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Frugal Tips

Frugal Tips/ Life & Motherhood

Free Baby Product Samples for New Mom’s!

I am currently on two weeks of holidays from work, and I specifically chose these two weeks in August for two reasons: 1) to watch non-stop Olympics all day and 2) to start organizing the nursery and getting ready for baby. I have 11-ish weeks to go before this baby arrives, and I’m beginning to feel overwhelmed with all the things that we need to purchase still. I mean, we all know about the big stuff, right? Like crib, changing table, car seat, stroller, etc. But there are so many little things as well – pacifiers, bottles, bath products, formula, wipes, diaper cream, etc. For the big ticket items, you can easily search online for product recommendations and friends and family are more than willing to share their favourite brands with you. But for the little items, how are you supposed to know what type of product your baby will like?

I guess the makers of baby products realize that there are a lot of options out there for the new mom, so I’ve found a few stores and brands that provide free samples to the new mom so you can try them out on your little one before you commit to a product. I’ve subscribed to probably half a dozen mailing lists and baby clubs over the past few months, and a couple of the free baby packages have arrived! I thought I would share with any mom’s-to-be who are reading my blog.

Johnson & Johnson Baby Products

One of the baby packages that I signed up for was the Johnson & Johnson take along pack.

Johnson's Baby Take Along Pack

To sign up for this package, you just need to go to www.healthyessentials.ca and sign up. Once you’ve signed up, click on the link to update your profile. On that page, there will be a question about whether or not someone in your household is expecting a baby. Answer the questions and update your profile. A few weeks later, you will receive a coupon in the mail for one free Johnson’s Baby Take Along Pack. I took my coupon into Shopper’s Drug Mart, found the Johnson’s Baby Take Along Pack in the baby aisle (retail value of $6.99), took it up to the cashier with the coupon, and I got it for free! The contents of the Take Along Pack include baby wash, baby lotion, baby shampoo, baby powder, and Penaten diaper cream.

Johnson's Baby Products

London Drugs

If you sign up for the London Drugs newsletter, you can get a free Welcome Baby Package (retail value of $9.99).  Just go to www.londondrugs.com , and sign up for the Welcome Baby Package. A coupon will be emailed to you, and you just take that coupon to the Customer Service desk at any London Drugs and redeem for your Welcome Baby Package.

London Drugs Welcome Baby Package

The contents of the package include: Aleva Naturals baby wipes, nursing pads, Lanolin cream, diaper cream, a Mother’s Milk tea bag, a package of Kleenex, an Almay lipstick, and various coupons for baby products at London Drugs.

London Drugs Welcome Baby Products

I have so much to do and buy over the next two weeks, but I am loving these free samples! I can’t remember all of the baby clubs and mailing lists I’ve signed up for over the past few months, but I will keep everyone updated as the products arrive. Hey, wait a minute! This post has nothing to do with food or groceries – does this make me a mommy blogger now?! 🙂

Frugal Tips

My Favourite Couponing App Ever – Checkout51!

If you’ve known me for any length of time, then chances are good that you’ve heard me rave about the app Checkout51.

Checkout51 is an online couponing app that allows you to claim cashback on certain purchases. Every Thursday, Checkout51 is updated with a new list of offers. If you purchase any of the items that are on the list of offers that week, you just need to upload your receipt by taking a picture of it, and the specified cashback amount is added to your account. You need to upload your receipt for that week before midnight on Wednesday, because once the next week’s list of offers is out, you can’t claim an old receipt from last week anymore. Once you hit $20 in your account, you can cash out and they mail you a cheque!

I have the app on my iPhone but I think it’s available for Androids as well.

Now I can already anticipate some of your questions and doubts:

The offers are probably for things that I wouldn’t normally buy in the first place. 

Not true! Checkout51’s list of offers include a lot of commonly used household items as well as food products. You can go online at www.checkout51.com and see what the current offers are right now.  But as an example, I’ll show you the offers that I took advantage of this week.

