Favorite Finds of a Frugalista Mom

So Oprah has her favorite things show so I thought I would share with you some of my favorite finds for 2010.  You will not find expensive or elaborate cashmere items here, although I would love to have “found” that somewhere in my 2010, but I didn’t.  Rather these finds are either FREE, low-cost or save you a ton of money.  Being the Frugalista that I am, those are truly my favorite finds!

Amazon Mom & Free Amazon Prime

Amazon Mom is a free membership program aimed at helping parents and caregivers use Amazon to find all the products their family needs. To join you simply sign into your Amazon account and indicate whether you are a Mom, Dad, or other caregiver of a child. Amazon Mom members receive benefits such as 30% off diapers and wipes, FREE Two-Day Shipping with Amazon Prime (this is usually $79 per year!) the ability to share your amazon prime membership as well as exclusive offers via e-mail.  Now that we have a baby in the house in diapers, I am all over this.  Ordering diapers (cheapest I have found around, even with coupons) bottles, bibs, a stroller, sippy cups and more.  I order it on Monday and it comes on Wednesday – for FREE!

Jillian Michaels

Shred It with Weights

This work out is awesome!  It is a kick your rear end way to get in shape with not a lot of time or equipment.  I did Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred workout a few months back and then discovered this new workout where  Jillian adds extra weight to her hard-core circuit training techniques for a total-body workout designed to burn maximum fat. I bought the  kettlebell and returned it because it just was too awkward, but I use a a single 10 lb.  hand weight which works just fine.  There are two 30-minute boot  camp workouts to choose from and I really have seen some changes in my body in a short time!


I have been using Swagbucks now for nearly 9 months and have accumulated over $225 in amazon gift cards.  Yep, I am not pulling your leg.  Swagbucks is a search engine that pays you to use their site. You register with Swagbucks and then search the internet as you normally would; like you would with Google.  Ever so often when you search you will be rewarded by winning some Swagbucks!  You’ll earn a different number of Swagbucks each time you win. Those randomly-awarded Swagbucks pile up in your account and you can redeem them for different items.
I personally save my Swagbucks and redeem them for Amazon gift cards. There are other prizes available too; including iTunes gift cards, Target gift cards, Disney Store gift cards, movie swag, posters, and all sorts of other things! They regularly add merchandise, so you never know what you’ll find in the Swag Store.

Fridays are Mega Swagbucks Days! You’ll earn bigger search awards, so plan to do a lot of your searching on Fridays!  This is a great way to get stuff you would normally purchase for FREE.  Plus, when you refer your friends and they sign up you will earn a few swagbucks when they search and win swagbucks too!  Start accumulating Swagbucks for Christmas 2011 shopping now – you could do all your shopping with FREE gift cards from Swagbucks!

Cloth napkins

I had read on some of my favorite blogs where a few moms had ditched paper napkins in their home (as well as other paper products).  I resisted this for awhile, I didn’t want to spend the extra funds to purchase cloth napkins – but then I found this deal on ebay and decided to go for it.  I got 48 white cotton cloth napkins for $42 – that is less than $1 a piece.  I love that they are white, I can bleach them if need be, they go with everything and honestly they work much better than paper napkins.  I do a load of whites along with the napkins every couple of days and we are set.  The kids can help fold them into squares and I feel better about not spending the $8 for a pack of napkins at Costco anymore.  Now, maybe in 2011 I will ditch paper towels!


I do almost all of my clothes shopping for my family online and purchase a lot of other household items from the internet as well.  It is just easier for me than driving all over town and spending time walking the mall, which I despise!

Whenever I am about to order online from ANY company, I check the website Ebates to see if the site I am ordering from is listed.   Ebates is a shopping site that gives you up to 26% Cash Back every time you shop online, plus when you make your first purchase on any store listed on Ebates you get a $5 bonus.  Each quarter you will receive a check in the mail with the amount you have accumulated in your normal shopping you do online.  There are over 1000 stores including eBay, JCPenny, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and a ton more!  They even offer special discounts and free shipping offers exclusive to this site.  I have earned $225 since I joined in the latter part of 2009.  When you refer your friends and they sign up and make a purchase you also get $5 (they get $5 and you get $5 – how great is that?)    By using this site to purchase items I normally would have bought I am getting cash back – who doesn’t love that?

Homemade laundry detergent

I have been using a recipe that I read about from Jill Savage at Hearts at Home a few months back.  It works perfect, is great for my front loader washer too and makes a ton!  I have no complaints – except I have more money in my family budget for use on other things.  Here is the link to the recipe in the Mom’s Discussion Forum.


I discovered about 6 months ago – a deal of the day site which features local & national businesses.  Each day, Groupon features an unbeatable deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in your city.   The deals are incredible.  I purchased a $25 gift certificate to a restaurant I had wanted to try for only $10.  You can register for FREE and then you are sent an email each morning with the deal of the day.  You can either purchase it or not – plus you can search other cities to see what their deals are. I purchased some of these as gifts for Christmas this year and will certainly be keeping my eye open for birthday gifts all throughout the year!  Head on over and register for FREE and see what comes your way – you might be surprised!


If you have hung around here long enough you have already heard me talk about Emeals.   E-Meals is an awesome kid-friendly and family-uniting meal planning resource for busy Moms and frugal family cooks. ALL the tedious and time-consuming BRAIN WORK required to plan meals that your family enjoys is done all for you and with your budget in mind!  I cannot begin to tell you how this resource has helped me save my mind with dinner planning.  For only $1.25 per week you get a weekly meal plan based on the current sales at the grocery stores, with plan options categorized according to store and/or weight management strategy. The recipes are delicious, simple and easy to follow. Each plan is new every week and has a corresponding aisle-by-aisle grocery list. Almost every week includes a crock-pot recipe and easy dinner ideas. There are meal plans for two people, for a low fat diet, a low carb diet, and for those who are following a point system, as well!

So there you have it, some of my favorite finds.  I love sharing ways that can make your life as a mom easier, less stressful and also stretch your family budget.

Do you have any favorite finds for 2010?

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