A Birth Story: Silas Robert Bohannon 5/16/2016

Saturday, May 14th started like any other day. David and I slept in (the LAST day of a solid night sleep), got ready for the day, ran some errands, and headed to a birthday party. After the party, we went to dinner at Jason’s Deli (my fave) with David’s dad, Tom, and Deborah. When we got home, we decided to watch some Netflix before going to bed. This is when I realized my lower back was hurting, and it was definitely coming in waves. I remember it was 11 p.m., and decided to head to bed just in case this was the real deal. My due date (5/16) was less than two days away, so I knew this could very well be labor!

Around 2 a.m., I woke up to more intense pain in my lower back. David woke up when he heard me shuffling around, and started to time the contractions while frantically packing the car. They were coming 5 minutes apart, and lasting for 30 seconds to 1 minute long. He texted our Doula, Fran, and she replied, “sounds like labor, I’m leaving now.” I labored in bed for a while and told David to rest, but it got to the point to where I was saying “OWWWW OWWW OUCHHH NOOO” during each contraction, so it was difficult for him to sleep. When Fran arrived, she suggested I do some walking to help myself progress. David and I walked around our cul-de-sac in the middle of the night for a few minutes, but I was shivering so badly. It was chilly! We came back inside and I laid in bed, with intense contractions, until Fran said it is time to call the doctor. The contractions were ALL in my lower back, with little to no pain in my abdomen. All I could feel in my abdomen was intense pressure and tightening. Contractions are the most bizarre thing to experience. I would feel it coming on, and it would gradually increase in intensity. Then it would slowly fade away, with no pain or discomfort in between each one.

The doctor on call asked us a handful of questions, and suggested that we go ahead and come to the hospital to get assessed. I was dreading the drive to the hospital because everyone told me how terrible contractions are while in the car, but I surprisingly did fine! When we arrived at the hospital, we checked in and were taken to a triage room. The triage nurse who was assigned to us was so rude. I could not believe it, and tried my hardest not to cry. Luckily her shift ended shortly after we arrived (7 a.m.), and a new nurse, Tiffany, came into the room like a ray of sunshine. I was still at 2 cm dilated (I was 2cm since I was 35 weeks pregnant), but having consistent contractions. We walked the halls for an hour to see if that would help me progress, but unfortunately, it didn’t work. I was still 2cm. We were sent home. At first I was bummed, but at that point I was so exhausted from barely sleeping that I ended up feeling relieved. The nurse said, “honey, you’ll know when it’s time for you to come back.” We spent the remainder of the day sleeping and watching Netflix, which was exactly what I needed. My contractions started to come much further apart, and weren’t as intense as t youhey were earlier. Fran left around dinner time, and said to call her if things picked back up.

That evening, around 11 p.m., I felt a huge burst of energy and decided to mop all of the floors in my house. I also deep cleaned the kitchen. It was quite a sight—40 weeks pregnant and stopping every so often to lean on the counter and breathe through a contraction. We finally went to bed around midnight.

Just like the night before, as soon as the clock struck 2 a.m., I woke up in EXCRUCIATING pain. It literally felt like someone was drilling holes into my tailbone. I was moaning in pain during these contractions, and noticed I was bleeding a little. They were coming 2-5 minutes apart, and were definitely lasting a minute long. Some were only lasting 30 to 45 seconds, though. The pain was so much worse than the night before. I literally would fall onto the floor each time a contraction hit. After about an hour of this, I told David it was time to go. He kept saying, “are you sure….we don’t want to get sent home again…let’s just try to rest and we can call in the morning…” I literally yelled at him and said “WE HAVE TO GO…. NOW!!!!!” He was like.. OK OK OK we’ll go! The contractions were so painful, all in my lower back with intense tightening in my abdomen. This HAD to be real labor. We called Fran, and she said she would meet us at the hospital.

