Ben & Jerry’s- A Chocoholic’s Review

*Note- I am now dieting so cannot continue my quest to try ALL ice cream flavors:( Sadness I know but Halo brand ice cream and the THM recipe are reasonable alternatives. Halo was on sale for $3/pint at my local health food store my first month dieting thank goodness! The texture is weird but still yummy and out of all four flavors, vanilla is probably most ice cream-y. The THM is good but my stupid food processor broke:(

Every once and awhile (about once a month or two and usually around the new moon- aka “moon time” when everyone tends to be on the rag), the grocery gods bless us with a sale on Ben&Jerry’s like this- b&j

Lately I’ve seen it for BOGO (full price being $4 so that’s $2 a pint). However if you aren’t so lucky, Walmart generally has it for about $3 something. To make sure you get the most delicious ice cream pleasure for your buck, I’ve put together this review. I may have a little problem with high end ice cream on sale (and chocolate in general lol)! b&joverload

So without further adieu, here’s my take on Ben&Jerry’s flavors:)

Americone Dream- vanilla ehh…

Banana Split- not as good as real banana split (especially one from a scoop shop) BUT interesting

Boston Cream Pie- not sure

Cake Batter- OMG! Surprisingly amazing! I ignored it for like ever because it doesn’t have a chocolate base BUT then saw it has a chocolate frosting swirl! SO GOOD! It’s like a throw back to childhood swirl soft serve cones or even those little cheapie individual ice cream cups of vanilla with chocolate syrup packaged in it. People sometimes get them for kid’s bday parties. However it’s not like how those crap things actually taste but how as a kid you thought they tasted when you were all jacked up on bday party fun high and anything sugary tasted like ambrosia of the gods. So yeah like childhood ambrosia more so than cake but the yellow cake mix taste is definitely there (well once you get half way through the pint and actually are eating slow enough to identify all the nuances instead of power eating because you were already in a bad mood and the dumb bagger at the store gave you crap for buying so much ice cream. It was $2/pint and the last day of the sale! Stocking up as called for!)

Cheesecake Brownie- this one is a let down for chocoholics. The base is cheesecake so you only get real dose of chocolate from brownie chunks. Still good but not a personal fav. Cheesecake ice cream is good but for chocolate, much rather do Chocolate Fudge Brownie, maybe on actual cheesecake? Naw- who bothers with baking desert when you can just grab a spoon?

Cherry Garcia- uh so want to love this but never quite as good as I hope. Maybe too much vanilla base and not enough cherry? I know it’s like EVERYONE’s fav but not mine. Ironically I love the organic soy cherry chocolate chip ice cream Trader Joe’s sells and even though I’m not vegan anymore (and it was one of the main reasons I managed to be vegan for so many years without going insane!), I still get it a few times a year just because it’s that good. Yet even then I find myself pushing past the ice cream itself to dig cherries out, so kind of better off buying their jarred morellos.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough- another I so want to love but not so. The dough is good but frozen takes awhile of holding in your mouth to get full flavor unlike real cookie dough. The vanilla base again is good (and by good I mean America’s Test Kitchen and nearly everyone else declares it the best vanilla ice cream EVER) it just doesn’t have my heart like chocolate does.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie- this is probably their most popular chocolate flavor and with good reason. The ice cream is rich with chocolate flavor (as are any B&J chocolate varieties- no plain jane tasteless ice cream dyed a slight shade of brown here!). The brownies are delicious! I often find myself just wanting to dig them out but the ice cream “coating” lol makes them extra good. Sometimes there’s a corner piece or something that’s more dry than I like (I want my brownies to be basically like warmed batter so crispy is out) but still good. However it is possible to OD on this and realize the heart breaking fact that no matter how much you eat, the anti-depressant effects only work to a point and you might have to put the spoon away and actually deal with your feelings:/ Sad I know but the world is still a better place with this readily available in almost any store that carries even a small selection of B&J. Oh plus the brownies are made by a very good organization that helps those in needs through their sales or something so even less guilt over eating it (add in B&J’s fair trade and hormone free dairy promise along with recent pledge to eliminate HFCS and I seriously am in love! Oh and all the charity they do too!).

