And Then I Used Disposables

Posted 07-24-2014 at 02:54 PM by Banana Cat

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!

Disposables1

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.

Diaper Swapers

Ways To Reuse Cloth Diapers

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

fstowels

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!

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.

Cloth Wipes, Revisited

Posted 03-26-2014 at 03:12 PM by Banana Cat

In a previous post, I talked a bit about cloth wipes. Most people would recommend that if you decide to cloth diaper, you also use cloth wipes, because of similar benefits—they are reusable, they are gentle, no chemicals, etc. They do seem to go hand in hand, but for various, complicated, insurmountable reasons such as “I forgot to use them,” I ended up using disposable wipes with my first child. And I was okay with that.

Then appeared my newborn boy (okay, “appeared” is severely simplifying things, but you know what I mean). Suddenly, I had two children in diapers full time. I knew adding a newborn would up my diaper laundry load quite a bit, but I was not at all prepared for the amount of disposable wipes piling into our trash can. It was crazy how many were being used, but my kids have always been mega poopers as newborns. Whatever science articles exist that claim some newborns can go days without pooping absolutely do not apply to my kids. It seemed like I was replacing the disposable wipes container every time I changed a diaper. Like many families, we’re on a tight budget and every time I pulled out a couple of wipes to use I imagined pennies clattering into the trash can.

babywipes

I never knew you could go through so many baby wipes so darn fast.

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.