We checked in and were taken to a triage room, and were greeted by two wonderful nurses named Cheryl and Jessica. They were so sweet and encouraging, constantly telling me I was doing a great job. They hooked me up to the monitors, and yet again, said my contractions were nice and consistent. Silas was also handling the contractions well, because his heart rate was nice and strong. I was a bit nervous because I hadn’t felt him move in a while, but he was just fine. Cheryl checked me, and announced that I was 4 cm dilated! YAY, progress! I officially was not getting sent home—we were getting sent to a labor room! By the time we were taken to our labor room, it was 7 a.m., and our labor and delivery nurse, Mona, was just arriving to work for the day. Words cannot describe what an amazing nurse Mona was. Thank you, Jesus, for nurses—especially Mona!

We got settled, and I was hooked up to my IV and had my blood drawn. I was especially nervous about the blood draw, because of my history of low platelets during my pregnancy. A platelet count of less than 100,000 means the Anesthesiologist will not administer an epidural. I had been taking Prednisone (a steroid), to try and boost my platelet count, so I was hoping for good news. I knew I wanted the epidural because of the combination of painful contractions, not being rested, and my intense hunger causing me to feel weak. If you are in labor, do yourself a favor and EAT BEFORE YOU GO TO THE HOSPITAL. I wouldn’t recommend eating a greasy burger or something heavy….maybe a bowl of oatmeal or a turkey sandwich. I was so hungry, and was worried I wouldn’t be able to labor effectively because of that. Since the intense contractions started at 2 a.m. that morning, the only thing I ate was a piece of toast with jelly. The only things I could eat while at the hospital were liquids—italian ice, juice, jello, broth. I tried to keep my mind off of the hunger by breathing through my contractions and watching the game show network.

As I was laboring, it was difficult to get comfortable. Mona saved the day and brought in an exercise ball that was shaped like a peanut. She had me lay on my side with the peanut between my legs. It sounds weird, but it was so comfortable. I laid like that for 8 hours, and would swap sides every so often. The contractions continued to come…and continued to KILL my poor lower back. Every time I would feel a contraction coming on, I would tell David, and he would massage my hips and tailbone as hard as he could. The counter pressure helped immensely, but the pain was still so intense.

When my bloodwork results were finally ready, I could not believe what I was told. Mona said my platelet count came back at 207,000, which is a great number. I didn’t believe her at first, and she explained that they initially came back at 95,000, which is below the epidural cut-off. After that result, someone manually counted my platelets, like under a microscope. That is where it was discovered that my platelets were enlarged….meaning the larger ones were not “fitting” through the machine, causing a lower count. I was so relieved, but mad at the same time. Why didn’t any of my doctors order a manual count for the three months I stressed about my platelets being “low”? That is another story…..all I could think about was getting relief from the epidural, and asked for it right away! I was 7cm dilated when I received the epidural.

Mona prepped me for the epidural, and shortly after that, the Anesthesiologist arrived. He was fantastic.  He thoroughly explained everything he did, and constantly asked me if I had questions or if something didn’t feel right. The process of getting the epidural was so easy….it didn’t hurt at all. I thought it would be difficult to sit hunched over with contractions as he administered it, but it wasn’t bad at all…I,  actually didn’t even have a contraction the entire time he did it. Within minutes, my legs felt cool and tingly. The epidural was AMAZING. I am so, so, so, thankful I was able to get one. I could still move my legs, although not very well, and could feel every contraction. With the epidural, I could only feel intense pressure with the contractions….no pain. I was also nervous about the catheter, but it was nothing. It was nice to not have to get up every 10 minutes to use the bathroom.

I was able to actually rest and doze off with the epidural. It was so nice. Family members came in and out to say hi, and I remember David and Fran were doing crossword puzzles as I rested. At one point, I sat up to enjoy some ice chips, and I felt this strong POP inside me, and then a huge gush. Like a water balloon popping inside me. David called Mona, and she came in with Dr. Doris, the OB who delivered Silas. I’m glad my water broke when it did, because Dr. Doris said he was about to come in to break it for me! Mona checked me, and I was 8 cm dilated. I will mention that I had never met Dr. Doris before. My OB was not on call that day, which I was so sad about, but Dr. Doris was freaking amazing.