Chocolate Nougat Crunch- OH this is new to me! Now this hunt is on to find it… Target often tends to be good for finding rare flavors, sometimes Walmart. Grocery store and health food stores are hit or miss on their selection. Again not chocolate based BUT nougat could be very interesting…

Chocolate Peppermint Crunch- this is one of the few chocolate flavors my husband can count on getting a share of. It’s good but I really dislike mint. It reminds me too much of tooth paste and distracts from the chocolate:/ The crunch balls however are uncannily like Thin Mints. For the sake of my marriage, I hope this is here to stay!

Chocolate Therapy- OMG my all time favorite therapist ever! (And that’s saying a lot given how many I’ve seen!) Great listener, can be soft and reassuring but some tough love, um, running out of therapy analogies… Anyways the pudding mixed in makes it like the best chocolate ice cream ever and the cookie crumbs balance the texture perfectly! It so good! Totally foresee having an affair with it no matter how unethical that may be to the profession….

Chubby Hubby- another classic flavor but yet one I rarely get. I think it’s been so long since I last had it I’ll have to try it again and update later. One of the unusual combos that makes B&J so famous. I also don’t see it that much. Maybe I go to the wrong stores:/ *insert obvious sex joke here about preferring hubby’s chubby….

Chunky Monkey- OH YEAH! The chocolate fudge chunks more than make up for the non-chocolate base. Can I get them just on their own? Seriously so good! I wonder what they’d be like to bake with… Anyways the banana ice cream is out of this world! It’s so authentically banana! No yucky cheap candy faux banana taste- yet somehow it’s even MORE banana-y than that vegan 1 ingredient banana ice cream recipe where you blend frozen banana until cream and then try to fool yourself into thinking it’s “just like real ice cream” because you’re dieting or poor and got like a million bananas in the grocery store clearance bin for basically nothing and now have no idea what the hell to do with 1000 bananas… Yeah I don’t know how it’s possible but it taste even more like banana than actual banana! Oh and the walnuts are such a nice touch! They’re healthy and give a little protein boost, right? And healthy fats too (which of course ice cream would have IF it was made from grass fed cows HINT HINT B&J!)

banana

Cinnamon Buns- somehow I haven’t really had this… WTF how is that possible? I know I’ve seen it but the allure of chocolate totally gets me off track…

Coffee Caramel Buzz- oh coffee you’re such a tease! You almost taste like that bittersweet chocolate deliciousness but you’re not. Given that I also could live the rest of my life without another drop of coffee and not mind at all, you also just aren’t my true love. It’s not you, it’s me.

Coffee Heath Bar Crunch- um see above and yeah Heath Bars aren’t doing much for me. Good but not my cup of tea. A classic flavor though and very popular!

Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz- ok so IDK if they also make Starbucks ice cream or not but it’s always on sale at same time. I haven’t tried this but espresso beans are not my thing even more so than coffee. I also would much prefer an actual Starbucks super sugary candy bar in a cup than the ice cream ironically. But hey if you’re a coffeeholic then this is a great one for you as are any of the other coffee flavors.

Everything But The…- A Collision of Chocolate (GOOD) & Vanilla (ehhh) Ice Creams mixed with Peanut Butter Cups (YUM), HEATH® Bar Chunks (blah), White Chocolaty Chunks (IMPOSTORS!!!), & Fudge-Covered Almonds (YUM but not solid chocolate so boo!). This is a nice mix but if you’re particular you’re better off getting more specific flavor or even having a scoop of two different types.

