Frugal Living

My Great Big (9 months #pregnantbelly big) New Mom Free Samples List


Hey NEW mom’s!

Remember that post I wrote about all those questions you’ll get asked within meeting a stranger for the first time while pregnant. So.. about those samples.

Below is a list of tried and true new mom samples that you need to sign up for. Share this list with everyone! You should sign up for these samples, get your friends to sign up for these samples for you and get your family to sign up for these samples for you! Get every one involved!

I’ve also included a list of samples that I personally did not sign up for, because I didn’t know about it when I was pregnant, so I’m not sure how good they are. If you signed up for them, please let me know in the comments below.

Am I missing any? Let me know if you have any questions with some of the samples that I did sign up for.

Not a free sample, but something super cool that I came across today. StickerYou has an option to make custom stickers with your kid’s name on it. Which is totally awesome to tag clothing, sippy cups and stuffed animals.



Note: StickerYou is one of my CJ Affiliates that I would with. Please check them out!


#babysfirstselfie #nohungrykids

One of the first questions people ask you when you’re pregnant is:

  • When are you due?
  • Are you going to find out the sex?
  • What are you having?
  • Is this your first?
  • Is this your second?
  • Did you sign up for free samples?

There are some fabulous free samples available out there for new (Canadian) mothers. One of my favourite samples that I received was the Nestle Good Start package. In the mail, you’ll receive a backpack, change pad, samples of Nestle Good Start (powder and liquid) and coupons.

The beautiful things about getting samples from different formula makers is you can keep trying different kids to see which one works for your baby. For us, Nestle Good Start worked.

Our formula days are now long gone, but I received this email from Nestle this morning that peeked my interest.

Share your little one’s first ever selfie on Instagram or Twitter using both #babysfirstselfie and#nohungrykids to upload your photo to our gallery and we’ll help feed a child in need through Food Banks Canada’s network of food banks.*

So here is our baby’s (not her) first selfie:




Let us know if you post a #babyselfie.



*each first selfie shared, Nestlé will make a financial contribution to Food Banks Canada’s network of food banks, up to a maximum total of $25,000 for all selfies shared. The contributions will help fund national programs that help serve the almost 300,000 Canadian children who rely on a food bank each month.

Back-to-Work Mornings

Daily clothing bags

I’ve been trying to find ways to help me organize myself, so that my weekday mornings aren’t as chaotic as I think they could be. Here are some things that I’ve done so far:

  1. Oatmeal bags: I use a Decosonic to make ½ cup plain oatmeal bags for breakfast. I also make small containers filled with toppings for my oatmeal. This week, I’m eating cinnamon raisin.
  2. Healthy snacks: I used the Decosonic again to make healthy snack bags for the office. So far this week, I’ve eaten rice cakes, popcorn and almonds. It’s working out quite nicely.
  3. Clothing bags (see above): I used large Ziploc bags to organize my baby’s clothing for daycare for the week. Each bag includes a onesie, pants or shorts, shirt and socks. I’m flexible for swapping something out, depending on the weather, but it’s really great to have something to start with.
  4. Slow-cooker meals: My husband is an excellent cook (I will be happily blogging about some of his meals later on). This week, he made a big pot of chili. It’s great and really healthy for lunch. We often make a lot of extra food and put it in the freezer until we need it that day.
  5. Pre-made coffee: Not a huge deal, but I find it helps when I pre-make the coffee in the coffee maker the night before. That way, when I’m all glossy-eyed in the morning, all I have to do is push a button and voila! Coffee will be ready soon!
  6. Coconut Oil: I like to use products that have multiple purposes, like coconut oil. I use coconut oil daily as a eye makeup remover and face/body moisturize. For more ideas on ways to use coconut oil, check out this blog post.

Coconut OilWhat do you do to make your mornings go just a little bit smoother?

10 Alternatives to Halloween Candy for Trick-or-Treaters


If you’ve been following me on Instagram you would have seen that I was happy when I saw Halloween Play-Doh being sold at Costco (Yes, I know it’s August). I love Halloween and absolutely love the idea of people giving away “things” rather than candy. I know it’s still summer and my daughter is still very young, but I can’t help but think about what we’re going to do when our daughter brings home pillowcases FULL of candy after a night of tick-o-treating in a few years.

First of all, let me start by staying that I love Halloween. I love the tradition of going trick-or-treating, getting dressed up in a costume and carving pumpkins. I think the whole season is fabulous and I look forward to it every year

I’m not a big fan of candy. I get it though, it’s a kid thing… but I can’t see our family eating that much candy. It’s too much. I love the idea of her “things” or healthy alternatives (juice).

