Cloth Diapers - What I use (Part 2)

My post Cloth Diapers - What I use has been the most viewed post so far on this blog. I've been using different diapers on Mikaela than I did on Kainan (because I didn't start with Kainan until he was older) and I wanted to share my opinions on several other brands that I didn't mention in the first post. First I will list what I currently use and recommend, then I'll list other brands that I've tried as well as my opinion on them. I am happy to say that Kainan is now potty-trained, so here is what I am currently using with Mikaela.

Happy Heiny one-size: This is one of my absolute favorite diaper companies. I love that they are made in the USA. They are really good quality, a little on the expensive side, but you get what you pay for. These come in snap or aplix closures, I have both.
Sunbaby one-size: These are the absolute best diaper for the price! At $4 or $5 per diaper, you just can't beat it. They are good quality and have held up really well so far. These diapers only come with snap closures.
Fuzzibunz one-size: These are a little different than other one-size diapers because of the patented adjustable elastic. They are slightly more "attractive" than other one-size diapers since there are no snaps in the front when they are at the largest setting. They are also a little pricey, but very high quality. They also seem to fit tinier babies a little sooner than other one-size pockets. These come with snap closures.
Kawaii one-size: These diapers are also a good value but they aren't my favorite. I prefer the Sunbaby diapers, which are cheaper. They come with a snap closure as well.
Babyland one-size: Babyland makes VERY cheap diapers (a couple of bucks on eBay) but I don't recommend them. They don't adjust to a very large size (probably no bigger than 20-25 pounds) and they are VERY cheap. They are leaky and are just made very poorly. I have two and I very rarely use them. Snap closure.

All-in-one's (AIOs) :
Grovia: This is a good AIO diaper but I don't love the hip snaps. They have an extra snap in doubler for heavier wetters. They are a little pricey but a lot of people love the Grovia brand.

Grovia: I STONGLY prefer these to the Grovia AIOs. I believe they come in snap or aplix closure (mine are aplix.) They are a little different because they have a snap in liner, you can also use the shell as a regular cover over a prefold. Grovia also sells disposable inserts that you can use inside the cover and throw away, I haven't tried these myself.

Goodmama: These is a lot of hype over Goodmama diapers. I only have one but I do like it. They come with snap closures and a snap liner. I use mine under PUL or wool covers. Goodmamas are expensive so I wouldn't buy any unless I got a really good deal.
Thirsties: Thirsties makes really great fitteds. They are really trim but hold up well. The ones that I have are aplix closure. I don't think that Thirsties makes sized fitteds anymore but they do make them in Duos, I haven't tried these.

Flip: Flip makes my FAVORITE PUL cover. Flip has two different kinds of cloth inserts as well as disposables inserts. I've never used any of these, but I've used the Flip cover over prefolds and fitteds.
Thirsties: Thirsties also has great covers. I prefer the sized covers to the Duos.

I tried not to, but I really like wool! Most of what I have is mama-made (not by me) but I do have two Wild Child Woolies soakers and they are really great. Very pricey, but they are high quality.

Other diapers I have tried:
Fuzzibunz sized pockets: These are good diapers, snap closure, I liked them.
Thirsties sized AIOs: I love anything Thirsties and these were no exception. Unfortunately they aren't made anymore. :( I used sizes XS and Small.
Thirsties duo pockets: Again I love Thirsties. Reasonably priced, great quality, made in the US, most Thirsties products come in snap or aplix closure.
Happy Heiny sized pockets: I used Happy Heiny XL diapers for Kainan and I also had a couple of size smalls for Mikaela. I really love Happy Heiny diapers, the are the best quality pockets that I have used.
Muttaquin baby fitteds: Very cute and they hold up well, no complaints (I only had one of these.) 
bumGenius AIO: I mentioned these in my last post for Mikaela, I used XS and small sized. These are the best diaper (in my opinion) for a newborn.

So there you have it, these are the diapers that I use and recommend (except for a few!)


Plum District Ecomom.com deal even better!

From today until Monday, the Plum District deal that I mentioned earlier is even better than expected! When you spend $50 at ecomom.com you will get $20 off AND free shipping. This means that you will get $70 worth of products with your $15 (or $10) voucher!

I bought this deal today because I had a couple of referrals (so FREE out of pocket) and purchased 4 bags of Rockin' Green detergent (great for cloth diapers!) and a puzzle for each of my kids. It was great to get for free, but it's still an awesome deal for $15 (or $10 if you are new to Plum District!) So head on over here and sign up if you haven't taken advantage of this great deal yet!


Plum District - $50 ecomom.com certificate as low as $10!

Today only, Plum District has a $10 off code (enjoy10) that can be used on any of their deals! One of the deals is $50 of merchandise from ecomom for only $25. After the code the price comes down to $15, however if you have $5 in credit (I believe all new sign ups get this, but I'm not sure) that makes this deal only $10!

