Photo Credit: Grant Cochrane
Here are more ideas on saving…
6) Stay at Home, Mommy.
Before you add that appointment into your dairy, ask yourself if it is really necessary. Of course we don’t want to be hermits but often I find that going out not only wearies me (the further the distance, the higher rate of wear…) but also leaves me with a backlog of housework. It is a vicious cycle because I feel like I don’t want to stay home and then I want to go out again because I get overwhelmed staying home. Moreover when we go out, we tend to spend money. Often we also get tempted by the things we see at the windows of those nice shops out there. Ah, didn’t Eve get tempted by looking at the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
Another big ticket tends to be taxi fares, since we don’t own a car. Well even if you do own a car, it also cost money and fuel too right? Cutting down on commuting saves me quite a bit, and also keeps my sanity too.
After all, to be a stay at home mommy, it is better to stay at home.
7) Drink from your Bottle
Simple, bring your own bottle and save that few dollars buying drinks. I also become more appreciative and less guilty when I do buy drinks, especially on a hot day or when I have to carry too many things and I don’t want to lug that bottle around!
8) Before you Buy, Do your Research!
I have found many things that I want to buy cheaper online and I definitely think it is worth to trawl the internet to make sure you are getting a good deal as well as making the best decision on purchasing. It is good to practice waiting for a few days before making any purchase too (even if it is a “last day” or “today only” sale) because sometimes we just don’t need it and can find alternative ways to solve a problem without spending any money.
I try to find not only big ticket items but also things that are used frequently. I am amazed at the variety of goods sold on the net. But do exercise self-control and caution because in finding alternatives to what you want may end up tempting you instead. If so, practice waiting! Also, you’d be taking a risk that the goods don’t get shipped after paying. Therefore you have to research on the reputation of the online business as well…
9) Use Cloth Diapers at Home
After baby starts to poo regularly one a day and consistency is not as goo-ey (about 2-3 months old), I will start to use cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers. It is not only eco-friendly, butt-friendly but also money saving. I bought 5 pieces locally from a shop (Whopping S$35 a piece with insert) and 10 pieces at a fraction of the cost of the 5 pieces online (About $8 a piece). Nowadays the prices have dropped even further (S$2.50 per diaper or insert). It makes perfect economic sense to switch to cloth diapers since the cheapest disposable diapers that works well is at least 20cents per piece! It is actually pretty easy to wash off poo if you add a disposable liner and not as horrifying as you’d imagine.
Moreover I have terrible experience with nappy rash on the TC, and spent a considerable amount of money on doctors and Desitin cream. If TX is on disposables continuously for too many days he will also get red butt too! Not a pretty sight, uurrgh! I fell in love with cloth diapers after letting TC try. Sadly at that time, I purchased on impulse and didn’t do a good research to find cheaper alternatives online. Nevertheless, no more red butts and no need to apply cream!
Since I wash at least a load of clothes each day, I even eliminate the need to soak and just dump everything into the washing machine and wash at 40 or 60deg C. I am very glad I got a side load washer which washes cleanly and thoroughly while not damaging the clothes.
Don’t forget to add that vinegar too, it really helps to remove any ammonia odour.
10) Breastfeed as Long as you can
Before I had TC, I was determined to breastfeed after learning the benefits of breastfeeding. I am blessed with supportive husband and understanding employer (at that time I was still working) and I was pumping for an entire year after returning to work. I did have “supply problem” or so I thought, that most moms experience, but really they were just latching problems. Being determined helps. I started supplementing TC once in a while since he was 15 months. He nursed “officially” for a total of 18 months. I got pregnant with TX and he still nursed, not for milk though because my supply dwindled with the pregnancy but for comfort. I thoroughly enjoyed the bonding moments with TC during the times we nursed. TC nursed right before the day I pooped TX and we tandem nursed for a a quarter too. I also enjoyed the hearty appetite and ability to eat like a wolf but not put on weight.
I would have continued tandem nursing if not for mommy being too tired due to TX having UTI and the episode when both boys fell quite ill, taking a toll on mommy’s back and nutrition intake. Since then I exclusively nursed TX alone and started supplementing with formula recently when he is 9 months. This is partly because we wanted to prevent this problem of baby rejecting formula/milk totally when he is weaned (as it happened to TC and we had a long struggle with that), as well as mommy losing a lot of weight and getting short in supply.
11) Wear & Use Hand-Me-Downs
I’m blessed to have people pass us old stuffs and clothes for the children and I hardly buy any clothes for them. Many of them look very nice and new too. I found that we wasted more money on fancy baby gadgets that didn’t really work or only used briefly. Ah, reminder to go to point number (8): Do your research before buying and don’t buy on impulse! We also got many new items and toys as gifts and we are thankful for all of them, whether used or new. The only big ticket items that we bought and really used were baby pram, a fisher price toy, baby rocker and a whole lot of children educational materials like books or CDs. Most of the other stuff were given to us.
Now, are you still worrying that babies cost a lot? They can cost next to nothing to 1K per month, depending on what you want.
I hope your mind is ticking away on how to save on your household too! Do share with me if you have more great ideas!