Category Archives: Frugual Living

Sunning Your Diapers

I was folding diapers the other night dreaming of the sun.  Why you ask?  Because winter and teething has been hard on my cloth diapers.  Most are showing the effects of hanging inside in our basement or being put in the dryer to dry.  They are stained.  A few are quite nasty.

OK…so why was I dreaming of the sun?  Because it gets stains out!  With no effort on your part!

Think about it…what happens when you leave something in the car window for any amount of time?  What happens to the side of your curtains that face the window?  What happens to your lawn furniture cushions?  They fade!  The UV which is so nasty for your skin is the best thing that ever hit a diaper.

The key is to hang them out wet.  If they are dry, it doesn’t work.  This time of the year, if you are really desperate, you can wash the really nasty ones and lay them flat on a drying rack in front of a window.  It works, but nothing like a clothesline in the warm weather.

And honestly, is there any other view from your window that you’d rather see?  Or that great feeling of sticking it to the Power company?

Happy Diapering!

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Frugual Living, Green Living, How-To

For the Love of Flats!

I’m in love with flats!  I’m not kidding.  They wash like old dish rags, are more absorbent then you would think, dry INSIDE in about 3 hours and are not stiff when hung up, dry in the dryer in about 20 min., and are cheap!  CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP!!!  Closet to free you can get.

I bought 24 OsoCozy Organic Flat diapers from Caterpillar Baby.  I paid about $44 for all 24.  You do need covers as well, but we were just looking to replace some of our old prefolds that were looking a little worse for wear.  That’s a fantastic deal if you ask me!  Makes me kinda wish we had bought these in the beginning.  These are a good size.  My son is about 21lbs and we can still origami fold our flats for him.  If you need more absorbancy, you can just put two together or pad fold one in the middle.  Here’s another resource for folding flats: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/flat.htm

Edit:  I forgot to mention a couple cons.  Because they are cotton, they are a little hard to get poo off sometimes, and they do tend to hold stains.  I’m thankful everyday for my diaper sprayer!  And I don’t care about stains.  They come with the territory and Spring will be here before you know it!

J2 in a flat.

Happy Diapering!

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Diaper Review, Frugual Living

New Year’s Resolutions!

Did you make a New Years’ resolution?  What did you resolve to do?  I decided this year that on top of the normal lose some weight, I’d make a few that would positively impact our family.  Here’s a list of what I have:

  • Cut our energy costs.  Not only will this impact our budget, but will help the environment and teach our children about energy efficiency.  We signed up before Christmas to participate in Cool Truro-Colchester.  So far we’ve been hanging up more laundry, turning our heat down at night, and have changed ALL the bulbs in our house to energy efficient ones.  We are also driving our beast of a minivan less often.
  • Eat more whole food.  Our recycling bags are numerous.  And most of this is packaging from food.  It’s a little shocking.  So I will be making more of our food from scratch, and trying to stay away from prepackaged food as much as possible.
  • Only eat oils that come from a product that is oily.  Do you know how they get oil from vegetables?  No, neither do I.  So we have started buying lard instead of shortening, butter instead of margarine and coconut oil instead of veggie oil.  The coconut oil and butter costs an arm and a leg, but for as much as we use either, we’re not too concerned.  We’ve always used mostly olive oil, but have been trying to figure something out for baking.  This is where the other fats come in handy.
  • Be more creative and do more things as a family.  This one is mostly for me.  I have a habit of running as fast as I can after supper to have some quiet time.  So instead, I’m implementing more quiet family time.  Some days, yes, I will still be running as far as fast as I can go, but I feel like we’re all going in separate directions most days.  More stories, games, crafts, outside time, etc.  To help with the creative side of this resolution, we’ve all decided to follow Amanda Soules’ The Rythm of Family.  It’s divided by months, has recipes, crafts for kids and mommas, and is overall fantastic.  I would suggest this book to anyone!  You can also follow her blog:http://www.soulemama.com/
  • Take more pictures.  That’s really it.  I find that since I had the third babe, my picture-taking has gone down a lot.  I need to remember this time with the kids because they are growing up much to fast!  I’d also really like to learn how to use my camera, but I’m not pushing that one!