Ecomom.com has some really great deals on eco-friendly baby stuff. I checked out some of their deals and you could get two Grovia AIO cloth diapers (normally $22.95 EACH) with this certificate, or you could get three Grovia newborn AIO diapers ($14.95 each.) This is an AWESOME deal for Grovia diapers. I have one of the AIOs myself and it's a really great diaper.  Thanks to Jessica for the heads up that this deal does NOT include cloth diapers or diaper accessories. There are plenty of other things on the site, including lots of clearance items as well as things for older kids and moms. Remember that the $10 discount code is for today only, so you'll want to get this quickly!


Cloth Diapers too expensive? Try Sunbaby Diapers!

one of my favorite prints
Are you interested in cloth diapers but it seems like the initial price is too expensive? Maybe you use cloth diapers yourself but have a hard time talking friends into giving them a try because of the initial cost. Well I have found a solution! The answer is Sunbaby Diapers. These are one-size pocket diapers, similar to Fuzzibunz or Happy Heiny's, but much, much less expensive. If you can't justify spending $20 on a diaper, Sunbaby diapers only cost FOUR or FIVE dollars each. Now the downside to this price is you have to buy in bulk. The sunbaby website sells these diapers in sets of 6, 12, or 24. They are sold with or without inserts. If you'd like to try Sunbaby diapers before jumping in and buying a whole set, try eBay or Facebook. Sunbaby diapers has a fanpage on Facebook (search for "I love Sunbaby Diapers") as well as a Sunbaby buy/sell/trade baby and a Sunbaby auction page. Buying just one diaper will cost a little more (solid colors or common prints sell for about $7 shipped) but it would be a great way to try these diapers before committing to use them.

You may wonder if this price is just too good to be true. I've bought other "cheap" diapers before and I have been very disappointed. I have been using these myself for a couple of months and I have to say that I LOVE them. They are similar quality to the more expensive diapers and they fit really well. They also have super cute prints, if that is important to you. The cute prints sometimes sell out fast on the website, so if there is a particular print that you want you may need to try to buy/sell/trade or auction groups. One downside to the diapers is the website, the quality of the site is poor and it only lists currently available diapers. However the Facebook fan page has pictures of all of the prints as well as general information on the diapers. Now these diapers are made in China. I like to buy American made products when I can, but if you are on a budget these diapers are a wonderful price. One downsize (for some) is that these diapers only come with a snap closure. Snaps can be difficult to get used to if you are switching from disposables. I preferred aplix closure until I realized that snaps are so much easier to wash. Diapers with snap closures can just be thrown in the washer and show so much less wear than diapers with aplix (velcro) closures. If you have a baby who knows how to escape their diapers (thankfully I haven't ever had this problem) snaps would be a great solution. My husband used to prefer diapers with aplix but he has no problems with the snaps now. If he came around to snaps I am sure anyone could. I have not tried these diapers out on a tiny baby but I would imagine that they would fit from about ten pounds or so. Most one-size diapers do not fit tiny babies until their thighs have some chunk to them. Overall I can't recommend these diapers enough. They are cheap, cute, and good quality!


CVS vs. Walgreens

If you are new to shopping at drugstores or new to using coupons, you may be confused as to why people shop at places like CVS and Walgreens. CVS and Walgreens are two of the three major drugstores where couponers shop. Rite Aid is the third, there are none of these in my area so I won't include Rite Aid in this post.

Why would you shop at CVS or Walgreens when their prices are so high? It's true, regular prices at CVS and Walgreens are sky high. The reason for shopping at the drugstores are sale prices, in-store coupons (which can be used in conjunction with a manufactures coupon, or "stacked",) and rewards programs. In this post I will tell you a little more about these two stores and where there differences are. With this knowledge in hand you can decide at which store you would prefer to shop, or if you'd be up for tackling both.

So what are the differences between shopping at CVS and shopping at Walgreens?

Rewards Programs: Both CVS and Walgreens have a rewards program. Walgreens has Register Rewards, which print on a catalina machine separately from your receipt. CVS has Extra Bucks which print directly onto the bottom your receipt. Both stores have similar sales (ex. spend $5.99 on lotion, receive $5.99 Register Reward/Extra Bucks) but they way they are redeemed is different. Walgreens considers RR's (Register Rewards) to be manufactures coupons. With all stores you are required to have as many items as manufactures coupons, so you may need to use cheap "filler" items if you are using coupons for every other item you are buying. At CVS, EB's (Extra Bucks) are redeemed more like a gift card. Meaning that you don't need to have extra items. This means redeeming EB's is somewhat easier than redeeming RR's, at least until you get the hang of it. Keep in mind that Walgreens coupons are not manufactures coupons, so don't count them in your coupon total.

