Guest post by Colleen from 365 Resolutions In Part 1 of Ways to Save Money, Colleen shared about saving money by purchasing furniture that can serve multiple purposes and buying clothes and toys second hand.
Using cloth diapers and cloth wipes
We made the decision before our son was born to use cloth diapers and cloth wipes. Although it was an initial investment, I know that it saved us a lot of money over using disposables. We will really realize the savings if we are blessed with a second child. All of our cloth diapers have held up so well! They still look new. We won’t need to buy any additional ones the next time around. There are so many styles of cloth diapers available today. It’s easy to find ones to fit your style and budget. Personally, we went with Fuzzi Bunz and had much success. It was easy to get into a washing routine and since the Fuzzi Bunz are pocket diapers, my husband and I would just stuff the inserts into the diapers while watching TV at night and have them all ready to go for the next day. As long as you are using cloth diapers, you might as well use cloth wipes. You can use flannel, or fleece or even just some infant wash cloths. You can find a great recipe for making your own wipes solution on 365 Resolutions . You just toss the wipes in with the diapers to wash and dry!
Make your own baby food
I absolutely LOVED making my own baby food! It was extremely satisfying and I loved knowing that I was giving my son the best and most wholesome food that I could. Making pureed fruits and vegetables is not difficult and it will save you a lot of money compared to buying jarred baby food. I used to calculate how much it was costing me to make all of my own food, and it was consistently a 50% savings! My son got a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and I strongly feel that is why he is such an excellent eater today. I found that having a good food processor was essential. This is worth the investment. My husband used a gift certificate for his birthday and bought a Kitchen Aid food processor and we both completely love it! Other than the food processor, the only other things you need are some ice cube trays, a steamer basket and a roasting dish. I would spend a few hours once a month steaming and puréeing several fruits and vegetables, then pour each one into an ice cube tray, each ice cube is approximately one ounce, cover with tinfoil, label and freeze. Once the cubes were frozen, I would transfer them to freezer bags and label with the type of food and date. At meal time all I’d have to do was pop the little cubes into the microwave to defrost!
Sign up for as many baby clubs and coupon websites as you can
Even if you plan to cloth diaper and make your own baby food and exclusively breast feed, there are going to be times when you will still need to buy disposable diapers or baby food or possibly even infant formula. Since you won’t be used to buying these items on a regular basis, it can help to lessen the blow if you have some coupons to use. You may also get some free products for signing up for baby clubs. For example, where I live we have Publix grocery stores. When I signed up for their baby club I received a great parenting reference book for free! When I was pregnant with my son, it was my intention to breastfeed exclusively. I did not want him to have formula. This was a personal choice and I felt strongly about it. Well, my son had other plans. He would not latch. We worked with lactation consultants, we tried nipple shields, we tried and tried and tried… tirelessly… and with much frustration, until finally, I came to the realization that if I wanted my son to have breast milk I would be pumping and bottle feeding. So that is what I did, for six months. This certainly was NOT what I had pictured for myself or my son, but I had to learn that I can’t always control everything. After six months, my milk started to dry up and my son switched exclusively to formula. Guess what? Formula is EXPENSIVE! That was a very difficult pill to swallow. So, I signed up for coupons from every major brand of formula, not just the one I was using. The formula companies will send you lots of great coupons in the mail. I would trade the coupons for the other brands of formulas with other mom’s I found on Craigslist in exchange for coupons for the brand I used. There are so many ways to save money as a new Mom. These are just the big ones that worked for me. I hope others will share their money saving tips and tricks here as well!
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