Originally Posted by BetsyS
I think it's the idea of it? Also the smell. I recently used sposies for a week (my MIL came to help after I had surgery), and oh.my.word. The smell. Those things are awful.
A big deal of the smell with sposies is the chemicals that are in them interacting with the waste.
Originally Posted by mom0810
I think adult poop is way more gross than baby poop. I know, I have some OCD issues. LOL But thinking of people (adults) wiping their butts and then that sitting in a bucket and then going in my washing machine. Oh. My. Gosh. No cloth tp for our family. I am just horrified by the thought.
I do cloth for pee only. We still have paper in the house because DH refuses to use cloth, and like you I have no desire to handle poopy rags. BUT, that's liable to change once we start CDing this little bean. As for smell, I have a covered (metal) can next to the toilet, I wash twice a week, and there is no smell unless I stick my nose into the can (after it's been closed a while)... and I'm very sensitive to smells, particularly now that I'm pg. If I leave the can open, then the rags dry fairly quickly, and there's virtually no smell. I just take the whole can downstairs and dump it into the machine - no touching involved.
As for the OP's problem - I think some clarification is really in order... do you eat turkey bacon because you keep kosher, or is there some other reason? Is Aldis really your only option, or what other stores are near you? What part of the country are you in, and what's the COL there?
I will repeat what has been said several times - seek out other stores to shop at... Costco, restaurant supply, Sam's Club, whatever you have locally that sells in large quantities. Buy your meat in larger quantities (like a half or whole cow) to save money, don't buy "cuts" of chicken, buy a whole chicken - it's virtually ALWAYS cheaper. Buy all your meat on the bone instead of off - it's cheaper, and the bones serve other uses - into the bean pot, or the stock pot (freeze until you have enough), which will save you on buying stock/bullion. Buy cheese, lunchmeat, etc., uncut in blocks. Invest in a slicer, it will really save you a lot of money. I can get a whole roast turkey breast (or a whole raw turkey breast that I roast myself) for MUCH cheaper than cut lunchmeat. With a slicer I can cut it paper thin and make it last much longer than if I used a knife... freeze what won't be used within a week. Cut/shred your own cheese as well to save money. If you do this once/month and freeze the excess, it won't be nearly as daunting as doing it weekly. Buy eggs in bulk also. At the very least by the flat, but by the case if you can manage it. Eggs will keep at cool room temp for weeks, even longer if refrigerated. Growing up we always had a case of eggs sitting on the floor in the kitchen.
If you don't have the time to make bread by hand, then invest in a breadmaker - you can often find one at thrift stores. Find one that makes a horizontal loaf if at all possible. You can save a LOT of money by baking your own bread. If you do have the time to bake bread by hand (get the kids involved), bake a month's worth at once, slice it and freeze it. You can also do a big bake of tea breads, muffins, cookies, etc., which make great snacks and freeze pretty well (freeze cookie dough, not baked cookies).
I'd also skip the prepackaged lunch foods - they cost a LOT of money. Find alternatives. My (big) kid carries a tiffin in a neoprene bag with a cloth napkin, ice pack and real silverware (check thrift stores for mismatched utensils). He also has a Klean Kanteen water bottle. Everything comes home every day. It means more dishes, but it's saved us a LOAD of money - both on plastic bags, and on prepackaged foods.
I'd also work on feeding them more nutrient dense food - they'll eat less of it. Chips and juice have virtually no nutritional value, and an average kid can easily eat $5 worth of them in a day, and still need more food. Since budget is an issue, work on feeding them foods that will last longer and serve them better, ultimately it comes out cheaper.
There are any number of foods that are cheaper to make yourself than to buy, and many of them don't take all that much active time. Granola, yogurt, "lunch"meat, pretty much most things that are flour based (bread, crackers, cookies, muffins, etc.), even things like jam. And your children are old enough to help in the kitchen - get them involved... one day these skills will serve them well, and its much harder to learn them as an adult.
I'd also look into CSA's where you are, as well as U-picks. I cut my produce bill by about 2/3 when I switched to a CSA, and U-picks can give you large quantities of a particular item perfect for preserving/pickling/jamming/freezing for cheap. If you use fresh herbs at all in your cooking, look into growing your own - it's MUCH cheaper. And most of them can be dried or frozen for use during the winter. This is another great skill for your children to learn now.