Convertible Car Seat Options For Parents On A Tight Budget

Convertible car seat options

Being a new parent can be a really expensive endeavor and it is natural to want to save money where you can. However, when it comes to the safety and protection of our children, money should be no object. Unfortunately, that can put you in a tight spot. When it comes to shopping for a new convertible car seat you should be relieved to know that there are options out there that let give you excellent protection for your little angles without breaking the bank. In an ideal world we would all jump at the chance to spend $400 or $500 on the latest and greatest child safety seat, but there are high quality alternatives available for just a fraction of the cost of higher end seats.

We went through this exact same scenario with trying to find a car seat that our child would love and get something that would offer excellent safety features but at a price point we could afford. We went into the process feeling a bit guilty thinking that we might have to skimp and get something below that standards that our child deserves. But we quickly found a few options that put that guilt to rest. There are some brand names that make highly rated convertible safety seats that were within our budget. Here are just a few of the seats that made our list.

Graco Size4Me 65 Convertible Seat

budget-car-seatGraco is a reputable maker of affordable baby equipment such as car seats and strollers. They are not the cheapest, more in the middle, but if your budget is not super tight then their line of products is worth considering. We discovered the Size4Me 65 convertible safety seat and were really impressed with its feedback that it had received from parents. It will cost you between $150 and $200 which is not all that bad considering its features.  It passes all of the safety requirements and standards in the US and comes equipped with energy absorbing foam material, a secure harness system, and it is compatible with the LATCH system for safe and easy installation.

It also is pretty easy to clean and comes with seat pads that are machine washable. The great thing about convertible car seats is that you have one seat that you can use for the first years of your child’s life. There is no need to buy multiple seats right away, so you want something that is durable and easy to maintain. The Size4Me 65 is built to stand the wear and tear that children can put their car seat through. It also has an excellent track record when it comes to safety so you don’t have to feel that you are sacrificing anything by getting a child seat that is less expensive.  This is what we ended up purchasing and we have been nothing short of thrilled with our purchase.

Evenflo Tribute Sport

We found in our research that Evenflo is another terrific option for parents who just can’t afford to spend a lot.  They have a wonderful line of car seats that run under $100.  The Tribute Sport also pass all safety requirements for car seats being sold in the US so you can rest assured that your child will be protected. This is a pretty straight forward designed car seat. The lower price means that you might not find as comfortable materials being used and it does not come with a cup holder, but it does have a sporty style that looks great in the back seat of your car. At this price point, the Tribute Sport provides some really nice value. Parent reviews have also been quite good for a budget car seat which is why we ended up giving this so much consideration.

Cosco Apt 50

This is a great seat if you are in a pinch. The Apt 50 is another option that runs under $100 and it makes a great primary or backup seat that you can use for your child. It offers the standard protection features but it does have some drawbacks that might not make it an ideal choice. Most convertible child seats are rated up to 65 lbs, the Apt 50 is only rated up to a child weight of 50 lbs. This means that your little one is going to outgrow this seat faster and you will have to buy a booster seat sooner. The padding is also not as plush which is one of the minor knocks of this product. However, it does get decent reviews and is a worthwhile car seat to consider when doing your research.

Shop Around

Don’t be afraid that you are sacrificing the safety of your child by not buying the most expensive seat on the market. There are plenty of quality alternatives for just about every budget that offer great protection for your child. The latest convertible car seat reviews at Momma Trauma Blog is a good starting point when looking for a new safety seat. They cover the most popular and best rated seats of 2016 that include both high end and budget friendly options. You are not being a bad parent by shopping around. You will definitely need that money that you save on something else for your little one.



The Best Convection Ovens To Help You Improve Your Diet

Convection toaster oven benefits

If you are tired of how an unhealthy diet makes you feel and are looking for ways to turn it all around, then cooking homemade meals may be the answer you are looking for.  A recent study suggests that there may be a link between cooking your own food and natural weight loss.  You may tend to eat fewer calories when you prepare your own meals.  You also will use healthful ingredients that are better for you.  While that also sounds logical and good, who has the time to cook for themselves or their family every night when putting in 40 hours a week at work.  This is where finding ways to reduce the time and labor needed to fix your favorite recipes can go a long way to make new eating habits stick.  This is one of the major appeals of getting a convection toaster oven for the kitchen.

