Category Archives: Money Saving Tips

Tree Hut Village: The Parent-to-Parent Lending/Borrowing Community

Mummy Confession: I have a hard time letting go of things I’ve bought for babies, especially the “big ticket” items.

Disclosure: This post is not affiliated, sponsored, or otherwise endorsed by Tree Hut Village.

We’ve all done this, I’m sure. After having one child, and unsure about time between children, we put the car seat, the high chair, and maybe even other  large items in storage. They gather dust and appear useless until needed again for years. It’s either that or sell on buy/sell pages for a few dollars more than nothing

Did you know, though, there is a way to make some extra money off of those unused baby products you’ve packed away in storage, just in case you need it again?

Introducing Tree Hut Village, a parent-to-parent lending community! I’m excited to tell you all about this new platform, and hope you are as excited as I am about this opportunity to help others, and maybe make a little back in your pocket as well!

What is Tree Hut Village and why was this community created?
Why the name “Tree Hut Village”?
How can I participate in this community?
Why should I participate in this community?
Where do I find Tree Hut Village?

Screenshot of Tree Hut Village’s website: Main Page

What is Tree Hut Village and why was this community created?

Tree Hut Village is Australia’s first parent to parent baby equipment
hire platform.^ It is a community designed to allow those who wish to hire their baby equipment to parents.

This initially was designed with traveling parents in mind, as they have the choice to either drag their bulky equipment around in and out of travel locations, or hire from a company. It can be quite a lengthy and expensive process to hire from big companies. Tree Hut Village provides a simple 3 step, all online, process for both lending and selling.

Listing your items is completely free, and there is no cost to start up. Tree Hut Village only deducts a 15% administration fee after you have approved a booking. I have to say that’s amazing, for the fact that they connect you to a community that would otherwise be very difficult to manage yourself!

I love the community that Tree Hut Village has created for parents, and the opportunity to support local families while we travel!

 

Why the name “Tree Hut Village”?

^Tree Hut Village was the name chosen because the creators wanted to express what’s important to them:

– Fewer items go to landfills (“the tree”)
– Enabling giving back to the community (“the hut” stands for tangible things)- that’s why we partnered with charities like St. Kilda mums
– Parents helping parents to travel hassle free or to earn some extra
(“the village”)

Screenshot of Tree Hut Village’s website: Search Feature

How can I participate in this community? Why should I participate?

Firstly, you need to go online and register with the platform, and you just start either listing items you would like to lend (they must comply with Australian standards and be no more than 6 years old), or selecting items you would like to borrow.

The lending process is merely three steps:
1. List an item (it’s completely free!)
2. Approve bookings as they are requested.
3. Connect with borrowers when and lend your baby equipment.

Again for someone borrowing, just three steps required:
1. Search for an item and check its availability.
2. Book and pay via the security of the website.
3. Connect with the lender and confirm pick-up details.

Both lenders and borrowers are able to leave reviews, and the listing will remain active until changed by the lender themselves.

You should participate because it’s a good way to make use of your baby equipment while it is just around collecting dust! Be a part of the community and help others who would like to either trial a product before they buy it, use equipment while they travel rather than hiring elsewhere, or just have an item for a shorter period of time rather than buying it. We all know that baby equipment can be expensive to buy outright, and it’s only used for a small portion of time!

The community is growing, and it would be amazing to see people from all over Australia offering to lend their unused baby equipment in order to help others!

Screenshot of Tree Hut Village’s website: Item listing

 

Where do I find Tree Hut Village?

Tree Hut Village Website: https://www.treehutvillage.com.au
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/treehutvillageau
Instagram Page: http://www.instagram.com/treehutvillage

^Statements sourced from the creator of the platform Tree Hut Village

My Kmart Mini Haul for under $20!

Mummy Confession: I went in to Kmart to look for thermal wear for our future trip to the snow, and I bought other things (in addition to thermal wear)

*Disclaimer: This is not sponsored, affiliate or otherwise promoted by Kmart in any way, and is my totally honest opinion and recommendation

In preparation for our upcoming family holiday, I went to Kmart to check out their winter clothing situation. Maybe that was my first mistake? We all know Kmart lures in deal-seeking mothers and then they lose the plot when they see all the bargains on offer!

It’s always a bad (or great) idea for me to venture into the Baby section. Usually I just check things out, but this time, I found some truly great products that I wanted to share with you! Why? Because, they are a great bargain, and I love saving money!

My youngest has started solids in the last months, and let’s just say all of the bowls, plates, and utensils have done their rounds. I wanted to get some decent, yet not too pricey, replacements. Plus, I will be needing more as one more child to serve or preferably unbreakable dinnerware. Here are some of the deals I found for under $20 total!

Smock Bibs: $5- Rather than bubs covering himself in his dinner, a two pack of these bibs is just $5! They are plastic on the front and have the long sleeves to keep arms clean, too! My only issue is that they only come in one size. They probably won’t fit my baby in a couple more months, as he is gigantic. Saying that, I’m sure they have art smocks for bigger kids in store somewhere. Right? Because Kmart has everything.

