Dear Mary: Thank you for your column, I really enjoy it! We went with your recommendation and purchased your "best inexpensive stroller," hoping it would stand up against the cobblestones of Rome, Italy. Well, after three months of living in Rome with our 2-year-old little girl, I can tell you the stroller has done fantastically! It has held up great over miles and miles of walking and cobblestones, it's simple for travel within airports, and it's perfect for tight squeezes onto buses, trams and trains! It was an ideal investment, so thank you for sharing your wisdom. You truly bless the lives of those you reach. — Barbara
Dear Barbara: I'm both excited and jealous — excited that you love that stroller as much as I do, and jealous because I would love to spend three months in Rome with my grandsons, walking miles and miles of cobblestones.
Did you notice? I said grandsons! Seven-year-old Eli is now big brother to 1-year-old Sam. The fun on my Fridays has doubled since Sam has joined us. To catch up recent readers, I've cared for Eli on Fridays since he was six weeks old. My intent was to gift my Fridays to my kids to give them a day to rest. But as it turns out this has become the greatest gift they could have ever given me .
This also means that my transportation needs have doubled. We cover a lot of territory on Fridays, so I need to have both boys safely in tow. I'm not the only one with this growing need, as evidenced by the following letter that just showed up in my inbox.
Dear Mary: I really appreciate your recommendation on the baby stroller. I love the Summer Infant 3D lite Convenience Stroller (your pick for the best inexpensive stroller). I just found out we will be adding two more grandbabies to our family. Do you have a recommendation for the best inexpensive, lightweight stroller for two children? — Pam
Dear Pam: Two new grandbabies? How wonderful. I'm not sure whether you are looking for a stroller to accommodate one baby and one older child (which is my current situation) or two babies. So first, let me tell you what I have done.
I recently purchased the Graco Roomfor2 Click Connect Stand and Ride Stroller (about $140), which is just perfect for one baby to sit and ride and an older child to stand and ride. I can't tell you how perfect this is for my current needs. Eli can hop off so easily, and then get back on board. We call it our "bus."
Your mention of two new babies leads me to believe that you want a double stroller for two newborns. I have two recommendations for you, depending on your needs and budget. The Delta Children City Street Side by Side Stroller is fantastic. It folds up so easily, and it has big, sturdy wheels and sunshades. Both seats have three-point harnesses. The stroller fits easily through a 30-inch door opening. The one drawback, which may not be a drawback at all for you, is that the seats do not recline. Both babies must remain seated upright. At $60 this is a fantastic bargain, and in my opinion an excellent choice that will provide years of joy.
If reclining seats are a must-have (I can understand how that could be very important transporting two wee ones), take a look at the Baby Trend Expedition Double Jogger Stroller (about $180). It's a bit heavier and bigger, but it collapses easily. Both seats have five-point safety harnesses and accommodate kids up to 50 lbs. each. This stroller has rubber pneumatic bicycle tires, which means you can stroll around the block, tear around a big amusement part for hours or jog up and down mountain trails (you do that, right?).
I hope that helps, and I wish you many years of joy with your precious grandchildren!
Mary invites questions, comments and tips at [email protected], or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.