Thursday, September 11, 2014

Diaper Need Awareness Week 2014

This year September 8-14th has been set aside as Diaper Need Awareness Week.  I am participating in the efforts by Giving Diapers Giving Hope to collect cloth diapers for families in need.  To raise awareness Giving Diapers Giving Hope is challenging people to find (at least) one new or good used condition cloth diaper and send it to GDGH during the week.  To further encourage participation you can post a picture of your package (with your return address covered) to Instagram and might be picked for a prize!!   

Why Should I Care About Diaper Need?

The National Diaper Bank Network estimates that one in three American families struggle to afford diapers for their babies.  With approximately 5.8 MILLION babies in low income families, that represents approximately a shortage of 17.4 BILLION diapers a year.  Diapers are currently not included in any government subsidize program and at $50-$100 a month per baby for disposables or the significant upfront cost of cloth diapers can represent a financial constraint for a lot of families.  

How Can I Participate?

Donate, donate donate!!  Of course you can donate financially to any of the diaper banks (cloth or disposable) of your choice (of course in my opinion donating a cloth diaper will serve a family for much, much longer). 

I have chosen to donate 2 cloth diapers that have worked well for my family and 10 of my cloth wipes, which will hopefully be enjoyed by another family.

If you want to participate in the GDGH initiative this is what you need to do:

1. Take a photo of you with a diaper in an envelope addressed to:
(GDGH has a new address check their site for where to ship your donations)
2. Cover your return address with your hand or a sticker using an app in your phone.
3. Post to Instagram and include the hashtags #givinghope and #diaperneed. Tag 3 friends.
4. Hope for a prize but know that you have done a lot to help a family in need.

Whatever your course of action, don't forget that diaper need is year round and your support should not stop after this week!

post signature

Monday, September 8, 2014

Annies Organic Buying Club Review

I am continuously trying to make better choices for my family and even though I would love to feed my family all organic I am frequently overwhelmed by the prices and end up choosing conventional items.  Recently a friend told me about an organic produce buying club called Annie's.  It is currently only available in Florida but a quick google search should help locate a similar buying club in your state.  After checking out the prices and options I decided to give it a try.  With my analytical personality I also decided that I was going to track what came in my shares and determine what the cost would have been at the grocery store.  I wanted to see if buying from Annie's really made financial sense.  I went to Whole Foods and also checked out Publix Greenwise prices to determine what the prices would have been at retail.  After a few weeks I was also curious how everything compared to conventional prices, so I did price comparisons based on conventional prices as well.  After a month of weighing, counting and pricing I finally have a month's worth of results to share.
Over the month that I was tracking I tried out a few different options and my condensed results are below.  (Its also important to note that while I could find most items a lot of items I wasn't able to find organic so actual savings are probably more for some shares.)

Share Name: Big $50
Share Cost: $50
Retail Organic Cost: $71.63
Organic % savings: 43%
Retail Conventional Cost: $54.43
Conventional % savings: 9%
Share Name: $10 Fruit
Share Cost: $10
Retail Organic Cost: $14.68
Organic % savings: 47%
Retail Conventional Cost: $9.06
Conventional % savings: -9%

Share Name: The Mini
Share Cost: $22
Retail Organic Cost: $31.84
Organic % savings: 45%
Retail Conventional Cost: $22.86
Conventional % savings: 4%
Share Name: Snack Pack Attack
Share Cost: $10
Retail Organic Cost: $13.45
Organic % savings: 35%
Retail Conventional Cost: $10.76
Conventional % savings: 8%
Share Name: Fruity 50
Share Cost: $50
Retail Organic Cost: $77.41
Organic % savings: 55%
Retail Conventional Cost: $48.37
Conventional % savings: -3%


Share Name: Full
Share Cost: $50
Retail Organic Cost: $66.19
Organic % savings: 32%
Retail Conventional Cost: $42.81
Conventional % savings: -14%

After a month of tracking I can confidently say that I have experienced significant cost savings over retail prices on organic produce.  Also, for the most part I am paying the same price for organic produce as I would for conventional in a retail location. 
On top of the cost savings I have also noticed a lot of qualitative benefits.  Normally I make a menu and grocery list for the week and therefore don't even look at other produce options so I love that getting all of my produce from a buying club means that I try things that we normally wouldn't even consider.  Because of this we have tried so many amazing recipes that I can't wait to make again.  Secondly we eat a lot more vegetables than we use to.  Having it on site means that I have to think of creative ways to use the veggies before they go bad and therefore we eat more veggies in general.  Lastly, I love that we get produce that is in season so it is all delicious!!
If you are in Florida definitely check to see if there is an Annie's Buying Club close to you and if not then look around for other buying clubs.  I have personally found it to be a great way to buy our produce.
post signature

Monday, September 1, 2014

How Much Time Does it Take to Cloth Diaper - Quantifying the Savings

Last week I posted my breakdown of how much extra time it actually takes to use cloth diapers over disposable diapers but being a CPA this information has more use for me when expressed in dollars!  My study found that on average someone could expect to spend about an hour extra each week using cloth diapers over disposables.
Assess the Factors
First to determine how much out time savings are worth we have to assess the cost per month of using cloth diapers and of using disposables:
Cost of a Cloth Diaper Stash (per month)
The average child will potty train around two and a half and I would say that the majority of cloth dipaerers will use their diapers on at least two children, therefore to be conservative I will say that the diapers will get 5 years of use. You can cloth diaper for almost any price point and I have provided suggestion for diaper stashes at $200, $400 and $600 so the price of your stash will definitely affect the per hour savings. I think a very reasonable expectation is about $400 for your cloth diapers for 5 years (60 months) so $6.67 a month.
Cost of Utilities (per month)
Based on my post from last year about determining cost savings of using cloth diapers I determined that it cost me about $150 a year in extra water, electricity, detergent, etc. to use cloth diapers.  Therefore the monthly cost is about $12.50
Therefore the total estimated cost per month of using cloth diapers is $19.17.
Cost of Disposable Diapers (per month)
The cost of disposables is of course affected by the brand you buy but I think 25 cents a diaper is reasonable and at approximately 300 diapers a month the cost per month is about $75.
Therefore the savings each month of using cloth diapers over disposable diapers is $55.83 a month and if you assume approximately 4 hours a month (1 hour a week) then you are essentially paying yourself $13.95 an hour.  Not bad! If someone told me they would pay me $14 an hour to put adorable diapers on my daughter, keep away diaper rash and help the planet all at the same time I would consider that a pretty good job!
So overall I found this little experiment really interesting. I am more than happy to sacrifice an hour a week so that we can continue cloth I just have to find my husband to collect my $14.
post signature