7 Ways We Are Saving Money!

There are a ton of articles and YouTube videos online on ways to save money.

It is important to note that many of these videos may only work for certain people. For example, not everyone has a house or kids, so those aspects may not apply to you.36815445_10103464776082820_1001593159475527680_nFrom all the articles or videos I’ve watched over the last few months, I wanted to share the ways OUR family is trying to save money/ pay off debt:

  1. Run your washer/dryer/ dishwasher at night: These chug a ton of electricity and did you know electricity is cheaper at night? I looked up the rates for our company and it was over a 10 cent difference to use electricity during “peak” hours (ours are 7am-8pm).
    • We just implemented this, so I’m curious to see what the cost difference will be over then next couple of months.
  2. Use cash: Lately I’ve been taking out cash for the week and sticking to it. It forces me to think twice over impulse purchases. If I have any left over, it goes straight into the piggy bank.
  3. Eliminate temptation: Whether it’s deleting emails from your favorite clothing store that informs you of sales or an app – just delete it. I recently deleted my Starbucks app!
    • Now I do go here and there but it’s not like I’m adding $40 a month just because. I maybe now spend $10-$12 and re-download the app when I do go. Plus my work has a killer Espresso machine for free.36954696_10103467147530420_1082811261625827328_n
    • Cutting out those emails can avoid impulse spends. Just because your favorite store is having a 50% off deal, doesn’t mean you need to buy something.
  4. Grocery shop online: I have found this to be extremely helpful. Half the time I forget my list or buy other items I didn’t intend to go into the store for.
    • I use Walmart Grocery and it has been such a lifesaver, not only in time, but for money. I shop what’s on sale and I grab ONLY what’s on my list.
  5. Cut down on dining out: When the twins were born, we were big on dine outs or quick meals. But now that things have gotten a “tad” easier, we have the time to cook more.
    • We only dine out twice a week and one time is usually a pizza deal in our area which is $7.99 for a large pie.
  6. Cancel your cable: We just have internet and use Hulu, Netflix and sometimes YouTube. We like to watch America’s got talent and we just need to wait the next day to watch an episode. #NoBigDeal.
  7. Cancel Your Gym Membership: Don’t get me wrong, I love taking in-studio classes. But I looked back at my account one day and I realized I spent over $1,000 in a year and a half. I could have paid off part of my credit card with that.37027483_10103467147655170_1148514400009715712_n
    • I am finishing up any classes I have left and either doing something at home (there are so many apps and YouTube videos) or if I really want to do a Pure Barre class, I use their online version.
    • If you need a gym, shop around and find a cheaper rate or wait for deals, especially during holidays.

Other tips:

  1. Buy second hand when you can (especially kids clothes and toys).
  2. Set a monthly budget.
  3. Borrow books/ DVDs from library instead of purchasing new ones.
  4. Staycations!
  5. Fruit picking for a summer afternoon date (pack a lunch, save some money and get exercise). It’s even good for the kiddos too and bonus if you have a farm that does picking per pound! Enjoy the sunshine and time with a loved one.36919084_10103466180453450_5753412488913747968_n
  6. Search your area for free or cheap local activities. You can join a Facebook group for your town and usually can find out about local activities there. And kids don’t really need you to spend tons of money to be entertained.
    • Once a week the kiddos and I go to Whole Foods and get a cranberry muffin; Sammy eats half and the twins eat the leftovers. Sammy loves playing with the trucks and I get to chill for almost an hour before errands. #winwin 😉36952658_10103467147749980_6526378436074668032_nFor more cheap/ free activities for kids, click THIS post for more info!

Again, some of these tips may not apply to you or your lifestyle but these are just a few things that our family has done/ is doing to save money and work on getting rid of debt.

Question: What are some of your tips to save money?!

 

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MIMM #45: Baby’s First Christmas [Eve]

Good morning my lovely people! It’s the first Marvelous in My Monday of the new year.I am going to share a little of our marvelous Christmas Eve and Christmas.  Sweet cup, right?We enjoyed spending time with family and loved ones. Samantha was spoiled with so much love and gifts too!
We are lucky that everyone loves her as much as we do.76e6b2d8-ff4c-4f37-9507-6696970a3f89My fiancé brought some marvelous French macaroons for dessert (among other goodies). The vanilla and pistachio were my favorite!I got a ton of Starbucks for Christmas and Questies. #Theygetme. 😉

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Now it’s time to get back on track and get 2016 going! Interested in Bootcamp?

Shoot me an email at NutritiouslySweet@Gmail.com. I opened up two spaces, grab them while they are available.

Thanks Katie for hosting MIMM!!Question: What was the highlight of your Holiday?

Thinking Out LOUD #22: Christmas Eve.

