Our baby budgeting ‘Going Green’ guest post today is from  Margarita Woodley. Thanks Margarita for a really informative post!

I have been following Baby Budgeting for a while – what an “Ingenious” topic to blog on – after all Babies do cost a fortune! And all of us want the best for our children, providing them with as much nutrition, fun and experiences as possible! Thank you Baby Budgeting for all your ideas so far.

 Being a “little green” (note, the word “little” – I basically “try”), I was pleased to see the “Green Month” theme and even more pleased when I was “allowed” to contribute. There is one topic close to my heart, but I would like to submit two posts over two days which refer to it:

 The Nappy Mountain!

 

Photo curtesy of Kingston & Merton Nappy Network

 For first two years of your babies life, not only will you be using up over 5000 nappies, it estimated that these will cost you a minimum £800. Every additional half year will mean an approx extra 730 nappies at a minimum of £125 per 6 months! I think that these calculations erred on the side of “cheap” and minimum use. You will probably be spending more!

 There are two ways to help reduce costs and the impact on the environment. I will talk about one today and the other tomorrow….

 Firstly: Potty Training!

Out generation is encouraged by books, media, health visitors and (I don’t doubt) the nappy manufacturer’s to potty train our children later and later. Many families don’t even THINK about potty training until their child is 2.5 years old, let alone starting potty training at that age. And when they do, they frequently use the “half way” house pull up nappies.

 Now think: each month you probably spend at least £20 (optimistically cheap estimate!!). So every month you delay potty training, that is £20 pounds down the drain – in some cases children are trained 18 – 24 months later than it is possible (i.e. at 3 – 3.5yrs) – that is £360 – £480 wasted on nappies alone?! (not mentioning the cost of baby wipes or nappy bags).

 Our parent generation trained children around 18 months. Ok, this means the process is slower, more work and more infuriating, BUT if a child isn’t trained til 3.5yrs – that is at least £500 less spent by our parents.

 I potty trained mine just before his 2nd Birthday. It took 3 weeks (very boring) and we do still have accidents now (4 months later) – but this is normal. No one tells you this. Everyone tells you “we did in 1 day”, “we did in 3 days” – making you wait and wait and for “the right moment”. Some children will take 3 weeks regardless of when you do it. Some will do it faster. It is hard to decide when exactly is the right time.

 Pull up nappies just prolong the process and make money for the nappy companies. Don’t go there. They are a waste of money. Go nappy cold turkey and you will sort it faster. Don’t wait for summer. Do it when it is right. We did it over Christmas – in some ways winter was better, as when Red Ted wet himself it just went into his trousers and not all over the carpet.

 And here’s a scary fact: your child is more likely to experience incontinence problems if (s)he is trained after the age of 32 months  The ONLY observed downside of training early, is that it may take a little longer.

 Ok. Enough lecturing. Save money. Potty Train.

 Go to The Good Life Bloggers for some tips to help you succeed and to stay calm! Or to read our journey when Potty Training!

Follow:

Our guest post today is from Brenda at the green familia and here she shares some fab tips on energy efficiency.  Thank you Brenda!

Energy efficiency at it’s purest!

One of the easiest ways of saving money and being kind to the environment is to be energy efficient.  Here are some tips on how to achieve this.

  •  Turn off all electrical appliances at the wall when not in use.  Even leaving them on standby is still using up electricity which you are paying for!
  • Keep your fridge and freezers dust free at the back.  Once a month get into the habit of giving them a dust down, this helps them be more energy efficient.
  • When replacing your washing machines, dishwashers etc, go for one that has a high energy efficient rating. Which? Is a good resource for finding out the best ones.
  •  Turning your heating down by just one degree, can also help you lower your energy bills.
  •  Ensure your house is fully insulated from the loft to your doors and windows!
  •  Switch to low energy light bulbs.
  • When cooking, make larger portions and freeze the left overs for another day. 

 


  •  Use lined curtains on windows that are slightly draughty to prevent too much heat loss.
  •  Invest or make your own door draught excluders, again to prevent heat loss.

These are only just a few tips, but if you can implement a few of these into your daily lives, you will find that eventually your energy bills will be less and you will have a more energy efficient house which will help in your strive to be greener.

Brenda writes over at www.thegreenfamilia.co.uk, which is a light green natural living shopping blog.

Follow:

The summer my son was 2 GG (great grandma) who has always lived in the country, decided it was time he learnt to be a bit less of a city boy. She got him a poster about trees, started saving her RSPB magazines for him and declared  ‘ It’s time I showed you how to grow vegetables  I gulped and got worried; vegetable growing made me think…time consuming  /expensive/complicated? My MIL bought me a book and I was all but pushed into the garden!

 Several years later we have had lots of fun experimenting with…

 Potatoes (dead easy just plant a few then let the kids scrabble for  tons and tons at the bottom of your container later.)

 Tomatoes (need a big tub and plenty of water.) We  have killed a fair few through neglect but the kids have got immense joy from pickig off the survivors and they taste AMAZING!

Spring onions we popped these in a little grow bag and they were fab and we did some little lettuces in grow bags too and they were just gorgeous. No effort at all!

See how technical I am about gardening.  It doesn’t have to be expensive or a chore. It can be cheap cheerful and fairly effortless and the results are so exciting! The kids delight in presenting GG with little bags of veggie goodies and I feel proud too.

 

This year we are going for carrots and cucumbers…who knows if they will work for us…. but just the planting is a fun activity, it teaches the kids where food comes from and to care and nourish a living thing. When they do work out the cost savings are great…just pick your veggies as you go, there is no waste, definitely better quality, organic and cheap as chips compare to shop bought. Even if it goes a bit awry you can’t go wrong with this project for all the gains of getting your kids in touch with their roots!

Follow:

 Budgeting is essentially about reducing what you spend but as a by-product of that you often and usually reduce your waste, recycle your goods and reuse skills and objects too! Budgeting is by nature environmentally friendly! We have to take care of our planet for our kids so we have to give focus and energy to green issues

April is the month of spring, of new life, birth and celebrating our earth. It also contains Easter and Earth Day as well as the summer term at school.

 All things considered here at baby budgeting it seemed a very good month to give our blog a big slant towards supporting our environment and ‘going green.’

  If you combine ‘being green’ with healthy, frugal parenting please send me a link to your post or just your best tip so we can build up a bank of wonderful ideas and celebrate our earth in style x

 You have to be the change you want t0 see in the world – Gandhi


Follow: