Leah’s Money Saving Ideas

Posted by  | Monday, October 1, 2007  at 12:25 PM  
Okay Mamas, this week's topic is Money Saving Ideas. Sorry for the late post (in my defense, it's only 9:30 my time!). Now, I can't wait for the other ladies to chime in as well because they have some really great ideas. Here are a few we use in our family to cut costs:

1. Use Resale Resources: Craigslist, MamaBarter, and Freecycle are a few I use.

2. Homemade Wipes – These are easy to do and really cheap to make. You will need a 12 cup container (like the Rubbermaid you would use to keep flour/sugar), Baby Wash, Baby Oil, and Bounty Paper Towels. You MUST use Bounty paper towels – they are the only brand that don’t mildew (don’t ask me why!). I prefer the select-a-size variety. Cut the paper towel roll in half (this is the worst part) and place it in the plastic tub. Mix together 2 cups water, 2 T. baby wash & 2 T. baby oil. Pour them over the paper towels and cover. After about 30 minutes, turn the container upside down to let it soak back through. To use, remove the cardboard roll and pull sheets from the middle.

3. Swap babysitting nights with a friend.

4. Make you own (fill in the blank) – I always look for a way to make something myself instead of purchase it. That’s how I got into sewing slings.

5. Buy disposable cups, bowls & spoons – these are pretty cheap, can be washed & reused, and I don’t feel bad if I take them out and lose them or decide to just toss them.

6. Cloth Diaper – seriously, this saves so much money. For example, you can purchase 50 prefolds and 4 covers for about $50 and have enough to diaper your child. That's the bare bones of it, but you see just how cheap it can be.

7. Swap baby items – For example, I need a swing for the new baby that’s coming in April. But I also have an exersaucer sitting around not being used. I’m going to swap my neighbor who has a 6 month old – it’s just temporary, but that way we each can use the item and not have the other taking up space – and we don’t have to both buy two things!

8. Make your own baby food – very easy, very nutritious, and saves lots of money. Even if you don’t go all out, you can do some things. For example, it kills me to see moms buy jars of banana or apples – it doesn’t take anything to mash a fresh banana and you can by a huge jar of unsweetened applesauce for the same price as a little baby food jar.

9. Revamp old things. I didn't buy anything new for Samuel's nursery. I got the crib and dresser for $150 from a friend. It was natural wood color, but I wanted black. I painted all the furniture and was so pleased with the results. Black furniture from Babies R' Us is $750+. I saved big bucks, and I could purchase solid colored bedding for a lot cheaper than a set.


Ross said...

Leah, approx. how many wipes will one roll of Bounty make??
Shannon Bradley

Hollie said...

Did you make that chair cushion? How??? LOVE IT!

Leah said...

The roll I just bought (not select-a-size b/c the others were on sale) has 96 sheets - Since I cut that in half, one roll will make 192 wipes. So it costs me about $1.25 for 192 wipes. I just checked at Babies R Us and the big pack of 400 wipes from Huggies is $10.99. I can make that many for about $3.00.

Actualy, I didn't make the black cushions - they are floor cushions from Walmart. I just bought two and used them on the chair. The little accent pillow is handsewn though.

Jackie said...

My mom suggested doing this so thanks for the recipe. I will definitely give that a try.

Jackie said...

The wipes recipe is what I was referring to :)

Leah said...

You mentioned in your post, Leah, that the hardest thing about making your own wipes was cutting the roll in half. This sounds crazy, but I have used an electric knife (like for cutting turkey and brisket) on a paper towel roll. It worked perfectly once I figured out how to work, though there were scary moments when I thought I would cut my hand off...anyway...it sliced right through the roll without any issues. Repeated use on paper towel rolls might make it dull, but occasional use shouldn't hurt it. Just a thought! Oh, and I echo the applesauce bit--I buy a huge thing of applesauce for under $2 at Wal-Mart, and Georgia and I both eat it:-) Thanks for a great post.

markandmeg said...

Thanks for some great ideas! BTW, I use your same recipe with cloth wipes and it works great! Since I use the cloth diapers, I just wash them all at the same time.

Shannon Bradley said...

Leah, I made some wipes and they seem a little soapy...was I supposed to use 1/2 of the recipe on 1/2 of the roll?? I think I am really going to enjoy these!!!!

Melissa Pearce said...

hi leah! do you cut the paper towel roll in half vertically? So the cardboard roll is a half-circle? I know this is silly, but I just want to know! Also, for the furniture you painted-- did this peel off the crib when samuel bites on it? Or is the paint job new for the new baby? I have thought about painting a crib, but then I worry...
I see you're showing! I just started showing like a week ago...but i hear you show earlier with your second baby. I find out what it is in 5 weeks!

NotesbyNewsome said...

I love love love the blog!! I do have questions about cloth diapering...for example, what are pre-folds? and what find of closures do they have? I can wait for the answers until the cloth diapering blog, but I just wanted to give an example of questions us "newbies" may have. Thanks again for the blog!!

Leah said...

Augh! We've been without internet all week - so sorry for the delayed replies!
I LOVE the suggestion of the electric knife - thank you!!
I asked my hubby (the wipes maker of the family) and he said he only uses 1 1/2 cups of water as he we having a similar problem. Hope that helps!
You are so silly! Cut the roll in half so that it is like you have two rolls of toilet paper-sized rolls.
You are in luck! We've decided to post on cloth diapers next week instead of waiting until December. Stay tuned...

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