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September 16, 2017
My second baby’s due date is tomorrow and he hasn’t yet made his arrival (phew!). So, like many growing families, we have been continuing our frugal habits and trying more new ways to save money in preparation for our little sweetheart. It has been a fun and interesting journey. I thought I’d share more of what we have found useful! 🙂 The next few tips aren’t all health-related or time-sparing, but have helped us save an incredible amount of money. I hope these recommendations can make your life a little bit easier!
1. Use Thrive Market. I compare prices on almost everything we buy, and Thrive Market (they have an app) has won the gold for buying cheap health-related items. We often buy bulk coconut oil, shampoo and conditioner (I haven’t been able to make a recipe that works yet. Bummer!), and many of our supplements. Azure Standard is another good source for bulk health food/items, and Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place to find bulk herbs/spices/teas online.
2. Use Amazon Prime. I make many of our own products ingredients in bulk. Many of those bulk ingredients come from Amazon and I enjoy my Prime membership’s free-shipping benefit. Please comment on this post for any recipes you may be interested in. I’d be happy to share mine! Here is what I make at home: toothpaste, baby wipe spray, baby bottom balm, pregnancy-belly butter, body lotion, face lotion, anti-fungal cream, magnesium oil, foaming hand soap, dishwasher detergent, and stain-remover for clothes.
3. Find a near-free or totally free source of kefir grains, sourdough starter, and kombucha SCOBYs. Store-bought kefirs, sourdough breads, and kombucha can really add up over time. But, why spend the extra money when you can simply (seriously-it’s easy!) make these items yourself? Many people who have extra SCOBYs, grains, and sourdough starter have extra, and may be willing to give you their cultures for free. If you don’t know anyone with grains or starters, you can experiment with making them yourself, buying them commercially, or see if anyone on Amazon or Etsy is selling their extras. Lots of DIY fermenting advice and recipes can be found on culturesforhealth.com, culturedfoodlife.com, blogs, facebook, and even YouTube! We have not needed to purchase probiotic supplements in a very long time because of how cheap and effective fermented foods are.
4. If you have very young children, consider cloth diapering! It has been a fun experience for us so far. Actually, it has become a bit of an obsession of mine…there is so much to learn! We have been doing it for almost 15 months now and plan on continuing to cloth diaper all of our babies. Though some people prefer to use cloth diapers 100% of the time, we have found that it’s a lot easier to use disposables while traveling, moving, and while diapering a newborn baby in the first 1-4 weeks to avoid needing smaller cloth diapers. Even if you only do cloth diapering part-time, you’ll save HUNDREDS of dollars and trips to the store for disposable diapers and wipes! Sometimes, daycares will work with you on your preference to cloth diaper. Though diapers fit each child differently, we have had EXCELLENT success with BumGenius pocket diapers. Money-saving tip: Buy used or flawed cloth diapers, inserts, and wet bags for an extra cheap discount; most flaws can’t be seen, anyway. If they weren’t perfectly functional diapers, they wouldn’t be sold by the manufacturer. 🙂 I’ve cut up an old sweatshirts to use as cloth wipes and they’re so soft on my baby’s bottom. One last option for purchasing cloth diapers is joining a couple cloth co-ops on facebook, where bulk orders on diapers greatly reduce their prices.
5. Of course, garage sales, second hand stores, and hand-me down clothes can save you hundreds, as well. Sometimes, people will even trade items rather than sell them, which is an easy deal if you’ve got stuff to get rid of. Joining buy/sell/trade (B/S/T) groups on facebook is an easy way to do this.
Hopefully, my next post will be our baby’s delivery story!
What has helped your family save money and score good deals? Doesn’t it feel good to have a little extra cash in your wallet?
Disclaimer: All information on this blog is for informational purposes only. I am not a licensed medical professional. Please discuss any dietary changes, supplements, or medical questions with your doctor.
Diane Stanislowski is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public.
She lives in Grand Forks North Dakota with her husband and daughter Jane, and receives raw milk and pastured meats from Bartlett Farms.