Jun 20 2008

A link round-up for the 1st day of summer

Happy first day of summer! It hardly feels like summer here. Following a heat wave we had a few weeks ago, the temperatures have been in the 60s-70s. Not exactly swimming weather.

I’m going to blame hormones, because this week, I was completely obsessed with figuring out some baby-related things. We had an interesting discussion on whether I should attempt using cloth diapers, despite not having a washing machine inside my apartment (we have a coin-op machine downstairs). After tons of research, brainstorming different strategies, and e-mailing moms who have cloth diapered, and talking with Shane, I think¬†that we’re going to try it anyway. Probably won’t start until the baby is at least a few weeks old. I know I’d regret it if we never gave it a shot.

Some commenters suggested I try finding a new apartment or rental house that has a washer/dryer in the unit. At first, I was absolutely against moving. It would be an enormous hassle, we wouldn’t have much help, if we found a place not close to a bus line or a Park n’ Ride, we might have to get a second car, etc. Then I thought I’d at least look to see what was available.

Turns out, a lot of nothing. True, I was being a bit picky in my search. I wanted a place on this side of town that was at least as large as our current place, on the bus line, and cheaper.

After looking through all the apartment rental web sites I could find, the classifieds of both city papers, craigslist, and who knows what else, I realized that the only way for us to have a washer/dryer in our apartment would be to move to a more expensive place. No thanks.

I just need to be content with what I have.

On to the link round-up!

Frugal Babe has a little boy who was born just a few weeks ago. She’s trying cloth diapering, and loves how easy it is for her.

PaidTwice explains how there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all shopping list for baby items. Everyone will need a place for baby to sleep and things for baby to wear, and a car seat, and that’s probably about the minimum basics that will be on everyone’s list. Some items are frivolous, and some just won’t work for every baby. She recommends buying as little as possible initially, and then adding to your supplies as needed.

Ron has a really cool pair of short stories illustrating a common path for getting into debt. Part 1 will ring true for a lot of people. Part 2 shows how the couple in the story turned things around.

Visit MoneySavingMom to see a long list of restaurants that offer “kids eat free” specials or similar offers.



7 Responses to “A link round-up for the 1st day of summer”

  1. i’ve been scouring your website for hours and finally utilized a lot of your ideas. i’m currently unemployed (was let go from a $34,650/annual position 3 months ago) and we are relying on my husband’s income as well as unemployment to get us through until i am able to find a new job (which has been hard…michigan has the highest rate of unemployment!). his income dropped because he had to add me to his health insurance (an additional $200/month) and my unemployment runs out in three months (unless the gov. passes the extension which would give people in michigan another 6 months). anyway…rambling…

    i try to be frugal but realize i had no idea how horrible i was at it until i came here! we could go grocery shopping and spend $50-$100 on just…stuff. i sat down and spent hours today finding recipes (many of them from you) and made a meal plan for the next 4 weeks. then i went grocery shopping for all the ingredients i would need for next week’s meals (similar to how you do it, except i was too afraid to try aldi’s and went to meijer instead, which i’m sure cost me a bit more). i was able to stock up on some staple items that will last a while and didn’t have to buy any meat because we have a freezer half full from stocking up previously. i spent $39 to make meals next week, and 4 days out of the week my husband and i will be feeding an extra person (my sister will be staying), so that’s not bad!

    wow…still rambling. anyway…i think i’m going to start keeping track of stuff similar to you. at least going to try! you’ve been a huge inspiration!

  2. Don’t forget to weigh the cost of doing lots of extra loads of laundry up against how much the rent increase would be to have the washer/dryer in the apartment. It may be a wash, so to speak…

    You may also find that you don’t enjoy hauling so much laundry up and down stairs with a little baby around and under sleep deprivation.

    I know there are plenty of pros to cloth (including the environmental ones), but with good bargain hunting skills you can get disposable diapers for less than 11 cents a piece… it’s worth it to me to pay for the convenience. I just wish I had a CVS because then I could really play the drugstore game for diapers.

    Ultimately, you have to do what is best for you and your family… but as the mother of twins who has had her share of blowouts… my vote’s for disposable. Happy moms make for happy kids!

    Christina’s last blog post..Free Drink at Caribou Coffee Saturday

  3. I love reading about your many ways of saving. My stepmother recently had my baby brother in October and made quite a few mistakes along the way when it came to shopping for the baby, (not to mention the baby shower).

    First of all, check out http://www.babytobee.com

    It’s a great place for free stuff.

    If you ever decide that cloth diapers is a bad choice for you (which I fully support by the way!) but if you do, I have talked to quite a few and everyone says that Luvs is the trick. They rarely leak, they’re breathable (which means rare diaper rash), and they’re just plain better on baby.

    Now, my stepmother made a mistake when it came to the baby shower. She merely asked registered for things for baby. Not a good thing. Instead of making sure that ages 0-4 years were taken care of, she only had up to the first year ready. So now they’re spending major money getting everything she needs for baby as he grows.

    It would be a great thing to look for things for baby from ages 0-4 years of age. Register for them! (and don’t forget safety specs) And don’t register for large amounts of clothes in each size. Babies grow FAST (my baby brother is only seven months old now is as big as an 18 month old, he’s just sprouted!) So all of those clothes were only used for a couple of weeks, if that. Big waste.

    Unless of course you can find a consignment shop that will take ’em for you (which they do at really reasonable prices).

    But yes, make sure that you register for 0-4 years! A little storage space may be needed (not a lot since the clothes are so tiny) but you’ll save major money from asking for things during that age range.

    -DecMeadow

    DecMeadow’s last blog post..MAY Goals

  4. If you really want to try cloth diapering, look into a “dorm” washing machine, which is the size of a large bucket. You can see what i am talking about here http://www.brandsonsale.com/portable-washing-machine.html

    It is about $80 and if all you wash are diapers, it might work for you!

  5. Hey Kacie, thanks for highlighting my short stories. They were about 75% based on my life and 25% based on things my friends and family members have experienced.

    People can ALWAYS turn things around!

  6. Kacie, have you considered renting a house. I lived in Pittsburgh for a little more than a year and moved to TX a few months back. Though Pittsburgh has a lack of apartments, Ive noticed that they are many houses for rent at the same rate or even less than apts. Most of them come with washer/ dryer or atleast u can rent then but all the maintanence is taken care of just like an apartment. Worth checking out.

  7. Good luck with the diapering/washing machine/laundry decisions! I agree that moving to a more expensive place while you’re pregnant is probably more trouble than you need right now. I like the suggestion to look into a ‘dorm’ washer – and you don’t need a dryer at all, I dry our diapers on a clothes rack… they last longer that way too.

    Frugal Babe’s last blog post..A Great Free Gift For Your Child

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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