Thursday, May 13, 2010

Recession vs. Biological Clock Smackdown!

So you find yourself mired in the deepest recession since the Great Depression.  What should you do?  (Hint:  not getting knocked up is a good place to start.)  What's that?  You already are?  Well fear not my good friends for I am here to shepherd you through this (even more) frightening time with the fruits of my own experiences since apparently the ticking of the ol' biological clock TKOs common sense Every. Damn. Time.  (Full Disclosure:  I snark but our baby was very much wanted so we were prepared to do whatever was necessary to fulfill our family dream.)

Step One:  Breastfeed.  No, it isn't 'free' especially if you are working so you'll need a good pump, milk storage containers, nursing pads etc. but when you figure the cost of those supplies versus the cost of a giant container of formula (which for us with our daughter lasted only a week and ran $37), the monthly savings averaged $112.  Health Bonus:  Since you are more focused on what you put into your body, you'll tend to consume less soda and alcohol.  At least that is what has happened with me substituting a ridiculous amount of water for said soda.  You'll feel better and keep more money in your wallet.  Score!

Step Two:  Make your own baby food.  Most likely you have a food processor.  It is your friend.  Use it.  All I needed to purchase were the whole foods or frozen fruits/veggies and a couple of ice cube trays.  For example, cooking and pureeing two medium sweet potatoes filled an entire ice cube tray. Figure that the sweet potatoes cost around $1.67 and the ice cube trays (if you had to buy them) went around $1.50  Each tray holds 16 ice cubes so each serving of sweet potatoes costs 20 cents.  Compare that with the upwards of 50 cents you'll pay per jar of commercial stuff and the savings add up quick.  Bonus:  by buying more fresh and frozen fruits and veggies for your baby, you'll inevitably start serving more to the rest of the family setting strong eating habits in place for years to come. 

Step Three:  Reuse as much as possible.  Since we didn't find out the sex of our first child, all of our baby gear was gender neutral.  The nursery was light blue and the onesies/sleepers were as unisex as we could find them.  So when our son was born this past August, we were able to reuse all of our baby gear from Noelle's infancy and just update the nursery with a new border and crib sheet set.  We kept the nursery furniture in the nursery and bought new furniture for Noelle's room which was significantly less expensive then nursery furniture.

Step Four:  Hand me downs are your friend.  We were able to get all of Noah's clothes from what my nephews had outgrown.  Of course, he is as big as his twin cousins now so the flow of clothes has trickled to a stop but for the newborn stages, it was wonderful.  You can also visit consignment shops for clothes which require clothes to be stain-free and not 'worn' for less than half the price of new clothes.  Which they will outgrow in a matter of weeks.

Step Five:  Child care.  We were very fortunate that my MIL had retired and we were able to hire her to watch Noah saving us 2/3 of the cost of an Infant tuition.  We did opt to keep Noelle in school as she had moved to the preschool class and the benefit to her far outweighed the actual cost of her full time tuition.  Though we may drop her back to only 3 days a week which could be another $150/month saved.  However, we were prepared to shift work schedules or drop to a single income if need be.  Because these guys?  Are totally worth it.

I could do more to cut costs:  cloth diaper, grow own veggies, etc. but there are only so many hours in the day.  Also, I 'm pretty sure that Grandma would balk at the whole 'cloth-diaper' thing.  It absolutely sucks to have to do a cost analysis before having a child.  And many won't have the advantages that I have so this is in no way a knock on anyone.  It's just what has worked for us.  I hope that you can take away something useful from my experience and head over to Sprite's Keeper for more spins on saving money!


  1. I will totally do the homemade baby food thing if we have another one, definitely! The savings are astronomical!
    Great Spin! You're linked!

  2. I'm glad I'm pumping--I had NO idea how expensive formula is! Yikes!

    We did a cost analysis before having baby (she was planned too...we waited EIGHT years--longer if you count the time we were together before getting married--before finally taking the plunge!) but didn't really think about the BILLS from the hospital that would start rolling in after she came. Ugh.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll keep them in mind as she gets older.

    (PS: Found you via Sprite's Keeper.)

  3. (PSS: I hate bananas and stupid people, too!)

  4. Oh, yeah, formula is the hugest money sucker. I had major milk production problems with all 3 of my kids and had to supplement. When they were finally weaned, it was a big money saver!

    I agree that hand me downs are your friend. We get tons of great clothes from family and friends, so our clothing budget has never been very big (thank goodness!)

  5. I love shopping second hand, and since both mine were boys and I saved all the clothes from the first we have saved significantly with number two.

  6. I like how you lay out how each savings makes economical sense. I think that a lot of people tend to forget that you can do these things when you have children and wind up going more towards convenience which hurts your pocket book in the end.

    Great spin!


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