Tightwad Tuesday - Lady Bits

Everyone knows I'm a little crunchy. I live an alternative lifestyle, for certain. Everyone has their own reasons for moving toward sustainable, healthy, alternative living. My reasons?

I want to be good to this Earth. We only have one home, and I want to know I'm being the best steward I can be.

I enjoy making-baking-sewing-knitting-building-doing it myself. I get a sense of pride from being able to say, "I made it from scratch," or "I don't have to buy that anymore." I just like it.

I really enjoy saving money. For nearly six years, we've lived mostly on DP's income. Until recently, I had a very part time job, and living in the twenty-first century can be expensive. We enjoy going out and renting movies and having nice things, but it's not possible to do that on one income in this economy, unless you are tight. I want to share some of the ways we save money in our house, so here's Tightwad Tuesday, a sister to Make It At Home Monday.

My very best personal money saving measure? Feminine hygiene products. (Don't those words sound gross?) When I started down the slippery slope that is alternative living, I think it started with food - organic was the first move, local came much later. Soon after we started eating a more organic diet, DH and I moved in together, and we started re-evaluating our family planning method. I'd been on "the pill" for quite a while, and I was ready to move to  a non-hormonal method of conception control. I (of course) dove into research, and started coming across words like "rhythm method" and "Fertility Awareness." Looked like a plan, so I bought a few books and joined a few chat forums. Then I started seeing words like "Diva Cup," "Glad Rags," "mama cloth." Okay, I thought. I'll bite. What's this about?

Are you intrigued yet? Okay, so basically life is so much better when you stop using dioxin soaked, over priced and truly disgusting "feminine hygiene products." I made the first jump into mama cloth nearly seven years ago (WOW!) I spent $100 on my package, which was enough to get me through my whole cycle. Let's do a little math, because that's always fun.

Avg 28 day cycle = 13 cycles per year
Avg period lasts 6 days, and you 'd use, I don't know, 5 or 6 tampons/pads per day? = 30-36 pieces/cycle
That's 390 to 468 pieces per year.

(Let's take a moment and just think about the garbage that's producing.)

Now, back to math.

I found a box of  54 tampons on Amazon for $8.20 (remember, I've been out of the game for seven years)
That's about $0.15 per piece. 
So you're spending about $75 a year on tampons/pads if you are buying them from Amazon, and likely a little more if you are buying them elsewhere.

Your cloth pad stash pays for itself in a little over a year. 

Photo courtesy of Jade Made Creations.
Jade is a sweet sweet friend of mine, and very talented with a sewing machine!
Now I'm going to pull out the big guns. After E was born, I treated myself to a Lunette cup. It was $40. If I had been switching away from conventional products, it would have paid for itself in about six months. 

Those numbers don't seem like much, but let's look at it this way: I've used cloth pads or a cup for six years (you can't count the year I was pregnant/postpartum, even though I did use cloth in my postpartum days). At $75 a year, I've saved over $300, after you subtract the cost of the pads and cup.

And now let's get to the really good stuff. When I switched, my period got a day shorter. I had fewer cramps, and my flow lightened. Now, I have about a three and a half day period. I've saved 2,400 pieces of feminine hygiene waste from the landfill. I've not bought into the idea that women are less than clean. I've bucked the system and given Kotex a great big middle finger. 

Photo courtesy of www.menstrualcups.wordpress.com


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