Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Sanity Savers: On Cloth Diapers and Bulk Buying

Life with 2 small children can be hectic at times. That might be putting it lightly, actually. I don't know how larger families do it, but I'm sure they figure things out or else everyone would only have two children. Even though I am far from having it all put together, I do implement some things to keep my life as simple as possible and reduce stress. The number one thing I try to eliminate is unnecessary shopping or errands. Putting 2 little squirmy girls into their carseats, back out, then back in and out again all for a simple run for toilet paper is exhausting. I thus try and bulk buy whenever possible. Although I do try and get the lowest price, price is not always my only consideration. I also consider the time I will save by buying something at another store that I know costs a little more if I am already there.

Let's talk diapers for a moment. Disposables are "easy". Easy on, easy off. Easy throwing them in the trash. Until it stinks up the whole house... then you are reduced to carrying each diaper out of the house and into the outside garbage can. Until you run out unexpectedly and have to run to the store... spend lots of money and turn the whole errand into the main event for the day. Until your baby starts smelling like some weird chemical experiment because her urine is reacting to the strange ingredients that make up a disposable...

Now let's think about all the "work" involved with cloth diapers. I have a full stash of cloth diapers for both my 10 month old and my 28 month old. I never have to run to the store to buy disposables. I always have diapers as long as I clean them. My cloth diapers take maybe 5 seconds longer to put on - that's it, seriously. When changing a dirty one, I unzip a wet bag and throw the soiled diaper in it, then zip it back up. No weird smells emit from this odor proof bag, and since there are no chemicals to react with, the general smell is less overall as well. If the diaper is really dirty, I go around the corner and shake it in the toilet or let it soak in there for an hour or so. When the wet bag is full, I dump it in the wash and wash them. Then I take them out and lay them on a rack to dry (I air dry most of my clothes so this is not an extra step for me. However you could just as easily throw them in the dryer if you wanted). Compare the washing to driving to the store, and cloth diapers come out ahead. So for this reason and many others, I use cloth diapers to help keep things simplified.

Another thing I do to help save my sanity is buying in bulk. I watch sales and stock up when the price is right. I have a basement, so this is not a space issue for me like it is for others. I utilize Sam's club for certain items as well, and I shop there about 4x a year to stock up on the good deals. I have a 7 ft cubic freezer in my basement where I like to freeze bread, veggies, cheese, meat and other frozen items. I have even frozen milk. This all helps keep my grocery shopping less harried and less frequent since I am usually fairly well stocked on our basics. In addition, I keep a personal hygiene stockpile that includes items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, deodorant, body wash, soap and razors. Most of these items were obtained for very little by utilizing coupons and store promotions. It is rare that I think about buying these things, since we always have plenty.

These are just a couple of ways I keep my life simple. I know I have a long ways to go before I figure everything else out, but I'm hoping little by little to continue to get more organized and prepared for my family's needs by implementing simple systems such as these.

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