My Top Fall Activities On A Budget

Fall is here! I know in Houston it might not feel like it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t partake in some Fall activities. This time of year that is no shortage of things to do, but there can seem like a shortage of activities that won’t break the bank. I recently looked up fall festival nearby that would cost my family $60 just to get in the door! I’m sure it would be fun, but paying that kind of money isn’t realistic for some families. However, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. I’m sharing my top 5 favorite Fall activities that are both budget friendly and allow for social distancing.

Top 5 Fall Activities

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Pumpkin Patches

There’s lot of options for pumpkin patches in the Houston area, and a lot of them are free to visit. You just purchase whatever pumpkins you want to take home. We like the Blue Monkey in Friendswood, TX. Not only is there some good photo ops, but the proceeds from the pumpkin sales goes to various charities. You can also check out some local churches as most of them don’t charge any admission. Once you have your pumpkins, the options are limitless. You can paint them, carve them, or make your favorite pumpkin treat!

Drive-In Movies

I love that more and more drive-ins are popping up! It’s a great way to switch it up for date night, and social distance at the same time. They have all the typical movie snacks available as well as some local food trucks. My suggestion would be to pack a picnic to bring, and that’ll save you even more money.

Baking

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How can you not want to bake this time of year?! There’s so many good recipes out there, and it’s a great way to spend time with family. I know a lot of people lean towards pumpkin around this time, but we love all things apple in my family. There’s lots of apples in season right now, so you can find some great prices in the grocery stores (Aldis for sure). I recently tried out these apple cider cinnamon rolls (click above for recipe), and they were amazing! I won’t lie, it does take some work but they were so worth it! I like to search different hashtags like, #falldesserts on Instagram to see what comes up. It’s a great way to try something new.

Fall Festivals

Now I know these festivals can get pretty pricey. I mentioned earlier about the one that would’ve cost us $60 just get in the door. However, there are some farms that have cheaper admissions. They may not have all the bells and whistles of the $60 farm, but they’re still just as much fun. The kids are going to have a good time regardless of what you pay, trust me. We like to visit Frobergs Farm in Alvin, TX. Admission is only $10 and that includes the corn maze and pumpkin patch. You decide what other activities you want to pay for.

Visit the Zoo

Fall is the perfect time to visit the zoo in Houston. You can actually walk around and not be miserable in the heat. We didn’t visit the zoo at all this summer once they opened. I couldn’t bare the idea of walking around with a mask on in 100 degree weather. Another plus for this time of the year, is the free Tuesdays each month. On the first Tuesday of each month they have free admission. Tickets are available online the Wednesday before. They go fast so set those phone reminders!

Budget Friendly Holiday Activities

The holiday season is here! It’s that time of year for family, new and old traditions, and making lots of great memories.

I will admit that I can sometimes be a grinch during the holiday season, but not this year! I’m excited to celebrate Journee’s first Christmas with all our family and friends. I’ve made a list of holiday activities that I’m going to attempt to do before the month is out. Most of these are budget friendly ideas, and baby friendly (minus the boozy hot chocolate!).

1. Christmas crafts- baby’s first ornament

2. A night in with matching PJs and Christmas stories

3. Take Christmas themed pictures

4. Send out Christmas cards

5. Visit tree farm

6. Ugly Christmas sweater party

7. Sensory boxes with bows and wrapping paper

8. Find some holiday lights throughout the city

9. Bake Christmas cookies

10. Visit hotel with Christmas decorations

11. Christmas themed day at library

12. Play Christmas music

13. Unplug and enjoy family time

14. Find boozy hot chocolate recipe

15. Binge on classic Christmas movies

Am I missing anything? Let me know your favorite holiday activities below!

Baby Fall Fashion

So I’ve been on the hunt lately for more fall clothes for Journee. The weather has been up and down here in Texas for the past month at least. Lately thought it’s been more down so I’ve noticed just how sad her fall wardrobe is!  I wanted to share with you guys a few places I’ve had the best luck.

