February 20, 2014

How to Save Money on Baby Expenses

We saved a lot of money with our first child and plan to save even more with our second baby. We cut back on literally thousands of dollars, making raising babies significantly more affordable. It has been said that the total cost of raising one child is around one million dollars. Regardless if that is true or not, parents know that raising children is still very expensive. With our student debt accumulation, it is essential that we save money in any way possible.

Here is a quick break down on how much you can save on baby expenses before I go into greater detail.

Total Savings (Bare minimum! There is potential to save even more.)
  1. Cloth Diapers: $1901.70 (1 child) or $4197.40 (2 children)
  2. Laundry Detergent: Pay $1.76/ 178 loads ($0.00988/load) instead of the average $8.00/ 160 loads ($0.05/load)
  3. Cloth Wipes: $110.68 (1 child) or $221.36 (2 children)
  4. Breastmilk: $1795.23 (1 child) or $3590.46 (2 children)
  5. Nursing Pads: $14.95 for the first month of breastfeeding only
  6. Other savings ideas listed below
Use Cloth Diapers: 
    • The average child goes through 8149 diapers from birth until potty trained. 
    • The average cost to use disposable diapers for one child is $2444.70. If you have two children, you pay $4889.40. Triple or Quadruple for even more babies... Ridiculous! 
    • Stats from Awesome Beginnings 4 Children
    • We decided to buy a hybrid type of cloth diapers called gDiapers. They were a little more expensive than other brands of cloth diapers but they will be used for two children. (Unfortunately we stopped using gDiapers around 7 or 8 months and switched to disposable so our diaper costs rose significantly. We bought disposables for our first child for 16 months!! It makes me sick... but we are still saving a lot by using them for 7 months and for the entire diaper period of our second child.) See the breakdown of total gDiaper costs. You may even be able to save more by switching to a different brand.
      • Total: $692 for laundering costs & gDiapers instead of $4889.40 for two children
        • gPants: $140 for 12 gPants & 12 liners in two sizes up to 28lbs
        • gCloth inserts: $240 for all sizes, 48 cloths
        • Extra liners: $46 for all sizes for 12 liners
        • Disposable liners for use when solids/formula are introduced: $5.50/100ct, ~$60
        • 20% discount with free shipping from Diapers.com. Use my promo code for the same deal: MXNE9597
        • Order in bundles to receive further discounts. 
        • Total gDiaper cost: $400
        • Laundering costs are estimated to be $73 per year or $292 for 4 years.
        • If we need to buy a larger size, above 28lbs, we will only have to spend $70 on 6 more gPants. The other accessories accommodate the larger size gPant. (This number is excluded from total costs.)
Make Your Own Laundry Detergent: All detergents only require 1 tbsp per load of laundry! I have tested the dry and cloth diaper detergents below and they produce clean clothing. The detergents can be enhanced by adding a few drops of essential oils.
    • Clothing: Dry Detergent for use with hot water only (Fels Naptha will not melt in cold water.)
    • Clothing: Liquid Detergent - $1.76/ 128 loads
      • Recipe is the same as above except it is cooked and you add water. 
      • Use Budget101.com's Recipe found HERE.
    • Cloth Diaper Safe Detergent - No Soap
      • 1 cup Borax
      • 1 cup Washing Soda
      • 1 cup Oxyclean (I use the sensitive skin version that is free of dyes and perfumes.)
Use Reusable Cloth Wipes: If you are already using cloth diapers, then it is not any more difficult to add cloth wipes to your laundry. In fact, it is easier than using disposable wipes because it eliminates the need for a trash bin next to your changing station. You can buy them or make your own.
    • 8149 diaper changes results in a minimum of 8149 wipes. 
    • Wipes in bulk at Walmart cost $9.00/500ct. 8149/500 = 16.298 boxes required for $146.68
    • Buy handmade cloth wipes for around $1 per wipe on Etsy. You should only need 24-36 wipes total. $24-$36. 
    • Sew your own: These are cheaper and easy to make. Stick to clearanced flannel!
      • For 1 layer wipes, cut a piece of flannel approximately 8" X 8" and serge around the edges and wash with cloth diapers.
      • For 2 layered wipes, cut 2 pieces of flannel and serge the two layers together. You can also sew the right sides together and flip right side out and top stitch if you do not have a serger.
      • Tip: You can sew terry cloth on one side for more "wiping power". 
    • Cloth Wipe Solution: (I am not calculating cloth wipe solution costs because you already have to buy baby wash and you only need a minimal amount.) 
      • 2-3 cups water, infused with chamomile if desired
      • 1 tbsp baby wash
      • 1 tbsp baby oil (optional)
Breastfeed Your Baby
    • It is recommended to breastfeed your baby for one full year. Breastfeeding is FREE. All nursing supplies are optional.
    • It costs $1795.23 to buy formula. 
      • Assuming your baby drinks the average amount of 10,104.5 fluid ounces in one year. 
      • Assuming you spend $15.99 per can of formula that makes 90 fluid ounces.
      • I used a chart from Kellymom.com that lists the average amount of formula consumed by babies daily based on their age.

Use Reusable Nursing Pads
    • In one month, I used 5 boxes of Nuk ultra dry disposable nursing pads 50ct that costs $7.19. Total costs: $35.95
      • Sew your own nursing pads
      • You have to continuously buy nursing pads for as long as you leak. Each woman is different but you could end up using them for as long as you breastfeed.
    • Phillips AVENT washable nursing pads (6ct) cost $6.99 on Amazon. If you bought 3 packages, you pay about $21.00 and get to reuse them again and again. 
    • Nuk reusable nursing pads (6ct) cost $3.89. I bought 2 boxes for $7.78 and made my own thicker pads with left over fabric I had from making cloth wipes.
      • Sew your own: Cut (2) 4-5" diameter circles of flannel and (1) 4-5" diameter circle using an old towel or other thick terry cloth. Place the flannel on the outside, sandwiching the terry cloth and serge around the edges. 
Do not use milk storage bags!
    • Fill an ice cube tray with expressed breastmilk, placing 1oz per cube.
    • Remove cubes from tray when frozen and place inside a sealed gallon freezer bag. You can buy 108 Glad gallon sized freezer bags for $11.97.
    • Lansinoh milk storage bags cost around $10.00 in stores or $8.59 on Amazon for only 50 bags that hold up to 6oz of breastmilk. 
Thrift Shop for clothes!
    • Shop only when stores are having a major clearance sale, like at the end of the season.
    • Garage Sales
    • Craigslist or local Facebook garage sale sites
    • Sew your own... If you are talented and know how to find good fabric deals. 

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Thanks for reading!
xx Monica xx

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