Tuesday, January 5, 2010

As I type my toddler and infant are sitting on my lap. My 4 and 5 year olds are working on their homeschool projects and life in our house is busy as usual. With 4 kids 5 and under you can imagine it's not always easy to get out and shop. Even though it is always a big production to get out of the house we always enjoy it and my kids don't even mind going shopping. I never go shopping alone. I always have at least one child in tow and more often than not all 4. I wouldn't have it any other way.

We like to get out of the house. It makes the winter days shorter and the summer days more fun because our outings are almost always punctuated with a trip to the park. But I also enjoy shopping online and some thing I just can't buy in the store (at least not the stores near me). One of those things is cloth diapers. Though I wish there were a cloth diaper store near me I find it fun searching for deals and new products online. As I mentioned in another post one of my favorite places to find cloth diaper deals is Kelly's Closet. Check out their Contest going on now for the chance to win a free diaper in a new style: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.kellyscloset.com&h=115aad515907e200114d01e87d9d10e0&ref=share

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cloth Diaper deals!

The Cloth Diaper Whisperer

Even if you don't cloth diaper there is something here for you! And if you're thinking about starting there are some great kits at low prices to jumpstart your stash. It's never too soon or too late to start cloth diapering. We started using cloth for our oldest daughter when she was already learning the potty. There are some really nice cloth pull-up style 'diapers' available on the market. Considering the cost of the disposable pull-up style diapers using cloth can save a ton in the long run!

One of my favorite places to buy cloth diapers is Kelly's Closet http://www.kellyscloset.com/. They seem to always have what I need and there's always a great deal to be found! Right now they are running a deal for free shipping on all orders over $49.00 and their reward points program http://www.kellyscloset.com/FREE-Diapers_ep_59-1.html#reward is a great way to earn *free* diapers! For every dollar you spend you earn points. Earn enough points and you can redeem them for gift certificates. A great way for a cloth diaperer to save money on things they buy anyway!

Cheap Christmas

The holidays might be over, the presents wrapped, gifted and opened, and the toys have all been played with. But here in our house the shopping has just begun! The after holiday sales are often some of the best to stock up on necessities for the next holiday season. Yes, we buy for next year *this* year. One of the best ways to save and have a thrifty holiday without seeming cheap is to plan ahead, but I find that to be true with anything. If you plan ahead and don't find yourself in a pinch and forced to pay full price you will save money in the long run.

So this year some of the things we stocked up on for next year are wrapping paper, ribbons, bows and all the trimmings for wrapping gifts next Christmas. Because wrapping supplies are non-perishable and they don't really go out of style I try to plan ahead so I have enough for next year and won't have to pay full price for something that will end up crumpled in a pile and tossed in the landfill.

But my best secret to saving on wrapping supplies? Every year when we are given gifts we end up with literally dozens of those adorable gift bags. We have a stash of beautiful gift bags from Christmas, birthdays, new baby gifts, housewarming presents, and the list goes on. I never throw them away. Not only are they just to pretty to toss, it's nice to know that hanging onto them and reusing or repurposing them helps keep one more item out of our landfills. So these gift bags are used around here for storage of small items like my girls hair items or their tights. We use them for storing craft supplies and school supplies. And the really nice bags that are still in brand new condition are used again to give a gift. I think it's fabulous when we receive a gift that is in a beautiful bag that was used before to give a gift. The principle behind it is one that can be appreciated--in our culture we suffer from consumerism and this is just one way of battling that. Is the gift any less thoughtful because it is in a bag that was used before? I think not.
Some of the wrapping paper we have found on clearance. The black and white paper is actually velvety and so beautiful!

Friday, January 1, 2010


Cloth diaperers, this one's for you!

One of my favorite uses for no longer wearable clothes is to turn them into cloth diapers. I'm amazed by the ease of turning a cute old shirt or daddy's t-shirt into a cute and comfy cloth diaper.

