Cloth Diaper Mommies and the Secret “Fluff” Society

Today was “day one” of cloth diapers for me. My little guy, #secondbaby, is only 4 weeks old. That’s also how old my career as a full-time WAHM writer is. To put it bluntly, we’re both shitting our pants. 

Our family is officially down to one income (and also one car, but that’s another story), so my husband and I have been looking for (more) ways to cut corners. This search includes a foray into cloth diapers. 

I’ve entered this world… And it seems there’s no turning back…*cue dramatic music*

I was given a “stash” of cloth diapers by a very generous friend (those are not cheap) and I’m learning how to use them. I tell you what, all those damn snaps and inserts are the devil! 

I mean, what the hell is this? 

  There are snaps and plastic liners and Velcro everywhere. And how is my baby supposed to NOT poop through this stuff? It’s cloth?  

 Obviously, it can be done extremely successfully as so many mommas have proved before me so splendidly. But starting cloth diapers is proving a challenge to me personally.

 Putting my kid in a diaper has be come less of a “change” and more of a put-the-puzzle-together -and-fold-it-just-right-snapping -everything- with-5-million-snaps and THEN…pray your kid doesn’t have a shit in it before you’re done.  Oops! Too late. Start over!

Cloth diapering is a steep learning curve for me and I’m only just realizing that there’s this cloth diaper mommy “cult” with their own shorthand language and extensive knowledge of everything from the methods of folding to the sheer”fluff” madness that accompanies the release of a new pattern of diaper. I had no idea that mommies would anticipate a pattern of a cloth diaper from a particular company and go crazy waiting to buy it like a teenager with the latest video game. It’s madness I tell you!

But they are also a group of caring loving mommas who generously reach out to one another. Even in “diaper only” blogs where the topics are limited to diapers, mommies lift eachother up and encourage one another even in more personal matters that are somewhat off-topic from diapering. 

 It’s a community held together by mommyhood and glorified poo catchers. “Fluff” mommies even reached out to me, almost instantaneously, when I cluelessly asked about cloth diapers on a few forums. I clearly didn’t know the first thing about cloth. But their generosity with their advice and encouragement was good for my soul even as I struggled with poop and pee leaking out of my new-to-me diapers. Mommy forums on Facebook can be such generous uplifting places. The rest of the world should take note and follow suit. I would happily be inducted into the secret “fluff” society if they will have me. They’re some sweet mommas. 

How to Save $146 Per Month Making Homemade Pizza

  

 Pictured above: Two batches of homemade bread machine pizza dough. 

Does Making Your Own Pizza Pie Save Money? 

I did a price breakdown to show the value of homemade pizza versus the cost of delivery. 

Cost of Delivery Pizza:

Average cost of 1 pie delivered (+ tip and tax) – $25 

Average Cost of Homemade Pizza Ingredients:

Flour/bag of Great Value All Purpose Flour 25 lbs/$7.98 (buy 1)

Yeast/3 count dry package of pizza yeast/ $1.34 (buy 3)

Olive oil/Great Value Extra Virgin Olive Oil  25.5oz/ $5.74 (buy 1)

Water

Salt/Morton $0.78 (buy 1)

Honey/Great Value Honey 32oz/$7.88 (buy 1)

Pasta or pizza sauce/Great Value Traditional Pasta Sauce 42oz/$2.65 (buy 2)

Pepperoni/Hormel Original Pepperoni 6oz/$2.98 (buy 2)

Shredded cheese/Great Value shredded mozzarella cheese 32oz/$7.94 (buy 2)

Total average cost for all ingredients = $53.54

The bag of flour and ingredients will make roughly 8 pizzas for the price of 2 average delivery pizzas. 

    This one is a life saver for your food budget. If you have pizza dough squirreled away in your freezer, it’s so much less tempting to call out for delivery.

    If you get pizza 2x per week (and this is assuming only one pizza and no sides) delivered you are spending an average of $50 per week. That’s $200 per month! 

    If you make your pizza at home, you are saving $146 per month! I came up with this number by subtracting the cost of ingredients from the cost of delivery. 

    Another advantage to making your pizza at home is planning for healthy sides to add to your meal without ordering even more fast food. 

    You can further reduce the cost of ingredients by stocking up on items when they are on sale. I regularly buy and freeze shredded cheese and pepperoni when I find a great sale. 

    My method:

    There are hundreds of recipes for pizza dough online. I prefer to make mine in my bread machine. I found a great recipe (among other delicious recipes) for pizza dough in this book.  

     I prefer this recipe to any of the recipes I’ve found online for bread machine pizza dough. However, doing an online search might yield better results for you than it did me. If you are interested, you can get the book pictured above on Amazon or at your library. There are lots of great bread recipes in the book besides pizza dough. 

    Ok, I’m sold on making my own dough, you’re thinking. But, what now?

    #1 choose your method

    • Bread machine
    • Mixer
    • By hand
    • Ready made mix

    I make my ready-made homemade pizza dough from scratch in my breadmaker (I use the “dough” setting) but you can use a mixer or make it by hand or even go the super easy route and use a pizza dough mix. 

    #2 choose your recipe 

    • Recipe book
    • Mix
    • Online search 

    Pick through your recipe books at home or make a trip to the library. Experiment until you find one you like. Or experiment with ready made mixes. There are also lots of recipes to be found online. 


    #3 stock up
    !

    • Make large batches
    • Use a rectangle shape

    Make a few batches using your favorite recipe and store in your freezer. I store my pizza dough in rectangular shapes rather than circles. I do this to make the pizzas fit in my cookie sheets and into my square plastic freezer bags. I fit the dough to my aluminum covered cookie sheets and then cut the dough in half. I freeze the dough. When frozen, I remove the dough, cover with plastic wrap, fold in half, and put the dough into plastic freezer bags. 

       
       From this stage pictured above you simply fold the frozen pizza dough in on itself like closing a book and place in a freezer bag. Be sure to mark the date you made it!

    When you are ready for a quick pizza dinner, you can just take the dough directly out of the freezer, unwrap and place on aluminum covered cookie sheet. Bake with your favorite toppings. 

    This blog post is a great tutorial on exactly how to make a pizza using homemade frozen dough. The recipe she uses, by Crystal Paine, is not my favorite recipe but the instructions on freezing and baking are helpful.

    I love having ready made pizza dough in my freezer. I can still have pizza without breaking the bank!