Deciding on a Breastpump

Posted 07-14-2014 at 03:11 PM by Banana Cat

Maybe you’re currently breastfeeding, but need to go back to work. Maybe you’ve decided to be an exclusive pumper. Maybe you just want a backup stash of milk for a babysitter. Whatever the reason, you are in the market for a breastpump! Like many other baby-related items, you probably opened up Amazon.com in your browser and immediately felt overwhelmed by the number of brands and types of pumps available. What should you choose?

 

Manual Pump

pump1

Manual pumps: Not for the weak-handed. Alternatively, a good substitute for those strength grip things that are always in the exercise section of the store, but no one ever buys.

 

These are the cheapest pumps on the market, and it can be tempting for the budget-minded family to just grab one of these. After all, electric pumps can run $300 or more and a manual pump tends to be in the $30-$40 range! Manual pumps are also simple pumps—you have the pump itself which screws onto the top of a baby bottle, and that’s it! They are small enough to toss in your bag and you needn’t worry about keeping track of a dozen small pieces. This also makes them simple to clean.

However, manual pumps are powered by you. Most modern manual pumps require you to squeeze a handle, which draws out the milk. You may need to do this for ten or fifteen minutes, which can grow tiring very quickly. You may have health issues that do not allow you to physically do this. You can also only pump one breast at a time, which can be good if you just need to empty one side because baby has just nursed on the other, or it can be bad if you’re in a hurry and need to empty both sides quickly. Many mothers, however, like having a manual pump stored away as a backup. If their electric pump fails, it’s better to have a manual pump than no pump at all!

Diaper Swapers

But Where Do I BUY Cloth Diapers?

Posted 06-26-2014 at 08:05 AM by Banana Cat

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You’ve decided to start using cloth diapers, part time or full time, for one or several reasons. Congratulations, and say good bye to all of your money, because cloth diapering can get pretty addictive pretty fast. Well, it doesn’t have to be addictive, but more often than not you’ll start hearing those trendy prints calling out your name and you’ll find yourself reaching for your wallet. If you can resist the temptation, well, double congratulations! For the rest of us with weak willpower, here are some places to buy cloth diapers:

Online

As this article is being published on a website called Diaperswappers, it only feels right to start off my list with the “online” option! Most people are connected to the internet these days and indeed, if you live in an area without any fancy stores this might be your only option! Sites such as Diaperswappers provide an online marketplace where members can buy and sell used diapers. It’s not as gross as it sounds; as long as the diapers are washed well they are good to be used on your child! The advantage to buying used diapers is that they are often cheaper than new diapers, so you can get a decent deal. If you are savvy with a sewing machine, some members list old diapers in need of repairs for just a couple of bucks per diaper, so if you are able to put in a little bit of time repairing these old diapers, you can get some amazing deals!

If you’re not so keen on used diapers, or if you’re buying friends some new diapers for a baby shower, then there are many, many cloth diapering stores online to choose from. All of the major brands such as bumGenius, Blueberry, Fuzzibunz, etc., have their own websites you can purchase diapers directly from.  There are also many online cloth diaper boutiques which sell dozens of brands—great if you want to try a few different brands all at once— and also have their own customer rewards programs, often offer free shipping over a certain purchase amount, and have “extras” such as cloth wipes and liners you can buy as well.

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.

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.

Cost Savings of Breastfeeding

Posted 11-22-2013 at 07:21 AM by angelaw

I guess I never really thought about it until recently, but there are HUGE savings for the breastfeeding mom’s family over using formula. I have nursed my two boys for well past their first year of life (youngest is 26 months and going strong!) and have never supplemented with formula. I honestly didn’t know how much it cost until I looked it up to make sure I was accurate before writing this blog.

I am part of an online baby and children’s resale group and noticed a lot more demand for formula. Even at a ‘discount’ mothers are paying around $15-17 a can from other moms on the site. I have heard that a can usually lasts around 3 days maybe up to 5 and that the retail of the average can of formula is around $25. So, just by nursing exclusively the first six months, I saved my family approximately $1500! Now, I’m sure that if I were to have chosen formula, I would have used coupons and shopped sales, so that may not be an exact. But, I think that my estimate is pretty close to the savings I have benefited from by breastfeeding and what I figured above was just for the first six months each time.

I won’t lie and say that there are no costs when you choose to breastfeed. I, myself, bought a breast pump and around 5 nursing bras and a couple nursing tank tops. I also would consider the increase in the cost I saw when I went to the grocery because of my ‘nursing mom’s appetite’. But, if I am supposed to add all of those up when comparing breastfeeding over formula feeding, I should probably consider all the bottles, bottle cleaning tools, drying rack, purified water, etc. that also come with formula feeding.

5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries

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

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.