This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how finances affect their parenting choices. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Still, the upfront expense can be more than I'd like to spend sometimes. One of the ways I try to cut back on those costs is by making things myself. Our old clothes get freecycled and donated to thrift stores, but only if I can't re-purpose the cloth to make something new. I strive to cut down on the things I buy that I could make not only because it saves money, but because I find joy in creating things with my hands. Then, getting to use those things in our home brings me even more satisfaction. It feels like I'm making money by re-purposing things that would've otherwise been discarded.
Several months ago, Daniel developed a sensitivity to synthetic diapers. That threw our diapering plans for a loop, since the majority of our stash was made up of pocket diapers with microsuede (polyester) lining. The first thing we did after Daniel's pediatrician suggested that we switch completely to natural fiber diapers was to go out and buy a dozen toddler sized cotton prefolds. Prefolds are one of the most inexpensive ways to cloth diaper, and we knew we'd have to go that route for a while (if not for the rest of the time Daniel is in diapers). Shortly after that, I crocheted him a wool soaker with some yarn I bought on sale, since we needed to use PUL covers less of the time to increase breathability. I got a few used fitted diapers from a diaper swapping group on Facebook, and I've also recently made him a few fitteds from tshirts I got from a thrift store. They're really cute, very functional, and extremely inexpensive (though a bit labor intensive) to make. I really enjoyed the challenge of taking on that new project!
Daniel's wardrobe is simple and inexpensive, currently consisting of tshirts, homemade baby leggings, socks and one pair of soft soled shoes. Besides making things myself, keeping things simple is our other main money saving strategy. Jaymz and I realized early on with Daniel that he wouldn't need that many clothes, since he grows out of them so fast anyway. I don't mind dressing him in the same things, because the things we have I really love. Almost all of his clothes come from consignment sales, thrift stores, and clearance racks. I love a good deal!
These strategies help me to both save money and feel like I'm making a difference with the amount of waste we produce. I also find creating things to be very therapeutic, which makes it even more beneficial to the whole family!
Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon October 11 with all the carnival links.)