Half Baked- bend of Chocolate Fudge Brownie (yay!) and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (eh)

Imagine Whirled Peace- MUST TRY, another I’ve had trouble locating (and I’ve been regularly buying ice cream in 2 different states on opposite sides of the country)

Karamel Sutra- MUST TRY, however I think this is now a “core” flavor meaning it’s the same ice cream but it has a solid caramel center. I may have tried it- we got some of the cores a while back but not all of them. It seems to have a decent helping of chocolate:)

Late Night Snack- this one is named for Jimmy Fallon’s show doing an ice cream tribute-  It’s ok- vanilla base so already not crazy about it. However the chocolate covered potato chips are extremely delicious! Trader Joe’s sells some but I’ve resisted their siren song thus far…

Milk&Cookies- um might be good but don’t think I’ve ever seen this:(

Mint Chocolate Cookie- Pretty decent but not as big a fan of mint so again another one for keeping hubby happy. This is pretty good if you dig that sort of thing. The Oreo style cookies are good enough to scoop out:) This makes it a minty cookies and cream hybrid, so basically hubby’s dream. (Mint ice cream is my secret for buying him and toddler ice cream but not eating any myself. Our 3yo is becoming partial to “green ice cream”.)

New York Super Fudge Chunk- Good but not a fan of white chocolate chunks (it’s not real chocolate!!!) and almonds are ok but somehow don’t work as well for me in ice cream. The other nuts are nice but don’t stand out as much as say the walnuts in Chunky Monkey do. Not fav but good for mixing it up yet having lots of chocolate:)

Peach Cobbler- must try

Peanut Brittle- must try

Peanut Butter Cup- good! I love rich PB taste and absolutely adore PB cups so this is a not so chocolately fav! Maybe I just dreamed it but I think they had a limited batch of chocolate PB cup- IDK maybe I’m crazy but was/sounds good…

Phish Food- also a classic and pretty darn good too! Chocolate ice cream, marshmallow, caramel AND those yummy fish shaped chocolates! They seriously need to see just boxes of fish chocolates (hey it’s not that weird- in Madrid I got “cat tongue” chocolates).

Pina Colada- OMG so good you won’t even miss the rum! Coconut and pineapple are always a hit in my book so this was AWESOME! In sadder news I can’t remember the last time I had a rum based drink… wine and beer fairly regularly (though moderate as nursing mom) a cosmo or two if happy hour is a steal and a few margaritas but seriously no rum since honeymoon and the first few years of our marriage…

Pistachio Pistachio- YUM! Another non-chocolate fav! I love a good pistachio, especially spumante style. Maybe this year for Xmas I’ll try making some (which would be layering pistachio with chocolate and cherry ice cream- the Italian joint I used to work in added in some chopped candied fruit and nuts as topping but that was about it- ice cream layered in a pretty mold then cut into slices). Very rich flavor- not for the faint of heart!

Red Velvet Cake- so confession, for all the magnitude of my sweet tooth, cake never was huge hit for me. I mean I liked a good chocolate cake with rich icing for my bday, even a carrot cake or such to mix it up BUT I mainly liked it for the chocolate or the flavor not in and of itself. That was until my doula introduced me to Sprinkles! That was amazing and I actually was pretty in love with all their flavors, even their signature red velvet. Red velvet is such a weird cake to begin with- it’s a chocolate cake that’s not chocolate and has enough food coloring in it to preserve the dead:/ (or whatever horrible thing FD&C red does to you…) However it really grew on me. I’ve since had other red velvet and they’re usually not too bad either. (Kona Grill had a red velvet cupcake they gave out for birthdays that was delicious! You also got a free $15 meal if you signed up for their rewards club.) I even tried the local fro-yo place’s red velvet frozen yogurt. It was good and red color was just fun. IDK- yet the B&J version threw me. It’s not red throughout which is key sensory experience of anything red velvet. It also has cake pieces in it but frozen they don’t taste nearly as good as a fresh Sprinkles cupcake (especially a FREE whisper word one!). Given it’s B&J’s ice cream, it still is good but not a favor I relish nor have continued to buy after my first experience.

Smores- OMG where has this been all my life!?! So good! I actually had my first non-smore smore experience with Sprinkles cupcakes which was AMAZING but this ice cream is blowing my mind too! Isn’t it great to live in a modern world where dessert makers have realized recreating classics into new media is the BEST FREAKING THING EVER!?!

Scotchy Scotch Scotch- so sad! I still haven’t tried this! I don’t think I’ve seen it yet:( Looks awesome!

