Tip-a-licious Thursaday

The Basics of Toddler Toilet Training
By Marc Courtiol 

Most new parents quickly get into the diaper-changing routine, and while they might not love it, they rarely think twice about it. It becomes just another part of the daily routine. Yet for any parent of a one-year-old, the prospect of not having to deal with diapers anymore is an intriguing one. Diapers are expensive, time-consuming, and smelly, and they are a sign that the baby is still just a baby. Getting off the diaper is a major milestone, and a huge sign that the child is beginning to mature into a distinct person.

Since every child is different, there is no universal toilet-training guide that works for everyone, but there are some tried and true points that are useful to know. If you think your child is approaching the right age to set aside the diaper, here are some tips to keep in mind.

The right age for toilet training
To begin toilet training, you must make sure that the conditions are right. Your child should be able to not only understand most of your commands but also follow them, and she also needs to be able to tell you when she needs to go to the bathroom. Most children are not at this stage until the end of the second year, if not later.

Meanwhile, there are physical milestones that need to be crossed before toilet-training can begin. Infants have little control over their bladders and bowels, and control gradually starts to build as the child approaches the first birthday. Bowel control tends to come before bladder control, but real potty training cannot begin until both of these things happen.

Watch for patterns
In the early months of a baby’s life, bowel movements come unpredictably, and often several times a day. But as the months pass, they become more regular and less frequent, until at some point they begin to come only once a day or even less. At the same time, wet diapers become less frequent as the child gains more bladder control. Toilet training cannot begin until these patterns are well established. Once they are, things will be more predictable and easier to manage.

Gender and toilet training
Do not put much stock in the widespread rumor that girls are easier to train than boys. This idea has become prevalent due to the fact that women are the toilet trainers more often than men, and women are usually more comfortable training girls than boys. Ultimately, whether your child is easy or difficult to train comes down to his or her unique temperament. Some children are easy to train, and some are hard, and this has nothing to do with whether the child is a boy or a girl.

Do not waste time before baby is ready
Toilet training your child early might make you and your spouse feel proud, but it does not have any greater meaning. There is no correlation between the age a child is toilet trained and his or her mental or physical development. In other words, a child who is toilet trained early is not necessarily advanced in other respects. So do not feel you have to rush into this process. Things will be much easier if you wait until you are reasonably certain your child is ready.

Marc Courtiol has written numerous articles in the baby care field. He believes in using natural remedies first, especially when one needs to calm a child’s tummy.
Frugalicious Mommy Disclaimer: This is a guest post. No monetary compensation was received. 

Zinio Digital Magazine Giveaway (9 Winners)

In case you needed a reminder - Christmas will be here in 5 days! If you're still searching for the perfect gift, then be sure to check out Zinio!

Not familiar with Zinio? They have thousands of top magazines from around the world and you can browse and purchase subscriptions or single issues instantly from your computer or mobile device to read wherever and whenever you like. Their Explore section lets you read - even without a subscription - thousands of articles from your favorite magazines and share them with friends.

The holiday spirit is in full swing at Zinio.com! There are 300 magazine titles available at up to 50% off their already-discounted prices. Here are just a few sample titles: La Cucina Italiana, Vegetarian Times, Food Arts, Clean Eating, and many more...

Want a FREE Subscription?
Zinio.com has offered to give (9) of our readers a subscription to any magazine of their choice!

New Coupons!

New coupons are available. To print, click any of the links below:

Freebie Friday (12/14/12)

Free Samples:
*Free Breakfast with Santa TOMORROW (12/15) from 8-10:30am at White Castle

*(2) Free Samples of Breathe Right Strips (Costco members)

*Free Lysol Dual Action Wipes w/Mail-in Rebate

*Free Large Seasoned Fries at WingStop

*Free Sample of Propel Zero Powder Stick


Fisher-Price Servin' Surprises Kitchen & Table $39.99

Wow, prices change quick! Just two days ago, the Fisher Price Servin' Surprises Kitchen & Table was on sale for $59.99 and now it's on sale for $39.99. Sweet! This would make a great Christmas present for a toddler. Currently, this table is part of Target's 'Buy One, Get One 50% off select Fisher-Price' promotion. So if you're still doing a little Christmas shopping for the kids, then this deal is great for you! Also, if you use your Target REDcard, you'll receive 5% off + free shipping! 

