I'm going to try and talk about different things on different days of the week - Menu Planning on Monday, "Stretching" on Tightwad Tuesday, Weight loss on Weigh-in Wednesdays, Gratefulness on Sundays, and anything else in between - so for Tightwad Tuesday, here we stretch!
In case you weren’t aware I am the proud mother of not only a 2 ½ year old beautiful, blonde devious little girl, but also an 8 week old handsome little boy who I am continuing to nurse after having returned to work 2 weeks ago. There are lots of reasons that I choose to nurse, one of the main being to save money on formula. However, nothing is free – including nursing! There are supplies that must be purchased to start pumping and other supplies that must be purchased to maintain this lifestyle. How I save money or saved money on these is how I “stretch the boobs!”
First of all your pump – these sell for all shapes and sizes and are only supposed to be for one user. That being said, I could not afford the $375+ for a good pump (Medela) when I had my daughter. Luckily, for me but not for her, I had a good friend who was unable to nurse her son, who was 3 months older than my daughter, and had purchased a pump that she'd only used 1-2 times that she sold to me for $75. One of the best investments I've ever made - personal opinion: if you can find one of these bad boys at a yard sale or consignment sale, they are well worth the investment and you can replace the necessary parts fairly inexpensively! I say fairly inexpensively - all in all - I've got about $100 in my $375+ pump and that is after I have used it for my first child (nursed for 5 months), lent it to another friend for a year, purchased replacement tubing, etc. and now using the pump for my son.
Second of all your breastpads - those pads you put on the inside of you bra to prevent leakage, and trust me you want something! Actual breastpads sell (if I remember correctly from my local Wal-mart) for about $8 or something for around 30 pads (yes these are nice individually rounded pads...they are so pretty - do you hear my sarcasm!?). My little money saving tip is to instead purchase the cheapest, heavy flow generic maxi pads you can find and cut the pad in half. You can get a package of say 30 pads (cut in half = 60 right?) for about $6 or something - there again prices are all approximate, but you get the gist right? I think the maxi pads are much better equipped to handle excessive leakage, as you may sometimes have and it is much more cost effective!
Third your bottles - with our daughter we used the Playtex drop-in type bottle b/c they were given to us. However with my son I was able to get about 20 Aveno (sp?) bottles for about $15 at a yard sale. Now with these bottles I don't have to keep buying the drop-ins, I have enough that even when I'm washing the ones from day-care I have others, and I will be able to re-sell them when I finish with them!
Next is your milk baggies - now this is something new I'm trying, and I will let you know how it turns out. But when DH and I were at the store Friday, I had run out of the individual milk baggies the day before and needed some more for this week in order to pump, I picked up the box of baggies that was $10 for 30 6 oz. baggies......I quickly did the math in my head and figured I would be using 4 baggies a day meaning this little box would only last me about 7.5 working days. That just seemed ridiculous to me, however that is the only option available - or so I thought. As I was strolling down the aisle where the sandwich baggies (which I divide up snacks) were at....I stopped and stared at the quart freezer bags $1.30 for 20 bags. I asked DH, and I'm still working this out so thoughts or suggestions are appreciated, what he thought of using those instead of the individual baggies - "so long as you think it will work, I don't see a problem". My thinking is when we get out the milk from the freezer we are preparing all 3 feeding for my son for that day, so why can't I just lump all the milk for that into one bag? We are trying it and so far the lumping and freezing part seems to be going fine, I guess we will see how the thawing and dividing part goes in a couple of weeks. But as far as saving money goes - this will be a huge money saver b/c I can put all of one day's pumping into 1 bag so a $1.30 box of 20 bags will last me for almost a month of pumping at work vs. 7.5 days! I guess we will see!
Like I said before, like them or not, these are ways that we are tying to tighten our budget and "stretch the boobs"!