My progression from 8 cm to 10 cm was quick. I think it was an hour? Maybe two hours? I can’t remember! Mona had me do some practice pushes, and then had me “labor down” for a while. She elevated the bed, and had me sit up with the bottoms of my feet touching—the butterfly position. This was SO effective….even with the epidural, I could feel the baby moving down.

Dr. Doris was in and out. At one point, he had me do some pushes for him, and then he would LEAVE! What?! Mona would step in and have me do some more, and she said, “I promise the doctor will deliver this baby, not me! You are so close!” When Dr. Doris finally came back in the room, he got suited up and ready to go. I couldn’t believe I was finally ready to have the baby.

I will mention that there was meconium in my amniotic fluid, which means the baby passed a bowel movement while still inside of me. This is very serious, because the baby could possibly aspirate the contaminated fluid when he takes his first breath. Because of this, a NICU team was in the room during the delivery, and Silas had to be passed to them to get checked out before I could hold him. Luckily he was just fine! Back to the delivery!

After one hour of pushing (I don’t even think it was that long), Silas was born! Between Mona, Fran and Dr. Doris, I was able to push him out pretty easily with their guidance. Fran reminded me to “curl up” as I pushed, and Mona reminded me not to blow air out of my mouth. David was freaking amazing. He held a fan in front of my face the entire time, and held cold wash cloths on my face and neck. I remember right before he came out, I kept saying “AHHH COME ON!”. The pressure of his head was so, so intense. I could not believe it, and do not know how I would have done that without an epidural. It was so nice to not feel any pain, but still feel the contractions as pressure so I could push effectively. I remember someone rolled out a mirror so I could watch, but I immediately said, “take it away!”

When Silas finally came out, he let out a cry, and I looked up as Dr. Doris held him up. He was wide awake, and his face looked all distorted. His head was purple and his body was white. As he started breathing, you could literally see his body turn to a healthy pink color. The NICU team kept shouting, “he looks great!” “he’s so handsome!” so I knew he was ok! He also cried, so that was reassuring as well. No problems from the meconium, thank you Jesus! I remember hearing someone call out his weight—8lb 5oz, and I couldn’t believe it. That’s pretty big! After a few minutes, Silas was plopped on my chest. He was wide awake and alert, looking all around and rooting for food. Amazing! He was born at 5:56 p.m. on his due date. Mona said she was so excited he was born before she had to leave for the day. I was also finally allowed to eat, and I indulged in some delicious hospital food—pot roast and mashed potatoes. It tasted amazing though—I was STARVING! Once the epidural was out, I was up and walking within an hour or so. I was wobbly, but I could walk. I had no complications from the epidural. It seriously made my experience enjoyable.

My labor and delivery experience was everything that I hoped for and envisioned. I had wonderful nurses and an amazing doctor, as well as an amazing support system (Fran and David!). Despite being insanely hungry and tired, I still did it, and Silas came out healthy and alert. I am so thankful!


Third Trimester

I cannot believe I am now 10 days from my due date. I honestly never thought I’d get here! It seemed so far away, and now, Silas could arrive at any time and be perfectly fine!

After a smooth and easy second trimester, my third was met with some unexpected issues that fortunately have not gotten too out of control….yet. At 28 weeks, I went to a routine OB check-up, which included a blood test to check my glucose levels. I also received a RhoGam injection, since my blood type is O-negative. We listened to baby’s heartbeat, they drew my blood, and then I left. About a week later, a nurse called to tell me that I passed my glucose test (thank goodness), but also told me that my platelets were low (99,000). The normal range for platelets is between 150,000 and 400,000. I had no idea what that meant, so the nurse said that women typically cannot receive an epidural during labor if her platelets are under 100,000. I was referred to a Hematologist.

