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Christmas Shopping 2018

Hi, my name is Elizabeth and I am addicted to online shopping. This addiction started during my first mat leave when it was just easier to order things online and have them delivered to my door, instead of bundling up the baby and heading out to the stores or to the mall. I started off ordering books, baby items and household items from Chapters Indigo; then I graduated to ordering household items off The Bay; and then after a few trial and errors when it came to proper sizing, I’ve now started ordering clothes and shoes off of The Bay, Banana Republic, The Gap and J.Crew.

I’ve been back at work for over a year now and I am downtown 4-5 days a week so I’ll sometimes walk to the mall during my lunch hour. However, I find that there are better deals to be found online. Also, I hate trying things on in stores. I’d rather order clothes online, and then return them if they don’t fit! Most stores (like Banana Republic or The Bay) have really easy return policies where you can just send the clothes back or even return it in person in the store.

So with the Christmas shopping season upon us, 90% of my shopping has been done online. I mean, there are always a few items that you can’t easily buy online, like wine, but for the most part, I’ve scored some amazing deals on great presents online. The majority of the purchases were made on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so if you’re on my Christmas gift list, you’re getting amazing, quality presents that I managed to get a great deal on!

Another reason why I love online shopping – Ebates!!! I mean, you guys have probably all seen Ebates commercials on TV where the actors say “get paid to shop online” or whatever, right? I know I’ve seen that commercial a million times and I’ve always just written it off and never looked into it. But then my sister told me all about it and she started getting cheques back from Ebates, so I signed up as well. I mean, you all know how I love Checkout 51 and getting cheques from that, so I thought I’d give this Ebates a try.

It’s really easy – you just sign up for an account at Ebates. And then before you shop online, go to the Ebates site first, and then click through to the online vendor that you want to shop at. Most of the online vendors that I frequent are linked on Ebates (Chapters, The Bay, Sephora, Banana Republic, etc). Then you just proceed to shop as normal, and once your order is confirmed, the vendor sends a confirmation to Ebates and you’ll get an email telling you how much cashback you’ve earned on your purchase! The cashback percentage will vary, but I’ve gotten up to 8% cashback on my purchases before. And when you spend hundreds of dollars at Sephora or Banana Republic like I do, that 8% really adds up! The cash accumulates in your Ebates account and every quarter, they’ll send you a cheque for the amount in your account! The last cheque I got was for about $35!

It is so easy. Honestly, the hardest part is to remember to go to the Ebates site first before you start shopping. I know I’ve forgotten a couple times, and I kick myself whenever I calculate the cashback that I could have earned!

If you’re ready to earn cashback on your online purchases, use my referral code below to sign up!

Click here to sign up for Ebates! 

 

(Cover photo: Free Stock Photo courtesy of picxclicx.com)

Featured/ Frugal Tips/ Life & Motherhood

Starting a Diaper Stockpile

Well, I’m about 21 weeks pregnant with my second child now, and I’ve already started working on my maternity leave stockpile. One of the things I implemented prior to my first mat leave was a stockpile of household items. Knowing that I would be on a reduced maternity leave income for a whole year, I spent most of my pregnancy buying household items on sale, using coupons and Checkout51, and creating a stockpile so that I wouldn’t have to spend money on these basic household items during my mat leave. It was a huge success and for the entire year, I did not spend a dime on toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo & conditioner, and body wash.

But the biggest cost savings that I achieved was creating a significant stockpile of diapers ahead of time. Using Checkout 51 and watching for sales, I was able to buy diapers at less than half their regular price! For example, Pampers at Safeway are usually $34 regular price, but often they go on sale for $19.99. Checkout 51 also often has cashback of $2-$3 for Pampers products. When I combined the sales with the Checkout 51 offers, I got these diapers for $17 for a big box!

My stockpile numbers were pretty on point, but there was one time where we ran out of size 3 diapers and I had to go out and buy a box at full price. Let me tell you, it really hurt to buy a box of diapers for $34+tax. I tracked what my diaper stockpile numbers were and what my daughter used and this is the guideline that I’ll use to build my stockpile for my second child. Keep in mind that these numbers are for Pampers products for a baby girl, born at 7lbs, consistently measuring in the 100th percentile for height and at the 60-70th percentile for weight.

Pampers Size Stockpile Number
N (Newborn) 336 diapers
Size 1 600 diapers
Size 2 1472 diapers
Size 3 2184 diapers
Size 4 1392 diapers
Size 5 2340 diapers
Size 6 N/A – my daughter is 2 years old now and just recently transitioned to size 6 diapers.

We used Pampers Swaddlers for the newborn size, size 1 and size 2. At size 3 and 4, we used a mix of Swaddlers during the day and Baby Dry at night. This was around the time my daughter was 4 months old and we had sleep trained her so she was sleeping 11-12 hours through the night. We found that Pampers Baby Dry with their 12 hour protection were perfect for bedtime.  At Size 5, we used a mix of Cruisers and Baby Dry, as she was more mobile and the Cruisers were designed for babies on the move.

There was one size (I think it was size 1) where I had an extra box so I just sold it on VarageSale for $10. There are always other moms on VarageSale looking to buy diapers or trade diaper sizes.

For all you moms-to-be out there, I highly recommend you start a diaper stockpile! Either use coupons and watch for sales, or start having family and friends gift you with diapers!

 

Featured/ Life & Motherhood

Pregnancy #2!

Well, hello everyone! It’s been a minute since I’ve posted anything on here. I do have a reason though – I’m pregnant with my second child! We basically found out days after my last post on here in August….and the morning sickness (or all day sickness) started shortly after! From August until October, I was completely useless when it came to cooking and food. I was basically a vegetarian for three months because the smell of meat would send waves of nausea through me, and my husband and toddler had to survive on his cooking and on Skip the Dishes.

I’m about 20 weeks along now and I’m finally feeling better, so stay tuned for more recipes as I start cooking more often. I’m still craving a lot of vegetables over meat, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I do have more questionable cravings though, including super sugary iced tea, Cheez Whiz, basic Chinese food (like ginger beef and chicken balls), and gummy candies.

My toddler is also super clingy lately – it’s like she knows that a big change is about to happen in our family. She will cuddle with me for an hour after I pick her up from daycare. I’m not complaining – I need that chill time too, but it does make it hard to make dinner every night. Stay tuned for even easier recipes coming on this blog, as I figure out what I can easily pop in the oven without sacrificing cuddle time!