Thursday, August 14, 2008

Joining Thrifty Green Thursday at the Green Baby Guide

Well, before I jump in and participate in this, I should probably preface this by saying I'm not someone who is all that anxiously engaged in going green. I see the value in doing it, but my interest stems from several fronts, and green is, to be honest, not the highest by far. For instance, I cloth diaper because, first, I became intensely curious about it. When I become curious about something, I typically take it all the way because that's the way I am (ask Oliver and I'm sure he'll tell you how crazy I make him with all the questions). I kept doing it because it was saving us money, and then after I got over the hump where I had to figure out what worked and what didn't, and how to wash the darn things, I kept doing it because it was healthier for Oscar and it started to be pretty fun. I feel good about not putting more plastic in landfills, but if it were only about being green, I wouldn't have ever done it. That said, I do occasionally search out green sites because they have some seriously interesting and useful stuff on them. I found the Green Baby Guide when looking for some pocket diaper information, and I've been reading it ever since. We've made homemade strawberry/spinach popsicles and discovered that white vinegar works great as a rinse aid in the dishwasher (and that stuff is cheap!) since reading it. So, I'm participating in this as a way to send some other people there for some great reading material. One of my other inadvertently green uses is cleaning rags. I've never in my life bought disposable cleaning cloths. When I got married five years ago, we went to the store and bought a big pack of washcloths for a couple bucks at Walmart. We use them in all kinds of ways. Those washcloths have cleaned up food spills (not on the counters, though - we have another set just for food prep and dishes), scrubbed stains in the carpet, and survived potty training. A few have been tossed after particularly disgusting uses, but most of them are still being used. We've thrown a few more on the pile as our kitchen ones needed to be replaced, but that's it. Those couple of dollars are still working hard. Although we do use paper towels on occasion, we rarely have to buy them because they last so long. This is where the above disclaimer comes in - I did this mainly because it's a whole lot cheaper than buying cloths just to throw them away, but I appreciate that we are not filling landfills in our quest to be clean around the house. I've started to experiment with some simpler cleaning solutions, too, in an effort to get away from using some of the harsh chemicals that are not only polluting our waterways, but also aren't great for us from a health standpoint. Maybe I'll write about that later, maybe not. So there you have it, our family's contribution to the planet.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Great Blog about Saving Money on Your Kids

If you've got kids, I just ran across an awesome blog you might want to check out. It's the Baby Cheapskate blog. I was browsing it today and ran across some info about a sale at the Children's Place. I was curious and checked it out.

Net result? Five pairs of jeans and a pair of sneakers for Wyatt, plus 4 pairs of pjs for the baby with two day shipping (because we leaving on Monday - eek!) for only $50. There was a coupon code on the blog I used, and the most expensive thing was the sneakers, which cost $10.

Yeah, I'm pretty happy. I've been searching for some jeans for Wyatt for awhile now. They are hard to find for anything less than $15, and the ones I've bought at the thrift store always end up with holes in the knees. Boys are too hard on pants to buy them secondhand, I guess. These bad boys cost me all of 5 bucks a piece. I considered buying a few more, too, but that should be ok with a few cords and a khaki or two.

My one regret? I wish I'd found this out sooner, before the clearance stuff was picked through. As it was, a couple things I put in my cart sold out while I was looking. Luckily, they weren't things I really needed.