Strawberry Cheesecake- much like Chocolate Cheesecake, this is good but not my fav. At least there’s no false promise of chocolate but the berries just don’t come through enough.

Triple Caramel Chunk- must try, looks good since it’s a caramel ice cream base:)

Vanilla- oops! Actually never got this one but based on vanilla based flavors I’ve tried, it’s amazing! To really blow away the competition when serving something that needs a nice scoop of this old stand by, you can’t go wrong. However I am anything but vanilla so I want my ice cream to be a little more saucy;)

Vanilla Caramel Fudge- good but again not enough chocolate!

Vanilla Toffee Bar Crunch- for Heath Bar Crunch fans who don’t like coffee. So ok but not for me. (BTW I believe this used to be called Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch?)

What a Custer- must try looks interesting

Fro Yo (Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Half Baked and Phish Food)- there are some frozen yogurt flavors but more or less than same as the original but do have that more sour yogurt taste. They ingredients list seems longer so not crazy about that but they do taste ok. I usually go for the original but these are ok. They are also now offering a limited edition Greek yogurt version of Cherries Garcia. If it’s your favorite, maybe geek out sometime and try all its incarnations (there should be a bar of it too). Here’s the rest of those Greek flavors.

Greek yogurt flavors:
Banana PB -not sure

Blueberry Vanilla Graham- not sure

Liz Lemon- very unique! The lavender isn’t too over powering (unlike some lavender items such as kombucha I’ve had that taste like soap:/) just a slight hint to the lemon. Not something I go for often but very cool!

Pineapple Passionfruit- idk

Raspberry Fudge Chunk- pretty good but not enough berry! My daughter loves her “pink ice cream” though and worth a try.

Strawberry Shortcake- eh

Vanilla Honey Caramel- yeah in case you can’t tell, not into Greek frozen yogurt lol, just not enough chocolate flavors!

CORE-
Hazed&Confused- I haven’t seen this one so haven’t tried it. Hazelnut though makes it seem very unique. Thinking Nutella vibes…

PB Fudge- OMG so good! It’s like a peanut butter chocolate explosion!

Salted Caramel- I haven’t tried this one but looks good.

That’s My Jam- yummy and different. I’m not head over heels but nice change of pace. The jam is a bit odd and I’d prefer plain fruit mixed in but jam/jelly is a traditional topping so I guess.

Karamel Sutra- I definitely had this one (as discussed above when it was a non-core flavor) and it’s delicious!

Late…

So it’s late (or is it early- f*** I think I just heard birds chirping outside…) anyways was going through my unpublished posts to see if there’s anything I can press out right away. My dashboard wasn’t showing content for awhile so I trudged through the last day or two of the Flats Challenge then said screw it. Luckily things are back- yay! However nothing I immediately see that I wouldn’t want to amend and possibly stay up even later. However I will end on this note- I strongly feel feta cheese is the deliciously salty congealed cum of the gods. It also goes well with sugar free banana oatmeal cookies (recipe- 2 mashed overripe, read totally brown,  bananas mixed with a few handfuls of oats to cookie dough consistently, baked until set at like 350/400/whatever on greased cookie sheet or in my case muffin tin as my dirty dish pile is over flowing). Despite my on going saga with dishes, Flylady is doing ok. Baby steps:) which is also a part of MAPing. Love life postpartum is pretty decent. New baby is great. I’ve been hitting the gym fairly regularly with a few missed weeks here or there. I gave in and am doing the Trim Healthy Mama diet. The book was pretty annoying to read at first and I completely skipped chapter on why it’s a “biblical” plan (GAG!) but seems to help and Stevia apparently can cure my sweet tooth. More on all this later. Oh but solely because it’s good to always include a picture for pinning, here’s some random clip art or something:

733983_635983379764452_1065809352_n

My Week Handwashing Flats

 

So overall taking the Flats Challenge been very do-able. I don’t find using flats any more trouble than any other diapers especially if you just pad fold though I am pretty quick at origami fold. I like that I can get flats to be more like a fitted diaper (cloth diaper with elasticized waist and legs that closes and can be used on own but not waterproofed so needs cover) than a prefold (classic diaper that is sewn folded over so middle is double thickness). I’ve never really used a contour (diaper with curved edges but is like a prefold or flat and need cover plus fastener if want to close it fully) but have something kind of like it and much prefer a flat.

