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Friday, April 15, 2011
Does homemade = saving $$$?
In this case... YES!
Have you ever seen those cool swaddling wraps for babies?
I had a really cheap swaddling blanket when Cole was born and it was ok but the flaps were pretty short and he outgrew it quickly. I would have used the same blanket on Davin but he was WAY too long for the blanket itself and again the swaddling flaps were too short. When I worked in a daycare I saw one like the one I registered for this time, the baby loved it and it seemed better designed than the one I was able to afford at the time.
The one I registered for this time is $25 and they can run up around $40 depending on the material and the style.
I have tried to do a lot of homemade things and cut costs where I can. We have what we need but we don't have a lot (if any) extra income most days. My challenge has been to see what I can actually save on versus it being more or the same cost as if I had just bought it in the first place. The general answer I have found is that if you want to actually save money and you don't have any of the supplies you need to plan for your project.
Here are some things to keep in mind that I have found helpful:
keep an eye out for sales and sign up for store coupons
don't buy anything unless it's on sale if you can help it
your inital creativity and excitment can cost extra- you can still have a cute project without letting yourself go overboard
For this project I heard about a huge sale at JoAnn's and I decided to check it out. McCalls patterns were only 99 cents this week! Although I didn't find a pattern for this project from McCalls I did allow my self to spend $3 on patterns I thought I could use in the future. I saved $26 by doing this! Remember: you're only saving if you actually use it so don't get carried away :-)
I found a featured section of fabric that was like $2/yard and even though they didn't have baby prints I limited myself to this rack and chose something else. I probably wouldn't have chosen this fabric if it hadn't been on sale but it is cute and in perspective it's only an experimental blanket. Not having a pattern or even a solid plan at the time I couldn't guarentee that this project was going to come together. I also decided to use a knit fabric for softness and stability. Knits were up to 50% off this week! Jersery knit would have been ideal in my mind but I found a comparable fabric for $2 less per yard so I went with that.
I bought 2 yards of each fabric. The total cost was $15. It could have easily run into the $20-$30 range if I hadn't picked thing that were on sale. When I got home I used a recieving blanket to give me an idea of how big I should make the body of the blanket and I kind of made the rest up as I went.
The project turned out really well! I will be adding it my list of baby gifts for people and possibly making another one for myself after Faith is born. I want to see if she actually likes to be swaddled and how much I use it. I also want to try out this one and see what needs to be fine-tuned before I make a second blanket.
So I saved a total of $10 + tax on this blanket by making it myself. I also have saved by making my own hair bows. I might be able to use the extra knit fabric from my blanket project to make a couple of sleepers for Faith since I was able to pick up the pattern for those for 99 cents!