Parenting | The Saturday Weekly Review

5 Inexpensive Gadgets All New Parents Should Own : The Saturday Weekend Review #220

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I’m sure many parents reading this can think back to some baby gadgets or products which made their new role as parents a bit easier. Hands up if you’re one of those parents who bought too much useless baby stuff just because you thought you’d need it.

Yes, that was us. >>>Both hands in the air.

Now that our son is almost 3 years-old (wow where did the time go) Mrs. CBB and I have gone through boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of baby clothes (I know, right?) and piles of stuff we never used.

The biggest problem was that we read too much, believed too much and fell into the “new parent syndrome” mode making sure we were fully stocked with what we needed.

Related: How having a baby affected our monthly budget

I will admit that we have boxes of baby diapers that haven’t been opened yet, clothes that still have the tags and other crazy things that have never come out of the box. We have a formula mixer that we bought just in case our son wouldn’t breastfeed. That’s still in the box and he didn’t breastfeed due to tongue-ties.

My point is that as new parents we can get in over our heads with all the marketing that is available online and in the stores. The must-haves turn into purchases that we could have invested in a savings account for our little guy or a non-registered investment account.

Related: Life Events: How to prepare your baby budget


Baby Stuff De-cluttering


Over the past month Mrs. CBB and I have started “Spring Baby Cleaning” because our house has been over-run with stuff. In the basement there are were over 25 diaper boxes of clothing that we thought we would need. Some of the clothes were used but a good majority of it we thought would look cute on our son but never made it on him.

The worst financial investment we made as new parents was buying a huge baby lot of gadgets and clothing from my sister-in-law. Hundreds of dollars we spent that were trying to recoup otherwise we will be taking the loss as a lesson. Somehow we managed to take on all of her leftovers of which 90% we never used. At a cost of $300 that’s a steep price to pay for things collecting dust in and around our house.

As we painfully went through box after box of baby boys clothing Mrs. CBB and I started talking not only about the stuff we didn’t need to buy but what were glad we bought. After almost 3 years of parenting it’s easy to look back and say that we went over-board.

The first step in screwing up is to own up to it. The same premise can be applied to creating debt. Deal with it, don’t do it again and find ways to improve.

That’s why I’m writing this post today in hopes of getting the word out there that you don’t need everything you hear and see. You might not even want what I’m sharing but honestly, they are baby essentials I’d be surprised if any parent didn’t want to use.

Don’t be the parent who spends more money than needed for their baby. If you plan to go to garage sales, second-hand shops or acquire lots of baby items from online resources used make sure that you WILL use it. Buying something too far in advance just because you think you might use it can easily eat into your savings account.

Related: Health Canada warns what you can and cannot sell at a garage sale – including baby items.

Ask yourself, Can I buy this product IF needed when the time comes? If the answer is yes then leave it alone. or How much use will I get out of this product? You know all the fancy gadgets for making baby food?

It’s all gimmicky products just to manipulate new parents that they will save valuable time. If you count spending more time washing bits of machinery from gadgets fun and exciting you deserve to own it.

Related: What products parents need to stockpile before the baby arrives


New Parents Do Your Research


I bet you’re wondering what 5 gadgets Mrs. CBB and I are happy we purchased and are gladly keeping just in case there is a CBB Baby #2.



Hand Vacuum


hand vacuumWe have central vacuum in our house which is nice but really not necessary for homeowners in my opinion. I purchased and installed it for over $1500 and although we use it almost daily it’s a pain in the arse to hook up just for the small stuff.

I despise that iRobot Roomba vacuum especially after living in a basement room with Mrs. CBB where our landlord used one. No matter what time of day all we could hear is that thing banging into walls and furniture.

On many occasions while we were cooking we’d notice that it wasn’t doing much cleaning. I’d sooner just grab a broom or vacuum and do it myself in 10 minutes.

iRobot-RoombaSource: Google Images

So no Roomba and the Central Vac is rubbish for picking up the little bits of stuff especially pet hair. The best gadget that we are SO glad that we bought second-hand for $20 was our hand-vacuum. I have it hanging on the wall in our garage where it sits on the charger.

Any time we need a fast pick-up out it comes in seconds and back in the same amount of time.  Even at $40-60 brand new for a lower-end model the hand vacuum is an investment that will last you a long time.

We have a wet/dry hand vac by Black and Decker and so far it has been a dream come true. Once our son became a toddler that was it. The dustpan and broom can only do so much.


Baby Vac

baby vac nasal aspirator

The snot sucker! A.K.A The Infant/Children Nasal Aspirator.

Not one of those sill round plastic things that work to a certain extent but don’t go the full yard. We have 4 of them from gifts that were given to us and all but 1 are still in the package.

This beauty has saved us and our son on many occasions of him being ill. Attach it to your central vacuum or your push vacuum and suck the snot out from your child’s nose.

This super cool simple gadget is easy to use, clean and sanitize for the next snotty nose. It is also medically recommended which is how we found about it along with a friend who had one.

Instant relief for the baby and the parents. For $29.99 it’s the best affordable baby shower gift that you can offer new parents because you know they will use it.