Handwashing did kind of suck but I still hate washing dishes way worse; hell even loading the dish washer as that’s my Mt Washmore- laundry is easy and quick in my opinion. I definitely want to start air drying more to be less dependent on my electric dryer. I’m very glad because I think we can make it to midnight tonight without washing again so I can machine launder these flats within the next few days:) I made it until last night without washing procrastinating until we were on our last clean flat to wash. The baby of course needed to be changed again before any were fully dry but one diaper was just barely damp and dried out quickly when ironed. I’ve been lucky that we’ve had very few poo diapers as my exclusively breastfed baby seems to be absorbing everything she eats though I’m expecting a poo-sposion any minute now.

We now have 10 flats in use and we use almost all of them within 24 hours. If I had made it to Walmart this week, I would have picked up a few more flour sack towels as I think 12+ would be the optimal amount to have a little more freedom from having to wash every single day:/ It also would make keeping a diaper bag always packed easily done. We didn’t go anywhere much this week (no real meetings or anything and we were short on cash so even more reason to stay home) but I’d have to make do with whatever diapers we had left clean to pack our bag last minute which I hate. We also had to take diapers out of the diaper bag just to have enough for a change to get us through until the rest were dried. The rules allow doublers so we had some of those in the bag as make shift inserts just in case. We only used a doubler once last night which hubby put on baby while he ironed a flat. (Yes the man ironed! I got out the ironing board and iron and turned around to do something while it heated- baby was of course safely on other side of the room btw- and when I turned back around found him ironing the flat lol! I almost never have clothes that need to be ironed so he does most of his own and is much better at it than I am). It was the first time all week we were really short on diapers- I had tried to iron a freshly washed flat earlier in the week to dry it but it was still too wet and luckily the flats on the patio dried by the next change.

Overall I would do this again and next year plan to buy a 5 gallon bucket with plunger to make a “camper washer”. Exclusively breastfed poo’s made it easy this year- next we’ll be dealing with solids:/ I wouldn’t want to give up my washer/dryer anytime soon but I know I could make it work. This challenge makes me want to do others like this one which focus on disaster readiness and “pantry eating” (which around here is called “crap I really shouldn’t grocery shop until pay day”). 

 

Day Six- Daddy Does Diapers

daddydipewashing

So I want to say something insightful about gender roles and the importance of both parents participating in child rearing but I’m coming down with a cold and it’s getting late so here’s my husband handwashing. I started the diapers off by rinsing then left to soak in soapy water while I checked on baby and asked him finish the rest. I offered to just have him do main wash and a rinse just to get the idea and I’d do the extra rinses and hang but he was fine finishing it all up:) I tried not to do the naggy thing where I get mad over him not doing it exactly like I would. (However a few weeks ago I did boostfully point out to him where even the dish detergent bottle says “put dishes facing center” lol! Seriously doesn’t everyone do that???) I figured at worst we’d be washing the flats again within a day or so and if turned out a little off, could use liners. He liked the idea that handwashing flats is cheaper and good for “roughing it” and so agreed to do yesterday’s wash so I’d have a blog topic:) Of course it doesn’t hurt that I also am ok with ingesting certain bodily fluids;)

Having a partner who is willing to learn about cloth diapers has been key for us. He’s learned origami fold even! I’ll hopefully write more about this in the future but basically I think in general men aren’t given enough of a chance at parenting, especially when it comes to babies. I am very very scared for the world if the vast majority of men “can’t figure out cloth diapers”:/ Um yeah if he isn’t capable enough to figure out diapers, maybe he’s not a good pick to reproduce with…

