When I was growing up, I had no idea that my family was poor. Extremely poor. Scrape-together-enough-money-for-necessities poor. We lived in a nice enough house. We always had food to eat. And we never felt deprived of fun toys. You all know the story about how my mother made ends meet and got out of poverty, but I haven't talked a lot about how my magical childhood filled with toys was possible.

If you're the parent of an infant or if you are expecting, finding cheap diapers is probably on the top of your must-save-cash-somehow list. Fortunately, diapers don't have to break the bank. Unfortunately, finding these little pockets of absorbency on the cheap isn't always easy. But if you follow a few basic save-cash-on-diapers rules, you can walk away with a little savings in your pocket. Here's what I found through trial and error with my first daughter.

Go Cloth

Okay, so I was financially prepared to have a baby. Or so I thought. I knew that diapers were not cheap. I knew that daycare was expensive. I knew that baby incidentals would add up. But I wasn't prepared for exactly how much my dear daughter would cost. Thankfully, I figured out a few things to help reduce my DD's costs, both before and after her arrival. Here's what I found:

Baby Care

Everything costs an arm and a leg anymore. Even music. With the typical download cost per song cashing in at around a dollar, the cost of building up your musical library can become astronomical. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be. Join us for a post on where you can get your favorite tunes on the cheap...or even free!

The Library

It's no secret that my Great Dane is my baby girl. I also don't hide the fact that I spoil her like there's no tomorrow. What I often don't admit to every person on the street, though, is that I do all of my canine treating as cheaply as possible. Let me run through how I spoil my enormous dog on a budget.


Ever had a basement (or attic or spare room) full of stuff? Stuff that just sits there, collecting dust, taking up room? Yep, I’ve totally been there. After my father-in-law passed away, our basement became like a storage unit for a lot of his earthly possessions. Last summer, my husband’s family decided to go through the items, keeping things they wanted and readying the rest for a massive garage sale.

If home improvements seem too expensive to tackle, have no fear: decorating doesn't have to break the bank. In fact, improving a room in your home can cost as little as a few dollars or a few hundred dollars, depending on the extent of your needs. Recently, I proved my own point by decorating my baby's nursery using a few cans of paint, cast-off furniture, sale curtains, and a new-to-me rocker. Here's how I tackled an entire room for a little over $100.

Paint the Walls

I’m living proof that traits and talents don’t skip a generation, like the old theory goes. If they did, I’d have a green thumb just like my Grandma (and be able to sew and quilt and crochet and paint and...). Alas, I’m not known for my gardening abilities, and guess what? I have a house that faces a public street and the neighbors; this house needs something...anything...done to it so that it looks like I’m not truly cultivating weeds on purpose.

These days, the idea of being environmentally friendly is very trendy and, well, friendly to the environment. From reusable grocery bags to hybrid cars, nods to being earth conscious are virtually everywhere. Here are three at-home tricks you can put into practice today that are small steps in the earth-saving direction. And because frugality is always at the forefront of my mind, these are ideas that will not drain your wallet.

The Cleaner’s In The Cupboard

When the pantry’s low and you need a kid-friendly meal fast, here’s a surefire recipe that can get you by for a night, direct from a kid chef. It may not be the healthiest option, but it is surprisingly tasty (even a hot dog hater like me enjoys this meal once in a great while!). So here we go: HDMPC, aka hot-dogs-mashed-potatoes-and-cheese.


  • 1 package of hot dogs (I like lower fat options like turkey dogs)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • American cheese