Happy Christmas Eve folks! 
1048233_10102400078704900_5863583484291539654_oShe can hardly wait. ❤

The holidays are an exciting time, but they can get stressful. Be sure to take time for yourself and unwind. Making sure that you fuel yourself right too. It’s easy to forget about nutrition during these times. Donuts are usually on my mind, so I am glad to find an alternative to my vice. This one is a must try. 😉How could I forget about Samantha’s new sister/ Christmas gift? Meet our adopted child, Leia. Yes we watch Star Wars. #nerds 😀

Hope everyone enjoys the holidays! Nutritiously Sweet will be on break until January 4th! Stay tuned for some fun posts including more workouts, yoga poses, healthy living tips and more. Thanks Amanda for hosting thinking out LOUD Thursdays!

Question: Any special holiday plans?

We are off to my in-laws tonight, then we are hosting Christmas lunch. #foodcoma. 😉

MIMM#38: One Month Old.

Someone turned a whole month yesterday. To celebrate, we ate some spiced apple caramel cupcakes. What a marvelous week it has been. I’ve been using this Juice Beauty green apple moisturizer and it’s been doing wonders for my skin. It’s from the Citrus Lane mommy and baby boxy my sister-in-law sent.Samantha loves the purple rattle, complete with a mirror on the back! Can’t forget about marvelous and free lattes.Or my first spin class back!And a new favorite protein bar. Today Pat and I are enjoying a day off.

We’ve been go, go, go all the time so a nice stroll through the park, pizza and movie night is in order.

Hope everyone enjoys their Labor Day and week ahead!Thanks Katie for hosting Marvelous in My Monday. 😀

Question: Have you ever done a box subscription?

What’s your favorite group exercise class?

Friday Favorites #5: Mommy and Baby Favs.

Happy Friday 😀

It’s the last Friday of September, which means summer is coming to an end. I don’t mind honestly, I am more of a boots and scarf gal. Today I’ll be sharing with you some favorites of the past three weeks for mommy and baby.

Even if you aren’t a mom, you’ll still enjoy a few of these:

Pepperidge Farm Soft-Baked Granola [Cookies]. I tried one from Target’s $1 section; post-delivery, I was eating oatmeal cookies (oats help with breastmilk production).

Yes, I could make my own and healthier... but between my online work and baby Samantha, these were perfect to have as a quick breakfast with a banana or a night time treat with milk.  I love that they have a little bit of fiber, protein and of course, carbs!

Plenti Greek Yogurt (Yoplait)Another quick and delicious way to get some increased lactation. Not only may oats increase, but flax can help too. Plus you get calcium to keep building strong bones, but my all time favorite Greek Yogurt is Fage.

Starbucks Iced Coffee + Milk [Light]. I can’t go on my usual Starbucks run nor do I always have the time to get my coffee brew on. That’s where these puppies come in. Each one comes out to about $1.40, which is about $1.00 less for a tall iced coffee.

I get to save money for baby wipes and if I am running late for work, I can grab one and still get my Starbucks fix. I can’t work without Starbucks in hand.

Babyganics Hand Sanitizer & Stain RemoverBabies (and moms) can get messy! I love the hand sanitizer and wipes. The Babyganics stain remover is amazing for getting out those tough stains. Definitely going to stock up on that.

Gentle Naturals Baby Eczema Relief Cream Samantha was getting very dry and cracked wrists, so we needed a cream for her dry skin. This cream healed her in less then two days.

Seventh Generation Dish Soap & Disinfectant Wipes All products are plant-based; the wipes have been great to clean her changing table and other things she may dirty. Instead of getting a “baby friendly dish soap,” we opted to go with one for the whole family.

The dish soap was only 50 cents more then the one we usually buy and it’s safe for washing Samantha’s bottles/ breast pump gadgets.

I am linking up with Heather for Friday Favorites. Thanks for hosting!Question: What are some of YOUR favorite products lately?

Thinking Out Loud #17: Time.

Where has three weeks gone?Time really does go by fast. {three weeks vs. 10 hours old}

I am three weeks post-partum and down 14lbs (I gained 27lbs). I have to say today I woke up feeling refreshed. I think I finally got the hang of this little human’s schedule. But I think coffee does help a smidge 😉Speaking of coffee, have you seen pumpkin “things” are starting to come out?Can’t wait to have me some pumpkin spice lattes. Until then, I will enjoy more iced coffee and yummy greens on the side.I’m linking up for Thinking Out LOUD today with Amanda over at Running With Spoons. Thanks for hosting!Hope everyone is having a wonderful week 😀

Question: What pumpkin “thing” do you look forward too? I also love me some pumpkin fudge and donuts. #drool.

Samantha Julia’s Birth Story.

The last couple of weeks of pregnancy were rough

My varicose veins were very swollen and engorged. It made simple things like getting out of bed, sitting and walking very difficult. I tried to keep active as much as I could for at least 15-20mins a day; walking, doing squats and prenatal yoga.

On Monday August 3rd, we had our almost 40 week check-up. Doctor said everything was great and that I was 2.5cm dialted and that I should deliver soon – so they said when I was 2cm dialted the week before.

