Did you know that a baby doesn't have to break the bank? I didn't really know that. All I ever heard is that babies cost sooooo much. And yes, in a way that's true but it doesn't have to break the bank, or even come close.
When I began the journey of motherhood, you know that glorious day I found out I was going to be a mom, money never even crossed my mind. All I saw were sweet giggles, lots of cuddles and I could already smell that sweet, sweet baby smell. I am sure some dollar sings crossed my husbands eyes though $$$$. Within a few weeks of the initial shock and excitement I started to think about it to. Money. This baby will not be free. In fact, this baby is going to cost us money, for a long time....
We are a one income household. On top of that we are a support raising, one income household There is not a lot of extra money floating around and the money tree in the backyard, well it doesn't exist. I began thinking, what will i do? How are we going to afford this baby. For a brief moment I didn't see the sweet face, those cute giggle and that wonderful smell. I started to have this image in my mind of a baby, sitting in a high chair, eating and eating and eating. Then I saw diapers, wipes, rash cream, medicine, clothes.... it was all looking not quite so...simple.
I pulled myself together and the research began. I was going to save us money. I was not going to break the bank. I had 9 months to figure this thing out and dagnabit I would!
So how have a saved all that money you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked because I am going to tell you!
Ladies and gentlemen, what you have all been waiting for, the money saving tricks of Lauren Clay!
It started with a vision for cloth diapers. I posted a status on my blog saying something like: "Disposable or cloth diapers. Go!" Then the comments flooded in! A few from moms who cloth diaper, a LOT from moms who don't and none from moms who had done both. It looked something like this:
Mom who cloth diapers: "We love cloth! Couldn't imagine doing something different. Message me for details!"
Mom who doesn't cloth diaper (and never has): "Nasty! Don't do it! Way to much work!"
I almost decided to just drop it and listen to the people who have never tired it but then I took two steps back and thought, "Wait, if they have never tried it how do they know?" So the research began. The questions flooded. "It is really that nasty?" "How much extra work would it take?" "Do they still use those white looking dish towels and safety pins?" "A lot of things have change over the years, have cloth diapers changed too?"
Here is what I found out:
It really isn't as nasty as I thought it would be. It's quite simple. Granted you get that one in a million diaper every now and again but I have never once thought, "This is just to nasty!" Come on, whether you use cloth or you throw the dang thing away either way you still end up dealing with poop.
It takes me, on an average, about 15-20 min extra time each WEEK. Not bad.
Cloth diapers have come a loooooong way. Totally easier and totally cute!
I began the research of what kind of diaper I wanted to use. People, let me just say that when it comes to cloth diapering there are about 18 million options and everyone thinks the way that they do it is the best way! I had to take the route of saying, "What do I want out of my cloth diapering experience." For me I wanted simple, easy, something that would last through multiple kids and a diaper that would fit all the way through their diaper wearing years.
This is what I ended up with:
I LOVE them. Bumgenius is the brand that I decided on and I have ZERO complaints with them. If you want to know more about them just let me know.
When it comes to cloth diapering one of the "pricey" things is the detergent you have to use. I found that I can use this:
It is wonderful and super cheap! The thing is that detergent can't have softener perfume, and other things. But 2 teaspoons on this and I am good to go and my wallet looks pretty good too!
I have already MORE than paid for the initial investment I made in my diapers and they will last multiple kids. It doesn't get much better than that! We're talking hundreds and hundreds of dollars saved!
Another way that I have saved crazy amount of money is by making my own baby food. This has not taken at all the amount of time that I thought it would! I normally take a little time on either Wednesday or Thursday afternoon and whip up a weeks worth of food to put in the fridge. I normally make it while I am in the kitchen cooking lunch or dinner and it is way to easy.
I have also found that making fruit is a lot more difficult so I have opted for this:
Bananas mashed up are super easy and cheap. This brand of apple sauce has no added sugar of any kind. You can buy fruit packs in the baby section but they cost around $1.50 each or you can go to the grocery section where the applesauce is and get a box of these (the only thing in it is fruit. Nothing else!) and the whole box is $2.50!
Last thing - Now that baby is not nursing and I need formula I found this little treasure:
This is from Sam's. If you don't have a Sam's card I bet you know someone that does! This is compared to the Enfamil and Symilac brands and we love it! The whole thing cost $23. If I went to Target or Wal-Mart a thing of formula that is about 1/3 of this size cost $25. It is a GREAT deal!
So that's it. My baby saving, bank saving tips. Thought I would share how great it's been for us and I am happy to answer any questions people have. I know every family is different and you just do what you have to do. I also know that I have been doing most of this for close to 9 months and it has worked great. It is easy enough that I will do it when I have multiple kids no problem. I am serious! It really is not bad!