Grocery Shopping 7-6

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I made two stops tonight for groceries, Dollar Tree and Price Chopper. (they are right next to each other, so it’s only one trip)

Dollar Tree :
10 smart one microwave meals: 60 cents each after coupon
2 boxes of bandaids: 50 cents each after coupon
Soy milk : free after coupon
Tortilla chips
Creole seasoning
1 pack of 4 baby washcloths

Price Chopper :
Pizza dough, 75 cents each
5 boxes of cereal at $1.57 each
Diced tomatoes, 50 cents each
Mushrooms, $3 for two packs
2lbs strawberries, $3.50
Turkey hot dogs, 59 cents ea
Egg beaters, $1.90 ea
Applesauce (for Claire) $2.50
Prenatal vitamins $8 ea
Organic Baby food in a pouch, free after coupon
Baby bubble bath $1.99
Two Ramen cookers, $5 each (a bit of a splurge, but my husband eats Ramen for lunch quite a bit, and these work perfect, and he uses half the seasoning which makes it much healthier
Bananas, 79 cents
Yogurt, 40 cents each

I saved $46 today.

Reusable nursing pads

So, as a new mom, I was unsure about nursing pads as I had never used any before. Since my baby was born, I have been using Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads, which I buy in bulk from Amazon. I had considered reusable pads, but I figured they would be a pain and I don’t do enough laundry to warrant them. I thought they would be too much work.

5 months later, I don’t leak as much as I used to, and the disposable ones were starting to feel more like an unused diaper. Sometimes when I changed them, they would be bone dry (especially on the left side as I do not produce as much on that side). What a waste of money. Ugh.

So I started looking into reusables. I really like the bamboobies based on reviews, but don’t love the price tag. To get a 2 pack, it’s 7.49 per pair! If you go all in and spend $35 to get six sets, it is still $5.63 per pair, but for me reusables are an experiment. I don’t want to dish out $35 and then not like them. I read online that sometimes Bamboobies will give away a free sample pair, so I guess I will wait for the next one.

The frugal inside me chose to go with TL Care
Organic Cotton Nursing Pads, Natural, 6 Count, which required only a $6 upfront investment. This way I could at least figure out if reusable nursing pads would even work for me.

This is my review of them:

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Organic Cotton Nursing Pads, Natural - out of package

They are super soft and a good size. Similar in size to the disposable ones. I washed them in cold water with like items (brand new white burp clothes and white onesies). I dried them with the same load on low heat. This is how I do all of my laundry, if they need to be washed differently then they wouldn’t work for me.

After the first washing, they came out smaller and oval.

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Not washed on top, washed on bottom

I wasn’t super pleased by that, although it was expected based on some of the reviews. I decided that the shrinkage and shape would still not be a deal breaker, so I decided to try them out.

They work perfect with my nursing bras. They stay in place, which surprised me. They are a little thick, but no more so then the disposable ones. They do NOT work out well with nursing camis, they mostly stay in place but they look horrible through the shirt. I will have to continue to using the disposables for these. They are okay for wearing with my nursing night gowns, which are rather loose. I was surprised that they stay in leave better then expected. I still leak at night though, usually because the pad has shifted, but I have this problem with the disposals also.

They are more absorbent the expected, although if I leak a lot, I have to change the pad right away because it feels wet. I expect that I will change these more frequently then I do with the disposables, which is more annoying, but probably more sanitary.

My next washing I just threw them in with my regular load, including a pair of jeans and lots of dark colors. There was no additional distortion or shrinkage, so that was good.
Based on the number of times I changed them, and how frequently I do the laundry (which is not everyday, but every 2 to 3}, I decided I would need 9 pairs. This means a total investment of $18, which is less then another case of the disposables, so I decided to make the investment. Each pair would need to be worn 8 times to break even with the costs of the disposables. Based on how many disposables I typically use, this investment should pay for itself after 30 days. (I have a case of disposables, which should last me the rest of my nursing career, as I still use them in my nursing camis and sometimes at night. I also keep a disposable set in case of emergency at my nursing chair, my bed table, my purse, my diaper bag, my pump bag, my glovebox…)

I do wish I had done this experiment earlier, I would have saved at least $45 on the disposables by now (these reusable nursing pads would probably not have worked out as well for me when I first started nursing because I leaked so much)

Lansinoh disposables = 25 cents per set
Bamboobies = 5.63 per set (I would still like to try these, but it would take me 24 uses of each set to break even, about 3 months, based on buying two 6 packs)
Organic Cotton Nursing Pads = $2 per set, break even after 8 uses vs disposables, break even on initial investment after 1 month

I would definitely put these reusable nursing pads on a must have list for nursing moms, along with Lansinoh lanolin, Lansinoh soothies.

