“We had cut our income almost in half since we decided I would be a stay-at-home-mom instead of returning to work. We just had to get used to having less disposable income,” she said.
One way Vivar was able to save money was by switching to cloth diapers. “I switched to cloth diapers when my twins were a year old. Spending over $120 in disposable diapers each month was killing the budget. When I thought about the fact I was throwing this money in the trash each month, I was convinced I needed to switch.”
Kelly Wels, founder of One Size Diaper Store, says many moms have approached her wanting to know if they can really save money using cloth diapers. “I say ‘Yes!’ In fact, I tell these moms that they may save more than $3,000 by using cloth diapers over disposables. And I’m not talking about moms using the cheap and flimsy pre-fold cloth diapers, I’m talking about the modern, easy-to-use cloth diaper brands like bumGenius, Fuzzi Bunz and Happy Heiny’s that have grown in popularity over the last five years.”
This is true for Lindsay McGowan of North Liberty, Iowa, who spent about $250 to buy a stash of bumGenius and Blueberry diapers for her son. She said that her family saved a lot of money using cloth diapers and, as a bonus, they were able to reduce their daily waste. “We were taking out the garbage daily with disposables. But once we switched to cloth, we saw an amazing reduction in our waste.”
McGowan, who works three days a week outside the home, says daycare costs alone have eaten away at her family’s budget. She had to be creative in finding other ways to save money after her son was born.
“We decided to downsize our SUV to a fuel-efficient compact car. We both drive small cars now, and have noticed a significant decrease in the amount of money we spend on gas each month,” she says.
Not only that, but McGowan also says she breastfeeds, makes her own baby food, only buys clothing at garage sales or off the clearance rack, and even makes her own household cleaning concoctions – all in an effort to save money.
“My husband and I are in no position to waste money right now,” she says. “I would rather spend a little extra time doing price comparisons and get the best deal on something than waste money.”
Vivar also advises that moms should look for little ways to save money. “I buy most of my kids’ stuff from Craiglist, which enables us to reuse things that normally would be tossed in the landfills and cost a fraction of what they would cost if bought new.”
Stay-at-home-mom Marla Beniek of Chicago also is looking for ways to shave off expenses from her family budget, especially after her husband lost his job shortly after her third child was born. She, too, has turned to cloth diapers.
“If I had known five years ago what I know now about cloth diapers now, I would’ve used them on all my kids. I can’t help but think of all the money I would have saved if I was able to reuse my cloth diapers for all my children.”
Wels, who also owns the popular baby boutique Kelly’s Closet, says families can rid of wasteful spending if parents are just more diligent about spending. “Moms should audit their monthly spending from top to bottom to find opportunities to save. This might mean taking more drastic measures, like switching to cloth diapers, or simply making an effort to shop at discount stores and thrift shops. It’s just important to do your homework, find something that works for your family and then stick with it,” she advises.
-Post by Jenny L., – Blog Contributor