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Super Saturday Coupon

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Fluff Friday 201

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This week's fluff friday winner is:  Lonnie Marquardt

She will receive the following:
1 GroVia® My Choice Trainer


CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! Please, contact us here ASAP so we can get your winnings out to you!!!
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Fluff Friday 200 WINNER!

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We are, for the most part, a single income family, and my husband is a state employee. I love the opportunity I have to stay home with my two kiddos- ages 3-1/2 and 2 months- but it comes with its own set of challenges. We initially looked into cloth diapering for environmental reasons, but when I figured out how much money we could save by switching with cloth, I knew we had to make the jump, especially after figuring out how much money we had spent disposable diapering our first for 2-1/2 years. After putting pen to paper, we figured out that we had spent over $1350 on disposable diapers in under 3 years. Thirteen-hundred-and-Fifty Dollars, and we always bought the store brand! Do you know what I would have rather spent that money on? Pretty much anything!

When we started to build our cloth diaper stash I tried to do it in the most economical way possible. What I learned is that you don’t have to shell out a huge sum of money to start cloth diapering. Yeah, there will be some start up costs, but families can cloth diaper on any budget. Here are some ways to make your dollar stretch further:

  1. Start with a budget in mind. I knew I wanted to save at least $1000 dollars by switching, so I vowed to not spend more than $350 on my cloth stash. Don’t forget to add in accessories such as pail liners, doublers, wet bags, and cloth diaper safe rash cream when you budget.
  2. Keep an open mind when considering systems. I was initially set on only using pocket diapers, but a wise friend convinced me to try out prefolds. I fell in love! Who would have thought? Flats or prefolds may not be for everyone, but they might work for you. All-in-two’s are also a convenient option, and they are usually less expensive than buying all pocket or all-in-one diapers.
  3. Also, keep an open mind when considering brands. You may fall in love with a certain well known brand, but if there’s an awesome sale on a good alternative, consider it. You can always return Wee Guarantee diapers that didn’t work for you to the Diaper Shops.
  4. Shop the sales. It’s my experience that everything goes on sale eventually, if you wait long enough. Look for free diaper coupons as well as “buy a certain number, get one free” sales. This is an especially good idea if you have your heart set on one particular brand. Patience is definitely a virtue when trying to cloth diaper frugally.
  5. Take advantage of second sales and gently used items. Over half of my diaper covers were purchased gently used and many of my prefolds are seconds. You can get great deals on fully functional items when they have minor defects or have been worn a time or two.
  6. Get a high quality product. Generally, you get what you pay for, and most of those ultra-cheap diapers offered by Chinese companies aren’t such a great deal when you consider how long they’ll last. It’s always a good idea to go through a reputable retailer, both for the warranties and the customer service. You want your diapers to last!
There are a myriad of reasons to consider cloth diapering, but saving money is foremost on many parents’ minds in this tough economic climate. Do research before you buy and stick to your budget. Know that it’s okay to build up a stash gradually; before you know it you’ll be saving thousands of dollars over the course of your child’s life!

Bio: Heather Hale - Heather is a work-at-home violin and piano teacher, but her full-time job is chasing after her two boys. You can follow her eco-friendly lifestyle changes at moderatelycrunchy.blogspot.com
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Frugal Finds: Cloth Diapering on Any Budget

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I was lucky enough to keep my daughter home with me for six months before we enrolled her in daycare. But when it came time to find a daycare center, I realized I may have a fight ahead of me. We use cloth diapers for all the typical reasons: the environment, money, our little girl's bum. I did not want to start using disposable diapers just because she was in a daycare.

So I did some research. I found the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education, which was invaluable. It's important to go into a daycare knowing your state's laws when it comes to using reusable diapers in a center. If you know the answer to all their questions and how you will follow the state's laws on reusable diapers, then you are well on your way to convincing your daycare provider to use cloth. This website compiles all that information by state and daycare setting (center, in-home, etc.).

Another website I found compiles a list of known daycare centers in the US and Canada that are cloth diaper compliant: Cloth Friendly Daycare List. Of course this list doesn't have all centers willing to use cloth diapers, but it is a good place to start. Please do not shy away from centers not on this list! Our daycare provider isn't on it; however, the teachers and staff were more than willing to work with us. (Some were even excited to see and try modern cloth diapers; and there is at least one staff member that has helped a family member decide to cloth diaper because she loved my daughter's diapers so much.)