Hand Blender


Rival Hand Blender Walmart 13.99There are lots of hand blenders on the market for home cooks ranging in price from $15-$200. If you watch the sales flyers you can always score a great deal on one but there’s always someone selling a hand blender on Kijiji for bargain basement prices.

We made most of our sons baby food which included mixed fruits and mashed foods. The Baby Bullet is the blender of choice for many parents but if you look closely you’ll see lots used for sale. Why? They really are a pain in the butt to clean and set up plus you need to find space for the million pieces that comes along with it.

Our hand blender also known as the stick blender was a work gift that my wife received years ago. She never really used it until we started to make soups and other foods that we needed to blend up. Forget about pouring soup into a blender to blend up… O. M. G what a mess too. The hand blender is dead easy to use and clean-up is a snap.

Even making our baby food all it took was simple blending in a bowl with our hand blender and a variety of fruits and we had ourselves fruit puree. The blades on our hand blender are just as sharp as they were when we opened it.

Although we have an inexpensive model we’re proof that you don’t need to spend the big bucks on the higher-end models if your purpose if making baby food or simple cooking. Save your money.


Cool Mist Humidifier


vicks humidifier babyNo one can predict if they will catch a cold and for babies this can be often as they are building their immune system. Back a few months ago the entire family was sick with a stuffed nose and bad cough.

We were putting our son in the shower at least 4 times a day just to help drain his nose along with using the Baby Vac. He seems to like the steam from the shower and the hot water on his body. Don’t we all when we’re sick.

His godparents had a cool mist baby humidifier that they used for their kids and passed it along to us for free. It was great as it added moisture to the room during the dry winter months. Whenever any of us were sick we’d benefit from running the machine just to get a good nights sleep.

These nifty gadgets range in price so do your research and don’t go overboard buying one that has too much that can go wrong with it unless you have a warranty. Typically after one year you’re on your own if it breaks but judging that their kids are graduating University I’d say it will last a long time.


Microwave Bottle Sterilizer


Avent baby sterilizer Sears Canada 59.49One gadget we actually used from the lot we purchased from my sister-in-law was her Phillips Avent Baby Bottle Sterilizer kit.

At just $60 it comes with a brush and countless baby bottles all of which we used for the first year of our son’s life.

Although Mrs. CBB did not breastfeed she pumped around the clock so the bottles were the perfect size and our son loved them.

We admit we have TONNES of baby bottles in the house because we picked some up free or for cheap before our son was born. Again this was part of that new parent syndrome where we think we need more than we actually do.

Since we had the hospital grade breast pump there was lots of sterilizing done throughout the day including the baby bottles. Back when we were babies our parents used to boil glass baby bottles and anything else that needed sterilizing in a pot of water.

Today you might use your dishwasher to sterilize your baby eating and drinking gear but we don’t have one of those either. Not only is the microwave sterilize gadget inexpensive and simple to use it’s a time saver. Well worth the money and plenty to purchase second-hand for the thrifty shopper like us.


Save your money


To all the new parents out there make your own decisions when it comes to the baby gadgets you will need and remember you can always buy stuff after the baby is born. If you go hog-wild before the baby arrives you may find you are left with piles of baby stuff you won’t even use.

Discussion Question:

What were some baby gadgets you couldn’t imagine not having as a new parent? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.



A week in my life


Hey Everyone!

Easter was great apart from our little guy going to the hospital after a terrible fall at the park. He’s doing fine though now but the bump on his head was shocking. Other than that we spent time as a family doing an Easter Egg Hunt and lots of Spring cleaning. We’ve got hundreds of things waiting to be sold for a great price as we need it gone so I can start renovations.

This summer we have so much going on for us that I must prioritize my week every week. I won’t be working at my second job but with our upcoming 3 week holiday and reno prep my time will be precious. Many of you already know who always want that attention and with good intention as I’m hardly home to see him or my beautiful wife.

Plus… I’m in the midst of applying for a new role so bare with me as my posting schedule might be wonky. Wish me luck… second times a charm, hopefully mine.

How was your week?



CBB Published Posts


If you have a question that you would like to ask me fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the blog home page and I’ll do my best to reply to each question.

If you would like to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details!

Contact me for more info at or you can find me on Twitter (@Canadianbudgetb), Google Plus, Facebook, Tumblr, Stumble Upon, Flipboard.

Top Post This Week: How Much Should My Grocery Budget Be?


Making a difference (MAD) 2017


Making A Difference Canadian Budget Binder MAD

Welcome to the 2017 Making A Difference series! Join the networking movement of Personal Finance Bloggers around the world.

If you are a personal finance blogger and would like your blog to be featured simply drop me an email. I’m currently booking June/July/August 2017-Limited spots.

Personal Finance Bloggers and Fans: I’m currently recruiting for guest posts on the blog while we go away on holidays. This is your opportunity to get published on CBB. If you have a topic idea and interested please contact me via email. let’s talk.

Revanche IconHi CBB Readers,

My name is Revanche and I’m a money-managing, 30-something, geek living in the Bay Area, married to my beloved partner in crime (PiC), with a dog (Seamus) and a child (JuggerBaby).