P.S. Don't forget to use ShopAtHome to earn cash back! 
ShopAtHome Banner

Frugalicious Mommy Disclosure: The post contains our personal referral link. (Read full disclosure here)

Tasty Tuesday

This is not a recipe but rather a cooking tip. I was feeling quite lazy one night, so I decided to make tacos for dinner. As I was browning my ground beef, I kept thinking about those tortilla bowl makers I've seen on tv. I've been wanting one for so long but I just can't convince myself to buy something I wouldn't use that often. Then it dawned on me -- google homemade tortilla bowls. Duh!!!!

This is what I stumbled upon:
Use the bottom of your muffin tin! Lightly spray the bottom of your tin with non-stick spray. Warm up your tortillas a little so you can mold them in between the cups. Then place them in the oven at 375 for roughly 8 minutes. And this is what you end up with....perfect little bowls that you can fill with your favorite taco filling!

Freebie Friday (12/07/12)

Free Samples:

Meals at Home Walmart Personal Care

Domino's Pizza: 50% off Any Pizza

Head over to Domino's to get your hands on half-priced pizza! Simply order online and use the code 9413 at checkout to receive 50% off. Also, if you are a ShopRunner member, you will score FREE delivery. Not a ShopRunner member? Sign up for a FREE 30-day trial here
Offer ends 12/9/12. Valid online only. 

Target: Spend $50, Get a $10 GiftCard


There is a great promo going on at Target! 
Print this hot coupon for a FREE $10 gift card with your purchase of $50 or more. This offer is valid until Saturday, December 8th.

Freebie Friday (11/30/12)

Free Samples: 

*Send and Receive Free a Free $10 Restaurant.com eGift Card 

*Free Sample of Finish Quantum Dishwasher Detergent

*Free Sample of Centrum Flavor Burst Chews

*Free Sample of Digestive Advantage Probiotic Gummies



Tip-a-licious Thursday

Tired of buying dishcloths and sponges/scrubbers? If so, then maybe you should consider making your own. Trust me when I say -- YOU CAN DO IT! I am a newbie at crocheting. I actually learned to read patterns by watching YouTube videos. Just the other day, I decided to make my fantastic grandma a dishcloth as a thank you for sending me a homemade dish scrubber (both pictured above). My dishcloth is made out of 100% cotton yarn, so it is super absorbent and can easily be washed. I bought the yarn for $2.49 and it can make roughly two dishcloths depending on the size/design. I plan on buying my yarn elsewhere to cut costs a little more. My granny, on the other hand, made her scrubbers out of a wool fabric that she bought for $0.99 a yard and it can make roughly 4 scrubbers. FRUGAL! I'm not quite sure how she made it but it does work fabulously! 

Making your own dishcloths/sponges does take a little time, however, it saves you money + you can make them to match your decor. I actually love my new hobby because I can easily take my projects with me wherever I go or I  can just do it as I watch tv. Give it a try!

There are plenty of sites that provide free patterns and tutorials. Here are a few that I have used:
Happy Crocheting!

Wordful Wednesday

I hate when I forget to schedule posts! Anyway, I wanted to share a few photos from our crazy Black Friday shopping. If you follow us on Facebook, then you may have seen them already. For those of you that don't follow us (yet), here are the photos of our frugal finds:

Can you believe that all these items should have cost us around $1000? Better yet, can you believe that all this stuff only cost us about $20? Crazy, huh?! By no means was this an easy thing to do! My mom and I spent all night/early morning shopping at several Walgreens stores plus a few other places. By the time we were done, we had spent nearly 30+ hours awake. Haha. It was so much fun! Even if it wasn't Black Friday, my  mom & I still would have had a blast. We always have fun together. :)

♥ you mom!