Kmart, deals, bargains, savings, starting solids, baby products, toddler products, product recommendation

2 Nonslip Plates: $3- With that price, I wanted to buy more, but I just got some to try out. They’re great and don’t slip around on the table! Other brands would be so much more pricey, so I just thought this was too good to pass up! They aren’t completely flat either, so good for my Starting Solids bubba! One thing that would have been awesome as well is if they made a divided plate with the non slip on the bottom, too!

Kmart, deals, bargains, savings, starting solids, baby products, toddler products, product recommendation

2 Nonslip Bowls: $3- Again, bargain alert! Such a great find, and deeper than the plate (obviously), I had to try these as well. They have the little non slip bit on the bottom as well, and, again, excellent for my toddler insisting on eating her milk and cereal all by herself!

Kmart, deals, bargains, savings, starting solids, baby products, toddler products, product recommendation

20 Piece Disposable Feeding Set: $6- Included in this set are 4 sippy cups with lids, 4 bowls with lids, and 4 snack pots with lids, as well as 4 spoons and 4 sporks (so the total number DOESN’T include kids.) This is a great little set for starting off, especially as we don’t use a lot of food in one go. I love the disposable option, as you don’t feel as guilty recycling a well used product since it didn’t cost as much. It’s a great option to have in the car or nappy bag, too for a “just in case” moment! At the price, they are also slightly cheaper than the alternative. Though, neither brand of the sippy cups would I deem “spill proof.” So if you want spill proof, check out my overview of sippy cups, including some better options.

Kmart, deals, bargains, savings, starting solids, baby products, toddler products, product recommendation

They have so much more on offer, but this is all I needed for now, so I had to practise self-control. So, if you are in need of replacing or adding to your plastic wear for toddlers and babies, Kmart is definitely the place to check out first! I love seeing all theyhave on offer, and their Stock is always changing, so you are bound to find something new and great nearly every time you visit!

 

How to Save, Find deals, and Earn a Little Cashback

(This article is current as of May 12, 2017)
Mummy Confession
: I’m an avid deal-seeker on anything and everything I buy, and I like to pass the ways I’ve found to save and even make a little back on, too!

Cash, cash back, Cashback, save, money, free, earn, earn money
Disclosure– For some of these links (Survey and Cashback sites), I will receive points or rewards for friend referrals. This in no way affects my opinions of these pages, and I have only posted ones from which I have actually redeemed and received rewards from already, so I know they are legitimate sites. If you do not want to use the links below, feel free to type their page into your browser and sign up that way 🙂 This post also contains affiliate banners and links. See my disclosure policy for details.

Here is a quick click Table of Contents for the Sections in this post 🙂
Survey Sites
Free Trial Periods
Free Samples
Cashback Apps/Sites
Big Sale Websites
Buy/Sell/Swap Pages/Sites
Borrowing/Lending For a Little Extra Money
Product Testing Websites

The basics:
Look around, Google search, and compare prices.
It’s obvious I guess, but it is supposing how big the range is in pricing for the same thing!

I usually start my search at local retailers, and wind up at Amazon.com either for comparison (and to see if it ships here), and reviews. Be aware though, anything purchased internationally as far as electronics go will have a different plug, and DVDs/Blu Rays and video games will possibly be incompatible with your country’s systems.

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Use promo codes, coupons, and look for sales!
Again, Google! Retailmenot has a giant list of retailers all over the globe and what deals, promo codes, and coupons they have going.
Aussies, the Shopfully App, or Lasoo.com.au has a list of ads for various stores all in one place!
To the folks from the US, I’m not entirely sure if there is somewhere with all the stores’ various catalogues, I’m sure there is, but a basic search brings up http://www.catalogs.com as a reference (but feel free to fill me in on other options).

Survey Sites

There are legitimate survey sites that pay you to take surveys, do product trials, and participate in panels. I prefer ones that do PayPal as an option, but most offer gift cards or online vouchers. Not sure if they are legitimate sites? Use Google to search to search and find out ratings, or ask a friend who has actually redeemed from sites.

Some companies are not legitimate, or will basically sell your information, causing your email to flood with spam and your phone to ring constantly with endless sales from random places. I have included a list below this post to sites I have used and redeemed from before. Please be careful though in giving out your personal information, and never disclose your credit card details to companies, as they have no need for this information.

Toluna , this website for surveys is worldwide I believe, and they offer various rewards including PayPal (but it does take a while to process). They also do product testing.
Opinion World, this site is Australia only, and they offer options for PayPal and Amazon gift card rewards in addition to other gift cards
My Opinions, this site is Australian only, and they offer the options for PayPal and other gift card rewards.
Bounty Rewards, this site is Australian only, and they offer options of various gift card rewards. They also have a way to earn by shopping online.

Another that promises to be a good one is Octopus Group. I will edit the information here when I find out more information, or have redeemed any credit. 🙂
(As of March 27, I have not yet redeemed anything with this, as the surveys are very limited at the moment)

Free Trial Periods

A noteable mention, I might add, are the free trial periods for many services (such as NetflixAmazon Prime, and various others). Rather than pay straight off for various subscriptions and services, save a penny or two by utilising the free trial period across various services and products. You may love something, or decide not to continue afterwards, but many things are worth trying, especially if it is no cost to you. Just be sure to keep track of the renewal date if you wish to cancel the service or products.

