Ways to make being a stay-at-home-mom more Affordable
I am well-aware of the fact that money doesn't grow on trees. But don't we all wish that it did? Giving up the salary of one parent to have a stay-at-home-mom (or dad!) can be a challenge, especially with all of the added costs of raising a child. But there are many ways that you can reduce the cost of raising a child, without sacrificing the care that you want to give them.
I won't say that us finding a way for me to stop working and stay home with Lucas has been easy financially, because it hasn't. We've had to make some sacrifices along the way, and come up with some innovative (and just plain common-sense) ways to afford our choice to skip Daycare and keep Lucas home.
Even if you're not planning on staying-at-home with your baby, you can still do some simple things to reduce the amount of financial burden that comes with bringing a baby into the world. Here are just a few practical options that could add up to big savings for you and your family. Just by doing these three simple things, you'll save up to $3590.72 in one year.
1. Use Cloth Diapers
Fact Number One:Babies can't use the toilet, so you gotta buy diapers.
Fact Number Two:Disposable Diapers are expensive. Okay, it's time for some math. Now, I'm no mathematician, but simple multiplication can show you some pretty shocking results. One case (156 count) of Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers will cost you about $35.99, that's a little over 23 cents per diaper. The average baby will require 8 diaper changes a day, or about $1.84 worth of Snug & Dry bliss per day, adding up to $12.88 per week, or $51.52 per month. Now, if you're Lucas, and are allergic to "regular" disposable diapers, and require Some Huggies Pure and Natural Diapers, you're looking at $26.99 per case (70 count), which breaks down to 39 cents a diaper, $3.12 a day, $21.84 per week, and shockingly enough, $87.36 per month. Now that's a lot of dough.
Fact Number three: Cloth diapers are an expensive initial investment, but they more than pay for themselves in no time at all. Clinton and I purchased some gDiapers which includes 10 little gPants and 18 cloth inserts, totaling about $269.90, but we had a ton of coupons and discounts that knocked the price down to about $230.00. If you compare the cost of gDiapers to the Pure and Natural Diapers that Lucas needed, our gCloth diapering system would pay for itself in just ten weeks. That means that after just two and a half months of using cloth in lieu of disposables, aside from the cost to wash and dry them, they're FREE!
Fact Number Four: Babies grow, so you need bigger diapers. Disposable diapers do get more expensive as you get into larger sizes, and by the time your baby is in a size 4 Huggies Pure and Natural, you're looking at about 49 cents per diaper (that's $3.92 a day, $27.44 a week, and $109.76 a month!). The one disadvantage to gDiapers is that you have to buy a whole new system once your baby grows out of the size small gPant. Based on the weight-to-size ratio, Lucas will be in a size Medium through about one year (about the equivalent of a size 4 disposable). So, a year's worth of gDiapers will cost us about $460.00, whereas a year's worth of Huggies Pure and Naturals, around $1182.72 ($524.16 for the first six months, and $658.56 for the last 6 months). That's a cost savings of $722.72 just by using cloth diapers for a year. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a pretty good deal to me!
Fact number one:For the first year, it's either breast milk or formula for your baby.
Fact number two: Formula is expensive. If you do the math on a 23.4oz tub of Enfamil powder formula, it costs about 15.6 cents per ounce (when added with water). That means each 8-ounce bottle costs you about $1.25, and throughout a typical 6-bottle feeding day, you're looking at a whopping $7.50. A week's worth of formula boils down to $52.50, and over the course of a year, choosing to use Enfamil will amount to a jaw-dropping $2,730.
Fact number three:Breastfeeding is practically free. Even if I add up all of the costs associated with nursing, like a pump (we only had to pay $60 for a $300 pump because our insurance covered 80%), breast pads ($8.00 a box, over 12 months, equaling $96.00), a nursing cover, and a few bottles to feed him (about $100.00 all together), breastfeeding only costs us about $256.00 over the course of a year. Do the math: When compared to the $2,730 cost of formula, breastfeeding will save you $2,474.00 in one year. Now, how do you like them apples?
3. Make your own Baby Food
Fact Number one:Babies cannot survive on breast milk alone. After about 4 to 6 months, babies need more calories, and some fruits and veggies are what most parents decide to supplement breast milk (or formula) with. I started Lucas on baby food at 4 months, and by 5 months, he would consume about 8 ounces of food at each meal.
Fact Number two: Jarred baby food is uber expensive. Time for some more math! One 3.5 jar of Gerber Stage 2 fruits or veggies costs around 50 cents, depending on where you shop. Lucas would consume two jars per meal, twice a day, adding up to about $2.00 a day, or $14.00 a week, and that's right, $56.00 a month in Gerber food. If you want to go with an Organic option, the price increases to about 75 cents a jar, $3.00 a day, $21.00 a week, and $84.00 a month!
Fact number three:You can make nutritious homemade baby food for less. I won't go on-and-on about the health benefits of making your own baby food, you can read about that in my other articles, for now, I'll just focus on the cost. Buying fresh or frozen veggies and fruits and pureeing them is a cheap and easy (not to mention fun!) way to feed your baby. I spend about $15.00 per month on fruits and veggies for Lucas, and use my baby food maker ($20.00 at Target), and ice cube trays to make his food. So, over the course of 6 months, I will spend about $90.00 on produce, and even adding in the cost of the baby food maker, you're only looking at $110.00. Compare 6 months of Gerber food at $336.00 or the Organic option at $504.00, and you're saving between $226.00 and $394.00 over 6 months by making your own baby food. That's some big-time bucks!