Item Limits: CVS has a shopping card (like a store loyalty card) that must be used to receive sale prices or Extra Bucks. Walgreens does not have a similar card. CVS usually has limits on it's reward items (usually 1 or 2) and Walgreens does not. A few Walgreens stores require that you only buy one Register Reward item per day, but without a store card there is no way to really enforce this rule, and it only applies to that store so you can always check another store for the same item. The item limits are both a good and bad thing. This means that CVS usually has better stock of an item that is a particularly good deal, but you can only buy one or two. Walgreens will usually sell out of items that are very popular, but if you find a store that is completely stocked you can buy as many as needed. Many people take advantage of this and will clear shelves at Walgreens, it may not be against the rules but it certainly isn't nice.

Number of Stores: In my area (and most that I've been to) there are more Walgreens stores than CVS stores. That means that it may be more convenient to shop at Walgreens because there are simply more of them. It also means that if one Walgreens is sold out of an item that you want, another might have it. I regularly go to about four Walgreens stores and about 75% of the time at least one of them will have what I am looking for.

Friendliness of Staff: It may not seem like a huge factor, but if you are using coupons it is always good to have staff that is coupon knowledgeable or at least open to the use of coupons. I have personally found that cashiers and managers at CVS know more about their coupon policy and are more helpful than those who work at Walgreens. This may not be true in every area, but it certainly is where I live.

"Magic Coupon Machine:" This is a little red machine at CVS that prints coupons automatically when you scan your card. Sometimes it will even print coupons for FREE items. CVS has this, Walgreens doesn't.

In-Store Coupons: Both CVS and Walgreens have in-store coupons. Store coupons can be "stacked" with a manufactures coupon for great savings. Walgreens has more of them, and they are usually easier to find. Walgreens has a little book every month that is out by the weekly sale ad with lots of coupons. They also regularly have coupons in the newspaper, as well as other little booklets in the store. Some of these booklets are seasonal, or found near the pharmacy. CVS occasionally has coupons online or in the newspaper, as well as coupons that print from the "magic coupon machine." I heard that Walgreens will soon have mobile coupons, I'll update when I have more information.

So with this information in hand, you should be able to understand the differences between these stores a little better. Which store is "better" is entirely up to you. I prefer CVS if I am in a hurry, because there is no figuring out filler items. However if you are really looking to stock up on a product Walgreens may be the better option.


Survey Sites that are worth your time!

First of all I would like to say that I'm not dead, I've just been very busy lately. My computer also seems to have an issue with blogger and hasn't been letting me on, but hopefully that will get better. My plan is to start blogging again daily.

I've always heard about survey sites online but never knew which ones were actually worth it. I started doing surveys on Swagbucks but those were mostly a waste of time. I would go through several minutes of questions before finding out that I didn't qualify. Over the past few months I have investigated a few sites and these are the ones that I personally recommend. There are other sites out there that may be just as good, but these are the ones that I use myself.

Synovate is really awesome because it is one of the survey sites that send you free items to try in exchange for your opinion. They also have regular surveys which you can take for points. You can use your points to buy gift cards. It takes a while to get enough points for gift cards but it's worth it, I think, because of the potential to get free items. They sent me two rolls of Bounty Extra soft paper towels a while back. Synovate is not always accepting new panelists but they send to open up for new members a couple of times per month.

i-Say is another good site that sends out product testers. I have tested toothpaste and perfume. The toothpaste had to be sent back and they never sent me a survey about it-weird? i-Say also has a reward system where points can be redeemed for rewards.

Toluna is a pretty good survey company. They send out more surveys than the others (for me, anyway) but it was similar to Swagbucks surveys in that I often did not qualify. I receive surveys less often from i-Say and Synovate but I usually qualify for those that they do send. That being said, I don't spend as much time on Toluna surveys but if you have a lot of time on your hands it would be worth it to try. Toluna has also sent me full size bottles of Panete shampoo and conditioner to try! Toluna has a reward system also where after so many points you can redeem for prizes or even a check.

I had an account on Opinion Outpost and I really liked it a lot because I got rewards quickly. However they deleted my account one day for no reason. I still recommend that you try them because for me they were the quickest to pay out. I always redeemed my points for Amazon gift cards.

I have an account with the National Consumer Panel but I've rarely used it. I had a survey opportunity yesterday for a $5 survey and they said they are sending me a check. I've heard good things about them from other people I just haven't really participated much myself.

Inbox Dollars is similar to Swag Bucks except the surveys that you take actually pay out. Usually $.50 per survey but sometimes more. You also get a bonus for signing up. Once you reach $30 you can request a check. There are many things that you can do besides surveys but their surveys are worth it as well.

There are plenty of other sites out there. I recently signed up for MyPoints but I haven't used it at all because I've been too busy. If you do any surveys sites post a reply and let me know what you use and how you like it!

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