Here are a few ideas of cheap, fun things you could give away at Halloween instead of candy:

  1. Play-Doh (as shown above)
  2. Mini containers of bubbles
  3. Plastic creatures (dinosaurs, farm animals, monsters)
  4. Bracelets 
  5. Mini colouring books (with or without crayons)
  6. Mini note pads (with or without pencils and erasers)
  7. Stickers
  8. Costume accessories (vampire teeth, clown noses)
  9. Fake spiders and snakes
  10. Craft kits to DIY monster magnets (I’ll blog about this later in October)

This blogger at Play Eat Grow has some other really great ideas for alternatives to Halloween candy (juice boxes, nail polish, glow stick bracelets). Check out her blog here.

Do you have any ideas? What have you done in the past?

Frugal Living: Reuse Gift Bags

Wedding and baby gift bags

Did you recently get married or have a baby? Do you have a crazy surplus of gift bags from your wedding and baby shower? I do. I would love to keep them all and store them like MacGyverisms does, but I just don’t have the space. 

Today, I got to thinking, what are some cool things that I could do with old gift bags. Here are a few ideas that came to mind:

  1. Reuse them for gift giving. Hey, if they’re still in great shape, why not!?!
  2. As a lunch bag.
  3. Turn them into greeting cards. I found a tutorial online for “how to make a napkin card“, but I feel like some of the images make it look like they used a gift bag instead of a napkin. Have a look. You’ll see what I mean.
  4. Use images from the gift bags for a scrapbooking or card making.
  5. Use small gift bags as pencil holder for the office. 

Do you have any ideas for ways to reuse gift bags?


Frugal Living: Back-to-School Freebies

You might be going back to school or back to work (bye bye mat leave), it’s time to stock up on your office/school supplies. Here are a few freebies that are available to Canadians (you’re welcome!):

Booster Juice – Does your birthday plan in August/September (or any of the other 10 months of the year?)? You can get a (free) smoothie on your birthday! Sign up for Booster Nation and get a coupon for a free birthday smoothie. 

Colgate – Fill out the form online and receive a free sample of Colgate Sensitive toothpaste. 

Crayola – These (free) colouring pages would be great for decorating your binder. All you need is a binder with a plastic sleeve on the front (like this one), print the colouring page and insert it in the plastic sleeve of the binder. No need to colour it right away, wait for a boring class lecture to let your creativity run wild!

Giggles and Print – This blogger made some super cute (free) printable lunch box notes for him and her. What kid (or significant other) wouldn’t love to find one of these note in their lunch.

Hallmark – Hoops and Yoyo have a variety of (free) back to school printables. You can find bookmarks, weekly planners and lunch notes all under “School Thingies”.

Hugo Boss – Boss Ma Vie (free) perfume sample. 

Ottawa Public Library – Borrow books and ebooks from the Ottawa Public Library. All you need is a valid library card.

Timothy’s Cafe – (Free) Coffee! Join their coffee club and get your free coffee coupon by email. 

Walmart Photo Centre – Get 15 (free) 4×6 prints by using code 15FREEPRINTS 

Do you have a freebie that you would like to share? 

Frugal Living: Ottawa Consignment Stores

Today is the first day that I am trying to sell some of my clothing via consignment. I’ve always been curious about doing this, but never got around to trying it. Most consignment stores in Ottawa give you 40% of the selling price. The other 60% go to the retailer, which is fair, since they have to staff, pay rent, make a living.. you know what I mean.

In case anyone was thinking about trying this too, here is a list of Ottawa Consignments stores.

Act II Fashions – 471 Hazeldean Road – Website

AMHStyle Ottawa Consignment Store – 1440 Wellington St. West – Website

Bella – 39 Robertson Road – Website

Clothes Encounters of a Second Time – 67 Beechwood Ave. – Website

The Clothes Secret – 1136 Bank St – Website

Finders Keepers – 2 Ullswater Drive – Website

Milo Mode Women’s Consignment Boutique – 2901 Bank St. – Website

My Sisters Closet Consignment Fashion – 1112 March Road – Website (I used them)

Rikochet Resale – 255 Richmond Rd. – Website

Snazzy Seconds Decor – 2405 St. Joseph Blvd. – Website

Have you ever consigned anything? Where do you consign? What was your experience? Please share!