Money Saving Tips

Cloth Diapering:  After taking four kids through the entire diaper process, we decided to make a switch to cloth diapers...mostly to save money.  I did tons of research and found the ones that fit with our lifestyle.  I bought a few and then made a large batch of my own using the ones that I bought as a pattern.  I found that:
*having a layer of PUL fabric helps protect against leaks (PUL is damaged by heat so hang to dry)

*having a layer of fleece between little bottoms and the "soaker" keeps baby dry and helps to prevent rashes...we have had none!

*fabric softeners build up on diapers and contribute to leaks

Click here to see my post on making homemade cloth diapers. 

We used to spend $80-$100 each month diapering two babies.  After an initial investment of about $150, we now spend about $10 a month for liners and wipes.  After cloth diapering for five months now, I have saved $200-$300 and will save an additional $70-$90 each month!  (Making my own diapers at about $4 per diaper really helped to keep this start up cost low.)

*********update 10/2013*********

I have now been cloth diapering for over two years.  I have made many of my own diapers including my newest adventure...double gusset homemade cloth diapers.  These are amazing!  And, I have converted most of my old diapers to double gusset.  Watch for an upcoming post on this:)

Homemade Detergent:  Making my own detergent costs me between $2-$4 and will last five to six months.  I used to buy a "free and clear" detergent and would spend $15-$20 each month.

I make a new "batch" that takes about 30-45 minutes every few months and store it in a 5 gallon bucket (with lid) in my garage.

There are tons of recipes out there but I used this one because it uses very little Borax which is abrasive and can damage the PUL in my cloth diapers.  I plan to experiment with soaps other than "Fels Naptha" and Borax because my research on these show that it contains ingredients that I would rather do without. 

Coupons: I don't coupon...but it can save tons.  I used "couponsense" until the birth of my fourth baby and then I actually had more money than time...haha.  So, I gave up couponing for a season.  But, I fully intend to get back to it in a few years when I have the time to do so.

Homemade baby food:  Making your own baby food can save SO much money over the months that babies require purees.  I start my babies on veggies and fruits around 10 months of age.  About once a month, I will spend a couple of hours making baby food.  Baby food can cost in excess of $.50 per jar but I can make it for about $.10-.15 per jar.  So, if baby eats two jars three times a day...the savings really add up.  I save $60+ each month for a couple of hours of work.
This too has a start up cost because you will need some type of blender (I use a hand blender.) and you will need small containers to store the purees.