daddryingdipes

Folds and Why I Love Flats- Day 5

origamifold

I went into the Flats Challenge only really knowing pad and origami folds so that’s what I use. I’m trying to learn more but they work for us and so it’s not top priority, especially when trying to handwash and blog daily. Above is my “sloopy” origami fold. I find Snappi’s and Boingo’s superfluous so don’t really use them though I have both. Covers hold flats and prefolds in place well enough for me. I’ve found even with the best fold and tight closure with a fastener, a little poo will still get on the cover and I’ll have to change whole thing anyways. The cover contains everything but the prefold or flat doesn’t always. It’s one less step and so quicker for me. However I love that they exist as an alternative to pins and like what I’ve seen of both companies (and I’ve even met the owner of Boingo). I about jumped for joy watching “Royal Pains” on Netflix today and saw them putting a baby in a prefold with Boingos:) It’s in season 4 episode 11 near the 36 minute mark (you can also catch it on Amazon- which I learned when I tried to find the clip). Baby wasn’t gaining weight well and the mom mentioned seeing a lactation consultant and having her milk tested (though bottle fed on screen, probably due to problem gaining but love that breastfeeding was her goal and first choice). The baby was tongue tied so I loved they brought awareness to that issue as it seems common but though easily fixes, also seems to ruin a lot of nursing relationships:( However doubt an IBCLC wouldn’t have caught it. Oh and also there was babywearing in what looked like an Ergo in a previous episode. Anyways love to play “spot the crunchy-ness”…

So far flats have been great. I’ve never really had an issue with them since I started using them with my first when she was like a year old. I just wish we had got some sooner. If I had known, probably would have been cool to talk to my grandmother about when she was still alive. She thought my GroBaby All-in-Two was a pair of panties when she first saw them on my oldest as a newborn lol:/ Flats may be old but they’re great. They are easily customizable and absorbent yet wash out easily and dry quickly. Even if you didn’t handwash, you’d probably save more on water use (maybe not a lot as still have to rinse extra like all diapers) as well as saving on electricity for the dryer since unlike thick prefolds or AIO’s, they dry right away. Even air drying it takes an hour or two if spread out well in warm outside or just few more hours in a cramped bathroom. They don’t even get that stiff air dry and seem easier to “crunch out” the stiffness compared to air dried AIOs or prefolds. I never really thought of myself as a flat affectionado but I guess I am:)

origamiflat

 

Day 4- How I Hand Wash My Flats

dryingrack

So I have been hand washing a lot for the 4th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge to see if I’m able to cloth diaper for minimum costs and without a washer/dryer. I was going to just sink wash but we feed our cat on the bathroom counter top so the dog won’t get at his food and the other bathroom is basically my toddler’s, so don’t want to deal with her needing to go potty in there while I’m washing. Hence my baby bath tub bucket:)

wash

 

It works pretty well. I stick it in our bathroom, soak diapers in it as needed (though realized that could be potential drowning hazard for kiddos and kitty so quickly grabbed a baby gate to use as a make shift cover), then rinse all diapers, then add Green Shield Organics free&clear detergent (new to me but it’s been on sale at Costco), then rinse about 2-3 times more, all the while agitating, wringing and squeezing water out diapers. I rest them on the side of the bath tub as I empty and refill the bucket tub. It’s a little time consuming and bare hands in super hot water bites but really not bad. I’ve been hanging them to dry on the towel rod, the shower curtain and our little folding drying rack ($10 from Walmart purchased many years ago). Sometimes I add a drop or two of tea tree oil, a bottle of which I got for like $6 at Walmart (Trader Joe’s sells it for about that too and Whole Foods’ 365 brand is same unit price but bigger bottle- Aura Cacia is sold there and most other health food store even The Vitamin Shoppe but is slightly more MSRP). I mention this because it’s a reasonably affordable extra for washing.

