It's pretty clear that if we're not in a recession, we're certainly heading towards one and at a rather rapid rate.
When uncertain economic times hit, the family budget often needs to be rejigged and if you've got babies in the house, one thing that can help is to make the switch to reusables.
Reusable nappies help you to tend to your baby’s nappy needs independently of the grocery store. Once you have a stash for your baby, you’re set. Reusable nappies pay for themselves over and over and over again.
But it's not just cloth nappies. There are other ways to save money and when the price of food doubles in just 6 months, every little bit of savings can help.
Here are some things that we've done over the years to help stretch the family dollar:
Disposable liners are lovely in theory, but a luxury for many of us. Here's a cost comparison. Fleece is a great alternative. Fleece is a lot better at stain prevention than the disposable liners. With newborn poo, I always threw straight in the machine. The solid poo just rolls off into the toilet.
Keep a potty next to the change table and use it in between each nappy change. Just pop bub over, count to 10 or sing a song. I started my youngest at 2 weeks with this trick and it saved a lot of nappy changes. It’s doubly exciting when you ‘catch’ a poo in the potty - much more pleasant than cleaning it off a bottom.
Cut the bottoms out of a couple of stubby holders and use them as knee protectors for your little crawler. This tip preserved many body suits and baby trackies that could then be passed down.
Instead of buying expensive (and potentially toxic) air fresheners, a few drop of lavender essential oil on your baby’s mobile will do the same job - if not better, because the lavender not only freshens the room; it also helps them sleep.
Warm water is by far the best ‘solution’ for cleaning your baby’s bottom (and fingers and face). You can purchase specific baby bottom wipes or use what you already have on hand (such as face washers or cut up some old pjs). Two dozen is a good number if you plan to use them full time as bottom washers. Grab a mini wet bag and dampen a couple of wipes before you leave the house. Best bit is they can be washed with your nappies so there’s no extra work.
Making your own baby food can be done specially, or you can lay aside excess from the family meal and pop it through the blender. Freeze portions into an ice-cube tray so you can just pull out what is needed at each meal.
Although more expensive upfront than disposable trainers, reusable training pants will save you a pretty penny in the long run.
Start a garden. If you don’t have a big yard (or any yard at all), you can grow spinach, lettuce and herbs in pots or foam boxes on your patio. Here are some tips for making the most of a small space.
Keen to get out for the evening but a sitter not in the budget? Do a babysitting swap with another family. Bonus benefit: Your kids enjoy a play date and you can get to know your friends’ children better.
Got the cloth nappies down and want to stretch your washable game a bit further? Try some reusable menstrual pads or swim nappy. Check out THIS POST for more info.
There are a few reasons that retailers balk at the idea of adding cloth nappies to their store. Here are some answers to those concerns.