Category: Coupons

December 6, 2012

DIY Haircuts

Filed under: Coupons,Family - 06 Dec 2012

I have several half-finished projects I’m trying to finish up and share, so until then, I thought I’d share about my latest money-saving project.

Last week a Mom at school had her daughter’s hair cut off in a precious little bob. It was our topic of conversation for several days and got us all thinking about the hair on our own little ones. A quick look at my girls confirmed what I’d been trying to deny–they looked scraggly. They needed haircuts. But the last thing I wanted to do was haul 3 crankies to the kids salon and shell out way too much for haircuts I might not love anyway. And a quick check of my math told me I’d be looking at $54 plus tip and I immediately knew it was home cuts for everyone.

They’ve all had haircuts before, but nothing recently. Chloe’s the only one who has had her hair cut since we moved into this house in April, so to say they were long overdue is an understatement! It feels like their hair takes forever to grow, but comparing pictures from just a year ago shows they actually grow it pretty quickly!

And boy does time fly!

I started with Sofie. She’s been talking about a haircut for months and I’ve been dragging my feet. She has precious curls at the bottom of her hair and I was terrified if I cut them off, they’d be gone. Her hair grew out unevenly and it was a lot longer on the right than on the left and I tried to hide it constantly.

Sofie wavers between wanting Rapunzel hair and wanting super short hair, so I left it long. My others have short hair and I love being able to braid hers and do cute longer styles with it. It’s baby fine so I didn’t cut layers into it, we just went with a straight cut and some tapering around her face.

I didn’t style her hair before I took the after pictures and she apparently wrestled with Chloe while I was cutting Ella’s, so it’s a little frizzy and more wavy than usual, but you get the idea!

Baby Ella was my biggest change. She was born with a ton of hair and it started to grow pretty quickly. By the time she was about 6 months old she’d rubbed it bald in the center back of her head and I cut it then to even it up. It broke my heart to be cutting her hair already, but it looked so much better afterwards! Well that bald spot is growing in curly so the hair under it and the hair over it were both stringy and a lot longer. I tried to put it in pony tails to keep it out of her face and hide the curls, but it always looked bad. I never want my girls to look back at pictures and say, “Mom!? How did you let me go around with hair like that!?”

I watched some videos before I cut Ella’s hair and the one that was the most helpful was a Mom who said prioritize your haircut to get the maximum amount of haircut for the time they’re willing to cooperate. She was cutting her son’s hair and she focused on the front, back and sides, leaving the length for last in case his patience was up. So taking a cue from that, I just cut the top and bottom layers off even with the middle curly layer and tried to clean it up around her face a little. It could use some layers and a little more cleaning up, but it’s worlds better and I’m so happy I did it! Chloe’s hair was straight until her first birthday, so I’m not totally surprised Ella’s is starting to curl. We just don’t know how much it’ll end up spiraling!

Ella’s sick today, she’s got her first ear infection (a double) so I’m extremely happy with the little bit she put up with. And look! If you look really closely, you can see her first tooth! It took her 14 months to cut it, but there it is.

Ella was my biggest change, but Chloe was definitely my biggest challenge. I might have been more intimidated if I hadn’t cut her hair several times before in her life, and if I didn’t have curls myself. Mine are nothing like hers, though, so it is a learning curve for me. While this isn’t a fair representation of Chloe’s before hair from the front, it is completely fair for the back. She’d had it in a pony this morning for school and I took it out and tried to flatten it a little. When I put her hair in a pony tail I don’t comb it out. Once it starts needing a haircut, it causes lots and lots of knots and she cries and cries while I comb it. It really is this rats-nesty every morning when she wakes up!

One of the hardest things about Chloe’s hair is just how much the curl actually shrinks up. It cracks me up every time I wash her hair and I see it stretch down her back. It’s almost as long as Sofie’s, but you’d never know it! So I have to take her curl shrink into account when I cut and be careful not to take off more than just the dry, knotted ends.

I didn’t wait until her hair dried for the after shot (it was naptime) but it doesn’t shrink much more when it’s dry.

All 3 cuts took me just under an hour! And considering it saved me more than $60, I’d say it was a good way to spend 60 minutes. I need to make a better habit of cutting their hair so they never get straggly and homely looking again. I can’t wait to get them all dressed up cute for Christmas and not have to worry about strategic bows or shots from a certain angle!

