Fuel prices are climbing through the roof at the moment and families are struggling with the extra cost. And when there is a baby in the family, this can be an especially costly time. However, there are several ways families can reduce their spending to help cover the additional cost of fuel.
1. Switch to cloth nappies.
Nappies are one of the biggest waste items for families and one of the largest expenses in the first 2 years. With each baby needing over 5800 nappy changes in this time. This costs families well over $2000 if using disposable nappies for 2 years. At first it doesn’t seem like disposables are costing that much, but spending $25-$40 per week on nappies, adds up by the time the child is out of nappies (which is generally older than 2).
Using cloth nappies doesn’t have to be an all or nothing option, but the more you use the bigger the savings environmentally and financially.
Just switching out 4 nappy changes per day to cloth, you will save 2920 nappies in 2 years, at .25c (the cheaper nappies) that is $730 saved. 10 cloth nappies can be enough to use 4 per day with time to wash and dry, they can cost less than $100. (check out our 10 pack of nappies)
The additional costs involved with washing is also very minimal. Modern cloth nappies are much easier to wash then the old style terry squares. Our modern machines and detergents work very well and the average family will only spend $90 – $150 per year to wash their cloth nappies. This includes the cost of water, electricity and detergent.
So by switching to cloth nappies, although the initial outlay is more than disposables, in the long run they will save families thousands of dollars during those first few years with a baby.
Plus modern cloth nappies come in a very wide selection of colours & patterns, changing your baby’s nappy can actually be fun!
2. Use Wet Bags instead of plastic bags.
Wet bags are perfect for baby’s dirty clothes, wet swimmers, toilet training, travelling and so much more. These are light weight bags with a PUL lining to keep the wetness in. They are small enough to fit into your handbag or nappy bag so you’re ready for any unexpected messes. This way you don’t need to pay the 15c at the supermarket just to have a plastic bag on hand for wet or dirty clothes.
Wet bags can also be used when you travel to store dirty clothes, to put your shoes in, they have so many uses that once you have one you’ll wonder what you did before.
3. Invest in a Cloth Sanitary Pads.
Sanitary pads are one of those ongoing expenses that most women have and just don’t really think about as they are a necessity. However there are now fun, comfortable and affordable cloth Sanitary pads for periods and bladder leaks will not only reduce your household waste, they are also more comfortable.
A set of cloth pads and period underwear can last the average women 2-6 years before needing to be replaced. A set will cost $60 – $200, depending on each persons needs. After that initial outlay, there are no more monthly trips to the shops to purchase disposables pads or tampons.
They are easy to wash, just rinse the shower (or laundry sink) and wash with the rest of the normal laundry. The cost to wash sanitary pads is very minimal as they go through with the rest of dirty washing. They just need a little extra water for the rinse.
Plus cloth pads, come in a wide range of pretty patterns to match almost any mood. Cloth sanitary pads are also quiet, no more packets rustling in the middle of the night, or the loud SCHEEETCH taking them off.
4. Make your own baby food.
Making your own baby food and storing them in reusable containers and pouches will be the best option to reduce costs and waste. It can be easy enough to do, when you wan to give puree food, just cook a little extra with your meals and blitz them up with a hand mixer and freeze in small batches as you go.
Or look into baby led weaning, for many families this helps reduce meal prep time and cost for baby as they will eat mostly same as the rest of the family.
If you use food pouches take them into your nearest supermarket with a REDcycle bin. These pouches along with other soft plastics can be recycled then made into outdoor furniture, signage and more!
5. Purchase second hand
Some items baby will only use for a few months, so purchasing second hand can save thousands. There are a lot of baby items buy, swap, sell Facebook pages dedicated to each area. Search through for things like toys, walkers and clothes. Some baby clothes are only worn once as baby outgrows it quickly, especially in the first year.
You can even pick up a great second pram if you’re quick. Grandparents might have a pram they used occasionally and no longer need. Or sometimes parents change their mind or don’t like a new pram and will put them up for sale.
Then once your baby has outgrown the item or it’s no longer needed, you can sell them. You might get the same amount you paid for it too, so then it doesn’t really cost you anything!
Just make sure to check items meet current safety standards before buying or selling anything second hand, this includes prams, cots and toys.
As you see there are many small changes your family can make that will add up to big changes and put money back into your pocket. Start making these changes today and help keep your family budget on track so that you can still drive to a friend’s place for coffee or explore this beautiful country.
Click here if you would like to read more about the costs to wash cloth nappies