I’ve blogged at A Gai Shan Life, a money and life blog that shares how my family strives to make a fulfilled life, since 2006.

This blog started out as an outlet for navigating tough family and money dynamics while I struggled with an undiagnosed medical condition.

Today, it’s still that place but it’s also become much more than that. After paying down nearly $200K in parental debts and expenses while supporting our family of four, weathering multiple illnesses and losses in the family, I started building a solid financial foundation that doesn’t include living paycheck to paycheck anymore. After two decades, my mystery pain and fatigue has been diagnosed and there’s no cure.

This blog is now where I share our career choices, parenting challenges, travel adventures, and forays into investing in our stock and real estate portfolios while also managing my chronic pain.
My family situation remains complicated but we’ll get through it.

We’re always learning how to make the most of life even with the limitations that my medical issues present. Without getting weird about it, we practice conscious living and mindful gratitude as much as we can.

Twice a week, I write our very personal, very imperfect, money and family stories to share with my awesome blog community and with the hope that our experiences help others make the best decisions for their lives. I also tweet using the #1GoodMoneyThing hashtag to share my money moves to make money management more transparent.

I’m not a financial advisor, but I strongly believe that we can learn from each other’s experiences, as I have certainly learned so much from the PF blogosphere over the years.

The most fulfilling moment of 2016 was hearing from friends I didn’t even know I was helping by talking about money freely and openly, who were thrilled to share their money wins made possible because my tweets and blogging made money seem more accessible to them.

Money shouldn’t be feared, and I’ll talk about it all day if it helps even one more person get in control of their financial future. I hope y’all will come join the conversation!

Thanks so much for the opportunity, Mr. CBB!


Fan Brag of the Week


Send in your deal or brag of the week to along with a photo and small write-up to be entered into our yearly draw.

Enter as many times as you like. If your brag gets featured you get an extra ballot in the draw.

medical aid walker free

Hey everyone!

I have another brag for you this week. As you might know medical aids are expensive to purchase.A plain walker is well over $100.00. We got this walker free from our local landfill. After a good cleaning and disinfecting it is just fine. With an MS’er in the house and us aging it will come in handy.- Colleen K.


CBB Words of Wisdom


motivation to be successful quote 2

‘Want’ and ‘Will’ really are two powerful words depending on how you use them.


Top Finance Post


This week I made my way over to a new personal finance blog called “Retire Before Dad” to read his post “Never Regret Paying Off Debt Never Regret Paying Off Debt” which was refreshing. Since we have zero debt and paid our mortgage off in 5 years I agree that there are far more ways to become wealthy then just investing.

Debt carries a few burdens that can create discomfort in your life.

  • The borrower is slave to the lender; this holds true as a tool or vice
  • Debt requires recurring payments, i.e. money obligations from you to someone else
  • Debt causes bankruptcy and epic stress when economic conditions sour
  • Debt inhibits cash flow

Investing is important for retirement income purposes but it’s not the only way to earn money without trying that hard. Investing is volatile a the writer points out which is why we opted to pay off the mortgage while still investing. Do we regret it? Hell no, debt free is amazing.


I Want To Eat This



Food is a big part of any budget and a struggle for so many people which is why I’ve created frugal recipes for my family and yours for many years.

I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I exclusively share recipes from Food Bloggers around the world.

Check out the Free Recipe Index on CBB compiled of frugal recipes that are 100% tested and accepted by family and friends!

Drop what you’re doing and just stare at that sweet photo!!!

Danielle over at Hugs and Cookies blew me away with these S’mores Bars. Just look at them, O.M.G. I tried them one summer years ago when a university student was staying with us from overseas.

I wasn’t sure what to expect but they were delicious. Now I want to try Danielle’s recipe. This would be perfect for a backyard BBQ party this summer too!! Imagine the smiles.


DIY Weekly


healing herbs you can grow at homehealing herbs you can grow at homeDid You Know this about herbs?

This week I chose a wonderful article from The Indian Spot website about Healing Herbs You Can Grow At Home.

We love to grow herbs but not many people know just how powerful they can be. I hope this article gives you some insight into the types of herbs you may grow or buy at the grocery store and what they are doing for you.


Related: Too Much Basil? Here’s what you can do with it.


Search term giggles


Always begin and end your day with a SMILE!- Mr.CBB

Every week I get tens of thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

Most times funny, Sometimes serious.

  • Food Budget For A Single Guy Who Doesn’t Cook– haha… why would you need one if you don’t cook.
  • How to get free gold from Canada– Haha.. let me know when you find out.
  • How to make money– I see this all the time and wonder if some people forget about getting a job.
  • Yard Sales in Kernesville this week– Say what? Where? I have no idea.
  • A partner who won’t budget– You’re FIRED! Finance is a team effort when their are two people involved for long-term unless agreed otherwise.

That’s all the fun for this week, thanks for dropping by and we’ll see you all again next Saturday.


Don’t forget to Follow me on Social Media and Subscribe to the blog.

Hey…if you see any mistakes let me know. I’m not an editor just a guy who likes to write and yes I make mistakes.

All gadget photos from Google Images












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