8.30.2010

Mailbox Monday: August 30th


A few things that came in the mail today:
$10 check for a survey I completed
Free Biore sample
Tom's of Maine toothpaste sample
Free BIC pen

8.29.2010

Babies'R'Us: Earth's Best Baby Food on Sale!


This week at Babies'R'Us, Earth's Best baby food is on sale 20 for $10 for 1st and 2nd food jars, 3rd food jars are 10 for $10. You must buy 20 1st or 2nd food jars, or 10 3rd food jars to get this price. The sale ends September 4th. This is a great price so I suggest stocking up if your little one eats Earth's Best foods!

8.26.2010

Green and Frugal Tip: Recycling Ink Cartridges


I don't know about you, but I go through a decent amount of ink because of all of the coupons I print. When I am done with the ink cartridges I take them to Office Depot, where I get a $3 credit per cartridge recycled. It's part of their Worklife Rewards program, which is free to sign up for. At the end of the quarter, they will mail you a rewards card to spend at Office Depot stores or online. I love getting rewarded for recycling and since printer ink is pretty expensive it's nice to ease that cost a little too! It just got a card in the mail for $23 today!

Find out more about the program here: Office Depot Worklife Rewards

Are there any other stores that offer this type of reward?

Review and Giveaway: Fresh Baby So Easy Toddler Food


Figuring out what to feed Jacob has been puzzling for me at times. When I was pregnant with him, I decided that when the time came, I would give him homemade baby food. The decision was easy, yet when the time did come, I admit I felt clueless about what to make Jacob and how to prepare it. Luckily in February I got a Fresh Baby So Easy Baby Food kit that had everything I needed to get started (minus the food). I immediately loved how simple and straightforward the Fresh Baby system is and as a result it's been my go-to guide. Plus, it has made me thoroughly enjoy preparing Jacob's meals!

Now it's August and I have an 11 month old on my hands with 4 teeth, a big appetite, and no desire to eat purees anymore. So here I am puzzled again, what can I give him that's a healthy table food, easy for him to chew and digest, and will bring some variety to his diet? When Fresh Baby asked me if I would be interested in trying their toddler cookbook, I said "YES!"


I absolutely love  Fresh Baby So Easy Toddler Food because like their baby food cookbook, the recipes are simple, easy to follow, and taste great! A few other appealing features of the toddler cookbook are the colorful design, appetizing photos, and helpful recipe categories.


We tried a bunch of the recipes and a couple of our favorites are the banana bread and the broccoli and rice casserole. I make banana bread often, but I liked this recipe because when I added applesauce it was very moist and delicious, not to mention healthier than the recipes that call for butter or oil. The broccoli and rice casserole is a tasty side dish for the whole family. I appreciate when I can cook a dish that everyone will eat, because lately I've felt like I have to plan separate meals for Jacob. Not only did Jacob love the taste of the casserole, I did too! I highly recommend Fresh Baby So Easy Toddler Food for parents that are looking for healthy meals and snacks for their little ones!


Buy It: Fresh Baby So Easy Toddler Food sells for $8.95, you can order it directly from Fresh Baby.

Win It: One reader will win a copy of Fresh Baby So Easy Toddler Food. To enter, comment below about your little one's favorite thing to eat!

Extra Entries:
You must complete the mandatory entry above before you qualify for any extra entries! Post a comment below for each entry you complete, along with your email if it isn't visible in your blogger profile.

1) Follow Fresh Baby on Facebook, Follow Fresh Baby on Twitter, and/or sign up for the Fresh Baby newsletter (1 entry each)

2) Subscribe to Cheap and Creative by email or RSS,  "Like" Cheap and Creative on Facebook,  Follow Cheap and Creative on Twitter (1 entry each)

3) Grab my blog button and comment with the URL of where it's posted (2 entries)

4) Vote for Cheap and Creative on Top Mommy Blogs, just click the link on the right sidebar (1 entry per day)

5) Enter any of my other current giveaways, or comment on a non-giveaway post (1 entry each, leave separate comments)

6) Tweet about this giveaway and comment with your tweet URL (1 entry per day), you can use this tweet:


#Win Fresh Baby So Easy Toddler Food @FreshBabyBiz @cheapandcreativ http://cheapandcreative.blogspot.com ~ Ends9/10! #giveaway
7) Share about this giveaway in your Facebook status along with a link, and then comment below with the status URL (you get this by clicking on the time of your status update) for 1 extra entry per day.


