Friday, October 2, 2009

Close encounters with generic brands

First and foremost, I love my name-brand freebies. If you signed up for the offers in the formula article, your mail box was probably also recently flooded with gifts and coupons. In the past four days, I have received 3 containers of powdered formula-- 1 EarlyShield Similac, 1 Soy Similac, and 1 regular Enfamil-- all the 18-serving size (That's 54 bottles for free!). Between Similac and Infamil, I also got $55 in coupons for formula and a $2 coupon for a vitamin supplement for breastfeeding mothers (I breastfeed and supplement with formula). I also got 3 Huggies Pure and Natural diapers.

Second-- I have an aunt who's a fellow penny-pincher, but more of the generic variety. She swears by Wal*Mart's store brand of diapers, and Target's store-brand of wipes. At my baby shower, I received several kinds of Target's store-brand wipes-- some with lanolin (a generic imitator of the Lansinoh variety), and I felt they worked just as well as Huggies' and Pampers' wipes.

So, when my aunt gave me a package of newborn Parent's Choice diapers, I decided to give it a shot. They seemed to fit better than either Huggies newborn or Huggies size 1 diapers at this stage in Sophie's life (9 lbs, 4 oz), and the inside seemed softer than Huggies size 1 diapers (but less soft than either Huggies or Pampers newborn diapers). However, they were rough and papery on the outside. Superficial judgements aside, we've also had an assortment of leaks with ou generic Parent's Choice diapers. Luckily, no clothes have actually been ruined, so it hasn't been a cost drawback yet, but it has been inconvenient. Even if you can't afford the name-brand in diapers, at least treat yourself to some free samples now and then.

Third-- This blog is, if you haven't figured out by now, about how to afford name-brand quality for your child. I have shared with you many ways of doing this, through the use of free samples, rewards cards, coupons, and community resources. Another great way of giving your child quality products is to make them yourself. From a Sharpie-on-posterboard checkerboard patten that hangs over the headrest for your child to look at while in the car, to a scrap-fabric multi-texture tummy-time rug (a project currently underway... er... waiting in the closet for me to have some free time with which to complete it...), DIY is an excellent way to give your child quality, and unique, tools with which to grow developmentally, emotionally, and intellectually.

For great ideas to try in your own free time (I'm struggling to keep a straight face while advising mothers about what to do with their free time), check out Prudent Baby.

Finally, for more freebies, check out some of my favorite posts... like Affording a Name-Brand Education, and Stuff Mommy Deserves (like Godiva chocolate).


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