Of course, I freaked out and was very on edge for several weeks. Luckily, my OB and Hematologist have taken great care of me, and have ensured me that everything will be fine. My blood pressure has stayed normal, and after starting on 10mg of Prednisone, my platelets have slowly risen. As of 5/5, they were at 111,000. I feel much more relaxed, and am not stressed out about this anymore. That is great, because the cut-off for an epidural is 100,000. I’d love to try to labor and deliver drug-free, but I have no idea what to expect, so I want to make sure I will qualify for an epidural if I need relief. Hopefully my numbers will go back to normal once Silas arrives!

We also have a Doula! Her name is Fran, and she is Deborah’s (Tom’s girlfriend) mom. She is a retired Nurse Practitioner and certified Doula, and we are very excited to work with her. I am so grateful that she is willing to be there for us during my labor and delivery.

I feel very relaxed and ready for Silas to make his arrival when the time is right. I am not worrying about my platelets, blood pressure, or anything else. Worrying will not get me anywhere, and there is nothing I can do but trust that everything will work out the way it is supposed to. We cannot wait to meet our son, I cannot believe the time is almost here!

Second Trimester Recap

I cannot believe I am now into my THIRD trimester! The first one dragged on forever, and the second seemed to fly by. I think the most exciting part of the second trimester was finding out that Baby Bohannon is a boy, and feeling him move. He seems to be most active right after I eat breakfast, in the evenings when I lay down for bed and when he hears David’s voice. He loves hearing male voices for some reason–he goes nuts when he hears David and at church since the pastor’s voice is so loud. Last week, the timer on the dryer went off when the clothes finished drying, and he flinched/jumped when it happened! So crazy. Sometimes it looks like he is trying to bust through my skin because he kicks so hard, and sometimes it looks like little rolls/twitches/twists.


It’s a boy! He was too big to fit in the ultrasound screen, so part of his head was cut off.

I feel most of the movements on the right side of my abdomen and around my belly button, but sometimes he switches it up and gives me some kicks to the left side. It is so much fun to watch and feel him move around, and I am so incredibly grateful to experience this. The sickness and intense food aversions wore off between 16-18 weeks, and I finally started to show/feel baby movements at 18 weeks. We cannot wait to meet this little boy!

21 weeks

21 weeks

Best Moments: Finding out we are having a boy, a great anatomy ultrasound scan, feeling baby movements, getting my appetite back!

Workouts: I still work out 4-5 days a week pretty much like I always have. Walking and lifting weights has been great! I have to keep up my strength to lug around all of the baby gear + the baby when he gets here (and starts getting heavier every day).

Symptoms: Minor indigestion, good energy, good sleep despite the 25 bathroom trips during the night, no nausea, constant thirst.


25 weeks

Cravings: Now that my appetite is back, I actually have cravings! They aren’t as strong/intense as I thought they would be, but they are definitely there. Deli sandwiches, fruit sorbet (any flavor), gummy fruit snacks, pretty much all fruit, sushi.

Food aversions: I still do not LOVE most meats (except deli meat). I can eat meats if they are cut up very small and are very well seasoned. Oh, and there has to be some kind of dipping sauce to go with it, haha. A large chicken breast or steak sounds gross to me…too chewy and “gamey”.

Sleep: It is going pretty well. I am still taking one Unisom + half of a vitamin B6 every night. This keeps nausea away, and has worked well for me since I started taking it at 8 weeks.  I tried to stop taking it one night at 23 weeks, and I threw up the entire next day. My doctor said I can continue to take it until I deliver, so I think that is what I am going to do. There is nothing worse than nausea + vomiting! I’d rather take a category A (100% safe) medication instead of throwing up and depriving the baby of nutrients and hydration! Anyway, I have been sleeping pretty well despite the 600 bathroom trips. Sometimes I will wake up around 4 and cannot go back to sleep, but luckily that doesn’t happen all the time.

