Our precious boys...

Our precious boys...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

LESSONS IN FRUGALITY

I’m a bargain shopper. I take great pride in finding the best deals and saving money. Recycling and reusing makes me very happy! Waste not, want not. Right? I don’t like to throw things away. Am I a hoarder? No way! Let me explain…

Nick and I are very frugal. We try not to overspend. We use coupons for what we can, wait for sales when possible, and put money away. I am so proud to say that my husband is the research king. I adore this about Nick. He loves spending time researching any item before we buy it. This is from everything as simple as laundry detergent to a bigger investment such as a flat screen tv. As you maybe can guess, Consumer Reports is one of his favorite magazines.

I'm the weirdo you seeing walking around using my calculator on my phone in stores, making sure we buy the item that you get the most of, for the best deal. (And it is so shocking to realize that more often than not, buying the items in bulk is not cheaper than a single item. Society teaches you to just assume that bulk is cheaper, but oftentimes, it is not. It’s important to take the time to do that quick simple math as it can save you lots of money!)

I must also note that of course we don't always buy the cheapest. It's not about buying the thing that costs the least amount of money. We believe it's about the best deal for the best quality. Don't get me wrong - we splurge like every normal human being. And we know that the cheapest item isn't always the best, because it's also about quality over cost. Therefore, just because an item costs the least, doesn't necessarily mean it's the best deal. (For example, if you buy a cheap TV and it breaks in a year as opposed to a little more expensive TV that is better quality and lasts 5 years...well, you get the idea.) Another big factor in buying an item is convenience and location. As sad as that may sound, it is so true, convenience is always nice. Especially when you have two little babes in the picture. And last but not least, we believe spending a little more is often worth it in order to support a local business or a business you believe in!

As you can imagine raising twins costs a lot of money. Heck, raising any child costs a lot of money. But here are a few money saving tips on little ways we've found that add up BIG when dealing with babies!

CLOTHING:
Most of the twins’ clothes are on loan, were purchased at garage sales, or were gifts to us. A handful of friends have given us their boy clothes to borrow. And we received many matching outfits as gifts for the twins. But most of all, I did mega mega garage saleing last summer. And my mom also finds a lot of great deals at thrift shops.

I’ve always loved garage saleing (One man’s junk is another’s treasure!), but I used to be the type of person that didn’t like buying used clothing. This all changed when it was time for a baby, or two! Those baby clothes hardly get used and are in such great shape. And they are so very cheap at garage sales. I found such great deals. At one garage sale, it was stuff a paper grocery bag full of any infant clothes for $5. I about had a heart attack, I was so excited!

You can find many other various baby items that haven’t even been used, yet alone opened. A friend of mine found these awesome deals for us last summer: a brand new boppy and cover for $5 total, a brand new Johnny Jump-Up for $5, a bumbo chair and attachable tray for $5, and an activity gym for $5. All of those together brand new would have cost more than $120 and we got it all for $20!

FORUMLA:
I know, I know. Breastfeeding would have been a lot cheaper, but if you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know this just didn’t work out for many different reasons. So, formula it is. We’ve priced compared and found our formula, Enfamil, is cheapest at Target. (Please note Enfamil is not the cheapest formula, but it's the one we choice to use for the twins.) It’s often on sale, so we buy it then, in the bigger bulk refill packages. We use Target coupons and also Enfamil coupons. They let you “double up” coupons there and use 2 at the same time. Plus we have the Target Card, which we receive 5% off purchases. It’s important to shop around and price compare.

BABY GEAR:
Again garage saleing and borrowing from friends.

DIAPERS:
I feel that a diaper is a diaper. It goes on their butts, so why buy brand name, when any kind will work? Thankfully, the twins haven’t had any allergic reactions to any diapers or wipes. So we can just use generic. We have found that we love the Target brand. They are the cheapest, even cheaper than Walmart, (because of our Target 5% off) and we feel they work great. (I know cloth diapers are a good option too, and I did seriously consider it and do a lot of research. But honestly poop scares me. I don’t think I could handle that, especially with twins. So, disposable diapers it is for us!)

DETERGENT:
People tell you to use the brand name baby detergent, Dreft, when washing your baby clothes. But what makes it a baby safe detergent is basically that it is fragrance free. Instead of buying Dreft, because it is horribly expensive, we just use any regular detergent that is fragrance free.

BABY WIPES:
Okay, this is the best secret ever and I am ready to share it with you! Are you ready? Here you go……..tear the baby wipes in half!!! Just tear the wipes in half and they will last TWICE AS LONG! I felt like the wipes were just too big and that so much total area on it was getting unused. What a waste, I thought! I know you fold it over and use more than one area, but it seemed so clumsy, using the whole big wipe. As a result, I just began tearing them in half and it worked so much better. I’m taking full credit for this since I’ve never seen anyone else do it. I think I may be a genius. Send any donations my way for your thankfulness…

BABY FOOD:
I am planning on making baby food to save money. I will report back soon...

That's all I have time to write right now. When I think of more, I will be sure to post!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Amy! Awesome posts and pictures -- the boys look FANTASTIC! What fun you all are obviously having! We're so glad you're doing well!

    I had to post a little on the baby food thing -- by all means, if you have a good processor, make your own food. I did a little with the first and all of it with the second, and I'll never go back. I bought either fresh (what was on sale!) or frozen, according to age (a good baby cookbook is essential), processed, and froze the leftovers in baby-portion-size containers. My parents got us a Beaba for the second, and I LOVE it. I use it mostly for processing (sometimes cooking/steaming, which are nice option) but since I usually made stuff in bulk, it was easier to use the stove. Good luck with whatever you do!

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