Homemade Cloth Diapers

It never occurred to me to create my own diapers–partially due to the fact that I have a complete lack of sewing skills and also because it seemed so complicated.  Imagine my surprise when my friend Kara casually handed me a bag of home-sewn hemp diapers saying only, “I made this for you since I had some extra time and fabric.” I had to know how it was possible to whip out a batch of diapers in just a few hours so interviewed Kara to get the nitty-gritty details.

GBG: Where did you get the idea/inspiration to make your own cloth diapers?

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Ingenious Ideas for Thrifty Organic Gardening

If you haven’t joined the grassroots home garden movement, it’s nice to know you still can–and without spending a load of cash.  

Budget-Friendly Solutions for Family Leave With Baby

Skip this post if you live in Canada, Denmark, Australia, France, or any one of 163 countries worldwide with paid maternity leave.  We’ll try not to think about the fact that in those nations mothers and fathers get months and sometimes even years of paid time to raise their children.  Here in the U.S., it’s tricky to be able to maneuver our maternity leave, but there are always ways to creatively find more time to spend with your baby.

Why try to take as much time as possible?  It’s not only critical to your sanity, but it often ends up being far more eco-friendly as well. My husband and I found that when we were both working we ended up using more jarred baby food, eating take-out more often, and generally spending more money on convenience items just to survive. Staying home means you’ll have the time to experiment with washing and drying cloth diapers.  Plus you’ll end up buying less and just enjoying this phase of baby’s life.

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Suddenly Frugal By Necessity, Not By Choice

Upon hearing that my husband was laid off a few weeks ago, both of us found ourselves surprised by our own relief.  Obviously for many families losing a job can be tremendously stressful—especially with young children involved.  In fact, if my husband would have been laid off a few months later we would have been in serious trouble.  By that point I would have signed a half time teaching contract for next year which wouldn’t have been enough income to support our family.  Thank goodness I still have the option to teach full time next year and we have enough of an emergency fund to ease us through the summer. 

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Set Up Your Kitchen Garden—and Save!

It’s spring—time to dream of ripe tomatoes and sugar snap peas.  You can grow them yourself and save hundreds on organic produce with a few tips and a bit of inspiration.  Our first post in a four part series on organic home gardening will focus on garden materials and the money you can save once you do. 

You don’t have to invest hundreds of dollars to get results.  In fact, you may be able to get started with a very modest investment that will yield you a harvest for several weeks. 

Today’s contributors, Mara Reynolds and Caitlin Blethlen are expert gardeners with plenty of tips to share.  Mara works with Portland Community Gardens to further support gardening in the city. This tremendous program allows families to rent garden plots, learn how to preserve food, and get their children involved in gardening.  Caitlin is the Youth Gardening director for Growing Gardens, a non-profit dedicated to helping low-income, urban families grow their own food.

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Saving Organic Milk From Going Bad: Re-Pasteurizing 101

At five to six bucks a gallon, it can be heart breaking to toss a gallon of sour milk down the drain.  After today’s post, you won’t ever need to do it again!  

When your milk begins to approach its due date, simply pour it into a microwavable container or a stovetop saucepan and heat it until it barely boils.  You’ll re-pasteurize the milk by killing the bacteria that would cause it to go bad.  It may strike a few of you as rather icky, but the truth is that when you finish it will last for another week or two.  
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Café Yumm: Baby-Friendly, Budget-Friendly, Earth-Friendly Fast Food

It’s winter, it’s cold and let’s face it—grease and salt is mighty appealing.  But fast food is loaded with packaging, unhealthy ingredients, and expense.  So how can we avoid it despite our cravings?  Enjoy a hearty bowl of brown rice and beans with a signature sauce from Cafe Yumm.

Brown rice and beans, you say?  How can that possibly be marketed to my family?  Here’s the truth: My husband loves beef, pizza, potatoes fried in a variety of ways, and everything else that passes as fast food, but he loves Café Yumm even more.   My son breaks down crying (often!) begging for “beans and rice please!” 

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Welcome Back to the Thrifty Green Thursday Blog Carnival!

For most of us, going green isn’t about quantum leaps, it’s about tiny fledging steps that are made in the midst of our hectic lives as parents.  If you have a budget-friendly, earth-friendly tip (even one that seems a bit obvious to you) you’d be a perfect addition to Thrifty Green Thursday.  

What are the benefits of adding my post to the Thrifty Green Thursday carnival?

It’ll help you generate traffic for your site, put you in touch with like-minded bloggers, and give you a chance to pick up some easy tips for going green on a budget.

How do I join the carnival and link my post?

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Saving Money with Store Brand Organics

Although I’m always trying to shift my grocery selections to organic products, sometimes my inner tightwad cannot handle the sticker shock—especially with the recent rise in food prices.  Buying our produce through a Commmunity Supported Agriculture subscription and having our own raised bed garden has helped, but as a working mom, I depend on having some packaged products to feed my family. 

Store brand organics have come to my rescue with quality, eco-friendly products at reasonable prices.  I have found organic applesauce, crackers, and beans made by Western Family (a generic brand popular in the Pacific Northwest) at my local grocery store.  Even chain stores such as Safeway and Fred Meyer also offer their own organic selections, including baby food.

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A Moving Costume: Easy Trick-or-Treating Transportation

Because our trick-or-treating journey will be a bit long this year, my husband decided to make Roscoe’s wagon part of the costume.  My son received it for his birthday this year after we did some rust-removal and repainting. It’s now one of his most prized possessions and we love its versatility and usefulness. 

My hubby found some old cardboard in our attic and a few wooden sign posts.  He cut them out, decorated them with some of our old paint (the red was left over from the wagon) and made an easy add-on to the wagon. 

It cost just under $4.00 total for this fabulous moving costume and the objects we reused have been granted a second (more glamorous) life too!  It’s more adorable and natural than those large plastic vehicles for sale at big-box stores and it’s  provided just as much fun.

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