I have now washed my first set of reusable pads over 5 times, and they look the same as after the first wash, they are holding up well!

I am planning on nursing for about another year, so I am guessing that this investment will save me about $250. We’ll see if they last that long, but I can replace them if needed since it won’t take me long to recoup my money.

Pantry Challenge, Day 28

BBQ boneless ribs with steamed sweet potatoes and side salad

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Today I grabbed boneless ribs out of the freezer and threw in almost a full jar of BBQ sauce into the slow cooker.

We also had steamed sweet potatoes, which is a first for us. Our baby also had sweet potatoes for the first time today. I’m planning on making all of her food, so this was our first adventure into this. I borrowed my sisters food steamer, which I loved and now I have to get one for myself. My husband and I had some of the sweet potato for dinner, then I pureed the remainder for the baby. (she also loved them)

Boneless ribs: $3.80
Jar of BBQ sauce: $1
2/3rd sweet potato : 75 cents
Remainder of lettuce with the remainder of the bottle of Italian dressing, Croutons : 25 cents

Total meal for two: $5.80

Pantry Challenge, Day 27

Pepperoni and onion pizza

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I didn’t make any sides with this, so Mike and I each had 1.5 tortilla pizzas

3 tortillas at 17 cents each
Pizza sauce = free
Pepperoni = 50 cents
Cheese = 75 cents
Onions = 8 cents

Total meal for two : $1.76

Pantry Challenge, Day 23

Chicken Caesar Salad

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Romaine lettuce, $0.75 (lettuce was much cheaper this last time I bought it… And, I made less then earlier this month because I broke down and took the chicken out of the freezer)
Croutons, $0.25
Caesar dressing, $0.37
3/4 lbs chicken, $1.75

Meal for two: $3.12

Pantry Challenge, Day 22

“Garbage” Burritos

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My husband called these “garbage” burritos because I threw together a bunch of leftovers into another meal, much like “garbage soup”.

I used the leftover rice mixture from yesterday, and the last of the refried beans.

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Four tortillas at 17 cents each
Romaine lettuce 25 cents
Refried beans and yesterday’s leftovers
A tiny bit of ranch, salsa and hot sauce, 25 cents

Meal for two, $1.18

Still have lots of the rice mixture left, going to make chicken Caesar salad tomorrow night, and will throw the extra chicken in the mix and then freeze it for lunches later.

Grocery shopping 6-21

So, I know it goes against the pantry challenge to go grocery shopping, but coupon deals were really good this week, and my baby just  started into the world of solids (we did brown rice cereal tonight), so I need to get ready to make her some sweet veggies to try next.

Trip 1:

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Ham steaks : 50 cents each
Turkey Franks : 59  cents per package of 10
12 grain bread : $1.15 per loaf
2 French baguettes : $1
Ketchup : $1
10 Spring rolls: $1
Free stuff : deodorant, soy milk, boogie wipes

Trip 2:

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More ham steaks : 50 cents each
Pasta : 25 cents per box
Alfredo sauce : 99 cents per jar
Vidalia onions : 10 lbs at 80 cents per pound (foreshadowing freezer cooking upcoming)
Salsa : 2.69 per jar (not a great deal, but like I mentioned a couple days ago, I am out of salsa and I eat it all the time)
4  small tubs of margarine : $1 ea
Yogurt : 25 cents
Eggs : free
For baby food: two pounds organic carrots,  two pieces of organic summer squash, one sweet potato
Lettuce: $1.49
Dressing: $2

I shopped today at dollar tree and Price Chopper.

I get about 95% of my coupon match-ups from Iamthatlady.com if you are interested in couponing as well.