Everyone says kids are expensive but there are actually a lot of practical ways to spend less on things for the kids.
Saving money in the baby's/children's room
* Use cloth diapers. They are an investment initially but that's all there is to buy other than the laundry detergent to clean them. I have not done this with my own until now, but helped cloth diaper several younger siblings. You can sew your own out of old flannel shirts and T-shirts and reduce your cost to almost nothing. Here are the directions for a couple of styles.
* If you aren't that adventurous, try store brand diapers. My favorite are at Fred's. The tabs and elastic back are unbeatable and I like the fact that there are no dyes or fragrances. A large package costs only $9.99, and sometimes they are on sale for $8.99. Kroger (Comforts brand) and Wal-Mart (Parent's Choice brand) also carry quality store brand diapers.
* Use baby washcloths in lieu of baby wipes at home. This works wonderfully. I have a stack of store-bought baby washcloths that were given to us before the baby was born that I use for cleaning up after dirty diapers.
* Use cloth to wipe little runny noses and wash dirty little hands and faces. I have a separate set of cloths that we use for this. My mom and I have made all of these from old T-shirts and thin baby blankets.
* Use soaps, shampoos, and lotions for the entire family rather than purchasing separate products for the baby. Baby products are expensive, contain fragrances and other chemicals, and for us, they just don't work! We have a couple of little ones with eczema/sensitive skin so we must be careful what we use, but white Lever 2000 soap is great for everyone. We also order our soap, shampoo, and lotion products from a wellness company called Melaleuca. The entire family uses their white bar soap, herbal shampoo, and Renew lotion.
* Recycle plastic shopping bags by using them to dispose of dirty diapers.
* Shop for kids' clothes at yard sales and secondhand stores like Goodwill. You can also pass clothes around with family and friends.
* Get LED nightlights ($1 at most dollar stores) instead of leaving a lamp or even worse, the bathroom light, on all night.