This week we are going to be talking about::
When I was a new mom I wanted the best for my baby. I obsessed over it actually. I would only use brand name diapers, only brand name wipes, brand name bottles, etc. My husband and I wanted only the best, from brands we had heard about a lot over the years and felt we could trust. And let me tell you something, it got pretty expensive.
After months and months of buying only what we felt was the best (and paying outrageous for the simplest of things) we decided to try a few of the store brands. After all it couldn't hurt. And slowly we started finding certain store brands that were just as good as some of the name brands, if not better. Slowly as we found the products we liked best we also started saving money! We went from weeks being strapped on cash to have an extra ten or twenty dollars! It may not seem like a lot, but those little savings add up! And you can never add up too much cash when you have little ones because as lovable as they are, they are pretty expensive.
And it doesn't stop there! Don't just buy some of the store brand baby items, there are other good items that you can buy for your household that is cheaper and just as good. Everything from jelly, paper towels, hand soap, etc.
Not to mention that if you really take a look at the ingredients on store brands compared with name brands you will be surprised to see that the ingredients are either identical or almost identical.
Being a mom is so very rewarding, but it can be a bit overwhelming if you let it. As soon as you start telling people your pregnant their questions (and yours) start coming out in a rush. Here's some statistics that may surprise you:
- *Baby-related advertisements strike an emotional chord with moms – nearly one in four feel overwhelmed (23%) and one in five feel anxious (20%) or confused (20%)
- *53% of moms admit thoughts of their baby product budget plague them on a daily basis
- *37% of moms feel guilty if they cannot afford a specific product for their babies
Don't let it get to you, the brand doesn't matter. What matters is fitting your babies needs! Example: If a store brand diaper holds up just as good as a name brand diaper, why spend more when you can spend less? Your baby isn't lacking any special feature so why should you stretch your budget?
Now I'm not saying throw out all your name brands and start with all store brands, because there are some name brands I'm still pretty loyal too. The thing about finding what fits you best is doing some experimenting. There may be some weeks you have a little extra cash to spend, or you need to save a little extra one week regardless. Maybe that's the week you'll try out the Target baby diapers, kroger grape jelly, and viva paper towels. And once you find what fits your baby and/or family best, then you can re-calculate your budget and start saving.
Here's a few of the products I choose and why::
When my babes were born I used Pampers because I loved the way the swaddlers fit them, and when they seemed comfy in them I just stuck to them for awhile. I used the Pampers brand until they were in size 3's. Once you started getting less in a box per size (it's so annoying they do that), I decided it was time to get more bang for less buck. When they hit size 3's I would switch to the Target brand of diapers. I LOVE the up&up diapers. As a matter of fact I have less leaks with them than I do with the Pampers, or the Huggies. I have tried other store brands of diapers, but I haven't had much success to be honest. Once I tried the Target diapers I was sold. They hold up great, provide great protection, and are inexpensive. I can get a box for under fifteen dollars compared to paying around twenty dollars a box.
You can also go the cloth diapering route. It can also save a lot of money but doesn't work for everyone. I tried the cloth diapering route and while I didn't always mind it, it didn't become practical for our sometimes hectic "on-the-go" schedule. I prefer to just use the disposable and throw them away when used. But I do applaud any who go the cloth diapering route and sticking with it so don't get me wrong on that front.
For sliced cheese I pretty much stick to Kraft. I've found that other store brands we have tried don't hold up as "cheesy" as the craft. It's really one of the things that we don't budge on.
However, some shredded cheeses we will buy the store brands. Especially the kroger version of the sharp cheddar sliced cheese:
I have found that for some reason the shredded cheese just tastes so much "cheesier" than the sliced. It works great in cooking or as a topping.
For lotion I will only use Johnson's Baby Lotion brands. They are much less greasy than other lotions (store brands and other leading brands). I trust the brand since it's been around for years, and I love the scents.
I have tried other lotions and they just don't work as well as Johnson's.
However, there is one other lotion that I will use before any other. BUT this also comes as a particular skin need. Both my kids suffer from eczema breakouts from time to time. I have used many lotions, creams, etc. Even as far as asking our pediatrician to prescribe something especially for eczema (which got even more expensive). The problem is that eczema isn't just cured. It can only be momentarily treated, so when my kids have outbreaks we have found the best thing for us is:
Store brands of children's vitamins are often used around our home as they have the same amount of each ingredient as the leading children's vitamins brands. Jellies we usually buy whatever store brand is on sale, or whatever is cheaper to save money. To be honest all jellies pretty much taste the same and if you closed your eyes and tried Smuckers vs. Kroger you may find yourself surprised. I won't use the same treatment for peanut butter though. Even though the kids don't eat peanut butter yet me and hubs will only buy Jiff. That is due to all the salmonella/listeria outbreaks in other brands of peanut butter. Jiff is a much more trusted brand for us.
Breads don't really matter either to a point. On especially tight weeks we will buy whatever is on sale, on budget friendly weeks we will usually buy Sunbeam bread. You get more per loaf and it tastes better. We prefer wheat to white, but sometimes will get either one or the other.
Either way you look at it, there are many store brands out there that may just surprise you. Many of them hold up just as well to the name brands, and it's just finding that right product that fits you best. Some of the products I mentioned may not work as well for others, everyone is different. I did however feel the need to show and explain my personal differences and views as an example.
Later on in the week you will be hearing Heather and Leslie's personal thoughts and takes on this issue so be sure to check back. Here's our schedule:
And if you have any topics you would like discussed on this blog feel free to email them to: thecaseofthemissingcheerios(at)gmail.com or leave them in a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you/meeting you, and please remember to keep things clean and respectful in the comments section.
Until we meet again next time...