Even as a child, I planned to be a mother some way or another. I grew up watching my mom taking care of my baby sister as I was already eleven years old. I tried my very best to remember everything that she did with a newborn baby. I really felt that I was ready.
Having a baby was expensive, said everyone. But as I watched my mom mostly supporting the family with her income, I did not feel like the baby or the rest of the family was lacking the necessities of life.
I chose to use cloth diapers as my mother did back then. I remembered how my mother had a simple diaper pail to soak the diapers in and there was no stink at all! Doing some research, I discovered at adding Castille soap and vinegar as a prewash solution in the pail was key. Fascinating enough, my parents still kept the original diaper pail! So I borrowed it….
Photo Courtesy of Kushies
Lucky for me, I found some flat cloth diapers on sale. Then, I bought some super cute diaper covers. Cloth liners helped to reduce any messes too.
Considering babies went through about twenty diapers a day, cloth diapers reduced the amount of waste at home. When we went outside, I looked for coupons to purchase fragrance-free disposable diapers.
Feeding the Baby
Before giving birth, I read as much as I could about breastfeeding. I knew about the difficulties that I might be facing and I was prepared. I drank lots of water, and tried my best to eat and rest, as much as possible. It wasn’t easy…. Fortunately, majority of the time was good. I was able to use an electric pump and collected a good supply for my deep freezer.
As the baby got older, I continued to search for coupons to save money on toddler formula, baby food, cereal, medication etc…
Dressing the Baby
Babies grow out of their clothing so quickly! Since I was the earliest of my friends and family to have a child, there weren’t any hand-me-downs for my first child. But, I had an excellent relationship with my local children’s store. Hence, the staff would let me know when they would have sales.
For my second child, I was able to collect some clothes from friends. That saved quite a bit of money there!
Raising Children Frugally
As the children grew up, I continued to search for deals and coupons. Sometimes, in order to save money, I had to stock up. There wasn’t a lot of space in my in-law’s bottom level that we lived in, so I had to improvise and store the stock in containers. I labeled everything to make sure I knew what they were.
Unfortunately, to people outside, it looked like I was just collecting stuff. It didn’t matter what they said, as I knew I had to do this to save money with my extremely low income. Having babies meant I was on maternity leave. In Canada, mothers were given twelve months to be their babies for one year at 55 percent of their previous income. That wasn’t very much at all, after taxes.
Despite the tough economy, I was very fortunate to have family members to watch and care for both of my children. Working hard along extreme couponing and being smart about deals, helped me to begin to save some money.
Up Till Now
As my children grew older and older, I continued to pass on this way of life to my children. Delaying instant gratification helped save money. Saving money helped to grow more money by investing it in the bank.
Till this day, my critics continued to laugh at my “messy” collections of presents and stock. Hmmm….interestingly, the same people often asked me for my help to look for the exact items that I already have “collected”?
Or when the same people complained that they had to spend ten times the amount that I did for the same item?
Very interesting…, don’t you think?