What's In My Toddler's Diaper Bag?

Today's conversation was sponsored by Beech-Nut, all opinions of necessities are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Summer time activities are in full swing here in Georgia and if you follow me on Instagram, then you know that we have been going now stop since school let out. With constantly being on the go and the fact that I always like to be prepared means I like to have everything in my diaper bag. I am also potty training an always hungry toddler. So here is what is in my toddler's diaper bag.

Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials

So here are my diaper bag essentials for my toddler:

DIY Copy-Cat Baby Food Recipes {Plus Tips for Making Your Own}

This post contains affiliate links.
DIY Copy Cat Make Your Own Baby Food Recipes

Making your own baby food is not only economical but you also know what is going in your child's food. I recently received a Magic Baby Bullet Baby Care System which I love! And so I did a little Pinterest research and, thus, this little copy-cat baby food recipes list was born.
The thing is, my daughter ate TONS of other baby food products. And I wanted to know what was in her food and that there were no preservatives. Now I must admit, I didn't do the best at making ALL of her baby food, although I did try (of course I only had a blender because lightning struck my food processor after one use, no joke). But I did try and buy organic when I could. But that can be pricey. But if you are on a budget (and who isn't, these days?), making your own baby food is definitely the way to go. So here's a list I have found of my daughter's favorite baby food items, but the Pinterest-found copy-cat version! PLUS some other fun tips and tricks to help you with making your own!

Beech-Nut Organic is Real Food For Babies + Giveaway

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Beech-Nut. I received a free coupon to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

When you think about branching out and giving your baby something besides breast milk or formula, you want the best for them. Some moms make their own baby food, I tried for a while. Making your own baby food can be fun, but sometimes it can be time consuming. That's why I love the new Beech-Nut organic line because I can still give my baby the best without the guilt because it isn't baby food, it' real food for babies.

Beech-Nut believes every baby deserves real food that is bright, bold and unique, and as close to homemade as possible.

What To Do About a Toddler Food Strike

I received free samples from Beech-Nut and compensation to share this review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

It is no secret that I have been a HUGE fan of Beech-Nut products since my daughter was just starting solids. So, when I received the opportunity to try out Beech-Nut's new "Gently Cooked" baby food varieties, I honestly went back and forth NOT because their products aren't amazing, but because my daughter doesn't really eat baby food anymore. And then the food strike started. YES, you read that right. My daughter who would eat raw kale at the drop of a hat, went on a food strike. She has only been eating her foods in snack form, which means I have been pulling out the reusable pouches and baby food maker. But with the birth of Peanut, I just don't have time for ANYTHING homemade these days, so insert Beech-Nut to save the day!

Beech-Nut has a long history of infant nutrition innovations.
They were the first baby food company to; produce a vacuum-sealed baby food jar, which became an industry standard. Remove added salt from our entire product line in 1977, as well as chemically modified starch in 1985. Offer age-specific varieties and ingredients designed to help parents follow the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) feeding guidelines with Beech-Nut Stages®. Produce a complete line of baby food with no unnecessary additives such as starch or harsh spices.

I am big on homemade baby food for many, many reasons, but my main one is no artificial preservatives. And that is what's so awesome about Beech-Nut's new line. They have completely changed the way they make baby food by importing specifically designed equipment from Italy so it's "gently cooked" just like mom makes.

What is just gentle cooking™?

1. Close-to-Home Ingredients
They get the best quality ingredients they can find, staying as close to home as they can but going where they need in order to get the best quality.

2. Cold Puree
They love food just the way it is, and don’t want to do anything more than what’s necessary. So, to be as gentle as possible, they created a puree from raw fruits and vegetables instead of cooking them first in order to avoid cooking nutrients away.

3. No Artificial Preservatives
Deaeration means they take the excess air out of the food so the good stuff like nutrients and great taste can stay in the food without adding any kind of preservatives. The good stuff is everything that lets you know this is real food: vibrant color, natural aromas, and great flavor.

4. Gently Cooked
When they cook their new food for babies, they use indirect heat similar to a double boiler so that none of the flavor or nutrients gets watered down. Cook time varies according to the ingredients; you wouldn’t cook a pear and a sweet potato for the same length of time, and neither would they.

5. Jar
And finally, the food goes into BPA-free glass jars. Homemade is their inspiration. Just real, whole fruits and vegetables (and sometimes ancient grains and beans) are inside their jars. And nothing else.

I received Beech-Nut's honey crisp apples, carrots, spinach zucchini & pears, and beets pear & pomegranate to test out, but Beech-Nut has 40 delicious new flavors with other foods like avocado, papaya, and beets. The new Beech-Nut line will be available in stores, including Wal-Mart, Kroger, Meijer, and Publix, this spring! You can visit their website, www.beechnut.com, for more information about the flavors and where to find the new Beech-Nut line in your neighborhood. You can also sign-up for coupons straight to your inbox!