The giveaway ends September 10th at 11:59pm CT. One winner will be selected using random.org and notified by email. The winner must respond to the email within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to readers in the US.

Disclosure: I received Fresh Baby So Easy Toddler Food free of charge in order to facilitate my review. This post is based on my own personal opinions and experiences. Thank you Fresh Baby for sponsoring this review and giveaway!

8.25.2010

Garden: I will keep this garden alive for a few more months!


This week I've been working on the garden here and there in the mornings, mainly trying to get the tomato vines pruned and cleaned up because they went wild for the last month. It seems like only the little cherry tomatoes are flourishing (and tasting yummy). The other tomatoes were having some problems for awhile, but then I started picking them earlier (thanks to a reader suggestion) and letting them ripen in the house. Now they aren't really growing as much. However, the radishes I planted are taking off and I am guessing will be ready next month. Amazingly the weather has cooled off and it's starting to feel like fall around TN, which means it's time for some fall veggies! I'm considering lettuce, Arugula, and broccoli. Are there any other great fall veggies I should try?

Wordless Wednesday: Red Block Massage

8.24.2010

Green Genius Winners!

The winners of the Green Genius giveaway are:



#4 Busy Working Mama



#13 Soggy Cereal Mom

Thank you to everyone who entered and to Green Genius for sponsoring this giveaway!

8.22.2010

Review: Babee Greens Growing Greens Diaper


We've been cloth diapering nearly 100% of the time since Jacob was about 4-5 months old, with the exception being when Dad changed a diaper (he refused to use cloth) or when traveling. At night Jacob typically wears a bumGenius all-in-one diaper with an extra soaker. This set up was only partially working for us...a few times he soaked through everything, the diaper came off (either his doing of the velcro snagged something in the crib), and it was very bulky! I've been on the hunt for an alternative night-time diaper solution for a few months and came across Babee Greens diapers.

The mission of Babee Greens is to provide a safe, economical and green diaper alternative.  They are committed to setting a new standard that helps our global community reverse the negative effects diaper manufacturing has had on our environment, in order to create “a better world for babies.” Babee Greens is owned and operated exclusively by mothers, and all of the certified organic diapers and related diaper products they offer are manufactured in Asheville, N.C.

I was very interested in trying Babee Greens Growing Greens One Size Diaper made with hemp and organic cotton because I've heard hemp is VERY absorbent (the Growing Greens diaper also comes in an all organic cotton version). Hemp also possesses natural, antifungal, antibacterial properties, and requires no pesticides or herbicides to grow, so it’s safe for baby's skin and for the environment. Babee Greens generously provided us a Growing Greens diaper, a doubler (for extra absorbency), and a sample of Washing Greens detergent to test out.

It's getting harder and harder to get Jacob to model since he's always on the go (fortunately this diaper keeps up with him!), so here is a quick look at Growing Greens Diaper:


When we first tried the diaper, I didn't put a cover over it. I'm not sure what I was thinking, probably just a major brain fart. However, Jacob napped in the Growing Greens Diaper for almost three hours and when I picked him up out of his crib, the diaper was wet to the touch, yet there were no puddles in the crib. It soaked everything up like a sponge and kept his skin and crib dry, even without a cover! (I DO NOT recommend going cover-less, I only provided this example as testimony to the diaper's wonderfully absorbent qualities.)


The next night we used the Growing Greens Diaper again with a Bummis cover, and again it soaked up everything, and let his skin dry and irritation free. This is honestly THE MOST ABSORBENT CLOTH DIAPER I've ever used on Jacob! It is also the softest diaper we've used! The Growing Greens diaper would be great for a baby that is prone to rash or has very sensitive skin. Another feature I like about the diaper is the adjustability you get from using the snaps and/or liner with larger babies (10-35 pounds), or by using the snap-in liner alone with a cover for smaller babies (5-10 pounds). We were able to get a snug and secure fit, which I appreciate because Jacob's new hobby involves trying to undo his diapers. Would I recommend this cloth diaper? Definitely!

