Saving On Everything Back To School

The back to school madness is underway and we are all looking for ways to cut costs this time of year. Expectations run high, there are new book bags, sneakers, clothing, school supplies and lunch supplies. The list can be long and expensive. BUT, let's not worry about what others are doing or what the kids expect. In my books, it is better to teach frugality, and a reduced waste approach through re-using and recycling. Let's teach our children that they do not need NEW everything, there are so many items that can be re-used and recycled from previous years.

5 Reasons To Keep Your Receipts

5 Reasons To Keep Your Receipts

Yes, I am telling you to hang onto those little crumpled up pieces of paper in your coat pocket, car cup holder or bottom of your purse! 

It may seem annoying to keep track of all your receipts, but read on to understand why it may be a good idea. 

Here are 5 reasons to keep your receipts for all purchases:

How To Save On Baby Expenses

How To Save On Baby Expenses 

Tips on How to Save on Baby Expenses

This is the outline for the interview that aired on CBC Information Morning 106.1 fm Moncton in February, 2013, just 6 weeks after I had our second child.  What better to discuss than what was personally living at the moment, the impact of a baby on your budget! 

These are my tips on how to save and budget for your new addition.

Having a new baby in the house is a wonderful happy experience, but may take a toll on the pocket book.  New babies require Food, Diapers, Clothing and can really bust your monthly budget if you are not careful.

1. When it comes to a new baby, what are some of the ways you can save to keep within your budget?

There are a few strategies I used when planning our new baby’s arrival.
If baby is not here yet, start allotting a portion of your monthly budget to stocking up on items you will need. I used $20-25 of my budget for about 4 months before my baby arrived. This allowed me to stock up on Diapers, Wipes and some toiletries.
Items such as clothing, blankets and toys were left until closer to baby’s arrival, as we received many as gifts.

Using coupons, sales, clearance, second hand, baby clubs and points programs, you can save a great deal!

2. Can you share some tips for how to save on specific items?

Disposable Diapers:  The best way to save on Disposable Diapers is to use a coupon with a sale, and watch the clearance bins. I have been abe to purchase many packages for $0.10 per diaper. They have been brands such as Seventh Generation, Pampers and Huggies. You can often get them much cheaper than the store brand when shopping with coupons.

Calculate how many diapers you will use at each stage of development( CLICK HERE) with these guidelines. 

Cloth diapers are another option, with a high upfront cost, but much lower once you have them. When considering the cost of Cloth Diapers, work in laundry detergent, energy costs and water fees if you live in areas that cost you extra. If you have a clothes line and are on a well, you will not need to worry about those costs. 

Purchasing your cloth diapers second hand is a great way to save on the up front costs as well. If you know you are going to cloth diaper, then research the brands and find the best deals possible either from the company or through distributors.
CLICK HERE for a Calculator to help you figure out what works for you.

Breast Feeding is the cheapest, it`s free! If you can do it, this is the best money saver to start out. Not everyone can breast feed, but you also should understand that often the first month is the hardest and it DOES get easier as you and your baby figure it out together. If you are having a hard time with breast feeding, do not give up, please seek out help and refer to the links provided below for resources in your area.
You may want to invest in a pump ($100 - $200+) if you are looking to bottle feed some. This will also allow you to freeze and store milk for future use as well. I breast fed both my children and this was convenient and cost effective for us. 

Formula:There are several companies who have clubs you can join to receive samples and coupons.  The coupons and vouchers you can get are high value and worth signing up for. These companies usually make follow up formulas and food for babies. They continue to send coupons to you for the various stages of baby growth. Refer to the links at the bottom of this page for details.

Watch for Formula and Diapers in the Clearance bins. Formula is put on clearance for 50% off usually a good month or 2 before the expiry date. If purchasing formula on clearance, buy the concentrate or ready made, you will likely not get through the powdered kind in time.

Clothing: Babies grow out of clothes long before they wear out. Consider buying second hand...and sell the ones that you no longer need to make room for new ones. Another great idea is to start a clothing exchange with some friends who have children at varying stages. 

**Tip: Treat stains immediately and you will be able to keep clothing in better condition for swapping, selling or trading in at consignment stores.

Larger items & toys: Second hand all the way for these items. You can shop online on kijiji, ebay or other buying groups, or check out the local thrift shops and yard sales. The younger the child is, the better your chances of finding something in great shape for a fabulous price.

**Please consider safety with purchasing older items second hand. There are expiry dates on some items such as Car Seats, and safety standards on others that have changed over the years. Do your research before buying.

3. These are all great tips, but is it possible to continue to maintain a budget close to what you had before once the baby is here?

Absolutely. I worked the baby essentials into my budget prior to his arrival and continue to have baby items in my “stock up” budget. 

I have a set budget for groceries of $100, then an additional amount up to $25 for stocking up on items we use regularly. So my food is in the $100, where my baby, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc are in my $25 stock up budget. This is my bi-weekly budget for my family of 3 and now with baby, family of 4. This will no doubt change as he gets older and eating more.  

Everyone’s budget will be different, but this proves it does not need to change right away.