Checkout51 offers

 

It’s just a scam. As if they would send you a cheque that easily. 

They absolutely send you a cheque that easily. Here is my cheque for $28 that I received the other day.

Checkout51 cheque

I received this cheque in the mail within two weeks of me cashing out. Sadly, I did not do anything exciting with the money. I went for a walk at lunch, cashed the cheque at the bank, and then bought myself a bottle of prenatal vitamins as I had just run out the night before.

It’s not worth my time. 

Taking a picture of your receipt and uploading it to Checkout51 takes less than a minute, I promise. I often snap a picture of my receipt while sitting in the parking lot of the store before driving away.

Since joining Checkout51 about two years ago, I’ve earned $223! That’s nothing to sneeze at!

Checkout51 Total Earned

Unless otherwise specified, you can combine your use of Checkout51 with paper coupons as well. Just a couple of weeks ago, I bought a bag of dishwashing tabs at Walmart for $4.94. I had a $3 off coupon and a $1 cashback on Checkout51, so the bag of 20 dishwashing tabs cost me $0.94! I was very excited about this, as evidenced by the text to my husband.

Checkout 51 text

 

He’s usually not that excited about my couponing, I think he was being sarcastic.

At the risk of sounding dorky, I will admit that I am excited every Thursday morning to open my Checkout51 app to see what the new offers are. Sometimes I even check the app first thing in the morning before I roll out of bed.

Does anyone else love this app as much as I do? If you’re not using it, what are you waiting for? Download the app from the App Store and give it a try. I’d love to hear about the deals that you get too!

(And no, this is not a sponsored post. I just love Checkout51 that much!)

Canadian Recipes/ Featured/ Frugal Tips

Healthy and Frugal Granola Mix

Homemade granola mix

I spent July long weekend visiting with my sister and her spouse in Calgary. My brother in law is a very healthy eater, so one day at breakfast I asked if he had any granola that I could have with my yogourt. “I am glad you asked!” he exclaimed, and then proceeded to pull various bags of seeds and other ingredients out of a cupboard to make me his special granola mix. (We actually call this “John’s Granola Mix” in our household!) I was super impressed with his delicious mix, as it contained many ingredients that this pregnant lady needed – chia seeds, hemp hearts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds – great sources of fibre, omega-3’s, folic acid and magnesium.

Upon coming home to Regina, I wanted to recreate this granola mix but I didn’t want to break the bank by buying individual bags of chia seeds, hemp hearts, etc. So I decided to take a trip to Bulk Barn to see if I could compile all of the ingredients at a lower price. And it was a success! For about $17 I was able to make two jars full of the granola mix. I bought one level scoop of every ingredient and that made two jars.

Homemade granola mix

Frugal tip: Bulk Barn often has coupons in their paper flyers for $3 off any purchase over $10. Keep your eyes open for this coupon in your flyers and you can make this granola mix for even cheaper!

Bulk Barn coupon

This granola mix is such a timesaver for busy weekday mornings when I’m in a rush to get to work. Just throw a couple spoonfuls into a bowl with some yogourt and fruit, and you have a quick, healthy, and filling breakfast. My husband at first mocked this granola mix and asked if I was making bird seed, but now he is taking a little container of it to work every day to eat with his yogourt!

Cheap and Easy Homemade Granola Mix (aka John's Granola Mix)

Print Recipe
Serves: Makes 2 large jars Cooking Time: N/A

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop pumpkin seeds, preferably roasted and unsalted
  • 1 scoop sunflower seeds, preferably roasted and unsalted
  • 1 scoop chia seeds
  • 1 scoop hemp hearts
  • 1 scoop shredded coconut, sweetened
  • 1 scoop granola (I bought the honey almond kind)

Instructions

1

Mix all the ingredients together and store in pretty hermetic or mason jars.

2

Enjoy a couple spoonfuls with yogourt and fresh fruit for a quick and healthy breakfast or snack!