Buy It: Babee Greens Growing Greens diaper sells for $18.95, and you can order it directly from Babee Greens.

Disclosure: I received product from Babee Greens free of charge in order to facilitate my review. This post is based on my own personal opinions and experiences.

8.20.2010

RecycleBank: Special Code for Readers!


RecycleBank is an awesome program that rewards you for recycling! Right now, they are also offering Cheap and Creative readers a special code worth 15 points! Enter code: CHEAPANDCREA15 before August 31, 2010 at RecycleBank.com/earn and select 'RecycleBank Insiders'.
 
If you're not yet a member, register and you'll receive 25 points at registration plus the 15 points with this code for a total of 40 points to use towards rewards like great coupons and freebies!
 

Ebates: HUGE Referral Bonuses!


Any time I shop online, I try to go through either Shopathome.com, Mypoints.com, or Ebates.com so I get a little cash back on my purchase. I don't mention these sites that often on this blog because it's doesn't exactly fit in the "green" category. However, it definitely fits in the general savings category! If you are already planning to shop online, why not save money while you are at it?

I just noticed an email from Ebates.com about HUGE bonuses they are offering members for referrals. Not only do you get $5 in your account for every referral, you also get:
1. Refer 50 friends and get an iPad! I secretly want an iPad so that one certainly caught my eye.
2. Refer 100 friends and you get a $1,000 shopping spree!
3. Refer 200 friends and you get an iPhone or Droid +1 year of service or $2,500!
4. Refer 300 friends and you get a 7 night cruise or $4,500!

I wanted to share, not to get a bunch of referrals (but that would be awesome), but because I think my readers should jump on this offer and refer friends! You will be helping them save money, while earning a little bonus for yourself! Once you join Ebates.com, your referral code can be found under the "Tell-a-Friend" tab at the top of the page.

Rules:
A qualified referral is a new user to Ebates who makes a purchase of $20 or more earning cash back. Note, no self-referrals allowed and returned purchases do not qualify. To qualify for the bonus you must refer the qualified new members between 8/1/10 and 9/30/10 and they must make their qualifying purchase by 10/10/10. Only one bonus level per person awarded, you will receive the highest bonus level for which you qualify. Ebates decisions are final. In the event that any of the bonuses as described are not available a similar bonus will be awarded. You are responsible for any taxes, as applicable by law. Referral Bonus Promotion is open only to individuals who are legal residents of the fifty (50) United States, the District of Columbia or Puerto Rico and are eighteen (18) years of age or older. For complete bonus program rules, please visit http://refer.ebates.com.

Disclosure: This post contains my referral link.  

Deployment Day #1

We said goodbye this morning... and I'm going to try to do some blogging today for distraction. I can't sit around and cry all weekend, that's for sure. I have to say though, that goodbye felt worse than anything I have ever felt before, so it can only get better from here. Don't let the smile in the photo fool you, I was fighting tears all morning.


In case you're curious, I will be blogging more frequently at my Army Wife For Now blog in the next year, and I will also be posting pictures from my Project 365 (a photo a day during the deployment).

8.19.2010

8.17.2010

Review and Giveaway: Green Virgin Products


Green Virgin Products offers high quality eco-friendly products including stainless steel water bottles, soap nuts, and 100% pure mineral salts deodorants. Green Virgin Products generously provided me with their Mineral Salts Deodorant and their Soap Nuts to review.


The Green Virgin Products 100% pure Mineral Salts Deodorant Stone contains no aluminum, carcinogens or toxic chemicals which are typically found in national brands. While it is still controversial about whether aluminum leads to breast cancer, there is substantial research showing that other carcinogens and toxins typically found in deodorants are linked to cancer and other diseases. The Green Virgin Products 100% pure Mineral Salts Deodorant Stone is also not tested on animals. The deodorant stone can be used as a natural astringent and it eliminates bad odors.