The things that will help you keep on budget are simple:·     

  • Coupons- often High Value for baby items
  • Cash Back apps- watch apps and use for additional savings
  • Clearance Bins - in store up to 50%
  • Second Hand -many items 50-80% off
  • Baby Clubs – Free sign up and send samples & coupons
  • Rewards points (Optimum points, Airmiles, etc) I did not discuss this in the above sections, but many times you can get any of the items you are looking for free when redeeming point. Also, watch for bonus points being offered on baby items. If you are buying the item anyway, you should take advantage of any bonus offers!

Breast Feeding resources:

Formula Companies Offers:

SOBEYS Pharmacy: offers Free Prenatal Vitamins the entire time you are pregnant and nursing (ask for a form to join up) there are also samples and coupons in a bag when you sign up.

JEAN COUTU: Ask to join their New Mommy club and get a bag of samples and coupons.

Mam club: newsletters, offers and freebies from time to time.

Looking for ways to save when you have kids?

Here are some money saving tips when you have children: Click here

 2013 The MonctonCoupon Lady/ Everything Unscripted 

Family, Food, Frugal Living & Fun!

A Frugal and Thoughtful Valentine’s Day

A Frugal and Thoughtful Valentine's Day

In our busy lives we need to take advantage of time together and stop replacing quality time with giving each other "stuff".

Yes, jewellery, flowers and chocolates are all beautiful and appreciated, but planning something to do together is more meaningful and can be more unique.

Start by putting the phones away, out of sight, for the evening. (Or even an hour) Another tip is to plan the evening start to finish, on your own. Just let your partner know you have it all planned and you will let them know what you are doing on that day. This is huge, especially if they usually plan the "date nights".

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Eat in and go out for dessert or coffee.
  2. Cook together. Pick your favourite meals.
  3. If you have young kids, plan a special snack (cheese board or fondu) and/or drink for after they go to bed. Enjoy it while you take time to relax.


  1. Play a board game that you can play and talk.
  2. If you are BOTH into video games, play together.
  3. Go skating at an outdoor rink.
  4. Go sledding.
  5. If you are a book lover. Go to the bookstore together. 
  6. Go for an evening walk
  7. Meet for coffee at lunch time or in the evening.

There are so many things you can do that cost very little money. The key is to do something together and enjoy your times together. Gifts are nice, but don't mean as much as time spent with each other

Our Weekly Meal Plan -Feb 5 thru 11


  • Go through flyers for best prices. Also check online for specials at local butchers, farmer's markets, bakeries and shops.
  • Check freezer, fridge, pantry and make as many meals as possible with these items and items on sale this week.
  • Make menu and shopping list.


I usually use this format to plan. Not assigning a day to the meal, but rather having everything prepped to make whichever I feel like doing that day. Here is my plan for this week. Recipes will be added as well, as I get them photographed and posted.

Supper Time Planned Meals: February 5 to February 11
  • Salmon and Hassleback Potatoes
  • Salsa Chicken with Roasted Veggies
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Hamburgers & Veggie Sticks
  • Pizza & Garlic Fingers (Sunday,  Super Bowl)
  • Homemade Chinese Food
Lunch Time:

Our lunches (hubby & I) are usually salad or wrap with some kind of protein (Chicken, Tuna, Egg, etc), or leftovers from supper.

School lunches are usually NOT sandwiches, as my oldest does not like them. So I get creative with what we have on hand. Meat chunks, grape tomatoes, cheese cubes, cut up veggies, etc...

Breakfast Time:

We have options ready and available.

  • Breakfast Burritos (In freezer, wI'll be making more next week)
  • Banana Muffins (in freezer)
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Toast
  • Overnight Oatmeal
  • yogurt, fruit, cereal always an option


  • apples (with peanut butter)
  • Sliced peppers, celery & carrots
  • almonds
  • dates
  • cereal bars /  granola bars (kids)
  • crackers & cheese
  • yogurt
  • boiled eggs


This week I didn't purchase much. Most of our meals were planned around what I had on hand in the freezer and pantry. We did buy store made thin crust pizza and garlic fingers for Super Bowl Sunday. Other than that, we had everything on hand for all the meals this week. I still bought milk and some bread at the bakery. Also Eggs at Shoppers.

  • Eggs $1.88 x2 dozen
  • 4 L Milk $3.41/2L
  • Sugar free Bread $2.70 x2
  • Carrots $1.49
  • Tortilla Chips $1.99 x2
  • Coffee Cream $2.99
  • Store made pizza $5.99
  • Store made Garlic Fingers  $3.99
  • TOTAL was just under $36

Items On Hand:

  • Salmon
  • Hamburgers
  • Chinese food (rice, meatballs, Egg  rolls & chicken)
  • Oats
  • Coconut milk
  • yogurt
  • clementines
  • apples
  • crackers
  • cheese
  • almonds
  • dates
  • Pasta cooked in freezer
  • Meatballs
  • Pasta sauce in freezer

Meal Prep

Here is the list of what I did for prep on Sunday.

  • Boil 6 eggs, cool & store in fridge.
  • Baked bread and rolls
  • Make up 4 jars of Overnight Oatmeal.
  • Cut up celery and carrots into snack bags