Friday, June 1, 2012

Flats and Flips

Did you score the flips on sale? Buy 2 get 1 free comes out to $8 a diaper. I'm a big fan of flips, they dry quickly and fit well on my kids. But I didn't buy the Flips inserts. The stay dry liner is $5 by itself or a 3 pack sells for $12. The organic is $8 or you can buy a 3 pack for $20. The inserts add quite a bit to the price of the diaper. (not on sale flip is $14 plus a $5 insert = $19! That is twice my target of price of $10 or less a diaper)

What is a frugal (cheap) mama to use? Those $1 tea towels aka flats.

Flip diaper with tea towel inset
Folded with tea towel inside

With added Bum Genius stay dry insert layer
Added hemp insert with stay dry layer
I find the tea towels to be pretty absorbent. Not the most fun to clean poo off of (even with a diaper sprayer) but I tend to use them when it would be odd for my babies to poop. I do like adding a stay dry layer, i don't want the babies to feel wet. My hemp inserts were bought used (no idea what brand) and the Bum Genius ones were a gift. I use the hemp ones for Baby E since she's our chunky girl.

Price options
Flips on sale $8 + $5 stay dry insert = $13
Flip on sale $8 + $1 tea towel = $9
Flip on sale $8 + $1 tea towel + stay dry doubler ($2 each) = $11

Bonus the tea towel can be used as a diaper by itself. A $5 insert is still just an insert, The $1 tea towel can be folded into a diaper. You can even use the stay dry doubler on the inside of the tea towel diaper. :) I love having multiple uses for the same product!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Continuing our cloth diapering on a budget series:

Used diapers. Do you find that gross? I did at first. But i buy used clothes for my kids. Ever have a baby blow out all over their clothes? How is that different then a used diaper? I'm not going into used diapers just now, I'm pepping you for a future topic. Food for thought if you will. :)

If used diapers are beyond you right now make sure to sign up for the daily deal sites. Zulily has diapers occasionally. Right now they have a pocket diaper called Royal fluff on special till June 3rd. Diapers that normally cost between $23-$25 are on sale for $8.99-$9.99. They also have $11.99 wet bags. If your willing to buy used, you can spend less. But if you want new diapers, this is a good price. I've never tried Royal fluff, and I have tons of pocket diapers already. I won't scoop up this deal. But i wanted to pass it on for any one who needs new diapers.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Giveaway on My cloth Diaper stash

My Cloth Diaper Stash is hosting a tot bots giveaway! Giveaways are another great way to add diapers on a budget. Free is very on budget!

Diaper sale

Fuzzi buns are on sale for buy 1 get 1 free at ButterCup Baby. Very good sale for new diapers. Fuzzi buns are good diapers, we have a few and like them. The large ones fit 3 year old Diva very well.  Plus the fuzzi buns ship free at Buttercup baby. For $80 you can buy 8 new good quality diapers. That is about a day's worth of diapers for my older babies. (each) I like pocket diapers in wet climates they dry quickly even when hung up inside. I like covers and flats for the same reason but i'm working on adding a stay dry layer to those. Dh doesn't like covers and flats he'll always grab a pocket diaper first.

I will not be scooping up this deal. We have plenty of pocket diapers for the babies and the budget is a little too tight to add anymore for Diva. ;) But I hope someone benefits from this awesome sale!

Flats challenge

There is a really cool diaper challenge going on right now. Its a challenge to use flat diapers without a washer or dryer. I love it! But I'm not participating.

1. I didn't know about the challenge till after it had started.
2. With 3 kids in cloth I'm not willing to hand wash.
3. We have only 4 'flat' diapers. Aka tea towels.

I have to admit the challenge made me curious about flats. I've used them twice on my girls now for about an hour and a half each time. I folded the flats in their flips covers as inserts. My girls didn't leak through but I wouldn't trust them for much longer. The second time I added some inserts from Bum Genius on top of the flats. The bum genius inserts have a stay dry layer. I don't want my girls to feel wet, the fleece on the bum genius wicks the moisture away from them.

The flats were dry by the morning which is a huge plus in our wet climate. Since the flips are also dry in the am I feel like they are a good combonation. I'm going to keep playing with them. Who knows, we may add more flats to our stash. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cloth diaper laundry on a budget

Continuing our cloth diapering on a budget series:

I wash diapers everyday. With 3 kids in cloth we go through a lot of diapers. We have two big wetbags for dirty diapers. If its mid day and the wetbag is already full then i wash twice a day.

