I’m a huge advocate of cloth diapers. Really, I think they’re one of the Most Amazing Things Ever, Plus Our Ancestors Used Them, and yadda yadda. They’re cute and seem comfy and it’s kind of nice seeing them all lined up on a shelf.
Sure, I would say things like, “Of course everyone must use the diaper system that fits into their lifestyle,” but I won’t lie, when a family member discovered he had run out of disposable diapers for his son and refused my offer of a loaned cloth diaper with a, “Well, thanks, but we’re not into cloth, that’s kind of icky,” I felt VASTLY superior for a while. I mean, *I* got over the ick factor! There you are, polluting landfills with your son’s waste for the next several hundred years while I am responsibly using eco-friendly cloth…and accidentally clogging the toilets with disposable wipes, but never mind that!
Cloth vs disposable: One catches poop. So does the other.
While I was pregnant with my second child, we went camping with family. I dragged along a tote of cloth diapers because I simply refused to buy disposables for a three day trip. To be fair, my daughter often broke out in rashes when she was in synthetic diapers, so I liked putting her in 100% cotton. She was comfortable and rash-free that way—that was what worked for us.
Then, my son was born. You know how they say every kid is different. Well, I knew that. But I didn’t know that until I had my second child. While my daughter would happily sit in an overflowing diaper without making a peep, my son seemed highly distressed if he felt even a drop of liquid in his diaper. We quickly learned that when he cried, it usually wasn’t because he was hungry (like my daughter), it was because he wanted his diaper changed. The moment we changed him he went from loudly shrieking monster to sweet, cooing, baby-commercial baby.
When I decided I wanted to use cloth diapers once I had children, I also decided I needed to Do It Right The First Time, as many first time moms feel that is an attainable goal. Prefolds and covers were what everyone said were cheap, and there seemed to be a decent enough fanbase of those diapers online. Like if I went to a cloth diapering convention there would be predominantly prefold fans shopping at prefold booths and attending prefold presentations and all the pocket, fitted, and all-in-one fans would have their own niches in the corners of the convention center. Anyway, prefolds and covers seemed cheap, popular, and durable, which made them the perfect cloth diaper for me to Do It Right The First Time. They would totally work, and I’d never have to use another type of cloth diaper, and I could feel smug about not spending $25 for a single all-in-one.
$125 retail price. Right there.
I think prefolds and covers worked fine on my daughter in the newborn stage. The memory of my first three months as a new mother is one giant blur of diapers, laundry, baby, and exhaustion. I remember moving to pockets around then, once she was large enough to fit into them. Oh, we still used prefolds and covers mostly, but I thought pocket diapers were cute and I liked how stuffable they were for nighttime, ignoring the fact that I could just pop a doubler into the prefolds. In my mind, that was Not The Right Way. Pockets at night were a part of Doing It Right The First Time.
My daughter grew fast. She outgrew one size of prefolds, then a month later outgrew the next size. I panicked a little every time I checked our bank account. Part of the reason we decided to use cloth diapers on our children was so that we would save money. I hadn’t counted on having a child that grew at Mach 5, though, and buying new sets of prefolds every couple of months was taking a bigger hit on our budget than I would have liked. This was not how I was supposed to Do It Right The First Time. My carefully laid out plans were not working!
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.
And then we wondered: WHAT THE HECK ARE WE DOING? WHY AREN’T WE SAVING?????
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.
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.
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.