I tested the product for a couple weeks before deciding whether or not it works for me. The conclusion I've come to is that the Green Virgin Products 100% pure Mineral Salts Deodorant does help prevent odor, but it was most effective when I reapplied throughout the day. For me it is worth the effort to reapply when the product is not linked to cancer!

The product I was most impressed by is the Green Virgin Products Soap Nuts. I've been reading a lot about soap nuts lately and how they are a very affordable and eco-friendly alternative to detergent. For those of you that are new to soap nuts, they are berries from the Chinese Soap Berry Tree (Sapindus Mukorossi). The berries grow on trees, and then are dried in the sun. There are no chemicals added and they are hypoallergenic. Soap nuts are then added to your laundry instead of chemical laundry detergents. There are a bunch of different kids of soap nuts on the market, what you should know about Green Virgin Products soap nuts is that they use Sapindus Mukorossi Soap Nuts. These are the largest of all varieties of Soap Nuts and also have the highest saponin (what makes the suds) content.


I tossed about 5 soap nuts in the included hemp wash bag and was able to re-use the soap nuts for about 5 loads before the soap nuts ran out of suds! Much to my surprise, the soap nuts do clean very well and leave my clothes smelling and feeling fresh! With tough stains I did still use a spot treatment, which Green Virgin Products recommends. I like that soap nuts are safe to wash all of our laundry with, including Jacob's clothes and diapers, and they are a low cost option, compared to most detergents, at only about $.10/load!


Buy It: You can buy Green Virgin Products directly online!

Win It: One reader will win a 1 kilo bag of soap nuts (330 wash loads) and a mineral salts deodorant from Green Virgin Products! To enter, please visit Green Virgin Products' website and then come back here and comment about something you learned.

Extra Entries:
You must complete the mandatory entry above before you qualify for any extra entries! Post a comment below for each entry you complete, along with your email if it isn't visible in your blogger profile.

1) Subscribe to Cheap and Creative by email or RSS,  "Like" Cheap and Creative on Facebook,  Follow Cheap and Creative on Twitter (1 entry each)

2) Grab my blog button and comment with the URL of where it's posted (2 entries)

3) Vote for Cheap and Creative on Top Mommy Blogs, just click the link on the right sidebar (1 entry per day)

4) Enter any of my other current giveaways, or comment on a non-giveaway post (1 entry each, leave separate comments)

5) Tweet about this giveaway and comment with your tweet URL (1 entry per day), you can use this tweet:

#Win Green Virgin Products Soap Nuts and Mineral Salts Deodorant @cheapandcreativ http://cheapandcreative.blogspot.com ~ Ends9/1! #eco
6) Share about this giveaway in your Facebook status along with a link, and then comment below with the status URL (you get this by clicking on the time of your status update) for 1 extra entry per day.


The giveaway ends September 1st at 11:59pm CT. One winner will be selected using random.org and notified by email. The winner must respond to the email within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to readers in the US.

Disclosure: I received sample products from Green Virgin Products free of charge in order to facilitate my review. This post is based on my own personal opinions and experiences. Thank you Green Virgin Products for sponsoring this review and giveaway!


8.15.2010

Short Blogging Break

I will be taking a blogging break this week as our family prepares for daddy deploying to Afghanistan. My plan is to get at least one more review and giveaway posted in the next couple days, and after that posts will be scarce for a bit. Thank you for understanding!

- Michelle

Eco-Foil Winner!


The winner of the Eco-Foil giveaway is:

#25 Katlovesmath

Thank you to all who entered and to Eco-Foil for sponsoring this giveaway!

8.13.2010

Stonyfield Coupons!



Sign in or register to print a coupon for $.50 off two Stonyfield Mango Honey yogurts!

Eversave: $30 worth of eco-friendly schools supplies for $10!


The new deal on Eversave is $30 worth of eco-friendly school supplies from Celery Street for only $15, and if you are a new member you get a $5 credit to apply instantly, making your total only $10! You will be able to use your voucher 48 hours after purchase at www.celerystreet.com. If this deal isn't visible in your city, select Nashville and it will come up. This deal expires in a little over two days!

