensive baby products that ALL babies and toddlers need is a car and/or booster seat.  They vary widely in costs from $60 on sale/online for a basic model like the one below to $400 for a new model or one purchased at a speciality store. You might think the difference in price buys more safety for the little one, which I would argue is money well spent, but the truth is ALL car seats sold in the US must meet Federal Safety Standards and pass multiple crash performance standards.  Yes, a few of the high end seats do have extra bracing or maybe shock absorbing material they claim to be effective.  But judging from the specifications I researched, it appears more money mostly buys you the newest fabric trend … Read more

Pregnant? Maybe You Can Get a Free Breast Pump Too…

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This would be a HUGE savings for my family, we are expecting right now and the cost of raising a baby is so high. Having a free breast pump would tick off one of the most expensive infant items, without having to get one as a gift from friends or family. I'm going to follow these steps and look at my insurance right away. What a great frugal life hack for our budget.

The following is from my younger sister and occasional guest poster, Teresa Ward.  She thought she could share after she was happily surprised! As Crystal announced, my husband and I are expecting our first child this year!  While we couldn’t be more excited, I am daunted at the LONG list of items we need to purchase before our son’s birth.  One of the biggest ticket items – although not a strict necessity for all mothers – was a breast pump as I plan to breastfeed for several months and would like my husband to be involved. Research Works After realizing on Amazon that breast pumps vary widely in price all the way up to $300, I heavily researched them before making a purchase. Happily, I discovered my medical insurance covered mine 100%!!!  Yes – I actually ended up ordering TWO FREE breast pumps that my insurance will cover (totaling $400 retail, a little less than $300 discounted or online).  The best part – delivery to my front door before my son is even born! The Steps I Followed I wanted to share the process to make sure any parent who qualifies for the same benefit didn’t pay out of pocket … Read more

I’ve Been Matched with Big Brothers Big Sisters!!!

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It’s been a long process, but I finally have been matched with a “Little” with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS)!  You may have read about the beginning of this whole thing a couple of months ago.  Yep, it took about 10 weeks, but it is totally worth it! Getting to This Point I filled out the first volunteer application in mid-July, sent in all of the requested paperwork, asked 5 of my friends/co-workers (blogging buddies) to fill out reference forms, and took a quick online class and quiz all within a few weeks.  Next, I was interviewed by a match specialist and was officially approved.  Then sat around waiting to be accepted and matched.  That all took about 2 months. Once they called me with a prospect about a month later, I accepted, his parents accepted, and then we met in person a couple of weeks later at the BBBS office for a few minutes.  I had my first real outing with him last week and again yesterday.  🙂 My Match Experience So Far So, I obviously can’t give out too many details so nobody’s privacy is messed with, but I can write about general stuff.  I’ve been matched with a young man (about 4th grade) who is as … Read more

45 Activities with Kids on the Cheap

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Okay, so you know that I am waiting to hear back officially from the Big Brother Big Sister program.  I’ve also been returning to super inexpensive fun on my own since we are being cheap for the next few months.  So today’s post is pretty simple.  Here is the list of activities with kids that I’ve come up with that can be done even with a tiny budget: Activities with Kids on the Cheap Take photos to make annual scrap book. Make/paint/go on shopping trip to find a piggy bank/bank for budget.  I was thinking of making a budget of less than $20 a week and we can save the extra for more expensive outings. Pottery painting. Kids Eat Free days at different restaurants around the city. Zoo – Free first Tuesdays after 2pm from Sept through May at the Houston Zoo. Feed the ducks. Picnic Hike/Walk Petsmart/pet store events.  We can play with cute dogs for free and even volunteer our time. Library Volunteer.  The Big Brother Big Sister program will even let us know when there are openings at things they hear about. Children’s Museum – Free Thursdays from 5-8pm at the Houston one. Dollar Movie Theater – there … Read more

Becoming a Big in the Big Brother Big Sister Program…Hopefully…

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In mid-July, I decided to fill out an application to become a “Big Sister” for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS).  I had been thinking about it for more than a year, but I just now seem stable enough to devote consistent time to a “Little”.  I had no idea what the process would entail though, lol. Process Up to Now Here’s the breakdown of what has been required so far to volunteer with the BBBS program: Fill out basic 5 minute application. Fill out the more detailed 15 minute application. Send in the 5 work and private/social references that they requested.  This took about an hour to find everybody’s basic info and text them all to make sure that using them was okay. Sent in a copy of my driver’s license and car insurance. Spent just 20 minutes overall of texting to make sure that all of my references received the quick info sheet that they needed to fill out about me and send back to BBBS. Scheduled an interview with a match specialist. Took the 1.5 hour online “training course” that consisted of watching 2-5 minute informational videos about BBBS, writing down video codes, and then taking a quick quiz to make sure … Read more