Looking Forward To: Baby showers and of course meeting him!

Baby Items Purchased: We’ve received a lot of hand-me-downs and some gifts already, which has been so nice. So far we have a crib, dresser, stroller/carseat travel system, baby clothes, rock n play sleeper, boppy pillow, bumbo seat with a tray, glider, bassinet, and I think that’s it so far. I purchased some closet organizational supplies for the nursery, diapers/wipes when I have coupons and stores have a sale, and some adorable little boy clothes in bigger sizes to start stocking up his wardrobe. There is an amazing consignment store called Kid to Kid about 2 minutes from my house that I cannot seem to stop visiting.

Here’s to hoping my third trimester goes as smoothly as my second. We are also praying for a strong, healthy baby boy!





First Trimester Recap

I still cannot believe David and I are going to be parents. This has been something I wanted for a very long time, and it always seemed so far away…and here we are! I am so incredibly thankful to experience this, and pray constantly that everything continues to go smoothly. I am currently 13 weeks and 2 days, which is right at 3 months! 6 more months to go!

My first trimester has not been easy-breezy at all. However, I don’t even care how sick I felt because I was just so grateful to be pregnant, and realized that the unpleasant symptoms are just part of the process. When I first found out I was actually pregnant, I was already 5 weeks along. I had absolutely NO SYMPTOMS. No nausea, no cravings, no exhaustion, NOTHING. I complained to David that I thought this pregnancy was not real because I was not experiencing the typical symptoms. However, the day that I turned 6 weeks along, the sickness officially began. I completely lost my appetite, was extremely nauseous all day long and threw up regularly. I literally could not function from weeks 6-8. I lived off of graham crackers, saltines, gatorade, as well as egg and cheese bagels from Einstein Brothers. Now, every time I think about those bagels, I want to puke. I cannot even look at the restaurant when I drive by it every day.

2 photos of Baby Bohannon at 8 weeks. This is when David started calling him/her "little shrimp".

2 photos of Baby Bohannon at 8 weeks. This is when David started calling him/her “little shrimp”.

I finally called my doctor to ask about possible relief through medicine, and she told me to take 25 mg of Unisom Sleep Tabs and 50 mg of Vitamin B6 in the evenings. She said it is perfectly safe for pregnancy. The combination of the Unisom and B6 is actually the same thing as the prescription drug Diclegis, which is taken for nausea. I did not feel 100% normal while taking this, but it helped me function and keep food down. Starting at about 9 weeks until now (I’m currently 13 weeks and 2 days), the nausea only creeps up on me in the evenings. I still do not have a normal appetite, but am eating pretty good now! My only struggle is making sure I eat enough protein because all meats make me want to puke!

Baby Bohannon at 9 weeks. Look how much bigger he/she got after one week. I had extra ultrasounds due to the small tear in my uterus.

Baby Bohannon at 9 weeks. Look how much bigger he/she got after one week. I had extra ultrasounds due to the small tear in my uterus.

I also had a very small tear on the inside of my uterus that caused some mild spotting, which of course, freaked me out. I did the worst thing possible and googled it, which made me freak out even more. Luckily, the tear was discovered during an ultrasound, and my doctor said it was teeny tiny…she was not concerned at all. I am pretty sure it is resolved, and I am praying that I do not get another one. Despite the tear, the baby has been growing right on track and has a strong heartbeat! At my last ultrasound, he/she was hanging out upside down and was squirming around like crazy. I went to my 13 week appointment, where I thought my doctor would listen to baby’s heartbeat on the fetal doppler. When she came into the room, she said, “let’s just do an ultrasound, those are more fun!” She didn’t give me any photos at 13 weeks because she was really only listening for “fetal tones” as she said. During this unexpected ultrasound, the baby also hiccuped for us! It is absolutely insane that I cannot feel those movements yet…I cannot wait until I do! Watching the baby on the ultrasounds is incredible! David was in AWE when he saw him/her moving around, and also when we saw the heart just beating away. It really looks like a little flicker of light. It is crazy to think just 13 or so weeks ago, this baby was a ball of microscopic cells. Now, it looks like a legit baby that is around 3 inches long. Crazy!

