How to “afford” organic living

“Oh, you do organic? We just can’t afford it.”

Now hold on. My husband is enlisted navy. Not a politician. We are most certainly not made of money.

It’s all about being driven toward health and you’ll learn to be thrifty because of your passion! At least that’s how it worked for us.

This blog entry is going to be all about how we “afford” to live organically, at least, the process to get where we are! We aren’t 100% there! It is most certainly a day at a time, but we prioritized.

We started off where we knew the biggest cost was going to come our way.
Salem.

My sweet 1.5 year old was the scariest thing in the world to us when we found out he was on his way. We were newly weds. He was a surprise, honeymoon baby. We just moved. I was in school. And we spent our savings on our wedding.

Now, we were blessed enough to have my in laws remove car payments from our plate, and my parents took a big piece of the wedding, but everyone always says babies cost a fortune. That’s why so many couples wait and save. What are we to do?

How we saved with Salem and continue to save with Maebel

Step 1: Cloth Diapering
This has become really trendy and a lot of families take their “stash” beyond the saving level, but we were looking at disposable diaper cost, and woah. Diapers were gonna be a damper on our bank account.

There are two ways to cloth diaper: you’re only planning on one and you’re going to have a horde of children.

If you plan on having one baby and stopping there, no reason to make the plunge into really high quality diapers. Especially if you’re tight with money and you need to make ends meet. Sunbaby, kawaii, grovia, alva, and the like. These brands are great! They’re cost efficient, they will last you at least one baby if not a few, if you care for them properly!

If you plan on a horde, slowly build your stash with softbums or make your own (tutorial to come!). Making my own diapers was by far the best decision I made, but we started out with baby city diapers our first year!

Now, there’s a big debate on whether cloth diapers actually save as far as utilities go. If you live in Hawaii, like me, it’s possible to cut it close if you’re washing less full loads and drying every time. You live in a sunny place. Unless you need diapers ASAP, hang them in the sun! Besides, it’s a natural bleach (: otherwise, you folks on the mainland, utilities are cheap. Full loads, line dry when you can, and your fluffy bottomed babies are gonna cost you virtually nothing but the start up cost.

P.S. If you already have a baby, it’s not too late. Don’t tell yourself that. Trainers cost way more than diapers! And swim diapers, too! You can still save yourself a lot of money.

Step 2: Breastfeeding and homemade baby food
Not all women can breastfeed and this fact makes my heart heavy. It’s also more easily said than done, but if you can do it, then by all means! Your breast milk is exactly what your baby needs! You will have to stick to it. The first 6-8 weeks are not for the meek of heart. Doctors tend to not say the most encouraging things when it comes to reflux (Salem), jaundice (Maebel), or small babies, but find a La Leche League or lactation consultant. Get somebody to be your advocate when you’re too tired to fight. And please! Educate yourself on breastfeeding: common issues and how to correct them, what to expect, myths, etc.

If you were unable to breastfeed your first and are medically unable to breastfeed any future children, but formula hurts your wallet, look into human milk 4 human babies. Women who have oversupply (including myself), donate here to local moms in need. You read that right, free breast milk! If you’re passionate about breast milk there are ways to get some. If other mommy milk freaks you out, which is completely appropriate, see if you qualify for women, infants, and children (WIC). No need to take money you could be using for your children elsewhere, WIC is absolutely an appropriate option for families who struggle and want to provide the best lives for their children. We, too, used WIC while preparing for Salem’s arrival.

Homemade baby food. Sounds like a hassle, it’s totally not. Pick a day of the week, your day off for working moms, the best opportunity to present itself for SAHM/WAHM. Look up a few recipes on Pinterest, or copy gerber! Steam some carrots, bake potatoes and sweet potatoes, cook a whole chicken (definitely most cost efficient use of chicken), sauté mushroom, peppers, onions, etc. then, throw some mixtures together in a blender and freeze for the week! This will save you almost as much as cloth diapering! Baby food is expensive!

Step 3: Essential Oils and natural medicine and cleaning alternatives
There are all sorts of back and forth on Tylenol use for pregnant moms and new babies. And then, how does our heart feel when we see toddler has figured out the child lock on the cleaning cabinet?

How much money do you not realize you spend on (overpriced) infant Tylenol and midol/Advil for yourself? How about diaper creams, especially if you have the baby with sensitive skin and low tolerance for synthetics? Then, there’s the one time you can’t wait out the tummy ache so you bought pepto bismol or anti-diarrhea stuff, and then you forget about it in the back of your medicine cabinet…

Here is one of the really great things about essential oils: you can use them as medicine and to clean, chemical free! They have so many uses! From chronic pain and health concerns to a mild headache, these oils can help you. And a little bit goes a long way! 3-4 drops of lemon in my 250 drop bottle is plenty in an 8 oz glass spray bottle to last me multiple kitchen and bathroom cleanings.

You’re going to find that a few other cleaners pair well with essential oils: organic baking soda, organic vinegar, organic apple cider vinegar, and organic Castile soap. These are your must haves for cleaning.

As far as medicines go, invest in a big tub of organic coconut oil and you’re set!

Essential oils can save your multiple trips to stores and doctors appointments. Really, consider them! They are truly a wonderful make over for your home and family,

If you’re interested in purchasing essential oils at retail, visit my website: click here!

If you’re wanting to maximize your benefits, talk to me about becoming a doTERRA member, today! Candacedoterra1@gmail.com

Step 4: Garden
We spent $300 on our raised bed, and it is estimated to give us more than enough crop for our family. When you’re already switching a lot in your life over to organic, you start to worry as you glimpse at organic grocery prices. Vegetables and fruit and best grown in your own back yard. And that $300 mark for gardening? We saved up for it, but the soil is 100% organic and our seeds are heritage seeds! Meaning the seeds we keep will grow more crop!

This step is really great for those in warm climates when you can grow year round! But, places with seasons, there’s no reason to let winter scare you. Grow in the spring, summer, and fall, and learn about canning your own veggies and dehydrating fruit!

No yard or small yard? Look into a potted garden. Save space by growing herbs under windows!

This is only as far as we’ve really traveled on our organic adventure. We purchase organic milk and aim for hormone and anti biotic free meats, but it’s a slow process. However, it’s a good one, and saving us money all the while, even with living in one of the most expensive states in the union!

Not sure where to start with the change in your life? Comment below or email me at candacedoterra1@gmail.com

Candace

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