There are many different  kinds of diaper detergent. While I like that diaper detergent is diaper friendly I don't want to have to order special detergent. Or spend $15 on detergent. One of the detergents says it does 45 or 90 loads for $14. At 45 loads that is a cost of .32 cents a load.  90 loads would equal a cost of .15 cents a load. I'm using arm and hammer sensitive skin, free of dyes and perfumes. Its on sale at Walgreens this week for $3. The bottles says it does 32 loads. That is a cost of .09 a load. Its actually less then that since I use less on diapers then on a normal load of laundry. This works great for my family. Hubby has sensitive skin and this detergent doesn't both him. I don't have to keep a special detergent on hand, and if I run out its a quick pick up.

Currently my diapers are stink free. They absorb great and do not bother my kid's skin. If we start having smells, rashes, or absorbing problems then perhaps we will switch detergents. After stripping the diapers. But why start out with the expensive option if the cheaper choice will work fine? I've bought 2 bottles this week and will probably buy another 2 bottles to keep upstairs.

I hang all my diapers and inserts to dry. Unfortunately we live in a VERY rainy area and most of the time I have to hang inside. (but i do relish those beautiful hot days when the diapers can hang outside) Our small hanging drying rack can't hold the 12-16 diapers the kids use everyday.Once the drying rack is full its time to get creative again! I use pants hangers to hold inserts, Some of the diapers hang over the shower curtain rod, and some over the towel hangers in the bathroom. Pocket diapers dry quickly enough to be used the next day. Our inserts, all in ones, and prefolds have to take a short tumble in the dryer. Usually 20 minutes on low is enough to finish drying them.

Thankfully our electric and water rates are very reasonable, The extra washing and short dry times add very little to our budget.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Continuing our cloth diapering on a budget series:

Prefolds are a common suggestion for cloth diapering on a budget. I had some tiny gerber prefolds that I find basically worthless. As i understand it gerber makes prefolds that are 100% cotton and some with a different filler. I think we have the ones with the weird filler. They do not absorb well at all. And they are far too tiny for baby E's bum. I wanted to give good quality prefolds a shot but i didn't want to invest a ton of money in something i wasn't sure my family would use.  I ordered 5 indian prefolds to try for a total of $10.

Prefolds have to be prepped. Since they are a natural fiber the oils from the fiber have to be washed out before the fabric will absorb. I bought indian prefolds because they have to be washed 5-7 times (with drying in between!) vs the 20 something times for chinese prefolds. My washer is wonky it would take me forever to wash the prefolds 5 times. Luckily the Internet came to the rescue! You can boil the prefolds to remove the oils. I could  fit 3 in my biggest pot. They boiled for 20 minutes after which time I washed and dried on hot. My goodness it made a huge difference! They went from flat to puffy.
Indian prefolds after boiling

I've used the prefolds to stuff our Flips covers a few times. It works but makes the baby's butts huge. I think they are a little large to be used as inserts, Today I used a prefold on baby E. I used a snappi and the Thirsty cover. It worked and was easy to get on. However my husband didn't like it. Baby E soaked the diaper and hubby didn't like having to touch the soaking wet diaper. Personally it doesn't bother me. I'm constantly feeling up the diapers and inserts to find out how wet everything is. That is what hand washing is for. ;)

I'm not sure prefolds are for us. I have bought a few more to try and maybe we will find the prefold love. I don't mind them but I don't find anything impressive about them either. They take longer to dry (very humid climate) then my pocket diapers. The prefolds require covers. The cheapest cover i've seen new was $6. At $2 a prefold thats $8 a diaper. As much as my kawaii pockets which I like more. If you can find a deal on used prefolds and covers or make your own covers I can see it being a good budget option. I'm not sure its a great choice for our family. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tell people that your family is now cloth diapering

Continuing our cloth diapering on a budget series:

Be sure to let people know your family is cloth diapering. You don't have to tell them you choose cloth for financial reasons if it embarrasses you. (i tell everyone, I'm not embarrassed! Who really wants to spend $150-$200 a month on diapers?) Someone you know may have extra diapers they are not using. Maybe their kids outgrew them years ago but they saved them just in case. Perhaps you'll jog their memory and they will give them to you for a deal or free!

This happened to me. One of my friends gave me 6 really nice diapers! I wouldn't have thought she had any diapers left, I posted on facebook a picture of our Kawaii order and she offered them to me. I LOVE these diapers.

3 Dry bees diapers (I love these, add an hemp insert to the all in one and it handles baby E's nap fine)
2 Rumparooz diapers (perfect for tiny baby J's massive poops)
1 thirsties fitted and cover (i love how soft the fitted feels)

The 6 diapers are some of my favorites, i use them everyday. I'm so grateful to my friend for giving them to us!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Continuing our cloth diapering on a budget series:

Cotton babies is currently having a sweet sale. They are selling their flips covers ( $13.95 each)  buy 2 get 1 free. That is 3 diapers for $27.90 (under my $10 a diaper price) On top of that deal TODAY ONLY they are offering a free bum genius 4.0 one size diaper ($17 value!) with a purchase over $39! Use coupon code MOMWK at checkout. I'm trying not to buy more diapers, Really I am. I bought some used diapers for over nights and they will need covers. . .

I bought:
 3 flips for $27.90
 1 Thirsty diaper cover $11.25
1 bum genius $0

Which put me right over the $39.

5 new diapers for a little over $40 is about $8  diaper. Right in my target range! And i get to try a bum genius. Really excited about that. A lot of people seem to like them.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Be creative

Continuing the starting a cloth diaper stash on a budget series

When money is really tight its time to think outside of the box. Prefolds make cheap diapers but I can't find good ones locally. I tried pinning a Gerber prefold on baby E. It wouldn't fit. What can you find to use right now? I've heard that Target's tea towels make great flat diapers. The tea towels cost $4 for 4. A very affordable option. They can be used as flat diapers with an insert or another tea towel folded inside as an absorbent pad. Or folded and stuffed into a pocket diaper as an insert. Tea towels are not water proof. I would use a cover over the top. Covers are nice because if they are peed on but not pooped on they can be wiped out and reused. I like the options the tea towels give me for a low price.

One of my favorite doublers is an old towel i cut into insert sized strips. If my sewing machine wasn't broken I would hem them. However I'm not able to and they still work fine, even if the inserts are stringy. Old towels are cheap (this was free, we already had it) and dry quickly. Another insert i use as a doubler (under the main insert. Most of mine are microfiber) is a wash cloth. They are already hemmed. I don't find them to be as absorbent as an piece of old towel but they work fine as a doubler. It wont be a long term solution  eventually they will unravel too much to be used. But the towel pieces work really well in a pinch!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Shopping second hand for Cloth diapers.

Continuing the starting a cloth diaper stash on a budget series:

I haven't had a bit of luck finding cloth diapers at the thrift store. I'm not sure if they don't take used diapers or if they just sell fast. However I have been able to find cloth diapers at all 3 of the consignment stores I visited. I was specifically looking for fitted diapers, but i found an excellent deal on covers that I couldn't pass up!

This diaper was $6. It came with the insert. Its called Little Biscuits. I tried an Internet search for the manufacturer but was unable to find one. The cover is in awesome shape!

These 4 diapers came in a pack, 4 for $6. Some of them are in better shape then others. But i figured for that price, I can give them a try!

I can use the covers with the prefolds I just bought. Or I can use them over a fitted diaper. Or i can use them with the pieces from tomorrow's post. .  . ;)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spend money wisely

Continuing the starting a cloth diaper stash on a budget series:

I now had $50 to spend on diapers. I have all pocket diapers except for the 6 all in one diapers. I wanted to buy a different type of diaper. I also wanted to purchase prefolds, and snappis. I could have stalked craigslist for a deal, sometimes there are fabulous deals locally. Or i could have searched a used board for a score. However this time i chose to spend the money on a retail purchase. Just because its a retail purchase doesn't mean I should spend recklessly. I still need to think through the purchase and try to get the most for my money. Here is what I did:

A wonderful online store is having a deal on flip diapers. Buy 2, get 1 free. That brings the total price per diaper to $9 each. My goal is $10 or less per diaper. Perfect. I wanted some better quality prefolds but i'm not quite ready to spend $10 on a prefold. I went for the $2 indian prefolds. I may use these as a diaper but i doubt it. I'm guessing they will be used mainly as an insert. I wanted to buy hemp inserts but at $5.95 all I could afford was 2. If my budget was super tight i would stop buying right here. However my budget has a bit of wiggle room so I scooped up 2 snappis at $3.95 each. (i did manage to find diaper pins locally. But I'm so worried I'm going to poke my chubby wiggly 10 month old that i never use them)

1 x Buy 2 Get 1 FREE!Flip: One-Size Diaper Cover = $27.90
Cover 1 Blossom - Snaps
Cover 2 Blossom - Hook/Loop
Free Cover Zinnia - Snaps
1 x Snappi Cloth Diaper Fastener = $3.95
Color Purple
1 x Snappi Cloth Diaper Fastener = $3.95
Color Pink
2 x Hemp Babies Little Weeds55% Hemp, 45% Certified Organic Cotton = $11.90
5 x Indian Prefold Cloth Diapers = $10.00
Size Premium
Sub-Total: $57.70
Shipping and Handling (ECONOMY): $0.00
Sales Tax: $4.00 (this company has a store in my state)
Total: $61.70

I ended up spending $11.70 out of pocket and $50 from the sale of my Ergo.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Buy diapers without spending money out of pocket

Continuing the starting a cloth diaper stash on a budget series

How can you get diapers without spending money out of pocket? Trade! Find something you don't want and already have and trade it for something you do want.

I'm really into baby carriers. Good quality baby carriers, my favorites are woven baby wraps. Or mei tais, and ring slings made out of woven wraps. The first decent carrier hubby and i bought was an Ergo. Ergo is a good quality carrier but neither hubby nor I could get a comfortable carry with the Ergo. After new carriers arrived we never used it. I listed it on craigslist for $75 (which is what we paid) and that i would be open to trading for cloth diapers.

Man people on craigslist can be crazy. They wanted me to drop the price when its already a fabulous deal. They wanted me to drive several hours out, and still drop the price. Uh no, sorry dear. Finally one sane woman offered to trade me diapers (yay!) plus cash for the Ergo. I love this situation. We were able to get rid of something we no longer used, and gain something we both wanted!

My Ergo was listed for $75. The woman offered me two Baby Kicks diaper originally $20 each with a trade value of $10 each, and $50 cash. Hubby and i agreed the $50 would go to diapers. It worked out perfectly for both of us! And i saw the lady walk around the corner and put her daughter on her back! I love baby wearing!!  

Another example would be to consign some clothes you don't want, for credit to buy diapers at the consignment store. Or hold a garage sale and spend the money on diapers.  Cloth diapers save so much money over disposables but they are expensive to start out, try to be creative  to come up with the money. I have a ring sling and new with tags shirt still listed on craigslist. If they sell, the money will go to diapers too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Building a cloth diaper stash frugally

With 3 little kids in diapers hubby and I can no longer justify using disposables. We have a weird washer set up that makes using cloth diapers a little unappealing but we have figured out a way to work with that. We figure disposable diapers  costs us $150-$200 a month. If we use $150 a month times 12 months that is $1800 a year. I can think of a billion other things I would like to spend $1800 on besides little girl pee. Here is how i started building my stash:

My oldest child is Diva. She's 3 and almost 40 pounds. I already had 4 large fuzzibun diaper for her. I spent $40 on 6 used all in one diapers. Nana's bums. That gives her a total of 10 diapers which is plenty. She's somewhat potty trained most days.

My two babies are fairly close in size with baby E being the biggest. I had 3 one size fuzzibun diapers that didn't fit diva. They work perfectly for the babies. I spent $20 on 5 used pocket diapers. These aren't the best quality, but if i use a doubler they work fine. I spent $74 on new Kawaii diapers. Most people say that even though the diapers are inexpensive they work great. I figured with the price being $74 for 8 diapers, i could give it a try.

I also spent about $46 on two yards of PUL, a snap press, and snaps. My mom is going to sew some pocket diapers for me. She's using fabric she already has for the liner but there will be an additional cost for the elastic and inserts.

We've spent a total of $134 for 19 diapers so far. (i'm not counting the fuzzibuns. While we already had them, we did spend money on them last year) That averages out to about $7 a diaper. My mom says 2 yards of PUL will give us a ton of diapers too. Of course we're not close to having enough. Diva can go a full day (we use 'sposies at night) in cloth but the babies can't yet. Since I line dry (and it takes forever in wet washington) we'll need quite a few more diapers. Of course i'll be getting them us cheaply as possible!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane

My husband has gone to the Congo to pick up our 3 child. In 3 weeks we will be a family of 5. I'm sad he will be gone so long. I remember when 3 weeks was nothing. But getting good Navy billots has spoiled me. I will miss him. Our 3 year old will miss him. But when he comes home he will bring the best present ever. Our newest baby girl. We are blessed.

Friday, February 24, 2012

And then there were 3

Elizabeth comes home the end of March! I cant believe God has blessed us with 3 beautiful baby girls. Its definatly not my version of ideal to have Baby J and Elizabeth just 7 months apart in age. Baby J has only been home for 4 months. BUT I feel incredibly blessed to have both of these children and wouldn't change it for the world. Just 2 years ago I was sobbing and heartbroken fearing I would never have babies. And now i have three. God is good!