My Kid Needs New Shoes, Again.

Posted 01-27-2015 at 07:45 PM by Banana Cat

I defy stereotypes because I hate shoe shopping.

To be fair, I have good reason. How many other 5-foot-4-inch tall people do you know have a US size 11 wide foot? Women AND men a good 6 or more inches taller than me often have smaller feet. I live in the Pacific Northwest so I suppose there’s the potential for some literal Bigfoot genes floating around somewhere. Anyway, it’s a pain finding shoes that fit and are comfortable, and even harder to find shoes that are also somewhat stylish (come on, I’m still in my 20s, I don’t need ten slightly different pairs of loafers!). Basically, I’ve hated shoe shopping since I was about 14 years old.

And then I had kids, and after they started walking, I suddenly found myself needing to go shoe shopping for them. No more cute little stretchy booties or soft-soled leather moccasins. And I was annoyed.

At first I tried to make it easy on myself and picked up kid’s shoes at consignment and thrift stores. I figured they’d just grow out of the shoes quickly, so why pay full price? Sometimes I do find good deals, but some mornings I wake up and the $1.99 Goodwill Stride Rites that fit my kid just fine yesterday are suddenly two sizes too small, and of course the size I now need isn’t to be found at any secondhand store in a 50 mile radius.


My daughter wore these size 5 shoes for about two weeks before she grew out of them. I saved them for my son, who never wore them because he went straight from a size 4 to a 6.5. Of course.

Diaper Swapers

Upcycling Your Cloth Diapers

Posted 11-5-2014 at 09:00 AM by 2+2macht4


We all know that babies grow like a weed. While your cloth diapering days are limited, many cloth diapers and accessories can be upcyled for multiple uses extending their life far beyond the days of wrapping baby’s bum.

Prefolds and Flats:

A super frugal diaper in and of itself, prefolds have so many uses long after their diapering days.

  • Prefolds, especially newborn or preemie size,  can be cut and modified into mama cloth. A variety of tutorials can be found on Pinterest.
  • They make awesome all purpose cleaning rags, no more worries about staining up those pretty unpaper towels.
  • They can be used as reusable swiffer or mop pads.
  • Pillow/couch/car seat/you name it protectors. When kids get sick the results can be gnarly. Lay them down as a barrier to catch any yucky messes.
  • Convert into hotpads for the oven

Need a Baby Monitor? Just Use Your Tablet

Posted 10-1-2014 at 12:31 PM by Ellen

sleeping baby

Baby monitors have come a long way. First there were the little white radio-like things with an antenna that relayed audio from the baby’s room to the parents. Now there are hi-tech monitors that have night vision and video cameras.

They may have come a long way, but so have their prices. Some baby monitors cost $400 and up. That’s a lot of formula and diapers. One hi-tech option is to use your tablet as a baby monitor.

Ways To Reuse Cloth Diapers

Posted 07-1-2014 at 09:24 AM by Matrivine


You have your last child potty training now and it’s time to get rid of those cloth diapers. Don’t just throw them out! That would defeat the purpose of those eco friendly diapers. Besides they can have so many other uses.

Pass Them On
If you know you are done having children and now all your children are potty trained perhaps it’s time to pass those diapers on to someone who will need them. Perhaps you know an expecting mother or someone who is being eaten alive trying to keep up with the cost of disposable diapers. Or perhaps you have noticed your little one has a friend with sensitive skin and could use cloth diapers. Whoever you choose to pass those clothies on to it will help save them a great deal of money.

Sell Them
That’s what our For Sale or Trade Forum is for! Sell your cloth diapers and other child rearing supplies. You’ll make some money and the buyer gets a great deal buying used. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

Baby Leggings Make Cloth Diapering Easier (+ Get 5 Pairs Free!)

Posted 05-2-2014 at 03:16 PM by Ellen

baby Leggings

Regardless of how you diaper your child, the truth is a baby goes through a lot of diaper changes in a day. The more difficult the clothing, the more difficult to complete the task. When you’re already sleep deprived are pants on your baby really worth the extra effort? Thank goodness for baby leggings!

Pay Attention! The Most Important Part Of Being Thrifty

Posted 03-31-2014 at 11:30 AM by happysmileylady

grocery shopping

This morning I made a quick stop at Kroger.  Tyson fresh chicken was on sale and there was a coupon in this Sunday’s paper for $1 off any Tyson fresh chicken.  While I was examining packages of chicken that were sale priced at $1.50 to $1.75 per package (meaning I would pay 50c to 75c a piece,) I noticed another lady with Tyson chicken in her cart.  She had several packages, although her packages were not sale priced.  I also noticed that she had no coupons and little else in her cart.  It appeared that she was stocking up for a party.  I counted out 5 coupons for chicken from my stack and handed them to her.  I finished picking out my chicken, paid, and headed out of the store.  On my way out, I stopped at the free newspaper box in the front of the store, which was full of free papers containing the very same coupon inserts.  I picked up 5 more papers, which gave me 5 more inserts, replacing those coupons I gave away.

The other day, I went to get gas.  There are several gas stations near my house, so before I left, I checked the gas prices online.  Because of this, I chose to drove 2 blocks farther than the gas station on the corner closest to my house, because it was over 25c cheaper per gallon.  To fill up my 25 gallon tank, that’s a difference of over $6, almost 2 whole gallons worth, just for a difference of 2 blocks.

These are just two examples in my own life of how the simple act of paying attention to things can really save money.  I spent substantially less on my chicken than the other customer, even after the coupons I gave her, because I paid attention to the sale.  In fact, she saved $5 because I paid attention to the coupons that were right in front of the store, for free.  And I saved $6 just by paying attention to the gas prices instead of simply pulling into the closest gas station when the tank was low.