Did you ever have to resort to baby food when your little one went on a food strike? Did they ever even go on a food strike? What do you think about Beech-Nut's new line of baby food? Did you make your own? What would be your favorite variety for your little one to try?

Today's Publix Trip - 88% Savings!

GREAT trip today! I decided against the porterhouse steaks. I thought it would be best to save the money towards vacation. Where we will eat yummy seafood everyday! :D

So just guess how much I spent for all of this? Just guess.

Here is the breakdown of what I bought:

6 Velveeta Shells and Cheese @ $2.35
- 2 B2G1 Publix Cooking with Kraft IPs - 2 $1 IP (today was the last day!) - 2 $1/2 Manu IP = $5.40 or $0.90 each

4 GoGo Squeeze Applesauce BOGO @ $2.59
- 4 $0.50/1 IP doubled from Facebook = $1.18 or $0.30 each

6 Maruchan Yakisoba BOGO @ $0.99
- 6 $0.50/1 doubled from 8/26 RP = $3.03 MoneyMaker!

1 Kraft Fresh Take @ 2/$4
- 1 $0.50/1 IP doubled = $1

4 Bailey's Coffee Creamer @ 2/$3
- 4 $1/1 from 8/5 SS = $2 or $0.50 each

3 Nabisco Grahamfuls BOGO @ $4.19 (my Publix does not do TRUE BOGOs)
- 1 B2G1 IP - 1 $0.75/2 from 8/5 SS - $1/2 Target IP = $2.44 or $0.81 each

2 Magnum 3ct Ice Cream Bars BOGO @ $3.99
- 2 $1/1 IPs = $1.99 or $1 each

2 Publix Creamcheese @ $0.99
- $1/2 Target IP (my Target will take competitors store brand coupons) = $0.98

1 Old El Paso Taco Mix @ $0.79 (reg price)
- $0.50/1 IP doubled = $0.21 MM! (Wish I had two but my computer messed up. :/)

4 Beechnut Fruities @ $0.99 (reg price)
- 2 $1/1 IP - 2 $0.75/1 IP = $0.46

6 Knorr Sides BOGO @ $1.29
- 2 $1/3 IP - 2 $1/2 Publix IP - 1 $0.50/2 Target IP = $0.37 or $0.06 each!

2 Liberte yogurt @ 10/$8
- 2 $0.30/1 IPs doubled = $0.40 or $.20 each

- $5 off $40 Publix Coupon

Total Spent = $10.67/$9.42 before taxes (I actually had a $10 gift card from an earlier promotion and I didn't have cash so my friend gave me the $0.67, so FREE to me! HA! :D)

Total Saved = $69.24

For a grand total of 88% Savings!

I have my Kroger trip in the morning and I am not looking forward to it. (EDIT: 9/8 - Receipt says I saved 31% but that doesn't include Manger's Special items and Rain checks items. I had two Rain checks I used today. But I got a good deal of meat and produce! :]) But I feel I did good today! ;D Below is a place where you can share your savings. It doesn't have to be just from Publix!! :) Also please don't forget to enter my Progresso Recipe Starters Giveaway and don't forget to vote for my Gerber Baby! That's it! Have a GREAT weekend! :)

Deceptively Delicious Baby Food Style - Baked Egg Puffs

I bought a TON of baby food (30 jars to be exact) a while back because Publix was having an awesome BOGO sale that made it (combined with a $1/3 Beechnut coupon) that I made money.

Small Last Minute Pre-Thanksgiving Shopping Trip

Yesterday I went to Kroger to grab some milk really quick because we were out and I always look around the store to check out any deals that they may have not posted in their ads (always happens). And at my Kroger I noticed they had PediaSures on Manager's Special (clearance) for $5.39. So I went home to scour the net for a coupon that wasn't a sidekick one. I also dropped by IHeartKroger.com and found a deal for some protein bars.

So here's what I bought:

2 PediaSure marked down to $5.39 from $10.79 used ! $1.50 off ANY and 1 $1.50 off PediaSure 6-pack
2 dozen Medium eggs 10/$10 - Thought I had used my $0.55/2 dozen last week, comes to find out it was hiding from me! AGH! I hate when that happens...
2 Beech-Nut mini steamie meals - 2 $1 off coupons
2 Luna Protein Bars $0.97 - 2 $0.50 off coupons doubled up = FREE
2 Kraft shredded cheese on sale

Total OOP: $18.25
Saved: $22.12

Of course when I got home I found the $3 off ANY PediaSure product in my email. But it's okay it was still a good deal. My receipt said I saved 39% but they don't included Manager's Special as a sale. So in reality I saved 55%, would have been 63% if I had those other coupons but C'est la vie.

