Here are 5 things that I spend extra money on to ensure the best quality:
I often say that I would rather pay the farmer than the doctor. That means I will spend the extra few dollars it takes to buy an organic item. I shop at Aldi most of the time and buy many of their organic products. Usually I am sure to buy organic dairy and produce, and try my best to get organic meat. When I can't buy organic meat I buy the meat with the lowest fat content. I have several friends who manage to feed their families on very little money, and I am so impressed with their resourcefulness. For my home, however, I'd rather save money elsewhere.
2) Laundry Detergent
I used to make my own homemade laundry detergent, but over time I started noticing that our whites were just not white anymore. When I began cloth diapering I learned a lot about laundry detergent and how hard-water minerals bind with detergent to make it less effective at cleaning clothes. Therefore, if you do not have very soft water, you need to use some sort of water softener in your detergent to get your clothes clean. This is why detergents like Tide do a great job cleaning: they have lots of added softeners that bind the minerals in your water so the clothes can get clean.
I just don't feel comfortable using a chemical-ridden detergent that makes our clothing smell "mountain fresh". So I use a clean rinsing, more natural detergent that does a great job cleaning our clothes and diapers.
|Rockin Green Detergent|
If your feet are not properly supported, nothing in your body is properly supported. I know I know, there are so many cute and cheap shoes out there. And good children's shoes cost a fortune! But you will be setting both you and your children up for success if you allow their feet to develop properly and you all have the support you need. If you can't afford good shoes, invest in some good insoles you can put into your shoes.
My daughter has had this one pair of Stride Rites all summer. I got them new on ebay for $30 (after using an online tutorial to fit her properly) and she got a ton of wear out of them. They are even in good enough condition to be saved for future children or resold on ebay
For myself, I have been wearing an adorable pair of Birkenstock Mayaris that I got new off of ebay for 30% less than they cost in the stores. They are so comfortable and have great arch support. Worth every penny! You can see them and other birkenstocks (which retail for $90+ in the US) HERE.
I have a friend who works with our local gasoline pipeline and he really impressed into me the importance of using good quality gas in your vehicle to ensure it runs a long time. He only uses premium gasoline in his car. And while I cannot afford that, I do make an effort to only go to higher quality gas stations like BP, Shell, etc. No Joe's gas shack for me. Cheap gas really is cheaper for a reason.
5) Face cream and body lotion
I used to use Avon skin creams and have since made an effort to get away from parabens and other petroleum based skin care products. I now use Arbonne's Rejuvenating Cream on my face, which is very dry, and coconut oil on the rest of my body. I am not sure if I will stick with the coconut oil long term, but I'm still on the hunt for less toxic body lotion that I like
|This little jar costs about $35 but has no scent and is a miracle worker|
Now not everything is worth extra cash. Here are 5 things I will not spend extra money on. I make a big effort to save on these items in order to make up for the money I spend on the above items.
I buy 95% of my clothing used. I try to be mindful of brands, as many brands wear longer and better than others. When I do buy new, I don't buy cheap clothing and am mindful of where the item was made. For Victoria's clothing, I consign at a local children's consignment sale that goes on every Spring and Fall. I am then able to take the money I make and buy wardrobes for her for the coming season at the sale. I end up roughly breaking even.
Again, I buy almost all of our furniture used, which saves us a ton. My husband's mother also works at a department store and she has gifted us with some furniture in the past. But most of the items we have were given to us or bought used off of facebook buy/sell/trade groups or craigslist
I bought this tv cabinet off of facebook for $100 and they even delivered it
My husband and I prefer high quality car brands (HONDA.....just saying) and we always buy used. We take good care of our cars so they last a long time and drive them as long as we can. We will most likely purchase a larger car when/if we are able to have another child.
Because seriously, you can buy them used for a fraction of their original value. We look for good quality toys at the consignment sales and rotate her toys every 2 weeks so she doesn't get bored. By buying nicer toys that really engage her brain, and we save money by not needing to have many of them.
Nothing like some simple wooden blocks to keep a little one busy. I got these for $2 at the consignment sale
Disposable diapers make sense to me from a convenience point of view, but it just doesn't make sense to me in any other way. It's like your child urinating on your money before you throw it away. No thanks. I have cloth diapered Victoria since she 1 week old and plan to cloth diaper for all our future children. I only use disposables if we are traveling for an extended period of time.
How about you? What are things you will spend extra money and things that you wont? It's always fun to me to hear everyone's different preferences