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Archive for the ‘Money-Saving Tips’ Category

So I’m revisiting the upcycled diapers post because I’m having such a good time with it.  It’s a HUGE money-saver, plus it’s fun rummaging through old things and making them new and usable again.

I came across an old super-soft sweater that I no longer wear, and thought it could make a very cute prefold diaper.  Below is the result:

 

Outside of upcycled prefold diaper

Inside of upcycled prefold diaper

Mr. Bear kindly modeling finished snappiable upcycled prefold diaper

 

 

How awesome is that?  And super cute, too!

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You have your cute cloth wipes, now you think to yourself , “How the heck do I use these?” Well fear not, it’s not nearly as daunting as beginning to investigate cloth diapers.  Some mamas prefer to keep their cloth wipes wet.  I am not one of those mamas.  I tried that with my first child and did not like it.  Too much propensity for them to mold, even if you just use water.  There are plenty of articles and videos online if you want to investigate that route.  I am going to concentrate on the spray bottle method.  This is where you keep your wipes dry and use a spray bottle to dampen them for each use.

You simply fill a spray bottle with plain old water or the cloth wipe solution of your choice.  Cloth wipe solutions are easy to make.  Many online shops carry wipe solution cubes that you simply dissolve in a larger container and add to your spray bottles as needed.  I keep a spray bottle on my diaper changing table and one in the diaper bag.   You can also make your own solution using pure essential oils (never use synthetic oils), vitamin e, baby wash, oatmeal soap cubes or many other ingredients.  Tea tree, lavender and chamomile are popular choices, and I believe the common ratio is 2 drops of each oil per 2 cups of water.  The first solution I ever tried was tea tree and lavender with a few drops of baby wash.  It smells yummy and the benefits of the essential oils are a plus.

Another option are soap cubes.  You can purchase them from online shops; many wahm’s make their own soap.  They’re usually quite inexpensive and last a long time.  If you have the time to make your own, this is a great option.  A nice hypoallergenic soap works well.  Oatmeal and goat’s milk soap are favorites of mine.  Just cut the bars up into small cubes (about the size of a sugar cube) and dissolve into a gallon of hot water.  I keep a large glass bottle on my kitchen counter for wipes solution and use it to periodically refill my small spray bottles.

 

Awesome, right?  Also saves a lot of money and is just one more thing you can do to be just a little greener.

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Many moms have heard of cloth diapers.  Have you ever heard of cloth wipes?  Well now you have!  Cloth wipes are definitely an eco-friendly and cost-effective option when deciding how to diaper your child.  They can be made to fit nicely into those plastic wipes containers and are reusable.  Awesome, right?

They can be made from many cute prints, materials and colors and are also great for wiping spills, cleaning dirty little hands, faces and even as a cloth alternative to paper napkins in your child’s (or your own) lunchbox.

I made these from one layer of flannel and one layer of terry cloth:

If you’re not too picky about what you use, you can always use the cheapo baby washcloths you find at the dollar store as wipes, but they’re awfully thin.  using regular-sized terry washcloths is an option but they can be a little bulky in the diaper bag.

If you’re just not all that crafty and would rather just order some online, I do take custom orders (online store is still being put together, but I can still take orders via funded paypal).  Flannel/flannel, flannel/terry, flannel/minkee in girl, boy and gender neutral colors/prints.  Just shoot me an email at peasloveandcamelot@gmail.com and we’ll see what we can whip up.  These also make great baby shower gifts!  So fun!

Next post:  Baby wipes solution!  Yes, you can make that, too!

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So I’ve been a busy bee trying to sew some diapers for my little one, and I asked myself:  “Self, I wonder if we can fashion some dipes out of some old clothes that I’ll never get my big girl self into again?”  I pondered this for a moment and as I looked through my closet, I realized there was a wealth of material in there that I could use.

The first thing I grabbed was an old shirt.  I decided to try and make a prefold.  I looove prefolds.   Prefolds are what most people think of  when they think of cloth diapers.  Prefolds were what my mom used back in the day, but earlier than that folks used whatever they had handy.   It is very possible to make yourself a diaper stash out of what you already have in your closet.

The shirt I used was made out of regular t-shirt material.  It was a very soft so it had a tendency to want to curl along the edges, but I made it work.  I cut strips out of some scrap flannel to fashion the center of the prefold.

Tah dah!  Upcycled diapers for baby!  Pretty cool, huh?

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I was thrilled when I came upon these awesome lunch kits while looking for school supplies:

They’re called Fit & Fresh and they are SO cool.  There are even portion marks on the sides.  I LOVE the fact that the ice pack is thin and it fits between everything and it’s all one concise piece AND they’re BPA-free.   I was so excited about them that I bought one for the kids and one for myself.  I was determined to get rid of ziploc baggies for good.  Not only is it better for the environment to use reusable containers, it’s a big money-saver.

Then I thought of all the days I am out running errands and have to stop to feed the baby, then end up buying lunch for myself.  If I packed my own lunch, I could save SO much money, plus avoid the lure of foods that are unhealthy.   The hubs was so excited when I told him–like it’s a new thing, right?  Packing your own lunch is such a simple thing to do.   It all adds up.   All fired up to put my money-saving plan into action, I began my search for just the right lunch bag to fit this fantabulous lunch kit.

I eyeballed the really cool Built lunchbags.  They were oh-so-expensive (close to $20 a piece, some even more) but so cool.  They’re made of neoprene–the same stuff wetsuits are made of.  I found a black one with matching drink holder that snapped to it.  My new lunch kit fit perfectly, but I passed it up, hoping to find something cheaper.  Weeks went by and I just couldn’t find anything to fit this kit.  At least nothing that I felt worked for me.

Then I happened to be walking through Target today and what did I see?  The very same Built lunch bag on sale for $7.40!!!  I snatched up that sucker, came home and slid my super duper lunch kit into it and my favorite bottled water and was so thrilled.  I’m all set!

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Well, I’m out of laundry soap.  Time to make some more.  Guess that halts the laundry for today, eh?  Oh darn.

I posted the recipe I use a while back.  Here is the link to the original post.  I usually try to make a new batch before the last container runs out, but with everything else that goes on around here on a daily basis, I am rarely ahead of the game on anything.

Have you tried a similar recipe?  Made up your own?  Tried several different kinds?  What have your experiences been with making your own laundry soap?

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So I made up 2 batches of unpaper towels and I am very pleased with them.   I still have a stack that is waiting to be topstitched as we definitely are breezing through them.  They are very absorbent and I am pleased with the overall size.  We’ve used them for hand-drying, wiping down pretty much anything and everything, cleaning windows (they are lint-free so they are wonderful for this use) and wiping little faces.  The husband even used them for draining bacon and hamburgers!

Now I will be moving on to my next project–colored unpaper towels.   I’ve had a lot of comments and questions about the unpaper towels so I will be making up custom batches for folks who are interested.  As soon as I get a few minutes and get enough pictures up I will most likely be listing some on etsy.   I have a good deal of my own projects I have to get done first (little one needs several new diapers, have to make more unpaper towels for us, sew a wetbag) as well as figure out why my machine keeps jamming (grrr!) and then I’ll work on getting some photos and prices up.   Whew!  Someone should really see about adding some more hours in the day.  😉

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