How We Save

Obviously, we have 3 growing kids. Christopher wears a size 9 shoe right now and is well over 3 feet tall. And to grow healthy and strong, they all need to eat…and eat, and eat. And eat they do!

In order to keep up with their pace (is that even possible?), we have to be deal conscious, so from a high level here is how we do that:

Target

Target has a few things that are highly attractive to the Cave Family. For starters, they have the Red Card, which is linked to my debit card and results in 5% off each purchase automatically, no matter what is purchased. But we mainly go there to purchase these handy pouches you see in the picture. Instant snack. Every time I go and dump these on the belt, I get some crazy reaction from either a patron or the poor soul that has to ring me up. The most common questions are:

  • Is there a sale? (No, I have triplets)
  • That’s a lot of pouches for one baby (No, I have triplets)
  • Didn’t I just see you here (Yes, I have to come a couple of times a month
  • You must have your hands full (Yep…)
  • You know you can buy this stuff in bulk at Costco (actually not every Costco, and our kids like variety, not the same flavor over and over and over…LOL)

The pouches randomly have $5 gift card specials where if you buy 15 of the same brand you get a $5 gift card. Yesterday I got 3 $5 gift cards…woot! Target also has a Cartwheel app that has e-Coupons. That usually generates an additional 5-10% off specific products. I’m trying to get better at perusing that before I shop, but it’s been a challenge because I usually hit up Target before I come home some evenings and I’m tired and just want to go home. Still, I’ve saved a lot of money shopping at Target. Plus, the one in Roseville is very clean and drama free.

Costco

We shop A LOT at Costco. The main purchase 3-4 times a month is lots of milk and eggs. They sell organic milk in boxes that contain 2 gallon jugs. Organic eggs they sell by the 4 dozen. I usually buy 3-4 boxes of milk in one trip and that lasts 1.5 weeks. Eggs I usually buy 2 Β of the 4 dozen crates at a time. They love eggs. Obviously Costco is good for bulk items so I’ve shifted (when I remember) specific purchases to this shopping run, including:

  • baby wipes – we go through a box of 900 a month
  • coffee
  • miscellaneous flavors of ravioli
  • organic juice boxes
  • yogurt
  • tissue

I hate Costco lines, but it’s a necessary evil because of the savings. I’m sure as they get older we will buy more and more from Costco, and eventually we’ll be able to take them with us. I worry they’d pull stuff off the shelves or get lost in the crowds.

WalMart

Walmart has a great app that has WalMart Pay and Savings Catcher. Savings catcher is cool because all receipts are submitted through it and if they find a better deal with a competitor you get the savings back in the form of a gift card. I’ve gotten several gift cards to date. I’m at Walmart 3-4 times a week. We get the diapers from WalMart currently. They have a brand that works for all our kids. Huggies and Pampers and the Honest Company are all epic fails – otherwise we’d probably do the Amazon deal.

I do all of the shopping currently, and have for the past 2 years. Once we get them in some form of pre-school I’m handing this back to Angelique as she’ll have more time on her hands πŸ™‚

We live in Granite Bay, but all of these stores are conveniently located in Roseville, so it’s one easy shopping loop.

We get Bed Bath and Beyond coupons and occasionally something we need we get from Buy Buy Baby. We’re always trying new sippy cups and snack cups.

Oh, and California’s new bag law is a non-issue. We’ve been bringing our own bags for years πŸ™‚

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Sick Kids

The Cavelets recently came down with RSV. It is highly contagious, and usually strikes most kids before the age of 2. So in that regard, they are 2 years and 3 months now, so it could have been worse for them. Given that they were all born prematurely, we were concerned about how it would impact Emma because she needed assistance breathing in the NICU for the longest of the trio. Sure, enough, it impacted her the worst and resulted in a trip to the Emergency room and ultimately a 2.5 day hospital stay. She also had an ear infection from the cold, so that made her equally miserable.

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They were sick the entire month of December, too. They had a runny nose. When one catches something, they all do. We, as the parents, are lucky if we don’t go down as well. Angelique’s immune system was compromised as a result of all of the fertility treatments over the years. Most times I get lucky, but even this one took us both down for a day or two. Fortunately, it was staggered, which allowed for us to care for our kids, but it was rough.


How’d they get it? Child care. We take them to the gym’s child care offering, and there must have been some parent that brought a child in that wasn’t well. And as you know at this age kids put everything in their mouths, so the rest is history. I called the gym up and told them what happened, but illnesses like this are a natural part of being socialized and around more kids. They haven’t been sick often, but when they get sick it takes a lot to get them better. It also throws off everything – sleep, eating/drinking, potty training, you name it.

Emma started to get better once she was home and around her siblings again. I think they thrive off of one another. So for all the bickering they do, their bond is still strong. Emma got a lot of attention while in the hospital. Nurses remarked about her long full eyelashes, and seemed drawn to her – there’s just something about her.

As a courtesy to others, we don’t take them anywhere when they are sick or even recovering – not even Church. It’s the courteous thing to do.

I think for the most part a majority of folks understand why we were so strict when how people visited early on when they were really little. Everyone had to wash their hands no matter how clean they thought they were, and if anyone was sick or thought they were sick they stayed away. So thanks to all those who happily complied – we appreciated it. When preemies get sick, depending on what they come down with, it can be an expensive ordeal. We’re blessed to have great insurance where we don’t worry about any bills. With something like RSV, in adults it just presents itself as a bad cold. Most of the kids in the hospital at the time Emma was there had RSV, and the babies were intubated – tough stuff.