Baby Bohannon at 11 weeks. The head is the big, round circle on the right, and the legs and feet on the left.

Baby Bohannon at 11 weeks. The head is the big, round circle on the right, and the legs and feet on the left.

I have not experienced any strong cravings, but have had some mild ones. I cannot get enough watermelon, pineapple and apples. I also like sliced tomato dipped in hummus. I suppose I like these foods because they are full of water….and it is easy to get dehydrated while pregnant in my case. I really want a sub sandwich from Publix, but deli meat is a no-go. My doctor said deli meat is fine to eat if it is heated until steaming hot, but I am still scared that I will somehow contract Listeria. I also love sushi right now…cooked rolls and veggie rolls only of course. My list of food aversions is massive though. I absolutely cannot even think about eating Chinese food, a large chicken breast (MAYBE if it is cut up very small), steak, pork, garlic, the list goes on!

The nausea and food aversions have really been my only main symptoms. Also, extreme thirst.

I am so excited to be in the last week of my first trimester. The second trimester starts for me on Monday! YAY! I don’t have any “bump” photos because I don’t have one yet…you really cannot tell that I am pregnant as of right now. Hurry up, May! I am ready to meet Baby Bohannon!

Warm Weather Favorites

Happy spring! I am so thrilled that the weather is finally warm….I am not a cold weather person, so spring and summer are most definitely welcome! Here are a few things that I’m loving along with this glorious weather.

Victoria’s Secret swimsuits. I ordered 2 of them on clearance last fall, and I cannot wait to wear them! I also love this one and am considering buying it. Free shipping on swim purchases until Thursday!


The top is sequined! I die.

I bought this Loreal sunscreen recently and love it!


Fabletics workout clothes. Cute and affordable!


Bright nail polish I picked up at CVS yesterday. From left to right–Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Peachy Breeze, Sally Hansen Triple Shine in Dive In and Wet n Wild’s Grape Minds Think Alike.

2015-04-21 13.07.25_resized

This day cream for my face. It is very light and doesn’t have a strong scent.


I am seriously lusting over these shorts!


And this romper.


And this one!


What warm weather items are you loving?

Around The House Survey

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone is staying warm during this arctic blast that is happening in the southeast U.S. right now. I decided to participate in this around the house survey that has popped up around the blog world lately, so enjoy and feel free to complete it as well.

1. Household chore I actually enjoy

LAUNDRY! I am one of those weird people who LOVES to do laundry. I love doing it, I love folding it and putting it away. Very therapeutic. Laundry products make me way happier than they should. I love the smell of it, and I don’t care what people have to say about laundry and having children. Please don’t tell me “just wait until you have kids, the laundry will never end… blah blah blah” because I don’t care! Laundry is my favorite chore. Dishes on the other hand….least favorite for sure!

These make me way happier than they should...haha

These make me way happier than they should…haha

2. Biggest house disaster

My pots/pans cabinets. They are a hot mess. I cannot figure out a way to get them to all fit in there neatly. Right now, they are just stacked in there randomly, and the lids are all over the place as well.

3. Before company comes, I hide….

Any clutter that accumulates on the kitchen counters such as coupons, receipts, pens, etc. gets stuffed into the “junk drawer”.

4. Most recent music download (what does this have to do with the house?)

Justin Timberlake “Take Back The Night”

5. The last thing I bought online

David’s Christmas presents– I never shop online because I am too cheap to pay shipping, haha. I received free shipping on the Christmas gifts due to cyber Monday deals.

6. I hate to shop for

Nothing, I LOVE to shop (not online though)!