Because of my growing issue with the vericose veins (one had even bled out), I was given the okay for an induction that coming Thursday the 6th at 9:30am. 

My heart sank. I already had been wondering when was she coming and now I knew she would be here no later then Thursday. The feeling was so surreal and I was unable to sleep over the next few days. The night before the induction, I was so nervous. I didn’t know what to expect and I went on a clean streak – doing last minute prep for our baby girl. Later that evening, I found my hips to be very sore and I figured it was from all the cleaning and standing. I decided to do some squats, and mix in some Warrior II, side angle and triangle poses. I even prepped a yummy bowl of protein oats for breakfast, but something deep down told me I wasn’t going to get to eat them.

I was waiting for Patrick to come home to have our “last” meal before officially becoming parents. After he came home and we ate dinner, we both had trouble sleeping from the excitement and wonder that was to await us at 9:30am tomorrow. I was also having a few painful contractions here and there, but nothing consistent.

Patrick was finally dozing off at around 1:00am, so I asked him to turn off the T.V. Then I felt leaking. I had been leaking “fluid” a lot in the last couple of weeks but I knew this was a little different. I honestly felt like I was bleeding. I turned to Pat and tapped him, mind you he was still half asleep, and he said “I can’t do two things at once.”

“Pat, I’m leaking.”

“Oh, did your water break?”

“I don’t know.” – At this point I sat up in bed and this gush of fluid came out.

“Uh, yes it did”

“Okay, what do you need?”

I asked for a towel and sat in bed in shock. I couldn’t believe that at 1:11am my water broke. I honestly didn’t think my water was ever going to break nor did I think I was going to have a sleepless 48 hours ahead. I called the on-call nurse and they told me to take my time and they’d have everything ready at the hospital. We had 80% of our things packed – we grabbed fruit and took care of the bunny before we left.

On the way to the hospital, my contractions were picking up and were every 3 minutes. I could feel the pain increasing and knew active labor was coming. We got to the hospital around 2:30am and by the time I was situated in the room and evaluated at 3:00am, contractions were ever two minutes and I was 3cm dilated. Contractions were getting more painful, I was very nauseous and exhausted.

The overnight doctor had asked me if I wanted an epidural, I said yes but I wanted to wait it out since I knew it could slow down labor. By the time 4:00am hit, I was in massive pain, still nauseous and shivering as if it was below zero degrees. Patrick wanted to help, but he knew there was nothing he could do to ease that pain. I asked him to just try to massage my lower back, which did help for a short while.

The doctor came back in and rechecked me and I was 5cm dialted – baby was ready to come. I told her I couldn’t wait any longer and wanted to epidural. It was around 4:30am when the anesthesiologist came in to administer the epidural. Everything went in fine and I just had to wait ten minutes.

After those long ten minutes contractions were getting closer and even more painful then I could imagine. The doctor rechecked me and said I was dilateing faster then the medication could reach me. They ended up having to give me two extra doses. It was almost 5:00am and I finally felt much better. The doctor came back one more time to check on me and told me that since I got the epidural my contractions slowed, which was expected.

She also said they called my doctor to come in at 7:00am, even though he was scheduled for 9:30am, and hopefully baby would wait until he came. I never felt more relieved between that news and finally being pain free. I wouldn’t have wanted any other doctor to deliver my baby girl. I was able to take a nap until my doctor awoke me at 7:00am.

“Ready to get this baby out?”

He told me that I was dilated enough and that were going to push soon through contractions. Push? I wasn’t feeling any contractions, how would I know when to push and why was everything so relaxed? I had seen child birth in movies or read about them and this was nothing like it.

I didn’t know entirely what to expect because Patrick and I watched a birthing class online through Baby Center. We both worked weekends and nights and knew that we’d never make an actual class. At the same time I was relieved because everything was unfolding as time went on and I think had I went to one, I would have been more nervous.

Back to pushing –  the doctor said that I just needed to push as if I was going to the bathroom. Two nurses came over to assist me and doctor said he’d let me know when a contraction was starting.

First contraction: “Push now!”

I pushed and didn’t feel anything except a massive migraine coming on.

“That’s it Sabrina you’re halfway there.”

I was semi-in shock. How was I half-way there, I couldn’t feel anything happening.

Second Contraction: “One more push and your baby girl will be out – push!”

Nurse: “Don’t stop Sabrina she’s almost out.”

By the end of that second push I thought my head was going to pop out and I felt a strange pain from her feet fluttering out.

Doctor: “All done Sabrina, congratulations.”

A huge relief came over me when the doctor said those words. I was so ready to be done with pregnancy and just meet my baby girl. He cleaned her up and placed her on top of me for our first skin to skin contact.She was so precious.I couldn’t believe this little thing was inside of me growing. The look on Patrick’s face when he first saw her was pure bliss. Seeing those tears of joy from him melted my heart. This was our baby girl and we couldn’t be happier ♡