If you are new to Eversave, they feature 50%-90% off on restaurants, spas, local activities and online deals. It's free to join and first time buyers get $5 to use towards their first purchase.


Disclosure: This post contains a referral link.

8.11.2010

Barbara's Cereal: Buy One Get One Free Coupon



When you “Like” Barbara’s Bakery on Facebook you can print two coupons to Buy 1 Get 1 Free any Barbara’s cereal (up to $4.99 value). Under their “Coupons” tab you need to click on the maroon “click here” button and then click on the blue “Sign In To Facebook to Receive Your Coupon”.  Allow Barbara’s Bakery application to access your profile (remove it later with instructions below).  I then had to go back to that “Coupons” tab and “click here” again to access the coupon. You’ll find more coupon printing tips on their Facebook page. You can print this “bricks” coupon twice (just hit the back button) and you have one month to use your coupons before they expire.

Thanks Freebies4Mom

Wordless Wednesday: Everything is more fun with Daddy

8.10.2010

Free Sample from Green Genius


You can request a free biodegradable bag sample from Green Genius here (while supplies last), and then don't forget to enter my Green Genius giveaway!

$1 off Arrowhead Mills


Mambo Sprouts has a new coupon for $1 off one Arrowhead Mills product!

Alice.com: Seventh Generation Deals!

Alice.com is offering some great prices on Seventh Generation detergent and dish liquid this week!







If you are new to Alice.com, it's a very convenient website because there are no coupons to clip, shipping is FREE (with minimum number of items), and if you are a new customer after you spend $50 you get a $10 credit!

Disclosure: This post contains a referral link.

Snikiddy Kids: Facebook Giveaway


Click to go to the Snikiddy Facebook page and the Peeled Snacks Facebook page and enter!

8.09.2010

Swagbucks: Back to School Promotion

Search & Win

Swagbucks is one of the sites I mention frequently, because I use it for internet searches daily and I am able to cash out for Amazon gift cards every couple weeks! If you haven't signed up for Swagbucks yet, this is the week to join because they are offering a bunch of Back to School promotions! This means lots of points for you!

You’ll have the chance to win five different limited edition back-to-school themed Swag Bucks – if you snag them all, you’ll earn a 50 Swag Buck bonus!

Take advantage of sales in the Swag Store on all School Supplies and Cookie’s Kids Merchandise, make sure you follow Swag Bucks on Twitter and "Like" them on Facebook for more rewarding opportunities.

Plus, they’re having another Swag Code Extravaganza on Thursday, where you’ll get at least 5 codes for extra bucks.

If you’re not already searching and winning with Swagbucks, head over now and enter the code BackToSchool (case sensitive) for 40 bonus bucks during registration! Make sure you sign up by 11:59 pm PST on Sunday, August 15th to take advantage of these extra Swag Bucks!
 
Thanks Faithful Provisions for sharing!


Disclosure: This post contains a referral link.

8.08.2010

Review and Giveaway: Green Genius (2 Winners!)

 
Did you know that normal plastic bags never biodegrade? (Click to see a video!) Well, not for a thousand years or so, which Green Genius points out almost qualifies for "never." However, Green Genius bags have been proven to biodegrade using ASTM D5511, the industry standard for determining biodegradability in a landfill environment. How do they do it? The magic ingredient is EcoPure, which basically turns the bags into food for microbes. EcoPure is proven to biodegrade under active landfill conditions, typically within 2 to 15 years!

Currently, Green Genius offers a few types of biodegradable trash bags and food storage bags with great performance features. To start, Green Genius trash bags are just as puncture resistant as national brands, with 3-ply strength. They are made from 40% recycled plastic, and have strong drawstrings. The food storage bags are made with a minimum of 15% recycled plastic in every bag, are FDA approved for food contact, contain patented zippers and sliders that perform as well or better than the national brands, and are made in the USA. The part that I appreciate most about Green Genius products: they are priced competitively compared to other similar products!