A conventional countertop oven has many advantages on its own.  They are simple to clean, easy to use, take less time to preheat, and they are a lot more energy efficient.  Toaster ovens that have convection capabilities have the added benefit of reducing cook times, using lower cooking temperatures, and reducing the overall hassle involved with preparing meals, all while giving you wonderful tasting results.  If you are going to truly make a change to your diet then having the right tools can play a major role in helping you achieve your goals.  A convection oven is one such appliance that can have you eating healthy again in no time.

Top Convection Toaster Oven Options

Now that you know why one of these belongs on your kitchen counter, it is time to find one that will be perfect for what you need.  Now keep in mind that while toaster ovens are generally more affordable, ones with convection cooking capability will be end up costing you more.  We examined some of the best toaster ovens currently available and browsed through plenty of reviews to find the top rated convection ovens worth considering.  Some of the brand names you should be familiar with as they have a great reputation for making high quality small kitchen appliances.


They may be best known for their food processors, but Cuisinart has a terrific line of countertop ovens.  Their TOB-260 is a newer model that is packed with features that make it one of the best small ovens that you can buy.  It has two different convection settings.  One can be used with any of the preset functions, and one they call “Speed Convection” which lets you skip preheating the oven and get straight to cooking your food.  It takes a lot of the confusion of finding the right temperature and time settings by coming with 11 preset configurations.  From baking to roasting and everything in between, there is a setting for it.  On top of that, everything is displayed on a futuristic LCD screen and the controls are extremely easy to use and are very intuitive.  It is a modern looking oven that gets high marks from users for its performance as a convection oven.  It also does toast pretty well too.


This company has a top notch reputation as the maker of some of the most advanced appliances that you can get for your kitchen.  Their line of ovens contain three different models with convection cooking features.  While the BOV845BSS is their top of the line model that comes with an oven light and an extra slow cook function, their BOV800XL is their most popular oven.  It has been a best seller for years and it continues to shine as a powerful countertop cooker.  These are built with quartz heating elements that are quick to preheat.  They also adjust automatically the temperature and time depending on what type of food you are preparing.  This is why they are called “smart” ovens.  The build and design of these machines are second to none which is why they are also some of the most expensive toaster ovens on the market.  However, their scores and recommendation marks from owners signify that they are well worth the investment.


This is another manufacturer with that is renowned for their kitchen appliances.  They also make some find convection ovens at a slightly lower price point than Breville.  The KCO273SS, for example, has many of the features as their competitors as well as a modern finish.  If your kitchen is your pride and joy of your home, this oven should fit right in.  This too is a fully functional oven designed to handle a lot more than just toast.  It can handle any recipe and is big enough to cook whole chickens and casseroles.

Putting Your Oven To Use

Any of the convection options list above will let you take better control of your diet and cook some amazing meals for you and your family.  Once you get one of these to take its rightful place on your kitchen counter you can begin to experiment with the countless convection oven recipes available online.  This is half of the fun and hopefully it will help you from getting bored as you try and turn our years of bad eating habits.  If you are able to make it a routine and something that you look forward to doing, cooking your own meals instead of ordering out can have life long benefits.


Take Advantage Of Leafy Green Vegetables With A Bold Juicer


The Tribest Slowstar upright juicer is designed to help the user get nutrition from fruits and vegetables without overwhelming their digestive systems. Its juice is sometimes referred to as “liquid gold” since it contains all the enzymes, phytochemicals and nutrients that will nourish your body and help you improve your diet. As opposed to centrifugal juicer, which oxidizes juice very quickly due to high-speed, this masticating juicing machine only spins at 47 rpm protecting the juice from heat. The fact that it is one of the slowest juicers on the market today makes it produce better tasting juice with longer storage times.

If you have been looking to buy a new juicer and treat yourself to a healthier routine, the Slowstar is an excellent option. We went through some of the reviews by the juicing experts on and noticed how well that this juice extractor stands up to similar machines in its class. The added benefit of being an vertical juicer means that it will also take up less room on your kitchen counter. Tribest made a bold statement with the Slowstar, let’s see how it measures up.