ALSO! I got coupons that printed at the register! That is always exciting!

That's all for today and hopefully until after Thanksgiving. :D

Baby Food Pancakes

So I had some left over baby food and infant cereal that I had already opened, so I searched online and found a recipe that I thought sounded good:

Baby Cereal Pancakes Recipe

1 cup whole wheat flour (this will make a dense pancake; you can use 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour if you prefer)
1/2 cup uncooked commercial baby barley cereal from the box (or rice commercial baby cereal)
1/2 cup uncooked commercial baby oatmeal cereal from the box - did not have just used more rice baby cereal
1 cup formula (or another liquid such as milk) - used WHOLE milk
1/2 cup mashed banana (or fruit of your choice) - used left over baby food - applesauce
1 tbsp melted margarine or butter (unsalted type)
3 egg yolks
apple juice (about 1/2 cup) or use water if you prefer - used apple juice

Add cinnamon, nutmeg, dash of vanilla or other flavorings if you wish. - used vanilla

Mix all ingredients together and add enough juice to make pancake consistency. Cook on your cook top in a frying pan as you would with "regular" pancakes. Cooking these baby cereal pancakes on a griddle will work better as you will have more control over the temperature and will be better able to keep the temp. at a constant heat.

Baby Food Pancakes

They were very yummy! Even my hubby liked them. Be aware that it makes a LOT and if you are going to freeze it, then freeze the batter not the pancake. I suggest freezing it in separate increments in small Ziploc freezer baggies. I hope this helps!

Couponing is hip too!

the crack cocaine of middle aged married American women",
quote from 'smartarse001'
on The Krazy Coupon Lady's youtube page.

I coupon. I'm not ashamed of it. I actually get excited about it and enjoy doing it. I've saved a ton of money for my family in the few weeks I have done it. I'm a twenty five year old stay-at-home mom. I worked a full time job before I had my daughter. So going from two incomes to one income PLUS another person was an adjustment.

I must admit, I got into it because of that show Extreme Couponing on TLC. Yes, I joined the fad. But now I can't believe I didn't do this before and I don't understand why everyone doesn't shop this way! It has been like an extra income for our family.

These are BABY things I got for a GREAT deal:

Countless jars of Beechnut Baby Food plus a box of their cereal for FREE

Our review:
HUGE FAN! I can not say enough great things about this baby food. Perfect texture, tastes good, the only thing is I wish they made some in BPA free plastic containers as in some varieties the metallic lid can make the food taste funny.

Gerber Graduates for FREE

Our review:
She is almost two now and we are STILL huge fans Gerber puffs and crunchies. The veggie and tomato varieties of the crunchies are her favorites and the sweet potato is her favorite of the puffs! :)

4 Beechnut Toddler Mini Meals for FREE

Our review:
Not a fan which is sad to say because she loved their actual baby food and loves the fruities now. Sweet Pea didn't care for them and I didn't care for the texture. They are suppose to be stage 4 (whatever they means) but stage 3 Gerber baby food has a thicker texture. The 'macaroni and cheese' were runny and hardly had any noodles. I wouldn't even buy these again if they were free, except to donate. And maybe not even then because I don't want the company thinking people like these. :/

Tons of FREE Huggies wipes!

Our review:
A HUGE fan! I like these way more than Pampers. Yes, Pampers are softer but they take a TON to get everything clean. And yes I may get them super cheap after coupons, but I still care about where my money goes. We give Huggies wipes TWO Mommy thumbs and two baby thumbs up! ;)

MULTIPLE Playtex sippy cups for FREE
Vote For Us @ TopBabyBlogs.Com - A Top Baby Blog List By topbabyblogs.com

Our review:
LOVE THESE CUPS! They were the only ones that helped my sweet pea easily adjust to using a sippy cup. They have a softer spout than some of the options out PLUS they have great easy to grip handles.

Why WOULDN'T I coupon? :D

*Disclosure: Although I offer reviews here, I was in NO WAY endorsed in ANY way. These are my opinions and I am sharing of my own free will. Thanks!*

Lizzie's 4 Month Check In!

Exactly 4 Months Old
Lizzie's four month check up today. Weight: 12.2 pounds (25%), Height 23 1/2 inches (25%), Head 42 1/2 inches(90%!). She had to have four shots today. It breaks my heart every time. But she was a big girl! The doctor said she is doing really well. He said we could start on solid foods, cereals and stage ones. He said the longer you wait, the more food allergies they tend to have. I feel she is ready so we went by Target, bought some cereal, and gave it to her for lunch today!

Yummy at first...

Then DONE!
It was INTERESTING to say the least! :) So our little girl is good and healthy!
(These picture were actually taken the next day when she tried bananas for the first time.)