Free Samples

Free Stuff! What’s better? Many companies will give samples of their products all you need to do is contact them! Couldn’t hurt, right? For a list of samples, check out here.

Cashback Apps/Cashback Websites

Whenever you shop online, check these out! You can earn a percentage of what you spend back! All that you need to do is start at their website, and click through to shop and purchase. I usually have everything in my trolley (cart) before I go to my cashback site and then merely select the store and check out. (Be sure you only have the one window open where you have clicked through to get the Cashback credit.)
I can only speak for a couple different ones, but the small amounts do add up, and it’s always nice having a little bit of extra money to spend elsewhere.

Cash back, cash, money, save
How to use Cashrewards.com.au

Cash Rewards has a variety of different retailers, and you can earn a decent amount by doing your grocery shopping online for the first time! Cashback is given after a certain timeframe has passed, and can be transferred into your bank account.
RewardsCentral, which is also a survey site, also has a shopping online feature where is the second place I look for stores. They offer either gift vouchers or Cashback into your PayPal account. In Australia, Flybuys and other rewards programs also offer points for clicking from their store through to purchase, which can be used for in-store or online store purchases within their group of stores, or redeemed for gift vouchers.

For my US purchases, I use Ebates which is only valid for US stores, and the rewards are only valid in US stores and I believe shipping to the States, so I don’t use it often. By signing up through the referral link, you can earn $10 to start you on your Cashback journey!
I have also heard good things about Swagbucks, but haven’t really used them often. You get points for referring friends, and it seems to be good if you refer a lot of people, because you earn Swagbucks for their purchases as well! They do Cashback from websites as well as completing various actions, watching videos, doing surveys and more. It seems to be international, too!

I also know there is Ibotta, but this is only available in the US, so I am unable to give any more information on that.

Cashback Sites (click through to the retailer and make a purchase):
Ebates (American stores mostly)
Swag bucks (America AND Australian stores)

Cash Rewards (Australian stores mostly)
RewardsCentral (Australian stores mostly)

Big Sale Websites

(be aware, signing up with newsletters from them, they do tend to send a LOT of emails):

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Websites such as Zulily, OzSale, Scoopon, and Catch (formerly Catch of the Day).
There are also places out there which offer many stores’ products on their website, or group deals to various activities. The shipping rates for these pages are usually higher, but sometimes they have items you have a harder time finding elsewhere! Also, you can click through to a few of them using a Cashback site, so you can earn a little back that way as well.

Buy/Sell/Swap Pages and Sale Sites

Got that chair in the lounge room you’re really not fond of, but don’t want to go through the hassle of moving it? Buy/sell pages. That stockpile of baby clothes that have been sitting there outgrown and no time to sort them? Buy/sell pages. Pre-baby wardrobe you’ve given up all hope of ever fitting again? Buy/sell pages. The pair of shoes you got off EBay that are way too big, but would mean losing half the money in return postage? Buy/sell pages. Whether you use Gumtree, Craigslist, EBay, or Facebook buy/sell (occasionally buy/sell/swap) pages, there is a whole new way people are helping people save money on pre-loved and even new things! From toys and clothes to cars and TVs, you can find almost anything on these sites!

My most recently loved pages are local buy/sell Facebook pages. Since people are using Facebook for a lot nowadays, this seems like a great option for those of us who want to do some spring cleaning, or even just make a little pocket change rather than just tossing those perfectly wearable high-heels.

If you don’t care about the money side of things, list for free, and have someone take it off your hands. If all else fails, find somewhere to donate the useable items, so you can help someone else who may need them 🙂

I like the local pages over sites like gumtree or Craigslist, because you can usually put a face to the name, and admins help to monitor the pages. Remember though, whenever using these pages, not everyone may be who they say they are, so proceed with a little caution.

Borrow/Lending For a Little Extra Money

One more amazing addition to this sector is Tree Hut Village! For Australia only at the moment, you can find local Baby equipment to borrow. For making a little back, list your barely used baby equipment for lending! Great for lenders and borrowers alike! This would be great for when you take a trip interstate and would prefer to borrow equipment nearby, rather than take it all the way along with you. I haven’t personally used it yet, but I have listed a few things, and look forward to the results!

I am sure there have to be other places that do this sort of thing, so feel free to pop a comment in the “contact me” box if you have used any services like this before!

Product Testing

Reputable pages for this that I have used before are Mums Say by Kidspot (Australia),  Social Soup (Australia only) or the Home Tester Club (and the US site for Home Tester Club). You aren’t paid or rewarded as far as I have seen, but you get free samples of products to review and in turn give a review of the products. Black Box has also started a monthly product testing box as well. Link is on the free samples page. Toluna also offers product testing on their page, it’s just a matter of signing up and getting approved for one. I have carried out one product test with them.

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Mums from the US, Australia, and the world…what money saving tips and websites can you recommend?