Monkey Foot Designs wet bags are different from the other bags we’ve discussed here on the Green Baby Guide. Joy used a plastic bag to haul her wet diapers from daycare until she switched to a Bumkins Dirty Duds bag. I’d always used a bag from a sporting goods store. What sets the Monkey Foot bags apart from these other options? They are much, much more stylish and beautiful.
These custom-made bags are so nice that I almost hesitated using mine for wet diapers, but in the spirit of an honest review, I did. I have the small bag ($16) in the sea coriander pattern. When we went on an overnight trip last weekend, I took it along. My daughter is mostly potty trained but still wears a diaper at night, so I brought just two cloth diapers. They both fit in the small bag. I’d recommend the small bag if you need to store just one or two diapers at a time. The larger bag ($22) will hold four to five diapers, so it would work perfectly for daycare.
The outer fabric is a nice, soft cotton, which is a pleasant change from my regular old nylon wet bag. (It’s an even bigger step up if you are currently using plastic bags as Joy once did!) The inside contains a nontoxic, waterproof lining. Unlike other bags out there, the seams are sealed, so there are no leaks. The best part is that this bag’s uses are not limited to diapers. I envision using the bag to tote wet swimming suits or sunscreen to the beach years after my diapering days are over.
Would you like a Monkey Foot Designs bag of your own? Just post a comment by next Friday and you’ll be eligible to win a small or large bag in the pattern of your choice. Check out their website to see the array of patterns available.
Congratulations to Alison, the winner of our Natural Pod clothing giveaway!
My life has become a bit easier this year with the addition of a freezer and makeshift pantry in our garage. What a difference! I’ve cut my grocery shopping trips down to one or two per month and been able to stock up on sale foods at peak times. Our membership to a CSA fills in the fresh food gaps with local organic produce each week.
Since my state of mind has shifted toward stocking up, I realize that now is a great time to purchase sale priced products that will last for months. After studying a few grocery store flyers, I’ve found myself stocking up on the following items:
Baking supplies: It’s a great time to load up on flour, spices (although they are cheaper and eco-friendlier if you can get them in bulk) , and chocolate chips. Even baking sheets and pie pans are available at a discount over the next month or so.
Turkey and Tofurky: Both of these items can be purchased at fabulous prices at this time of year,frozen, and used later in the winter. According to Turtle Island Foods, makers of the tofu-based tofurky roast, it can be frozen for up to a year before being used. Trader Joes has some excellent prices on natural turkeys and a few local grocers even have free range birds at great discounts.
Seasonal produce: Squash, sweet potatoes, onions and apples are all on sale now and can be stored for months in a cool, dry location. If you store them separately (so that they aren’t touching one another) they’ll last much longer. Also look for cans of organic pumpkin and jars of applesauce which both work as cheap organic baby food too!
What are your grocery shopping tips for holiday savings? Have you already purchased your groceries for the big meal next week? Are you in charge of Thanksgiving dinner this year or can you happily just show up with an adorable baby at someone else’s table? For your sake, I heartily hope it’s the latter.
Thanks for joining us this week for Thrifty Green Thursday. If you have a simple tip for saving the planet and a few bucks, please click here to jump right in. We’d love to have you!
Don’t forget to post a comment before Friday for a chance to win a Natural Pod organic t-shirt or onesie!
Back when I wrote my Fattening Baby, Naturally post, I was searching for alternatives to Pediasure. Although Audrey’s pediatrician wanted her to drink Pediasure in order to gain some weight, I hesitated giving her something with non-organic dairy products, artificial flavors, sugar, and maltodextrin. I ended up doing all sorts of things to boost the calories and fat in her diet, and I also made a discovery: MLO brown rice protein powder.
A 24-oz container of the powder costs about $10. I found it in the health food section of my local grocery store. It’s gluten-free, vegan, and contains two simple ingredients: rice protein concentrate and rice bran. As rice is often a first food for babies, it seemed like the perfect thing to add to her food without bombarding her with unnatural or unhealthful ingredients.
Two rounded tablespoons contain 110 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 15 grams of protein, as well as some calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. Back when I spoon-fed Audrey, I usually just put a tablespoon in her daily allotment of oatmeal. Recently I added some to some popsicles I made out of oranges and bananas. The back of the box has a smoothie recipe, but I find it too gritty for smoothies.
Now, I’ll issue the standard disclaimer that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. I’m just a mother who wanted to find some natural ways to plump my baby up–and this brown rice powder ended up being a great little discovery. For more Works for Me Wednesday ideas, check out Rocks in My Dryer.