7. Favorite family ritual

Big dinners or beach vacations.


8. I always sleep in

Pajama shorts and a t-shirt. I love Target’s pajamas.


I am a bit obsessed.

9. I have a style crush on

Emily Thorne’s character in Revenge. I NEED all of her clothes.

emily emily2

10. I am currently reading

Nothing right now, any good recommendations?

11. How did I ever live without

Dogs. I never had them growing up. They make life so much more fun and are such loyal companions.

xmas card

Who do you have a style crush on?

Is there a household chore you enjoy?

What’s the last song you downloaded?

Something you can’t live without?

Friday Favorites: Money Saving Edition

Happy Friday everyone! This week flew by, and I’m ready for yet another weekend! What is everyone up to? I thought I’d kick off the weekend by sharing some of my favorite ways that I save money. I LOVE finding a deal and absolutely hate paying full price for anything, so this post will highlight some of my favorite ways to save on great products.


I have never been one to regularly shop at drugstores such as CVS because I always thought they were overpriced compared to grocery stores, but I have found a way around that. CVS is so much fun to wander around, am I right? It is so therapeutic for me to browse the aisles of drugstores. Now I can do this without breaking the bank, hooray! I watched several Youtube videos by Jenny at Southern Savers and have learned how to stack manufacturer coupons and CVS “red machine” store coupons on products that are on sale and print Extra Care “bucks”. Basically, these are rewards that print at the end of your receipt that can be used to purchase more items in the store. I recently paid $10 for two HUGE jars of vitamins and a tube of toothpaste that would have been a shopping trip over $30. Awesome.


I am NOT ashamed to admit the fact that I LOVE shopping at Goodwill. Yes, the store always stinks and sometimes there is a LOT of junk to sift through, but I always find some amazing items. I just examine everything really well before I buy it just to make sure there aren’t stains or rips, and I wash all clothes as soon as I get home with extra scent-boosters (I LOVE the Snuggle scent packs). Good as new.  I recently found a purple Nike dry-fit workout top for $2.92. It would have probably been over $20 at TJMaxx and over $50 at a department store. I buy all of David’s Ralph Lauren polo shirts from there for $5 each, perfect condition. He also has Under Armour workout shirts from there as well. About two years ago, I found a BRAND NEW Columbia men’s winter coat there in David’s size. Those retail for like $200! I paid under $10, and it was brand new. WHY DO PEOPLE PAY FULL PRICE FOR STUFF?!

Here is the Columbia coat I bought for under $10 at Goodwill. It had tags on it.

Here is the Columbia coat I bought for under $10 at Goodwill. It had tags on it.

Cash Back/Rebate phone apps

Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Snap are the ones I use regularly. I just downloaded Saving Star, so we will see how I like that one. These are free apps that allow you to submit grocery receipts and receive cash back on certain products. Ibotta also has rebates for restaurants, movie theatres, travel, etc.  Ibotta and Snap are awesome, and Checkout 51 is kind of mediocre. Once you reach a certain amount, you can “cash out” or trade your savings for various gift cards.  I have already reached $81 with Ibotta and $45 with Checkout 51 since September, so it’s worth checking into. I just started using Snap, so I haven’t quite reached $5 yet, but I love it so far. There are so many items that I already buy on these apps, so why not save a little extra money along the way?


I LOVE this site! There are SO many free samples that you can order from this site, and I order a bunch every few weeks. It really is completely free. Sometimes you have to “like” a certain company on Facebook, and you can opt out of receiving annoying emails. My favorites have been Emergen-C packets, Truvia packets, Yogi tea bags, Twinings tea bags, toothpaste, contact solution, and much more. Some of these samples are pretty generous—like the Twinings. They sent me THREE tea bags, and I was able to choose which flavors I wanted. It is worth checking into because some of these things are the perfect sizes to take on trips, or to just try before buying the full size product in a store. Many of these samples will include a coupon to use as well.

What are your favorite ways to save money?