  • Dimensions: 7.5 inches wide by 18 inches high by 8.9 inches deep
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Feed Chute Size: 2.5 inches by 1.5 inches
  • Feed Chute shape: Oval or Crescent
  • Type: Vertical Auger Juicer
  • Package: Juice container with handle, 32 ounce pulp catcher, 32 ounce juice catcher, Mincing/Blank plate attachment, Motor base, Screen wiper blade, Ultem strainer, Double blade Ultem auger, Cleaning brush, Pusher, and Fine sieve/ strainer.


200-Watt Motor

The juicer’s 200-watt motor operates at a lower speed of 47 revolutions per minute, which is contrary to most masticating juicers (most of their motors operate at 80 revolutions per minute). However, this is a plus to Tribest Slowstar Juicer given that the slower speed helps it keep the nutrients in juice from air and heat; thereby, resulting in a better tasting and healthier end product. Moreover, less air means less oxidation, and this enables the juice to last longer without spoiling.

Dual-Edged Auger

Normally in a masticating juicer, the auger is what does all of the work. As such, it is one of the most important features in this model. Tribest Slowstar has a dual-edged auger to increase its efficiency. Manufacturers introduced this feature to ensure the model produces a lot of juice. According to them, the feature increases juicing efficiency, and helps get the most juice out of whatever is dropped down the feed chute. The juicer’s feed chute is large enough and can store plenty of juicing materials at the same time.

Juice Tap

Juice tap is a feature, which was not on this masticating juicer when it was first introduced. However, newer stocks now have it. The fact that it helps the user keeps juice inside the juicer when desired makes it an equally important feature. In addition to helping the user prevent unwanted dripping, juice tap aids in the cleanup process, especially after juicing.

Mincing Attachment

Mincing Attachment is an add-on feature that would help you make fresh sorbet or natural peanut butter. It adds versatility, which is uncommon in most upright masticating juicers.

Homogenizing Blank Plate

The model comes with homogenizing blank plate for making nut butter, baby food and sorbets, among others.


Makes Nut Butter and Sorbets Easily

The mincing attachment or blank plate are contained in a separate bowl, and this allows the model to make fresh sorbets and healthy peanut butter at home using fresh, natural ingredients without adding any artificial sweeteners. Only a handful of vertical slow juicers have this benefit-the Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer being one of them.

Can store Juice for a long time without spoiling

Because its motor rotates at a lower rpm when compared to most other vertical slow juicers, it can literally store juice longer than 72 hours. Nevertheless, I would not recommend that. For desirable outcome, pour the juice in a manson jar, and if possible, overfill so there are no air packets inside. Finally, store the juice in a refrigerator.

Produces a lot of Juice

Although Slowstar is not as self-feeding as other vertical slow juicers, the double blade auger yields nearly 10% more than many of these juicers. The fact that it produces less pulp and less foam also makes it a plus. However, you will need to use the pusher more for it to produce more juice. It is the best bet for those who want more yields and do not mind putting extra effort in using the pusher to push the produce into the juicer.

Has a Powerful Motor

Slowstar juicer uses a 200-watt (3-stage gear reduction) motor, which is equivalent in terms of torque to a 9hp motor. This means only one thing; the juicer has a lot of crushing power.


  • 10-year warranty
  • It is BPA-free
  • Higher juice extraction (produces a lot of juice)
  • Has a juice tap to prevent the juice from dripping all over the counter
  • Its vertical design takes up very little countertop space
  • Very quiet


  • Color options: Not available in chrome, white and silver; colors many people prefer.
  • Pulpy juice: The model typically struggles when it comes to keeping pulp out of the juice


The Slowstar is a definite contender in the vertical masticating juicer market. The manufacturer has introduced some features, which may make it a better option for those looking to save some countertop space. Although it used to have some early issues, Tribest seemed to rectify them. A unique look, a nice set of features and very good juicing performance make it hard to ignore. There is no one perfect juicer for everyone, but Tribest Slowstar is a notable candidate, especially for those in search of an upright masticating juicers.