KJ: So…it’s been quite a while since we have posted. Things like a new (precious) little baby have kept us more than busy these days. That coupled with finding our new normal balancing a family and work, it’s been a crazy four months. I certainly wouldn’t trade any of it for the world, but part of that meant putting the blog on the back-burner. It’s been such a great four months of learning new things, so what better way to bring in the new year than to share some of our best money saving tips that served us well:
Time and again we have been able to save handfuls of money on the Pampers Swaddlers and wipes that we use for our newest little member of the family. I’m not 100% sure how they make their money with all the Jet Cash they offer, but we have regularly received $10 off, $15 off, or a large percentage off of our order that has made the purchase all the worthwhile compared to Babies R Us, Amazon.com, etc. And, their site is very similar to eBates that has given people a lot of success over the years where you can go there first, then jump off from their site to other retailers for purchases you were going to make anyways and earn “Jet Cash.” There’s a lot to their program, so we would highly recommend checking it out.
AJ’s work offered a hospital indemnity plan wherein you pay a certain amount for the coverage throughout the year, but if you go in for a hospital stay, then they reimburse you $X. Typically, I am anti-extra-unnecessary insurance, but this great program was a no-brainer. With AJ’s “condition” (i.e. a common female condition that many people have had at some point in their lives called “pregnancy,” ha), we knew there would be a hospital stay at some point during the benefits year. So, it was a no-brainer to sign up for this to get extra coverage that pays out a set amount if there is a hospital stay and then a certain dollar amount for each day of an overnight hospital stay. Then, when little Lillian graced us with her presence, we could update AJ’s benefits to now include Lillian and thus take advantage of the hospital indemnity plan for her too. Double win! It almost seems like a joke with how it works, but as with all insurance, there must be enough people out there that pay for this coverage in case they do get hospitalized and then end up not having anything happen to them that it works out well for those who anticipate some type of overnight hospital stay during the year.
I’ve read other bloggers using this method too, and some have found programs through Aflac or other workplace insurance coverage. Ah, the benefits of a larger company where these types of benefits programs can exist.
Dependent Care FSA
Both our jobs offer Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) coverage that we can take advantage of, but you can only take advantage of a combined family maximum. Wah wah. So, we use AJ’s coverage that she has through work. Despite that and the fact that we are so fortunate to have a family friend take care of her (thank you!!), the expenses qualify. So, the Dependent Care FSA setup is a great way to help pay for our little Lillian’s child care expenses pre-tax. Since child care is so expensive, any little tax savings and benefit we can get, the better for sure!
You can go either this route or the Child & Dependent Care Credit, so read more about that on the IRS.gov on the Child and dependent care tax credit website. Both are great options to be aware of if you have a child you are caring for.
If you need to purchase formula for your cute little newborn (Similac, Enfamil), then most of the main players in the space have rewards programs. Not trying to be on a soap-box, but the story that a “mom produces just what her baby needs” is absurd. There are so many factors to it, that even if you want to breastfeed and take all necessary steps to ensure you can, doesn’t mean you will produce just what the baby needs at all points. Regardless, whether you supplement or exclusively use formula, making use of the rewards programs is a no-brainer 🙂
Pampers or Luv’s? That is the question. Or maybe it’s not? So many opinions on the matter that we’re not about starting controversy here, but regardless which you chose (or maybe you go the cloth diaper route, who knows!?), be sure you then find the most economic way to meet your expenses. Most have loyalty programs, so check it out before you ring it up!
As well, don’t forget about Babies R Us. They have a rewards program you can register for. Not all retailers have one, so knowing what’s close to you and doing your research is half the battle.
Cheers to a happy 2016 and the start to a new year where you spend less on the things you already need (and want!?)!!
What helped you in 2015 that will help you in 2016?
Share with us your money saving tips for the family!
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