towelrack

On Sunday we started at midnight changing into flats (not super planned but was ready for next change). By that afternoon we went through 6 diapers so handwashed and had one to spare which luckily lasted me until some started to dry (patio and shower rod first then towel rack). I washed with a fresh poo one and it got allover so rinsed a ton but have some staining I’ll sun bleach after the challenge (my patio doesn’t get much direct sunlight so sun bleaching is tricky). Those lasted us until Monday afternoon when washed without a spare:/ They were all pee though so very easy to wash. I had let them soak since night before. However baby went #2 about hour after that so didn’t have dry flat. I tried to iron one dry quickly which didn’t work. I considered using receiving blanket but had trouble finding one fresh from wash. However there was a kitchen specific flour sack in the dryer with regular laundry so I cut off the tag to mark it for diaper use and put it on baby with a liner just in case. (I wash with only CD safe detergent but hadn’t specifically prep’d this for diapering so wasn’t sure.) By Monday night we were running low and I ended up doing a wash in the wee hours of the morning because I was feeling productive and knew we only had one clean diaper. However baby didn’t wake for a change until mid day, being easily put back to sleep nursing:/ Ok but she made up for it lol! We survived until noon today when I washed diapers with one to spare but then daddy changed her right as I was finishing up so went ahead and washed that one too. So far only need to wash once a day with my now 9 flat stash. Covers haven’t been an issue- I use two a day. I don’t change it out unless messy or it’s been almost a whole day, whatever comes first. I think a lot of people make covers with prefolds/flats/fitted more complicated than they need to be by changing the cover needlessly. The whole point is to only change insert. I love using covers with flats or prefolds for the diaper bag because they fold up so well and can pack more changes for less bulk. Even if you don’t do flats handwashing challenge, I highly recommend you try a few prefolds and/or flats with a cover. Such a good way to expend your stash!

Day Three- My Costs of Cloth Diapering

So yesterday everyone was blogging about their flat stash and the cost. We know hand washing flats with covers is pretty much the most economic diapering option costing well under $100 if not lower than $50. However even just regular cloth diapering can save a ton so I’d like to discuss that as I’ve always wanted to flush out the numbers. We’ll see how much time I have to do exact calculations. I wasn’t sure how I’d buy my initial diapers back when I was pregnant with my first but a friend suggested that to afford baby stuff in general just buy one or two things every week. She meant more onesies and such as she wasn’t very crunchy but it worked amazing for diapers. At the time I didn’t have home internet and BabiesRUS and BuyBuyBaby didn’t carry much except cheapie Gerbers (though I did get some organic ones that I still use as meconium catchers/newborn stash) and Gdiapers, which didn’t appeal to me. Whole Foods carried then GroBaby (now GroVia) 2in1′s which I thought were amazing! I dreamed of buying whole stash of them and tried to see if it would be reasonable to buy a dozen right out utilizing Whole Food’s 10% case discount but not sure if it would have even applied. I bought one separating purchase of soakers, boosters and a wet bag because I couldn’t afford them all at once. It’s a good thing because that diaper is one of my least favorites! I can’t imagine if I was stuck with a dozen of them! I ended up buying various brands one at a time and had a wide variety which I love! cdstashnow

All those pictured above are from first baby with exception of the green trim Econobum with 3 prefolds and green apple Tots Bots both bought used. The bottom left pile is all burp cloths and receiving blankets topped by my pail liner. The bag on the bottom right holds my mostly homemade wipes. Below shows more spread out- left is “newborn stash” of Bumkins small AIOs and 3 small size covers. Everything in middle is one size and has fit both my kids from birth and at least first child until potty training. Top green is Kissaluv AIO/pocket, my Grovia, 2 rows of random pockets, the top right covers, then AIOs, swim diapers, some fitteds, and at the very right trainers with some large CDs.