What happens when your daycare refuses to use cloth diapers? You’ve made the costly investment in all the gear, found the most efficient way to wash them, and heartily enjoyed the whole experience…until you have to go back to work and send baby to a sitter.
When we found out that our childcare center wouldn’t use cloth, it became part of our decision to switch. It actually had a policy prohibiting the use of cloth diapers! That daycare wasn’t a particularly good fit for Roscoe anyway, so it wasn’t a difficult choice. But what happens when you find the perfect care center for your child, except for the fact that cloth diapering isn’t accepted?
Rebecca’s daycare provider had never worked with cloth diapers before but was willing to give it a shot. Her sitter sends dirty diapers home in a wet bag and has been happy to find that using cloth diapers with Rebecca’s daughter has cut down on her overall garbage bill.
What has your experience been with cloth diapers at daycare? Have you found that specific types of care providers such as centers or in-home daycares are more willing to use cloth? Are daycare providers more willing to use certain types of cloth diapers like all-in-ones over prefolds? Please share your stories!
Not Quite Crunchy Parent writes It’s Not Christmas Time–It’s Recall Time! Whether you buy new or used toys for the holidays, it’s good to know what’s safe and what’s not.
Along similar lines, Mindful Momma has a list of books and websites that will help you find safer children’s products. One of her recommendations is Healthy Child, Healthy World, which is both a book and a blog. While the Healthy Child, Healthy World blog does have what in my opinion is an overabundance of warnings on harmful toxins lurking all around us, there are also many read-worthy posts such as The Making of a Green Mom and a discussion of sustainable design.
Eco Child’s Play has a recipe for homemade cranberry sauce. Homemade cranberry sauce is vegan, doesn’t contain BPA like its canned cousin, and has a much zingier taste than store bought sauce. Her post made me wonder: am I the only one who actually likes jellied cranberry sauce from a can? I love that stuff!
Don’t forget to post a comment on our latest Natural Pod review. You’ll then be eligible to win an organic, plant-dyed onesie or shirt of your choice!
Our last Natural Pod giveaway was so successful that we’re doing another one! Last time we oohed and awed over the wooden play kitchen, gnome family kit, and wooden cups and plates–and our lucky reader won the natural stacking rings.
Natural Pod also sells organic clothing. Here’s what they have to say about it:
Natural Pod has a great range of unique organic clothing for babies, toddlers and children up to 8 years. We have worked hard to find pieces that are comfortable, soft and hand-made. Our current selection includes pieces that have been plant-dyed, just using items from the garden.
Roscoe is now the proud owner of this yellow crew neck shirt, and Audrey has the orange kimono. Neither Joy nor I have had much experience with new, organic clothing. We even wrote a post in which we wondered if used clothing was “greener” than organic duds. I always thought something like an organic onesie or baby shirt would cost an exorbitant amount, but all of Natural Pod’s clothes are just around $20.00–that’s just a few dollars more than new, conventional baby garments.
If you like the idea of new clothes for your baby, consider ones made from organically grown cotton and dyed with plant dyes. Not only will these clothes be better for the environment than conventional ones, they’ll potentially be better for your baby’s health.
We love the soft cotton and earthy colors of these clothes. My only criticism is that they run large. The size two kimono is much too big for her to fit in now, but she looks forward to wearing it in a year or so when she’ll be closer to four years old. Of course, Audrey can still fit in some of her six month clothing, so she may not be the best sizing model. Roscoe (age two) fits in his 2T crew neck just fine! The dye in his shirt has become a bit splotchy with a few washings, but it now looks like that was just a part of the fabric pattern so it’s quite unnoticeable.
Would you like to try one of Natural Pod’s shirts or onesies for your baby or child? Just post a comment by the 21st and you’ll be entered to win the clothing item of your choice! There are twenty-three wonderful options to choose from.
With a new baby at home, it’s tempting to crank up the heat on these cold November days. When the energy bill arrives, however, it can be shocking to see how an increase of just a few degrees on the thermostat can impact the utility bill and your energy output. Since heating the home takes up about half of a family’s energy costs each month, finding a few ways to cut back can make a huge difference in your expenses and your carbon footprint.
What have you done to keep your family’s heating bills in check? Those of you who live in frigid areas must have some tips for limiting energy costs while keeping baby comfy. Please share your wisdom with the rest of us!
For more Thrifty Green Thursday tips, check out the links below. If you’d like to join us this week click here to get started. Thanks for visiting!