When I first started using cloth diapers I tried the kushies brand. They worked great and held up through 3 children and have recently found a new home with a family that loves kushies cloth diapers and should see their way through several more children--they are very durable! At the time I had 10 diapers but that just wasn't enough. Especially when our 3rd daughter was born and we had 3 children in diapers. Granted one was only at night, but with an infant and a toddler 10 diapers just didn't cut it! So I set out to make my own diapers and build up our supply. I bought some PUL to make covers out of and got a great deal on it here: Along with the covers I made several fitted cloth diapers to go under the covers. I started out with some snuggly soft flannel in cute prints. I bought that from Wal-Mart and Joann Fabric in 1/3 yard cuts--just the right size to make a diaper and minimize wasted fabric. Out of the small scraps left after I cut the diaper I made soakers to add as needed for absorbency in the diaper. At the time I didn't have a serger so I just zig zag stitched around the edges of the soakers and they held up great. I've since been given a serger (thanks mom!) and I use that for soakers. I also invested in a few yards of Organic Bamboo Velour to use on the inside of the diapers--the side that touches baby's skin. It is so soft! I bought that from the same website listed above and right now their OBV is 20% off! They have some beautiful colors!

When my fabric stash started running low I began looking for other materials to use to make diapers. I came across this website: http://fernandfaerie.com/sewing_fitteds.html and discovered a great way to repurpose our old shirts and other materials! I love the idea of reusing something vs. throwing it away! Some of the shirts I used had small holes that I was able to avoid when making the diaper. Another of my favorite cloth diaper patterns is the "Rita's Rump Pocket" (RRP) pattern. It works great, is easy to sew, and best of all it's free! It can be found here: http://handmadebyrita.blogspot.com/2007/10/classic-rrp-ritas-rump-pocket-pattern.html . When I first started out making my own diapers I simply made my own pattern. After mastering that, it was fun to try new patterns and I really like the cut and wings on the RRP diaper pattern.
Notice that the fabric I used to recover the chair is the same fabric as the outer fabric of diaper in the upper right corner. The inner fabric is striped--that was an old shirt of mine--and for added absorbency I used flannel as an inner soaker.
The bottom left diaper is made from some fabric my mom gave me. I think she made clothes for herself out of it and then gave me the remnants. It has a PUL liner and the inner soaker is made from flannel. The fabric closest to baby's skin was once my 100% cotton shirt in black to match the outer black and white floral print. It has aplix closures.
The upper left is one of my first diapers--a monkey flannel print. It has metal snap closures. This was the style of my first diapers that I made. I had about a dozen of them. The middle row of diapers are all made from scraps I had leftover from other projects and the first and second are lined with fabric from my old shirts. The last two on the bottom row are made with leftover fabric and lined with Organic bamboo velour. These are all snappiable or I just use a cover. These were so much fun to make! All but the monkey print and the black and white floral were made with the RRP pattern.

Baby Legs sale!

One thing we have recently come to love in our household is BabyLegs.

We love BabyLegs for our toddler who is learning to use the potty--no need to deal with pesky buttons or zippers on pants. They also work great to keep her legs warm under pj's at night or pants for going out in the cold (and it gets COLD here!) I love them for quick and easy diaper changes for baby and look forward to the benefits of BabyLegs when baby begins crawling (which is looking like it will be soon!) Even better--they have a great sale going on now! Their sale legwarmers are only $7.00 and if you buy 4 you get 2 pairs of their Supersoft legwarmers FREE. Plus free shipping.


We just bought: Cranberry, O Rose, La Mer, Polo, and are getting the supersoft in Licorice and Lollipop for FREE! We are waiting on the Pink Dot and the Purple and for our little guy we first bought Blue/Brown, Juniper, and Tides.

With the sale these are a steal! Nearly half off the regular price and if you buy 4 of those sale BabyLegs you qualify to get 2 of the $15.00 supersoft for FREE! What's better than free?

The Queen of Cheap Strikes Again!

The idea for this blog started when my 5 year old daughter said to my mother "The Queen of Cheap Strikes Again!" She said it in the most endearing way, like she was so proud that *her* mom found such an awesome deal. Yeah, I thought, I have been known to find great deals! So spurred the creation of Mama Cheap--that's me--on the lookout for everyday things that every mom needs at the best price possible!

~Mama Cheap