Friday, March 25, 2011

Getting ready for baby #5!

As you can tell by the ticker over on the right we are expecting to add a new little one to our family in a few weeks! It is super exciting but has also been challenge since we are expecting our first little boy! We knew we didn't want to break the bank this time since getting ready for twins from scratch a year ago was such a financial drain. So we got creative and tried to get everything we needed for our new little man for the least amount of $$$ possible. At a certain point it became a challenge, and you know how I like challenges!
So here we go!
First up we have every budgets downfall; diapers. There is no way around it you are going to have to diaper your little one. I personally choose to cloth diaper my little ones. It is cheaper in the long run, better for the environment, and better for the babies bottom. This time around we will be using our newborn covers and prefolds in the beginning again, but we also knew we were going to need more diapers for him as he grows since I am also diapering the twins still. So we decided to go ahead and get the bigger diapers while they were on sale. We went with BumGenius 4.0's. They are adjustable for 7-35lbs meaning you buy the diaper ONCE and use it till potty training....really there isn't a better deal out there! Total spent : $196 with shipping.

Next up in our preparation for baby is meal prep. While nursing a baby those first few weeks there really isn't time to do a whole lot of cooking. You are tired and have your hands full with your new little bundle of joy. To counter act the urge to just get fast food or blow the grocery budget on convenience foods I decided to prepare a months worth of dinners and baked goods before hand. I know that sounds daunting in your third trimester but I have a a simple approach. I simply double a recipe that I am already making and then add one to the freezer. Simple. I don't have the exact amounts spent on the freezer meals right now since I am still cooking, but the amount will balance out of our May grocery budget so in reality the total cost is $0.

When sleep deprived and trying to make things easier for yourself digging around in a large chest freezer trying to figure out what you have on hand isn't my idea of fun any more than cooking is! To make my life easier I decided to keep a running log of what meals were in my freezer at any given moment. Since I am the worlds worst for losing any thing written on a piece of paper under the best of circumstances I knew it would be a bad idea when sleep deprived. To solve the this problem I decided to keep a running total of the meals on my white board. Now anyone can simply take a quick look at the board and see what we have available. Another plus is that it is simple to just wipe out a number and add the new amount when you use up a item. Total spent: $0

Next up we have the dreaded nursery. It is the drain of every budget. The crib, dresser, clothes, etc. It adds up FAST! Since we already had older children this was a piece of cake for me. Instead of buying a third crib that would only be needed for a few months till the twins go to a toddler bed we decided to use our co-sleeper for as long as possible. It also seemed silly to me to buy a dresser for a few months so we decided to use a plastic storage container with drawers from the playroom as our makeshift dresser. It works great and will be usable for years. The swing we already had from the twins, and I decided to just use a office chair that was not being used at the present for a place to sit and nurse the baby. It rocks just as well as a rocker, if we decide we need a rocker I can always move the one from the twins room that isn't being used. Now on to the costly items...clothes. There was no way around this one we needed boy clothes. With four older sisters I was up a creek on hand-me-downs. Where to find cheap boy clothes? A consignment store, thrift store, neighbors, etc are all options. I was very lucky when I joined my local mothers of multiples group that they have a 100% free clothing swap every 3 months. I took in all the clothes the twins had outgrown and traded them for a one years supply of boy clothes. This is a even better deal when you take into account that all the little girl clothes I traded I got for free from the swap when I was pregnant with the twins. Total for the nursery: $0

Lastly we have the carseat. When pregnant with the twins my mother was kind enough to buy us two matching girly carseats. They were adorable and I loved them, but pink isn't really a color I wanted for a little boy's carseat. Buying a new carseat wasn't an option either, those suckers are expensive!
Instead of buying a brand new carseat I decided to try and find a boy cover to go on one of the carseats we already had. I was lucky and found a WAHM who sold carseat covers on eBay for a reasonable amount. I was able to get this really cute one for $30.

I just couldn't resist the idea of a carseat cover that couldn't blow off in bad weather when I saw one online. It is a brilliant idea! I though know the limits of my sewing abilities and was not willing to give this one a try. Luckily my good friend is a wiz with the sewing machine and was able to make it for me for $35 with shipping. I am in love with it!

So there you go 100% prepared for baby #5 with only a total outlay of $261!
I am pretty happy with that total since we are having a new gender. Now to just get this little one here safe and sound so we can start enjoying the fruits of our labor!

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