Fredericksburg Families

Amy Umble writes about family issues and kid-friendly events.

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Making lists and stretching diapers

Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal ran a package on frugality that has some interesting tidbits for families with children. What caught my eye was the headline, “How Tough Are Times? Parents Cut Back Diapers.”

“Spending on children has traditionally held steady in times of recession, including the most recent one, with parents sacrificing other items rather than scrimping on their children’s hygiene or happiness.

But as the economy continues to sputter, recent data show diaper sales are slowing and sales of diaper-rash ointment are rising.”

By the end of the story, you realize that the numbers might have more to do with a lower birth rate (or super-absorbent diapers) than with parents actually making their kids sit in their own ick for longer. (Still, who hasn’t waited “just a little longer” when that telltale red face appears shortly before bath time?)

If you’re determined to save at the store, though, here’s one simple rule: Never go without a list.

Among the frugal habits that retailers are observing among recession-stressed shoppers is more pre-shop planning.

According to this story, “About 75% of consumers use a shopping list, up from 45% three years ago, according to SymphonyIRI Group, a market-research company.”

As a result, shoppers are buying about 10 percent less than they did before the recession.

I recommend these stories as a good read for anyone who has to keep a pantry or a nursery stocked with food and supplies. From notes on the rising quality of store-brands to tales from disciplined shoppers, they’ll help inspire you be disciplined on your next shopping trip.

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