A frugal tip with a little background...
After I wrote about using cloth last Friday, I realized that there's one thing that I don't use cloth for. And this is where I tell any guys reading that this is really a ladies post, Ok? So fair warning...
A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to try a product I had read about in the infamous "Tightwad Gazette" book by Amy Dacyczyn (a gift from my friend - thanks, Mistee!)...Something different...Something I had never heard about before.
It was called the Keeper. It is a menstral cup for a ladies mentrual cycle. It is designed to hold the mentrual flow and a woman just empties it and keeps it clean. It is reusable and very good at what it does. After learning how to use it properly (it takes a little practice), I really felt like I didn't need to dread this "time of the month" anymore. The first day I used it, I knew I was a convert. No more icky pads for me.
I had never tried using cloth pads, although they must be much softer than disposable sanitary pads. They just seemed to me that it would be kind of gross, but then again, that's what I think of disposables too. Anyway, after using it awhile, I realized (through another source) that I might be sensitive to latex. Since the Keeper is made with natural latex rubber, I was really heartbroken. Believe it or not, I continued to use it anyway for a few more months (I loved it so much).
Until one day, we were visiting my parents and they had a homesteading magazine that had an ad for the Diva Cup (http://www.divacup.com/). I think that I ordered one that day! The Diva Cup is a version of the Keeper, but made with silicone! Yeah! I was sooooo happy to find an alternative that my body could handle.
Just so everyone knows how frugal this little gem is...You can reuse it for years! Just think of all the money you could save. I even used it on our mission trip to Ghana back in 2005. No problem. Love it. Love it. Love it. Currently not using it as I am still nursing my daughter, but I have it just waiting for me. It is definetly a "keeper" for me. Cloth is still a very good option though (especially if you are saving up for a Diva cup). And if you prefer that, go for it, it still saves trees and lots of money too.
So check out the Q & A and the testimonials on the link above for the Diva Cup. If you decide to buy one, you can check the internet for better prices than those listed on their site. You'll never dread that "time of the month" after you become a "Diva"!
Update March 2018: I just realized that I've been using the Diva for about 10 years! I recently replaced my first one with another, as the holes were developing small tears which I knew must be why I was having issues with leaks. So I am now on my second Diva cup and still continue to love it! Leaks are almost non-existant now again. I have always worn a cloth pad for backup, on my heaviest days (I do have a heavier flow than some ladies- I always have. Another thing to note: I have never used tampons ever and I still had no trouble learning to use a reusable menstrual cup!). I am certainly a firm believer! There are so many out there now. There's even ways to find out which one will work for you. So helpful for everyone and the environment!