Its is crazy how creative you get when you are trying to save money! I have really been enjoying learning how to stretch the money we have. I have to say that Attachment Parenting, and being just old fashioned crunchy really helps.. :)
So, here is a list of all the crazy things we do.. :)
1.) We use cloth diapers. They say that using disposable diapers, from newborn to potty trained costs you an average of 1800 dollars per child! That number is crazy, but when I look at diapers in the store, I am surprised it is not more..
I love the cloth diapers that I use. We use a combination of an old fasioned prefold, with a diaper cover. There are very cute covers available these days, and very econimical too. We get by with about 15 prefolds, which cost around between 15 and 25 dollars a dozen. (The ones we got were 17) Since we use them with a diaper cover, we are good with the infant size, and do not have to worry about buying new diapers as Judah grows. For covers, we have a few different styles. We mainly use gDiaper covers. These diapers are WONDERFULL! The outside of the diaper is made of a cotton/polyester blend that is very soft. They come with waterproof liners that snap in. You simply put your prefold into the liner, and velcro the whole thing on baby. These are nice trim diapers as well.. We also use the Bumkins Vented Diaper Cover. This is another one of my favorites! Very lightweight, and breathable, these keep baby dry and rash free! I will have to take pictures of my diapers and do a follow up post. :)
2) We also use cloth diaper wipes. This makes sense really, seeing as how we already are washing diapers. After using these the past several months, I can not imagine how we ever used the flimsy disposable version. Right now, I just use all those baby washclothes that we never used when he was little. They work like a charm. I make my own diaper wipe solution by mixing water, baby shampoo, and a generous amount of baby lotion. They smell so good!
3.) We use family cloth. This replaces toilet paper. This also seemed like a logical thing to do, since we are already washing diapers, and wipes. You can buy cloth online made specifically for this purpose, but Chris and I have found that you generic cheap baby washclothes work very well. This is another thing we love! We were kind of surprised, but its nice not having to worry about you TP tearing.
4.) Reusable sandwhich bags. Right now we just use the heavy duty ziploc bags, and wash them. I am looking into investing in sandwich bags and wraps that are made of a more durable material.
5.)We breastfeed. When Judah was a couple of months old, and was having some tummy trouble, we looked at buying a formula for him. That stuff is crazy expensive! Cans ranged from 8-30 dollars if my memory does me well. And those only make 15 bottles. On top of the price benefit, breastfeeding promotes the God given mamma instinct, and seals the connection of baby and mamma. I can not imagine weaning Judah right now. (Actually, I can imagine it right after he bites me.. but that is another story)
6.) I do not use disposable feminine products. I was surprised to learn that there are other things to use that are way cheaper, and more comfortable in the long run. I prefer what is known as the diva cup, which is washable, and reusable. Some mammas will use Mamma Cloth, which is a cloth version of a disposable pad. Mamma cloth is easy to make, and saves a few more pennies in the budget.
7.) I wear Judah. While we do have strollers that were given to us, this is not something we would have spent a lot of money on, though they do come in handy.. :) (Especially with a new baby when you can snap the sleeping baby carseat and all, onto the stroller) If we had not been given one though, we would have saved that money. I wear Judah in different types of wraps or slings depending on the activity I am doing. If I am doing housework, the best option for me is for him to be on my back, so my hands are free. This is easiest with a Moby type wrap. Which is basically a long strechy fabric that you tie the baby on with. Very fun too! If I am shopping, or hanging out, will use a ring sling. This is a sling that goes over one shoulder, with a pouch for the baby or toddler to rest in.
8) We waited a long time to introduce Judah to solids, and when we did, he eats things that we eat, so no baby food expense.
That is about all I can think of now. That was fun to type out.. :) I am enjoying becoming much more natural, and less wastefull.. It really is a fun journey!