cdstashA

So let’s see going off memory including some I now longer have with most purchased in ’10 I’d estimate the following-
2 packs organic Gerber prefolds (junk) about $12
5 Evolution/Namaste Mama pockets used from friend FREE
Random used items in CD store’s previously loved bin (including a Babykicks insert I still use) $10?
Bumkins small wet bag (drawstring broke) $10
3 Grobaby small wet bags $20 ($6 each)
Bummis small and large swim diaper $15 (ten+ for new size small, like $3 for used large) Bummis small whisper wrap used from friend and old school Natural Baby cover FREE
2 small Thristies Duo Wraps $20? (ten each)
2 Bumkins small AIOs $10 (five each)
1 large Bumkins AIO $5
Mama’s Helper (cheap Chinese import) pocket $10
Flip day pack organic (2 covers 6 prefolds) $50
Bumgenius Elemental AIO $20
Bumgenius pocket $12? (bought at BuyBuyBaby with coupon)
GAD large pocket, gift from friend- FREE
Swaddlebees pocket $25?
Kissaluvs AIO/pocket $10? Close out price from CD store closing
3 Grovia AIOs (one free with purchase) $40 ($20 each) only one in use now
Unused Flip disposable inserts $5???
7th Generation disposables never used $5?
Grovia pail liner $15
GroBaby All-in-Two with 2 extra soakers and 4? boosters- $25+$15+$15? on sale so like $50 Grovia rash cream small size- $5
Bummis fleece liners (2 packs) $10
2 Babykicks pockets (horrible- fell apart, repurposed as covers) $40 ($20 each)
Happy Heinys snap pocket FREE with purchase
3 Dinkle Dooz pockets, two free with purchase the other on sale $10
Bumkins pocket- FREE for baby being “fit model” for new design
Happy Heiny aplix pocket- $10?
Flip cover- $10 (substitute for Econobum when color I wanted was out of stock)
All four colors of Econobum covers with trial pack (3 prefolds each?) one used $35
2 Bummis (1 infant and 1 baby) six packs of prefolds $30???
various Babykicks/Hemparoo prefolds $15? close out deal
Flip trainers 2 covers with 10 inserts $30?
preorder deal Little to Big Beetle fitted $15?
Little Beetle large wool cover $15? close out deal
Babykicks fitted (amazing! like new 4 yrs later) $20
CJ’s butt butter $5
various store brands of natural rash cream $10
Evolution discounted pockets 5 at $5, one at $15 free Boingo thrown in- total $40
Snappis 3 pack- $6? barely used
2 FuzziBunz pockets (ugh not worth it) $30???
8 Walmart flour sack towels $8
Cloth wipes close out- $5?
Flannel cloth wipes- $5?
Gerber organic cotton baby wash clothes- $15 for 3 packs?
Old plastic rice paddle as poo scraper (in place of sprayer)- free Used
TotsBots AIO- $10 Used
Thristies Duos AIOs (size 1 and size 2) $10
Bumgenius Freetime $12 with coupon at BuyBuyBaby
(Note: not including cost of CD safe detergent because was only little higher than Trader Joe’s one I was using and I often changed brands as I found sales nor am I including extra 2 loads of laundry with extra rinses as wouldn’t know how to calculate that plus my apartments always have included free water and other utilities except electric. I also consider diapers to be part wardrobe as could use more long lasting items like tees and babylegs to show off fluffy butt instead of fitted onesies as cloth diapers are so cute and more of an “accessory” not an ugly piece of plastic and paper to be hidden.)

So that’s 733 (if my quick “math while hurrying to add things up before babies need something” is correct). That is not bad for diapering costs for almost 3 years and counting through 2 kids… so far;) that is including estimates for the few diaper rash creams I’ve bought (only need some when first was toddler and occasionally got irritated from sleeping in same diaper all night- I still have big tube of CJ’s lol!), as well as washclothes and Gerber prefolds/burp clothes which most people buy anyways and some disposable options I ended up not using. Without that it’s well under 700. Now remember my stash is probably double if not triple what most parents would really “need” and I have many diapers because I like the color and variety. I also didn’t use any disposable Pull Up type diapers and used Flip trainers and cold turkey into big girl panties for potty training. By most estimates (see link or google for more), disposables for one child for two years cost $1500 if not $2000 or more, especially if you want more natural less chemical brands (which is good because dioxin is so toxic). Now that I’m diapering a second child, my costs have been practically nothing beyond my desire for more cute fluff lol. I’ve already saved over half of what I would have spent if we used disposables and the savings go up every day as I never need to continuously go buy more packs of disposables. That makes me very happy. I’m a little sad the savings weren’t more since I did snag a lot of deals but it’s still pretty good. I’m missing my full stash but not as much as I thought I would. Hope your Flats Challenge week is going as well as mine!

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