Chili's: Kids Eat Free 11/26 only!!!

In honor of the holiday season, Chili's is running a special offer every day until December 24th. So if you don't feel like cooking dinner tonight, then you're in luck. Today, November 26 only, kids can eat free with the purchase of an adult entree! 
Print your coupon here

CVS on a $10 Budget

I desperately needed to rollover my EB before they expired, so I figured I would try my luck at CVS today. I was stoked to see that they still had Dawn soap in stock because I completely ran out at home.  Here is a breakdown of my single transaction:

(1) Charmin Basic 12-roll
(2) Tide Liquid 32-load
(3) Dawn
(3) Dawn Hand Renewal
(1) Always Radiant liners 64 ct
(1) Always Radiant Tampons 16ct
Total= $30.81
-$0.25/1 Charmin Product, (P&G 10/14/12)(P&G 10/28) *exp. 11/30/12
-$1/2 Tide detergent, Tide boost, Downy or Bounce excludes PODS(P&G 10/28) *exp. 11/30/12
-(3) $0.75/1 Dawn with Olay (P&G 10/28) *exp. 11/30/12
-(3) $0.50/1 Dawn (P&G 10/28) *exp. 11/30/12
-(2) $1/1 Always Radiant Pads, 12ct+ (P&G 10/28/12)*exp 11/30/12
-$15 EB
-$1.46 leftover on giftcard
Earned $10 EB

Frugalicious Black Friday at Wags

Boy are we tired! We started our frugal shopping at 7:30pm last night and didn't finish until about 8:51 AM today! Yup, that's over 12 hours of shopping! Crazy? YES, but it was sooo much fun. We were able to score lots of freebies and are actually planning on going out for more. 
Here are a few of the free items we stocked up on:

Carmex Lip Care on sale for $1
Use $0.30/1 Carmex Lip Balm 10/21/2012 SS Insert (exp 12/31/2012)
OOP= $0.70, get back $1 RR 
Final cost= 30¢ Moneymaker after rewards and coupons

Advil PM Pain Relief (4ct.) on sale for $1
Use  $1/1 Advil PM 10/28/2012 RP Insert (exp 01/31/2013
OOP= ZERO, Get back $1 RR
Final Cost= $1 MM after rewards and coupons

Cepacol Lozenges on sale for $3 
Use $1/1 Cepacol Sore Throat IP: here 
OOP= $2, get back $3 RR
Final Cost= $1 MM after rewards and coupons

Midnite for Menopause Relief on sale for $7 
Use $2/1 MidNite, regular or PM 10/28/2012 SS Insert (exp 04/30/2013) OR
$2/1 MidNite, regular, for Menopause or PM 09/09/2012 SS Insert (exp 03/31/2013)
OOP= $5, get back $7 RR 
Final Cost= $2 MM after rewards and coupons

Crest 3D White Vivid Radiant Mint Toothpaste on sale for  $2.99 
Use $0.75/1 Crest Toothpaste or Liquid Gel, 4 oz+, excludes cavity, baking soda, tartar, or trial size 10/28/2012 P&G Insert (exp 11/30/2012)
OOP= $2.24, get back $2.99 RR 
Final Cost= 75¢ MM after rewards and coupons

Sheets Energy Strips on sale for $3.99
Use $1/1 found inside box
OOP= $2.99, get back $3.99
Final Cost= $1 MM after rewards and coupons

Scunci No Damage Elastics on sale 2/$3
OOP= $3, get back $3
Final Cost= FREE after rewards

Omega Smart Kids DHA 60ct on sale for $10
OOP= $10, get back $10
Final Cost= FREE after rewards

Walgreens also has a great deal on laundry detergent! When you purchase (1) Arm & Hammer 25-32 load detergent (with card) at $6.99, get (2) FREE! Deals valid until tomorrow 11/24!