It felt like I cut off a lot of hair, but to see those tiny curls on the kitchen floor made it feel like it wasn’t a very big deal. And Sofie vacuumed it up for me! Win!

Some tips:
-Work quickly. Prioritize the parts you really need to cut and do more detailing only if they’re still cooperating. If you have to end the cut suddenly, you don’t want to do it with half the head cut and the other half still long.
-Put them in front of the tv and play a favorite to maximize cooperation! This is probably what saved me today. Thank you Mickey Mouse!
-If you don’t know what you’re doing, watch some videos first. This is the one I found the most helpful for cutting kids hair in general.

This is the video I’ve always used to cut Chloe’s hair. She’s got tighter curls that this little girl, and her hair is a lot shorter, but the technique is spot-on.

January 19, 2011

Hot Deals

Filed under: Coupons - 19 Jan 2011

I haven’t been doing a lot of sewing outside my weekly projects for SYTYC (there’s still time to go vote this week!), but I have been doing a lot of shopping!! I save up money to spend on after Christmas sales because you just can’t beat ’em.

Last week Target marked their clearance toys down to 75% off and I went to three different stores buying things up! In total I bought 57 toys: little Valentine’s gifts for my girls, stuff for their Easter baskets, gifts for both their birthdays, and birthday gifts for 14 out of their 16 second cousins (the Hubs has 10 cousins who all live near us and we’re very close to), in addition to a little something for each of my 3 nieces (we’ll probably give them to them at Easter). Because of my bargain shopping, I spent $122.56, and I saved $521.77!!! OH MY WORD. That translates to an OOP cost of $2.15 per toy for me! The Hubs does not understand my excitement.

Here’s what I brought home the first day. Most of this is for my girls (I know, but how could I NOT?).

And the second day was most of the cousins haul, but since I don’t want to ruin any surprises for family who might read my blog, you get to see it like this. Bagged and tagged for each kid. No more last minute running to the store for me this year!! My next goal is to go ahead and buy gift bags and get them ready to wrap!

Then today I hit up Old Navy. Their clearance is an additional 40% off and I saved big!

The Hubs:
2 long sleeve polos, 1 long sleeve button down, 5 tees
1 sweater (that was so cheap I got one for my Mom and sister, too!), 1 shirt, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of cords, 1 canteen
2 pairs of jammies, 2 shirts
1 pair of jammies

Pictorally, it looks like this (minus the canteen):

I spent $70.52, and I saved $321.98!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! I scored jammies for Sofie for $2.38, so I’m thinking of going to another ON later to see if I can find her any more!

I kept track of all of my purchases in an Excel spreadsheet and it absolutely tickles me to say that for all of this, I spent $193.08, and saved $843.74. THAT’S RIGHT!! Regular retail price of everything I bought was $1036.83 and I got it all for less than $200.

Save 82%. YES PLEASE!

September 11, 2010

Publix time again!

Filed under: Coupons - 11 Sep 2010

I had a great grocery shopping trip this week! I spent more than normal because I was able to get a tremendous deal on diapers.

We ate out some with our company last weekend, so some things made it back to this weeks menu. So for the next week we’re looking at having:

lasagna and cesaer salad
waffles and scrambled eggs
stir fry with noodles
spaghetti with meat sauce
baked fried chicken, potatoes and green beans
chicken enchiladas
burgers and hashbrowns

I was really excited about some deals I got. I managed to score FREE sour cream and cottage cheese, Goldfish were 10/$10, but I had 2 $.35 coupons that doubled to $.70. So I paid $4.60 for 6 bags of Goldfish! I got Betty Crocker  cookie mixes for $.53 each, a $.21 overage on Lender’s bagels, $5.70 off 5 Kraft cheese products, and juice boxes were still on sale, so I grabbed 4 more for $1.50 each.

But I was really excited about diapers. Publix had a $3 coupon in their weekly ad, and I had $2.50 coupons, so I paid $14.49 for each of my boxes of diapers! We didn’t need Chloe diapers yet, but when I could get them for $.17 per diaper, I couldn’t pass up the deal. Of course, I paid regular price for Overnights, but it’s worth it not to have to change crib sheets every day!

I did great, considering I spent $40 in diapers alone!

Had I not gotten them, I would have spent $80 and saved $53–which would have been awesome! But the kids keep pooping, so I had no choice! 🙂 All in all, it was a pretty great week!

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