Saving money booking a family holiday

Saving money booking a family holiday

**This is a collaborative post

Going on a family holiday is an ambition for many of us, but when you are on a tight budget, it can make things very challenging. Wherever you can, you will want to make things cheaper, and this starts in the planning stages. The internet has made it so much easier to snag a great deal, but many people are still overpaying when they don’t need to. So, here are just a few of the best ways that you can save some cash on your next family holiday. Read more

Spend less on school uniforms

Toby looking super smart in his school uniform

**This is a collaborative post

School clothes can be one of the most expensive school supplies. Given that kids are constantly growing and prone to losing and damaging things, it’s easy for a parent to fork out thousands on school clothes throughout a kid’s education. Fortunately, there are tricks to spend less. Here are a few ways to cut the costs of school clothing. Read more

Cloth nappies // How to choose the right cloth nappies?

So you’ve decided you want to give them a try but how do you choose the right cloth nappies? This is by far the hardest part. There is so much choice out there that it really is difficult to know where to start! There are a few different options when it comes to cloth nappies; firstly, two part or all-in-one.

Two part nappy

Choosing the right cloth nappy - two part nappy

A two part nappy has the absorbent inner nappy separate from a waterproof outer wrap. The absorbent nappy can either be shaped (more like a disposable) or you can use terry squares (like my mum used on me!) or pre-folds (which fold into a pad which then sits inside the wrap). Read more

Cloth nappies // Why choose cloth nappies?

We’ve been using cloth nappies full time since Toby was seven weeks old. He wore them until potty training at three and a bit. With Gabe we started with cloth nappies at three days old and we’re still going strong 20 months later. But why choose cloth nappies? Starting out can be a bit of a minefield though so I thought I’d share a bit about our experience.

Cloth nappies on washing line - why choose cloth nappies

There are loads of reasons to choose cloth nappies over disposables.

Saving money

There were two main reasons we chose cloth; firstly the cost. Estimates can vary but if your baby wears nappies until they are two and a half years old (and Toby did another whole year after that!) they will probably use between five and six thousand nappies! Read more

How to have a wedding on a budget

*This is a collaborative post

Next week is our fifth wedding anniversary – we were very lucky in that my parents paid for most of our wedding. But even though we weren’t paying we did our best to keep our budget to a sensible level. I think we spent about £8,000 altogether – which is way less than the UK average of nearly £25,000!

On our wedding day

I don’t mean to ruin it for the romantics, but did you know what one of the biggest causes of divorce is? Debt, and financial problems. And spending a small fortune on your wedding is the quickest way to get yourselves off on the wrong foot financially.

It’s a fine line to tread, but there is a solution: trimming the costs of your big day, without impacting on any of the fun, enjoyment and memories. Here are some of the best ways to do it: Read more

Starting out with cloth nappies

I had thought about using cloth nappies while I was still pregnant and I did some research. What I found out is that there seems to be a limitless amount of options available in the world of cloth nappies. There are two part nappies, pocket nappies, all in ones, sized nappies, birth to potty nappies not to mention wraps, disposable liners, reusable liners, wet bags, reusable wipes… To be honest, the only scary part about using cloth nappies is making a decision about what kind of nappies to use. Other than that it seemed like a no brainer – cloth nappies are cheaper than using disposables (although there is an initial financial outlay needed), they are better for the environment (even when you take into account production and washing/drying cloth) and they are better for your baby (keeping all the nasty chemicals found in disposables away from your precious little one’s bum!).

Cloth nappies aren't scary

I did decide that having my first baby and dealing with all the new challenges that would bring would be enough to cope with in the first few weeks so we would leave cloth nappies for the first month or so. A lot of the advice I read also suggested trying a few different types of nappies on your baby to see what kind of system works for you before committing to buy a full set of nappies. Obviously this isn’t going to be possible until your baby is actually here! The other thing that put me off starting with cloth nappies was the cost. Cloth is definitely cheaper than disposables in the long run and I was pretty sure I wanted to maximise this cost saving by choosing a birth-to potty nappy. This is a nappy which uses a series of poppers and sometimes velcro to adjust the nappy to fit your baby. However, these nappies are usually very bulky on a small newborn baby. Toby was only 6lb 10oz when he was born and we would probably have had to invest in some specific newborn nappies to use them straight away. However, if I wasn’t already convinced, the amount of nappies that went in our landfill bin in those first few weeks certainly cemented the decision to use cloth nappies in my mind.

So, when Toby was about five weeks old I got some personalised recommendations from The Nappy Lady and ordered two different nappies to try out. There are lots of cloth nappy retailers that will provide you with free, impartial advice to help you choose which nappies to use. Some also offer trial schemes, or you might be able to find a nappy library in your area. Anyway, after trying the nappies during the day for a few days I was really happy with them. I chose my favourites (the Bumgenius Freetime – an all in one nappy for day time, and the Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch with a separate wrap for night time), took the plunge and ordered some more. Toby went into cloth nappies full time at about seven weeks old and it actually makes me very proud to say he hasn’t worn a disposable since. I added a few more nappies to my collection over the next few weeks and now with fourteen day nappies and four night time nappies I have enough to wash every 2-3 days and dry them on the line (if it ever stops raining long enough!) or more usually, hung in the airing cupboard.

I absolutely love our cloth nappies and sing their praises to anyone who will listen! Toby has never had nappy rash, we’ve only ever had two leaks and that was only a tiny damp patch on his trousers because he’d been in the car seat for too long without a nappy change. I love seeing his colourful little bum in his nappies every day and most of all I love that we are not sending hundreds of nappies to landfill every month. We use reusable wipes (the brilliant Cheeky Wipes that I have mentioned before) and washable fleece liners too so everything from Toby’s nappy changes is just washed and is ready to be used again and again and again.

Cloth nappies do seem to be gaining in popularity. I’ve seen quite a few babies wearing them at the various baby groups we go to and there’s been quite a bit of interest from other mums when they see Toby in his. Lots of the blogs I read and people I follow on Twitter are cloth nappy users too (although that could well be due to the fact I tend to find other people who are similar to me when deciding what to read). Judging by the number of nappy retailers you can find online, cloth nappies are certainly big business and as we become more aware of our environment I can only see that they will become even more popular.

There will be more posts to follow about the ins and outs of having a cloth bummed baby (including the all important ‘what do I do with the poo??’) as well as my opinions of the nappies that we have chosen to use. I’m still pretty new to cloth but if you have any questions about using cloth nappies then I will do my best to help. Do you use cloth nappies on your baby? Which are your favourites? Are you considering cloth or could you not even entertain the thought? I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts and opinions.