5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries

Posted 03-24-2011 at 08:42 AM by Ellen

Being a parent is expensive. With little ones to care for, along with the rest of the family, everyday expenses quickly add up, especially groceries. That’s why saving money where you can is important so there’s money to put towards other needs such as new cloth diapers or a college education. Here are 5 easy ways to spend less on groceries.

1 – Coupons

I know, coupons seem like such a hassle. Who wants to clip coupons from the newspaper anyway? You don’t have to! Simply go to Coupons.com and select the coupons you’d like to have, then print them on your home printer. No unwanted coupons cluttering up your space, easy cutting and organizing, and mere moments of time spent searching for coupons you’ll actually use. Easy, quick, and convenient. Now you see how a busy mom can realistically use coupons to save money.

2 – Grocery Sales

Checking store sale circulars and in-store price reductions can easily save you lots of money, especially if you base your menu around the sale items rather than the other way around. You can be super frugal and buy only sale items then create a menu, or more realistically, select your preferences among the lower priced items. Either way your total bill will instantly be less. Furthermore, if you combine sale prices with coupons you will see big savings at the register.

3 – Stock Up

When you find a great deal on a product that has a decent shelf life (examples: canned food, toilet paper, toothbrushes, cereal) then you should stock up. Just be sure to not buy more than you can use by the expiration date.

4- Watch Price Per Ounce

We’ve been conditioned to believe that buying in bulk is always the better deal. Not necessarily true. Sometimes it is, other times it isn’t. Fortunately, there’s a very easy way to compare “price per ounce.” For most products it is listed right on the shelf price tag.

5- Swap Grocery Babysitting

The little ones are wonderful, but they can be very distracting while grocery shopping. Find a fellow mommy that you can swap babysitting with for grocery shopping so you can focus on making the most of your grocery budget without the kiddos in tow. Your friend will enjoy this too when you return the favor.

Diaper Swapers

The Long and Winding Road to Weaning

Posted 03-17-2011 at 09:41 AM by Mom2Finn

Let me start by saying, we’re not technically weaned.

My son is two and some change and we’re still nursing about a half an hour or so a day.  But that is a huge change from about three months ago when we were still nursing around the clock night and day.

I had really planned to let him self-wean, but as he neared two he showed no signs of slowing down.  He still nursed off and on all day and every couple of hours at night.  I didn’t even really mind, but my husband and I are trying for baby number two and after having no success and getting some tests run my doctor informed me that I was going to have to seriously wean, maybe even completely, to have any chance of conceiving.

How could I not want another one?

But how to begin?

I started using Jay Gordon’s technique for weaning with co-sleeping.  Basically you ease into not nursing from around eleven to six every night.  The first night was awful, but we actually got into the swing of things pretty fast.  So we did that for a few weeks and also started cutting out some day time nursing.  And then Finn got sick.

He was really sick, with stomach flu so bad he ended up in the hospital.  The doctors there told me to nurse him as much as I could so I went back to nursing him night and day. We’d cut back once and it wouldn’t be hard to do it again once he was better, right?

Um…no.  This is when the real battle began.  He had been reminded how much he enjoyed nursing 24/7 and he was not going to give it up without a fight.  There was screaming…and tantrums…and more screaming.  This went on for about a week.  A very long week.  It was so hard to have him scream and scream when I knew I could just nurse him and he would stop.  But I held strong because I knew giving in was just going to make it take days longer.

Still doing fine...even without nursing...

We finally got back on track and since then I have dropped more nursing sessions.  The one first thing in the morning, which would often last for an hour or hour and a half took a long time for him to let go of.  But now we are here, nursing at nap time and right before bed for just about 15 to 30 minutes total.  I may still have to drop these but I am holding on to them for now.

This was the first big change he and I had to go through and the first time I had to try to break him if something that was a habit.  It was not easy, but I was glad to get to other side of it and see that he still loves me.

Starting Solids and Cloth

Posted 03-14-2011 at 09:56 AM by brewanothercup

I have been in denial about two major developmental things in my son’s 7.5 month life so far: his angry squeals when a toy is taken away from him (I thought I had years before I needed to distract!) and the “transition poo” that made it’s ugly arrival once Griffin started being serious about eating solids.

The first TP (transition poo) diaper I changed had me in awe, doubled-over and poo EVERYWHERE. I didn’t expect it.  I hadn’t prepared the arsenal of things necessary. I didn’t have a plan for where to put the Nastiest Diaper Ever and didn’t have a butt cleaning plan in place. It was an ugly, ugly mess, and let’s just say I think my house might never be the same.

Suddenly, our diaper routine changed. How do we get rid of this peanut butter-like poo? Do we need a diaper sprayer TODAY? Do we wash right away? HOW LONG DOES THIS NASTINESS LAST?

Becoming Wooly

Posted 03-9-2011 at 07:59 AM by brewanothercup

My introduction to wool came up in a round-about sort of way. I bought a few diapers on craigslist and was introduced to a friend who was making the most adorable tutus at the local farmer’s market. But not having a daughter and not wearing tutus myself (though now that I think about it, perhaps I should have gotten one for myself in future years as the tooth fairy…hmmmm…) I turned my eye to her adorable upcycled custom woolies.

When I ordered my first pair – U of M woolies – for my son, I had no idea how to treat wool.  I didn’t know you don’t have to wash wool as often because it’s naturally antespetic; I didn’t know it needed a special type of wash. And then someone mentioned that wool is actually used as a diaper cover because once lanolinized it’s waterproof, and then I was totally hooked.

Stained Diapers Receive Reprieve From a Michigan Winter!

Posted 03-5-2011 at 10:00 AM by brewanothercup

We’ve had a break from the bitter cold here – though the snow is on it’s way again as I type – and yesterday the universe aligned properly and I had both time and the realization that I should sun the diapers while I could. I know the weather doesn’t need to be warm, or even particularly sunny, but I dislike freezing diapers so nicer weather is my preference.

It also ocurred to me yesterday that  all I needed to do was hike my foldable dryer rack (if you don’t have one of these and use covers – GET ONE ASAP! They are cheap and wonderful.  I think mine can hold something like 30 pockets at once) to the deck and leave the diapers out there for a few hours. This time of year it takes much longer to get stains out, but works just as effectively.

Hooking the Dads on Cloth

Posted 03-2-2011 at 09:53 AM by brewanothercup

Like a lot of families, we didn’t start cloth diapering right away. We had our supply, but I couldn’t walk up/down stairs or do laundry for a few weeks, so we used regular diapers for the first 4 weeks or so.  And then I was ready to try, but my husband was hesitant – disposibles were so quick! There was no cleaning! Why would we want to wash our own?

We had a few blow outs with disposibles and we jumped into cloth for the daytime only. We had a few blow outs there too, but we hung in there. I bought a lot of one-sized snapping diapers, but my husband decided he liked velcro so the next few I bought were velcro. He didn’t like pockets, so I stuffed them and had them ready for him. He liked snap in inserts, so I bought more grovias.  And then, before I knew it, he was a huge cloth diapering fanatic.