Walmart

So I haven’t been shopping at Walmart very long, but I’ve definitely been missing out! They have lots of options that are super affordable.  My favorite is their baby sweatsuits.  You can usually get the top and pants for about $9, and a lot of them are lined with fleece to keep them extra warm.  I decided to go up a size for Journee to give her a little room to grow in them this season. The only problem I’ve had with Walmart is finding her size.  If you don’t have any luck in the store, be sure to check online!

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Kohls

I just recently checked out Kohls for baby fashion.  It’s not somewhere I normally shop, but I got a coupon in the mail and decided to check them out.  The great thing about Kohls is that you can use multiple coupons (paper or digital) on the same purchase.  For example, on my last visit I used a $10 off paper coupon, $10 off $25 digital coupon, and a 15% off digital coupon! You can’t beat that.  It was all Carter’s brand items, and everything I bought was on sale to begin with.  With those kind of deals, I will definitely add Kohls to my regular shopping list for baby clothes.

 

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Better Baby Boutique

So I discovered this boutique on Instagram a few months ago, and I’m so happy I did.  They have the most chic baby clothes! They have sizes from newborn to toddler.  I can usually get most of their stuff for $10 or less, and their clothes are true to size.  It’s nice to have some one-of-kind items that you can’t just get anywhere.  So check them out and be sure to use code “JOURNEESAVE25” to save 25% off your next purchase!

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Once Upon a Child

This place is definitely my go-to!  I always find the best deals here.  I recently got the cutest fleece pullover my location for $6!  You can also sell your old baby clothes or gear here as well.  I recently sold Journee’s old rocker and used that money to buy her some fall clothes.  Every location is different so you never know what you’re going to find. Be sure to follow your location on social media to keep up with their current sales.

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I hope this helps. Again, these are just some of the places we shop and find great deals. Let me know in the comments where you guys like to shop for your kids!

 

Store Brands: Yay or Nay?

So when it comes to store brands I feel like most people are on one side or the other. Either you’re okay with them or you’re not. I’m okay with it depending on what the item is. I will at the very least try it out.

I recently decided to try out two store brands of baby items I use daily. The first was Target brand diapers, and the second was Sam’s Club (Member’s Mark) advantage formula. So far so good!

With the Target diapers, I haven’t had any problems. No major leaks, no diaper rash, or anything in between. I’m glad I tried them out. Honestly, the price was too tempting. For a box of 104 diapers, I paid $15. If I had stuck with my normal Pampers, I would’ve paid $25. I know $10 doesn’t sound like much, but it all adds up in the end to some really great savings.

Now with the formula I was definitely skeptical. I used to have some Mom guilt once I stopped breastfeeding, and I thought giving her a top brand like Similac Pro would ease some of that guilt. The truth is though Journee is growing and developing just fine. I don’t have to feel guilty about giving her formula. She’s getting fed and that’s all that matters! Any other Mamas with me? 🙂

The Sam’s Club version of Similac Pro Advance is basically the same ingredients. There is some variations, but none that were significant for me. I did my research and I decided it was worth trying. It’s been about 3 weeks and I haven’t noticed any issues from Journee. She hasn’t had any discomfort, and there’s been no changes in her diapers. Price wise it’s a big difference. With Similac we pay about $1.25/ounce and with Sam’s we pay about .50/ounce. So it’s been a substantial amount of savings for us!

So as you can see, I’ve had a pretty positive experience with store brands lately. I’m looking forward to trying more, and potentially saving even more money!

What has been y’all’s experiences with store brands? Any you recommend? Please share!

Nursery Finds…UPDATE

I’m definitely a little late to the nursery party.  It was last on the list after we moved to Houston.  Then every time I thought about getting Journee’s room together, life happened.  So here we are at 5 months and we’re finally tackling it.  Luckily it hasn’t really mattered.  Journee has been sleeping in her bassinet in our room, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  I’m just now coming around to the idea of her not being next to me 😦

So let me share some of the deals I’ve found so far with you guys (and please let me know if you have any as well!).