When I wrote about buying secondhand baby clothes for my daughter, I was bracing myself for some outraged reactions. I can’t believe you don’t buy your daughter new clothes! Doesn’t she deserve new things? Won’t she feel ashamed and deprived as she grows older, knowing she was forced to wear cast-offs? To my surprise, all of our commenters said they love buying secondhand duds, too.
Not everyone feels this way. When I was pregnant, I remember reading an article somewhere about saving money on baby gear. The couple featured went to great lengths to buy almost everything used or scrounge around for hand-me-downs. Then the mother-to-be said, “The one thing we did not buy used was clothing. We made it a priority for the baby to have all new clothes.” I found this sentiment interesting. Used clothing costs so much less than new, and no one would ever suspect it was secondhand unless you were dressing the kid in polyester jumpsuits. (I do run across those vintage baby clothes from the 1970s from time to time . . . and I think they’re cute!)
I also read of a mother who was expecting a second daughter. She said she wanted the new baby to feel like she was just important as the first one. The way to do that, she reasoned, was to buy all new clothes for her. Now, the logic on this is . . . well, illogical. First of all, babies do not usually have that level of awareness about their attire. Also, sharing clothing among siblings does not have to be shameful. I know my little sister looked forward to wearing things once I had outgrown them, and as teenagers we shared clothes all the time. That’s one of the great advantages of having a sibling!
So now I want to know: do you have “issues” surrounding used gear or clothing? Used clothing seems to work for me. For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, head on over to Rocks in My Dryer.
Please join us to tomorrow for another installment of Thrifty Green Thursday!
Maybe it’s because dinner comes at the end of the day, maybe it’s because it overlaps with a spouse’s return from work, or maybe it’s just because we have to tackle it every day, but some of us find ourselves quite flummoxed by the simple concept of supper.
I’ve had a few discoveries over the course of the last two years as a working mother, but our readers are sure to contribute many more ideas to my list. Also, check out last week’s post for some more tips.
Use a slow cooker: If you got enough sleep to feel somewhat rested in the morning, you can throw a bunch of stuff into a crock pot and forget about dinner entirely for the rest of the day. I was a little hesitant about embracing the crock pot, but my zealous friends won me over—and I’m glad they did.
Consider prepared foods: While canned soups or boxes of cous-cous aren’t made from scratch and can be expensive, having them in your cupboard could prevent you from eating out. There are also several organic options for prepared foods available and you can even find some of them at discount stores like Grocery Outlet! You can also make your baking mixes ahead to create your own convenience food.
Don’t cook at all: We can survive on what we have without cooking if we have to—and we should if skipping the dinner prep means getting a much-needed nap. Have microwaved oatmeal, salad with sunflower seeds, or a peanut butter sandwich for dinner, and allow yourself the luxury of grazing instead of cooking.
What are your tips for handling the dinner dilemma? Do you freeze meals, cook ahead or actually enjoy making dinner? We’d love to hear your stories!
Donna over at the Frugal Mom Blog “tagged” us this week. Thanks Frugal Mom! According to tagging rules, this means we must do the following:
1) Link back to the person who tagged you and share the rules on your blog
2) Share 7 facts about yourself
3) Tag seven people and list their links in your post
4) Tell those 7 people by commenting on their blog!
Because this is the Green Baby Guide (motto: Down-to-earth Ways to Save Time, Money, and the Planet), I’ll try to list things that have to do with babies, greenness, frugality, and this website.
Seven Things about Me:
1. At 8 months pregnant, I fell down our basement stairs and broke my ankle.
2. Therefore, I had to survive my last month of pregnancy and first month of motherhood on crutches!
3. Joy and I met in college, when we were both teenagers.
4. She was the resident assistant of my dorm.
5. I have been a vegetarian since I was 14.
6. River Phoenix was partially responsible for that lifestyle change.
7. I am left handed. (This does not have to do with babies, greenness, frugality, or this website–whoops!)
I am going to cheat and tag NINE blogs. Not to be lazy or anything, but you may notice that this list is eerily reminiscent of our last Thrifty Green Thursday.
In other news, Erika over at the Organic Baby Resource is having another contest this month. Go here for details on how to win a $250.00 prize package from HappyBaby!
Today is the last day of our My Little Pakora onesie and hat giveaway. Don’t forget to post a comment for your chance to win! Keep coming back to the Green Baby Guide this month, as we have some more great giveaways coming your way, including organic Natural Pod clothing, stylish bags for your wet diapers, and wool changing pads.