So that’s what we have in store for our family in 2012.  What’s up your sleeve?

Happy New Year!

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Filed under Frugual Living, Green Living

How to have kids without blowing the budget!

So you get pregnant.  Planned or not, shortly after the shock/excitement sets in, so does panic about how are you going to be able to afford this kid!  This panic has set in for myself 3 times and these are the ways that I have dealt with it.  Most of these were learned when I had my son almost 12 years ago and had NO money.  I’ve carried them over with my last two children.  It’s helped us save loads of money, and with an ever-expanding grocery bill (a preteen and two little piggies will make you cry at the grocery store every time!) we need all the help we can get!  So here’s a few of my tips!

FEEDING:

  • Breastfeed….as long as you can!  Not only is it free (and easy), it’s best for babes.  The longer you nurse, the longer your baby receives the benefits.  My oldest son nursed full-time until I went back to school when he was 9 months, then he continued to self wean until he was around a year.  My daughter nursed until she was 15 months, with bottles as well starting around 10 months.  My younger son is almost a year old and shows no sign on stopping nursing.  He refuses bottles.
  • If you have to formula feed, use coupons!  It helps a lot.
  • When it’s time to start solids (please not before 6 months!  Or under the recommendation of a GOOD doctor.), make your own baby food.  I always found that my kids hated jarred food (who can blame them?  Have you ever smelled it?)  Plus the savings are tremendous!  1 jar of sweet potatoes baby food costs about $1.  You get, what, 2-3 servings?  I bought a medium sweet potato for $2 and got more than 12 servings.  You just steam the veggies (keeps the nutrients in) until very soft, then puree.  Freeze in ice-cube trays.  That’s it.  Plus, my kids only ever ate puree for a few weeks, so I had lots of puree to throw into things like spaghetti sauce or chili.  You can also do some research on baby led weaning.

CLOTHING:

  • Ask around for hand-me-downs, check out www.kijiji.ca, find local consignment shops, and keep an eye out for local clothing sales.  If you’re in Nova Scotia, keep an eye on the Facebook page.  I’ll be posting starting in the spring all the local sales that I hear about.  These sales are also great for getting things like swings, seats and toys.
  • Use cloth diapers.  Even if you just use them part-time, you’ll save so much money!  To save money when buying your stash, shop for used diapers (www.kijiji.ca), stalk your favorite sites for sales (there’s some really good Boxing Day sales out there right now!), register for cloth diapers for your baby shower, or stick to flats/prefolds and covers.  If you’re looking for something a little different for your baby shower, check out The Fluff and Stuff Shop diaper parties!  They also have a virtual option for those with family far and wide.

EXTRAS:

  • Ask yourself if you really need all those toys/swings/seats/etc.  You can save a lot of money (and space!)if you don’t buy any of the extras.  The only item I really needed/used was our exersaucer.  I bought it used at a yard sale for $15, used it for 2 kids, then sold it for $10.  Can’t complain then.
  • If you really need the extras, buy used.  Most are rarely used and are in great condition.
  • For wipes, even if you use disposable, use cloth.  You will get 100’s of those tiny little wash cloths at your shower, so grab a few and use them for tushies.  I regret not doing it before.

THINGS THAT MUST BE BOUGHT NEW:

  • Car seats and cribs.  Don’t mess around with those items.  Use the savings from above and get the best that you can get!  You never know what has happened to them before hand and you can get good quality for a fair price.

Good luck to you if you’re pregnant/planning on becoming pregnant, just had a baby, or are losing your mind every time you walk into the Wal-Mart with your children.  Kids are expensive, but there are ways to ease the pain!  Leave me a comment on ways that your family saves money!

Happy Diapering/Parenting!

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Frugual Living, Green Living, How-To