First up was the crib.  I don’t know if you guys ever check out Facebook Marketplace, but you can find some great deals on there!  I was able to snag this Jenny Lind crib from a local mom for $40! I’m so happy with it. The fitted sheet is actually from Pottery Barn Kids, but I found it on Ebay for $10! It was in the original packaging, unopened. Can’t beat that!

Next, I purchased this 6 drawer dresser on sale from Walmart for $99. I was concerned about the quality, but it turned out to be pretty sturdy!

Mainstays Dresser – Walmart

Mainstays Dresser

Lastly were these pom pom curtains. I originally saw these at Target for $50, but I found a cheaper alternative. I bought some white blackout curtains from Walmart and then I sewed on some pom pom garland from Hobby Lobby. The garland happened to be on clearance so all in all I spent around $25 instead of $50.

Not too bad huh? Next on the list is a black and white rug. I will say, I’m not having a lot of luck when it comes to deals on rugs. So I still have some researching to do! I’ll be back soon with an update!

Let me know if you guys have any nursery deal ideas!

*Update* 

After some digging, I finally managed to find a decently priced rug from Overstock.  They’re having a great deal on rugs! I went with this black/ivory striped rug for $120.  It’s 6×9 and I absolutely love it.  Click below to check it out!

Black/Ivory Cotton Rug

 

Deals: Baby Clothes

For me, finding deals on baby clothes is a must.  I just can’t bring myself to pay full price for Journee’s clothes, just for her to grow right out of them.  It’s tempting though.  I see SO many cute baby clothes all over Instagram.  I have splurged a couple times, but it’s definitely not something I do on the regular.  I remember these cute little shorts I found online that were $19.  Unfortunately, I think she wore them maybe twice before they were too small.

I’m gonna share with y’all the places I have found the best deals for baby clothes:

  1. Once Upon A Child – You can not only find gently used baby clothes, but you can sell your old clothes as well.  I’ve found rompers as low as $1 here! They also have deals on used cribs, strollers, rockers, etc.
  2.  Lollipop Boutique – This consignment shop is very similar to the above.  You can buy or sell gently used baby clothes or gear.  I also snagged some cute maternity tops from them as well!
  3. Old Navy – I have found some super cute outfits during their sales.  Make sure you sign up for their emails to stay on top of all the deals!
  4.  Marshalls/TJ Maxx – The best thing about these stores is they have deals for the whole family.  You can always find cute baby outfits for less than $10!

Once Upon A Child

Old Navy

You can’t go wrong with any of these places.  Let me know in the comments where you guys shop for your little ones!

 

 

 

Welcome to Chic Bargain Life…

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Hey guys! Welcome to my blog! I’m Ravonda. I’m a native North Carolinian currently living in Houston, TX.  My husband and I just moved here at the beginning of the year when I was almost 8 months pregnant.  I’m now the happy new Mom to my beautiful baby girl, Journee.  She is my miracle baby! After receiving news of some potential heart complications, and a whole week in the NICU, I’m happy to say my little boo is completely healthy! I thank the Lord each and every day for using her to show just how great He is.

One thing I’ve learned as a new Mom? Baby stuff can get pretty expensive! Here I was with a new Mom, in a new city, and lots of new medical bills from Journee’s hospital/dr visits.

All of these things pretty much forced me into what I call the Chic Bargain Life.

My hope with this blog is to share ideas with other budget-conscious Moms on ways to save money on everyday things, all while still being our fabulously chic selves!  I’ve learned that even on a budget, it’s possible to get everything you may need or want.  We just have to work a little harder and put forth a little more effort.  That’s the Chic Bargain Life way!

I’m excited to have you on this new “Journee” of motherhood with me. Be sure to follow on Instagram: chicbargainlife

Moms, let me know in the comments where you’re from!