Frugality and the Dreaded B Word

Posted 02-14-2014 at 11:36 AM by Hope4More

Budget.  *shudder*  We love to hate them…

YOU TOO can stop the cycle and budget your finances.  You don’t have to pay off cards… you can do it just to help you get less stressed when bill time comes.  Message me if you choose YNAB, or join us in the family>thrifty>dave Ramsey forum.  We are there every day… SEE YOU THERE!

We recently tried to purchase a home.

We got pretty far into the process.  We got right to the part where they say “sign here” on the purchase agreement.  And that was when my husband and I looked at each other and realized that to get this house, we would be doing the following:

  • Giving our whole emergency fund in a down payment, which still wasn’t 3.5%
  • Add monthly payments to the builder to get to 3.5% over the course of the next few months, effectively cutting us off from refunding the emergency fund.
  • We would literally more than DOUBLE our mortgage payment.

And so we walked away.  We cried.  We drank.  We put our 3 year old to bed, and then cried and drank some more.


So yesterday Mommy started the Mommy Budget.  We are using the You Need a Budget software (you can google it), but are using it to follow the Dave Ramsey budgeting plan (you can read about that, too).  The two philosophies work just as well as the other.  YNAB focuses first on wealth building, while Dave focuses first on debt relief.

Why I’m Going To Give Mama Cloth A Try

Posted 01-31-2014 at 11:39 AM by yoliyoda

So I’ve decided to brave mama cloth. I say brave, and I do mean brave. The entire concept had my nose turned up for a long time. And honestly, I’m still a bit iffy, emotionally–though logically I know that it makes sense.

For those who don’t know, mama’s cloth is essentially reusable sanitary napkins and panty liners. And while the idea of dealing with pee and poop in my son’s cloth diapers is fine, the idea of a bloody reuseable cloth napkin *shutters* gets to me.

However, I had to take a step back and realize how far I’ve come in relation to making my household a cloth-friendly one… and assess how far I was willing to go. We have unpaper towels, which I love, that double as cloth napkins. I have cloth cleaning microfiber rags and sponges instead of using paper towels. And of course, lots of cloth diapers. There was a logical reason connected to each clothing decision that I made. Usually economics and the environment had something to do with each decision.

So what about mama’s cloth? On the low estimates, I’ve heard that women can use about 12,000 pads or tampons in a lifetime. Let’s say she has her period for 40 years: that’s 300 a year, and 25 per month. Forgetting the fact that most of us have several types sitting around, some with wings, some without, some with blue stripes down the middle, some without… let’s just say that a woman buys one bag of pads or tampons per month at $5. Yes, that is very conservative, but let’s just lowball it. That is $2400 over her lifetime.

Do you know what I could do with $2400? A lot. And remember, those are lowball figures.

You can buy mama’s cloth cheaper than you think. As a rough average, you can get 4 pieces for $20. If you’re like me, I’d probably be

When A WAHM Buy Goes Bad

Posted 01-22-2014 at 09:29 AM by yoliyoda

WAHM buy

It’s going to happen if you are a part of the thrifty online mama community: you’re going to have a bad experience with a Work-At-Home-Mom. It’s probably nobody’s fault. Most WAHMs are honest, straight forward, and hard working. Selling made-at-home wares, products, or services is just how some of them pay bills, or make a bit of money for themselves. They have no intention to create problems for you, or headaches for themselves. However, they are human and life happens. So just what is a tactful, respectful, way of dealing with a fellow mom when a deal goes south? What can you do to prevent problems?

Before you buy

Be clear about what you’re buying. Sometimes problems arise simply because one of the parties isn’t clear about expectations or desires. Get a clear understanding of turn around times, expected delivery dates, and just what is included for the cost you’re paying.

Ask for references if you don’t feel comfortable. We’re all on different budgets, and the money that you’re about to hand a WAHM might be hard earned for you. So if you want references, like reading reviews from past customers, you’re within your rights. Awesome sites like this are great, because you can often see feedback from previous customers right in the feedback rating of the WAHM. Also, don’t discount the buzz-factor. Some WAHMs are extremely busy. They’ve built up a clientele of satisfied customers, and that says a lot.

Keep good records. If you buy alot of items from alot of sources, keep one main list that tracks what you’ve bought, from whom you bought it, how much you paid, contact information, and expected delivery time. If that delivery dates comes and goes without a package, contact them with a friendly question about your order’s status.

Cloth Diapering Without Cloth Diapers!

Posted 12-5-2013 at 12:55 PM by Banana Cat

Perhaps you want to cloth diaper, but you are on a very strict budget. Perhaps you had cloth diapers but your dryer exploded and burned them all and you can’t afford to replace them all right now. Perhaps you have just started researching cloth diapers but the hardcore cloth diapering fanatics who spend $80 on one diaper cover or stay up all night waiting for a chance to bid on a hyena or something totally scare you off. You are in luck. You do not have to buy a single cloth diaper, ever, if you want, but you can still cloth diaper anyway.



Your kitchen drawer: an untapped source of potential cloth diapers. Even more so when you ignore the popsicle stick on the ground.

“You are one of those crazy fanatics scaring me off,” you might be thinking right now and I cannot, in full conscience, deny the “crazy” part, but I am serious. Our distant ancestors would think we were speaking in tongues if we ever uttered the words “bumGenius” or “Fuzzibunz” in their presence. There was no such thing as an all-in-one or fitted. When I was visiting my grandmother last summer, she came outside while I was hanging a bunch of diapers on a drying line and said, “Oh! Everything is so modern. We did not have this newfangled diaper when I was growing up.” Naturally, I thought that she was referring to my pocket diapers, but to my surprise she leaned over and picked up a prefold! So clearly, before the advent of disposables and modern cloth diaper designs, people managed to diaper their kids with what they had on hand. That means we still can as well.