Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tips and Tricks to Raising a Family on One Income

I shared in an earlier post about saving money by making homemade baby food (you can read that article here). Today, I thought I would share some other ways we have found to cut back on costs and save money. I will be the first to tell you that I love to spend money! This post is in no way meant to come across as though I think I am better than everyone else. Trust me, I'm not! It initially took a lot of will power to stick to a strict budget, but now I can't imagine living any other way. Some of these ideas may work for your family as well, and that is my prayer and desire in writing this post.

Clothes: I buy the majority of Gunnar's clothes at a kids resale shop near my home. I absolutely love this store, because you just can't beat a t-shirt for $1, or a jacket for $3! And, because I'm a parent club member, I also receive 10% off all my purchases. Today, they were having "Bag Day". Buy a bag for $20 (limit 2 bags), and fill it up with as much merchandise as you could. I walked out with $50 worth of clothing for $20!  And that was at the thrift store price. If I would have bought all of that at retail price it would have been over $100 worth of baby clothes. I was able to finish up Gunnar's summer wardrobe, and get a good start to his wardrobe for next fall/winter.

Diapers: For the majority of the time we use cloth diapers with Gunnar. We have 7 cloth diapers that fit a baby size newborn-6 month, and 10 one-size diapers. For those 17 diapers we spent a little under $150. Now, that might seem like a big purchase, but it really wasn't. First of all, the diapers were purchased a few at a time, so the cost each time was more like $30 here, $50 there. And, we have saved SO much money on disposables!! Gunnar will wear a disposable at night, at the church nursery, and weekend trips to visit family out of town. We will buy 1 bag of generic disposable diapers for $14 (60 diapers inside), and that will last us a little over a month. If we were just using disposables, we would be paying $14 a week! So, you can see how the savings can really start to add up by using cloth diapers.
A few of Gunnar's one-size diapers. From smallest to largest setting. (Gunnar's size is in the middle).

Recently, I decided to start using cloth wipes as well. At first, I was a little grossed out at that, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. I simply took a hand towel, washed it, then cut it into 8 equal pieces. I made a batch of cloth wipes solution, and now I absolutely love using them (and love the savings!) I still buy the regular wipes, but it's nice not having to pick those up so often.


We live in an apartment and do not have a washer/dryer hook-up. That means we have to pay $1.50 to wash and $1.50 to use the dryer. When you have a baby that you are cloth diapering, that just isn't an option! So, we have even found ways to save money on that! We use a portable washing machine and a portable dryer. I believe that the washing machine cost $100 and the dryer cost $50. We have saved SO much money not having to use the washers and dryers in the apartment laundry room. I have also been making my own laundry detergent for almost 3 years now. In fact, I can't remember the last time I bought detergent at the store!
 The Spin Dryer. It rings out the excess water, then I hang the clothes on a drying rack for about an hour before folding and putting away.
The portable washing machine. Hooks up to the kitchen faucet, and works great! No trouble getting stains out!

These are just a few of the every day expenses we have been able to cut costs and save money on. How does your family save money?

1 comment:

  1. A "trick" I like to use for making our money go farther is not being afraid of leftovers! Throwing out food which can be served again is a big mistake! I like using grocery bags as bathroom trash cans liners and use old rags for cleaning instead of paper towels. In fact, I put a rag on the bottom of my Swiffer and it works great!