Green Genius sent me a sample of their tall kitchen bags and double zip quart size freezer bags to test out. The tall kitchen bags fit well in our kitchen trash can and the bag did not tear while collecting trash or on it's way to the dumpster outside. Also the drawstring is sturdy and easy to tie! I'm pleased to report that they perform as well as the other brand of trash bags I was previously using, which I didn't expect of a biodegradable trash bag.


One night I chopped up a bunch of lettuce for our salad and had some extra left over so I stored it in the double zip quart size freezer bag and put it in the fridge. I actually forgot about it for three days and when I came across the bag in the veggie drawer, I was surprised to see that the lettuce was still green! That's really impressive compared to other food storage bags! This means that not only do the Green Genius bags close easily, they also have a tight seal that keeps your food fresh!

Overall I was very surprised by the performance of Green Genius products. Since I've stopped using plastic bags while shopping, and it has been on my to-do list for awhile to find a greener trash bag and food storage bag, I am definitely switching to Green Genius! 

Buy It: Green Genius products are available in a store near you or online at Amazon.com or Alice.com.

Win It: Green Genius is offering a box of tall kitchen bags to one reader and a box of double zip quart sized freezer bags to another reader! To enter, visit Green Genius then come back here and comment about something you learned.

Extra Entries:
You must complete the mandatory entry above before you qualify for any extra entries! Post a comment below for each entry you complete, along with your email if it isn't visible in your blogger profile.

1) "Like" Green Genius on Facebook
2) Follow Green Genius on Twitter
3) Subscribe to the Green Genius blog via RSS
4) Subscribe to Cheap and Creative by email or RSS
5) "Like" Cheap and Creative on Facebook
6) Follow Cheap and Creative on Twitter
7) Grab my blog button and comment with the URL of where it's posted (2 entries)
8) Vote for Cheap and Creative on Top Mommy Blogs, just click the link on the right sidebar (1 entry per day)
9) Enter any of my other current giveaways, or comment on a non-giveaway post (1 entry each, leave separate comments)
10) Tweet about this giveaway and comment with your tweet URL (1 entry per day), you can use this tweet:


#Win biodegradable trash bags and food storage bags from @thegreengenius @cheapandcreativ http://cheapandcreative.blogspot.com ~ Ends 8/23!
11) Share about this giveaway in your Facebook status along with a link, and then comment below with the status URL (you get this by clicking on the time of your status update) for 1 extra entry per day.


The giveaway ends August 23rd at 11:59pm CT. One winner will be selected using random.org and notified by email. The winner must respond to the email within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to readers in the US.

Disclosure: I received sample products from Green Genius free of charge in order to facilitate my review. This post is based on my own personal opinions and experiences. Thank you Green Genius for sponsoring this review and giveaway! This post contains a referral link to Alice.com.

Beyond the Rack: Terrasoles!



Beyond the Rack just opened a sale on Terrasoles shoes! They are only $19 (regular price $50), with a bunch of styles to choose from. These will sell out fast so act quickly!




Disclosure: This post contains a referral link.

$10 off at The Allergy Superstore!

The Allergy Superstore is offering a $10 off promotion code when you use this link. No minimum purchase required, and promo code needed the $10 will come off after you register to check out. All you have to pay is shipping! This offer is supposed to go through the end of the month, but it may get pulled quickly like other similar deals have in the past. They offer a bunch of natural items from brands like Seventh Generation, Burt's Bees, California Baby, and Kiss My Face!

I ordered some Burt's Bees baby wash and this was my total:



Giveaway Ending Tonight!


Last chance to enter to win a copy of Get Real by Mara Rockliff
The giveaway ends tonight at Midnight!


8.07.2010

Totsy: Great Sales this Weekend!

I just logged into my Totsy account to see what the weekend sales were and noticed some awesome deals!



Babo Botanical Organics $9.90-$30


Kee-Ka Organics shirts and onesies $10-12

 
Lassig eco-friendly diaper bags ~50% off!



It's free to shop Totsy, sign up now! Then make sure to invite your friends so you can earn a $15 credit!


Disclosure: This post contains a referral link