Tasty Tuesday

Wow, it's almost Thanksgiving! I'm so excited to be spending time with my family. Tomorrow I have to bake a couple pies, so I figured I would share my favorite pie recipe - Sweet Potato Praline Pie.
I do not claim this recipe as my own! I bake this pie every Thanksgiving but have no clue where I found this recipe. I tried it out many years ago, loved it, and saved in my recipe book. 

15.5 oz. can of mashed sweet potatoes
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 unbaked pastry shell

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, condensed milk, eggs, spices, and salt. Beat at medium speed until smooth. 
  3. Pour mixture into unbaked pastry shell. Place in oven for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 
  4. Allow to cool. Once cool, sprinkle chopped pecans on top of pie and set aside.
Praline Topping:
  1. In small saucepan, combine brown sugar and whipping cream  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. 
  2. Let cool slightly, then spoon over pie. 

New Coupons

Don't you just love when there are tons of new coupons available?! 
Happy Friday!
In the Home
Meals at Home (Kraft)
Snacks & Desserts

*HOT* $2 Money Maker at CVS

In case you missed it, there is a smokin HOT (regional??) deal going on at CVS! This week when you buy (2) John Frieda Hair Care or Hair Color, you will receive $5 ECB (Limit 1). Many people were reporting that the trial sizes were printing ECB, so I decided to give it a try AND it worked!

No coupons needed!!
Buy (2) John Frida Full Repair Shampoo or Conditioner 1.5oz - $1.49 each
Note: you can also purchase the Sheer Blonde or Frizz-Ease trials.
Pay $2.98, get back $5 ECB
Final Cost= Free + $2.02 money maker!!!!

Thanks, Hip2Save!

Freebie Friday *Freedom Edition* (11/9/12)

zwani.com myspace graphic comments

The offers listed below are available at participating locations on Veteran's Day ONLY (unless otherwise stated). In order to receive these offers, you may be asked for the following identification: U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card, U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), Veterans Organization Card (i.e., American Legion and VFW), DD214 Certificate, Veteran Identification Card (VIC), or Photograph in Uniform or Wearing Uniform.

*Buy One, Get One Free at Spaghetti Warehouse on 11/12 - Choose from the original recipe spaghetti or 15-layer lasagna. 

*Free Entree at Chili's

*Free Red's Tavern Double and Bottomless Fries on 11/12 at Red Robin

*Free Entree at On The Border (valid 11/12-11/30)- Come in on 11/11, present this flyer and 15% of your purchase will be donated to Carry the Load.

*Free Breakfast on 11/12 from 7am-11am at Hy-Vee

*Free Entree at Olive Garden - Choose from seafood alfredo, chicken parmigiana, grilled sausage & peppers rustica, cheese ravioli, spaghetti w/meat sauce, or the unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks. 

*Free Signature Entree at Applebee's - Choose from one of the following entrees: Three-Cheese Chicken Penne, 7oz. House Sirloin, Chicken Tenders Platter, Fiesta Lime Chicken, Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger, Oriental Chicken Salad, or the Double Crunch Shrimp. Dine-in only.

*Free Lunch on *11/12* from 11AM-2PM  at Texas Roadhouse - Choose from the following: 6oz Sirloin Steak, Country Fried Chicken, Country Fried Sirloin, Pulled Pork Dinner, Grilled Pork Chop (single), All-American Cheeseburger, BBQ Chicken Sandwich, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Grilled Chicken Salad, or the Chicken Critter Salad. All entrees (excluding salads) come with your choice of 2 sides + an iced tea or soft drink.

*Free Lunch at BJ's Brewhouse (valid 11/11-11/12) - Choose from one lunch entree or mini one-topping pizza for dinner.

*10 Free Boneless Wings at Hooter's - Must purchase a drink. 

*Free Entree at McCormick and Schmicks - Choose from the following: Buttermilk fried shrimp, cedar planked or grilled salmon, shrimp linguini, parmesan crusted chicken, beer battered fish & chips, cashew crusted tilapia, beef medallions & scampi style shrimp, romano chicken chopped salas, or 1/2 lb cheeseburger. Dine-in only. Reservations are recommended. 

...Still updating!

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