Thursday, February 4, 2016

cloth diapers | does it save money?


As the last part of my cloth diaper mini-series, today I'm sharing how much cloth diapers have cost us compared to using disposables full-time. We have used cloth diapers full time since Bug was about two months old and I've been curious myself how much money we have saved. We were lucky to be gifted so many diaper items and Amazon gift cards at my baby shower, so most of the diapers in the beginning were free for us.

The short version is--
- Using only disposables would have cost: $1616.63
- Using cloth (w/liners) and 1 disposable per day cost us: $942.59
Savings of: $674.04 over 3 years ($224.68/year)

Here's the official breakdown:

0-2 months
- Disposable diapers and wipes
$225.51

2-5 months
- Newborn diaper covers and prefolds, reusable wipes
- Disposables (1 per day), a few disposable wipes
$63.31
Disposables only: $239.88

5-18 months
- Covers and prefolds, reusable wipes until 7mo
- Liners, disposable wipes
- Disposable diapers (1 per day)
$400.40
Disposables only: $493.70

18-36 months
- Covers, prefolds 
- pocket diapers since 5 months 
- Liners 
- disposable wipes 
- disposable diapers (1 per day)
$478.88
Disposables only: $657.54

So, in the end, I can happily say that using cloth 99% of the time has saved us a nice chunk of change. If we chose not to use liners, or kept using only reusable wipes, we could save even more. On top of the savings, we've also kept a ton of diapers out of the landfill and reduced Bug's exposure to toxins in disposables. Extra bonus is that they're really cute!

Have you ever considered using cloth diapers? Do you think you might if you have a baby? Do you think the savings is worth it?

photo credit: mini stack via photopin (license)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Meal Plan Monday


Here's a meal plan from our house to yours. Leave a comment if you would like a recipe!

- Slow cooker Balsamic pork tenderloin, Greek yogurt coleslaw, rolls

- Lentil sloppy joes, fries, veggies 

- Trader Joe's Chinese chicken over rice, gyoza, Szechuan asparagus 

- Sweet potato chili, cornbread, apples 

- Alton Brown waffles, bacon, fruit

- Beer battered fish filets, vegetables, fruit 

What are you eating/making these days?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

cloth diapers | favorite products


As part of my cloth diaper mini-series, today I'm sharing some of my favorite products over the past year and a half. There is an overwhelming number of options when it comes to cloth diapers and their accessories, so hopefully this can get you started if you're considering this option yourself.

Diaper Covers
- Thirsties - Love that they're made in the U.S. and that the leg openings have extra gussets to prevent leaks. I used size 1 (up to 18lbs) until Bug's 18mo check-up and I anticipate the size 2 covers will last us through potty training. 
- Rumparooz - The newborn covers were my favorite and I like the one-size covers as well (though they can be a bit baggy on my skinny girl). 
- Flip - I'm not sure if this would last to potty training on a bigger baby, but I've been impressed with the trim fit of the one-size cover on my skinny girl.
- Blueberry - I like that these are U.S. made and are a little thicker than some options. 
- Bummis - These were my other favorite newborn covers. We used velcro at that stage and it held up way better than other velcro covers I bought, so well that they should hold up through another newborn.

Prefolds
- cloth-eez - These prefolds are quality in every way. Great absorbency and can hold up to a TON of washing. 
- osocozy better fit - Since we use the tri-fold method versus wrapping the prefold around the baby, and since we have a petite girl, these have been a favorite. They're the same thickness as the cloth-eez but they're cut shorter so you don't have to worry about tucking in extra length/bulking up the diaper unnecessarily.

All-in-ones
- Bumgenius - We only have one, and it's the only brand of AIO I've tried, but these are a winner. They're made by the same company as the Flip covers so they fit really trim. Since they're an AIO, they're not bulky, and they can hold a lot without leaking at all. If I didn't have any budget limitations I would probably build a stash with just these diapers.

Pockets
- Applecheeks - I was gifted a size 1 applecheeks pocket diaper and it fit Bug until her 18mo check-up. I love their patterns, I love how soft the inside is against her skin, and I like that the cinched leg openings keep things from leaking. Many people love these but they can be on the pricier side.

Accessories
- Bumkins diaper liners - A lifesaver once baby starts eating solids. No hassle clean-up at diaper changes and the liners are flushable (if you don't have septic). These are the best priced liners you get for the quality.
- cloth wipes - These wipes were awesome when we were using them at diaper changes. They held up well to the frequent newborn/infant diaper washing. Now, we use them as a paper towel replacement and they work just as well in the kitchen!
- wetbags - My favorite way to store dirty diapers since it takes up no more space than behind a door. The Planetwise brand is high quality and holds up to both daily use and frequent washes. I did need to buy a replacement for our hanging bag after about 14 months, but it was my fault since I accidentally tossed bleach in the load and it ate through the waterproof lining. Oops!

Do you have questions about any of these products? If you cloth diaper, what are your favorite products?

photo credit: mini stack via photopin (license)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

how to respond to a break-in

As a military spouse, there have been a number of times when my husband was gone for an extended period or working strange hours. It can definitely be nerve-wracking and there have been times when I've wondered what I would do if, when my husband was gone, I came home and found evidence of a break-in. SimpliSafe, a provider of wireless security systems, reached out to me with this infographic on that exact scenario and I thought it was really important information to share. I hope this is something that you can tuck away for the future, though I really hope you never need it!


Monday, January 25, 2016

Meal plan Monday

Here's a meal plan from our house to yours. Leave a comment if you would like a recipe!

Week 1
- Baked chicken, oven roasted potatoes, broccoli

- Fried egg and avocado sandwiches, fruit 

- Creamy macaroni and cheese with peas and hot dogs, fruit 

- Vegetable curry over rice, naan bread, fruit

- Bean and cheese burritos, corn, fruit

- honey salmon in foil, Brussels sprouts, couscous   

Week 2
- Cheeseburger casserole, veggies, fruit

- BBQ pork sandwiches, fries, Greek yogurt coleslaw

- pizza grilled cheese, veggies, fruit

- one pot garlic Parmesan pasta, Caesar salad, berries 

- Black bean lime quinoa, fruit, veggies


- Alton Brown pancakes, bacon, fruit
 
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