After narrowing down our very long list of possibilities, the first thing I did was send each an email asking if they were willing to look at my diapering system. Three centers said yes, so we made appointments for a tour, armed ourselves with the state's laws, wetbags, wipes, creams, and – of course – our cloth diapers! (We started out by sending pocket diapers and have moved to AIO diapers.)

Not so oddly, most people still think cloth diapers are Gerber flats with pins and plastic pants, so many are skeptical of allowing cloth in their daycare centers. However, when you show up with an AIO or pocket diaper that is as simple as a disposable diaper, it is very easy to convince them that they can do it. And I would suggest using the easiest diapering system possible at daycare. You don't want to send in too many parts, otherwise there could be mistakes and, subsequently, leaks.

The biggest concern of most centers is what happens with the soiled diapers. When I went in with my arsenal, I made sure to stress the fact that I did not expect anyone to swish or dunk my daughter's diapers. I just asked them to fold it in half and put the soiled diaper right in the bag. It's no different than folding a disposable diaper and putting it in the trash! And, of course, I take the diapers home every day so soiled diapers are not left there overnight, which is another concern. Shoot those concerns down! And don't get too offended when center directors tell you that your diapering system is unsanitary (yes, that happened to me). Just turn around and leave. Don't waste your time!

As I mentioned before, go into the center with all the answers. Think about what others have asked and what you asked yourself when you began your cloth diapering journey. How does cloth work? How many will you send in each day? How will the diapers be stored at the center? Will you take them home every evening? Do they leak? Some of your original concerns will likely be the same concerns at the daycare center. You have all the answers because of your research and your practical knowledge from using cloth. Be excited and listen to their concerns. Be willing to work with them, and they will be more likely to work with you.

Bio: Jennifer Esposito - I've been cloth diapering my daughter, Adele, for a little over a year. She wore her first cloth diaper when she was 6 days old and was in them full time at 3 weeks. I've been married to my best friend for 4 years. I'm an editor by trade, and during my free time I like to run, sew, or read.

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The Art of Convincing Your Daycare Provider to Use Cloth

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He may be far from verbose, but Hubby has an opinion or too about cloth diapering. I did my best to extract these opinions from him over a cup of tea, after the kids had gone to bed…

Me: So, tell me. What were your initial thoughts when I told you I wanted to cloth diaper?

Him: Uh… Oh boy? It seemed like it would be a lot of effort. I thought you meant those fluffy, old fashioned, white ones, which seem kind of scary. And there would be poo.

Me: What won you over, then?

Him: Well, you reminded me that there would be poo even with disposables; but probably it was the money thing. You explained how much money we would save, and that convinced me. When you showed me pictures of these pocket diapers, I realised that there wouldn’t be any pinning involved… Oh, and I also love you and genuinely delight in pleasing you!

Me: Good answer. After nearly 16 months using cloth diapers, what have your impressions been?

Him: Actually, they have been way easier than I expected. They don’t seem to be any harder to use than disposables. They look pretty cool and seem like they are good for the baby; I don’t really remember him ever getting a rash or anything.

Me: Do you think cloth diapers are Daddy-proof?

Him: Amazingly, yes. I mean, you just clip them on and you’re good to go! I’m still a bit scared of the pin-on ones, but the pocket diapers we use are pretty easy. I’ve even figured out how to stuff them!

Me: I am very proud.

Him: Thank you (blushes slightly).

Me: Have you ever chatted to other dad’s about them?

Him: A few times. To be honest, most guys don’t hang around the water cooler desperately wanting to talk about diapers, so the topic doesn’t naturally come about too often, but whenever the other guys talk about how much they spend on all the baby stuff, I tell them how we are saving all this money by cloth diapering. Most of them end up being interested, actually.

Me: This last time around we didn’t try newborn diapers on our son. Now, if I were to tell you I was pregnant….

Him: Are you?!

Me: (dramatic pause)

Him: Seriously – are you pregnant?

Me: (sigh) No. But if I were…

Him: (interjecting)…please don’t tease me like that…

Me: …if I were to tell you I was pregnant, do you think we could try newborn diapers this time around?

Him: I’m going to guess it would be cheaper than disposables, so I say yes.

Me: Yay! Okay, last question. You’ve admitted cloth diapers are way easier to use than you expected, a thrifty option and even cute. Does that mean I can go order some more?

Him: Why do I get the feeling I’ve been played?...

Bio: Belinda Lamprecht currently lives in Africa with her husband, working for an international missions agency and raising her two kiddos, one who joined the family through adoption and one…ahem…the old-fashioned way. You can read more about their experiences at www.reaboka.wordpress.com
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Daddies and Cloth

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