Archives for 2009

Homemade Pesto in Babyfood

pesto in baby food pesto with babyWould you like your little one to be a future gourmand?   Why not whip up some homemade pesto to stir into her sweet peas?  Don’t worry about it being overly spicy, nutty or cheesy.  You can limit or omit ingredients and still create a delicious green paste to mix into your baby’s food and your pasta.

Here’s a simple recipe from The Joy of Cooking.  We’ve tried it and found it to be quite delicious.

Load the following into a food processor or blender:

  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (skip for babies less than one year old if worried about allergies)
  • (more…)

Infused Water Makes a Beautiful, Cheap Summer Beverage

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or just trying to survive the summer (just one month left!), then you know the importance of staying hydrated. With this in mind, we recently divulged our recipes for homemade iced tea and lemonade, asking our readers how they quenched their thirst.

glass of water infused with watermelon

Emily had this to say:

I’ve been nursing for 2 months and am thirsty all the time! I get tired of plain water, and even iced tea. My new favorite beverage is infused water. I just fill a pitcher with water, toss in some combination of sliced lemons, limes, oranges, strawberries, cucumbers, or sprigs of mint (mixing and matching flavors adds variety), and stash it in the fridge.


Easy Garage Sale Shopping With Baby

Some people claim that garage sale shopping is just too labor intensive, especially with a tot in tow, but it can be easy if you do most of your work before you leave the house.  Check last week’s post for all the reasons that hitting yard sales is best for your pocketbook and the planet.

garage sale for kidsThink Big. Since shopping with a little one is tough, focus on large events such as multi-family, church, or charity garage sales. They’ll save you driving time and help you see a larger selection all at once.  If you can’t find a big sale, try to find several small sales in one area, looking specifically for those that feature children’s clothing. We often opt for areas of town that are known to be wealthy since those sales usually have good quality merchandise and the owners are willing to part with it for less. Print out Mapquest directions ahead of time instead of trying to follow random cardboard signs and make sure you have small bills and change as you head out the door.


The Saturday Question: How Did You Survive the Fourth Trimester?

Maybe I should have asked this question before Joy gave birth to her second child in June. Those sleepless nights, the ceaseless crying, the endless nursing: How on earth did you survive it? What were your tricks to survival in those first few months with a new baby? Help our sleep-deprived readers out!

new father sleeping with newborn baby

Dangle Your Baby Outside a Window for All-Natural Air Conditioning!

My cousin recently sent me an interesting image, saying it made her think of the Green Baby Guide:

baby in a window crib or cage

 Now, we’ve run several posts on keeping baby cool (here’s  one on how fans save you money and another one on using passive cooling to avoid air conditioning), but this is cutting-edge technology! Have you ever suspended your baby out the window in a barred cage? No? Okay, now go read our other tips on keeping baby cool—and away from open windows.

Garage Sale Shopping for Baby Clothes

Your family and friends may find it tacky to search tag sale tables for tiny outfits, but I personally think it’s budget-friendly, earth-friendly and a bit adventurous.   Plus it gives you the chance to meet people in your community and pick up a thrifty toy or two.

garage sale shopping for babyAt a recent garage sale, we scored four high quality shirts for my son all for fifty cents apiece—plus a Ralph Lauren down winter jacket for a few bucks. Since he’s nearly three, my son will most likely be able to wear those clothes all winter long, but my baby stays in her clothes for a matter of weeks.  Spending fifteen to twenty dollars on just one piece of infant clothing means that some parents pay five dollars or more per use.  Imagine how the expense (or the savings) adds up over the course of your child’s first few years!

The Best BPA-free, Phthalate-free Baby Dishes Around

Here’s a quick tip: Don’t waste your time reading the labels on plastic baby dishes trying to figure out if they’re made out of “good” plastic or “bad” plastic. Just use ordinary glass custard cups for your baby dishes. They’re nonporous and don’t leach chemicals into food. They can also go into the refrigerator, freezer, microwave, and oven.

When my daughter was a baby, we fed her from these tempered glass bowls with a spoon. We found a set that came with lids and sent her homemade baby food to daycare in them. Now we all use them for snacks or as prep bowls while cooking. I also use them to make custard every once in a while. In all my years as a custard cup enthusiast, I have never broken one.

Were You Frugal Before the Recession?

The hand-me-downs, the homemade bread, the generic groceries—living a low-cost life is less than glamorous.  I used to complain about my ultra-cheap childhood, but in these rough financial times, I appreciate my lifelong education as a skinflint.  As more Americans struggle with unemployment and lower wages, it seems that all of us are moving away from consumerism and towards frugal adventurism.

saving money during a recessionHere at, we celebrate our nation’s new fascination with penny pinching, but we’ve been enjoying life on the cheap for decades.  Far before this recession or the arrival of our babies, we were living with less, buying used, and relishing the challenge of stretching a dollar as far as it could possibly go.

The Saturday Question: What Pregnancy Gear Is Necessary—and What’s Not?

We’ve talked a lot about baby gear—what to get, what not to get, what to get used, what to get organic. But what about all the stuff you need before the baby is even born? Even the most frugal pregnant woman is sure to pick up a few new items to accommodate the expanding waistline. Is there anything else that makes pregnancy easier? Or any pieces of “maternity gear” that are just a waste of money and resources? Let us know!


Biokleen Laundry Detergent Update

Breaking news: one year and three months after writing this cost-comparison of eco-friendly laundry detergents, I’m still using my Biokleen laundry detergent. I think I got my money’s worth out of that old ten-pound box. In that post, I discovered that Biokleen was actually cheaper than even conventional cheap detergent, especially with a high-efficiency machine.


 My child’s diaper days are now behind me, but I used the Biokleen powder on both pocket diapers and prefold diapers and never had a problem with residues or detergent build-up. (Read Joy’s post about diaper-friendly detergents here.) I also like the detergent for all of our other clothes. My only complaint is that the powder didn’t dissolve completely if I put it in the detergent compartment of my front-loading machine. I took care of that problem by putting the powder straight in the machine over my laundry.