Monday, March 15, 2010

8 Ways to Save Money on Baby

  1. Don’t buy the gadgets/bottles/pacifiers until they are born—You have no idea what they are going to like. Wait and see if they take a pacifier. See what type of bottle works for them, see if you will actually use the gadget.
  2. Breastfeed—This saves a LOT of money just on food. You can spend anywhere from $25-$60 a week on powdered formula. Breastfeeding eliminates this need. Even if you are a working mom as I am. The purchase of a $250 pump has paid for itself in just 2 months or so when weighing it against the cost of formula. Breastfed babies also do not get sick as often, so you might be saving big on doctor’s visits as well!
  3. Don’t Overbuy Clothes/Take Hand-me Downs/Leave Tags On—For clothing, do not overbuy. I know they are cute. But both of our children have had clothes that they never wore because they grow SO FAST when they are tiny! That’s why there are six possible sizes of clothing before they are 1 year old! Take any hand-me-downs you are offered. Even if they are stained or look “loved,” you will need those types of clothes for your child as well, so take them. We have saved HUNDREDS if not thousands of dollars because we have family and friends that gives us lots of hand-me-downs. Leave the tags on when you do buy or someone gifts them to you. You can return them. I promise.
  4. Request Samples—We have an entire can of formula in our pantry in case we even need it for Abigail. It’s a retail value of $30. We paid nothing. It was a free sample. You can also get lots of diaper rash cream, lotion, shampoo, diapers, etc for free just by requesting them. Signing up for some baby clubs online who send out loads of free samples. Take the samples offered from most hospitals in a free diaper bag (usually with the name of a major formula maker on it somewhere). Just google “Free baby samples.” You’ll get more than you bargained for.
  5. Buy gender-neutral items—This helps greatly if you end up having more children later. You can always reuse clothes, toys, bedding, blankets, etc if they are not too gender specific with the first one!
  6. Ignore Baby Registry Suggestions—Don’t depend on a store to tell you what to register for…they are trying to sell you things, remember? Get the bare minimum. The rest you will figure out if you need later.
  7. Freecycle—Join your local freecycle (google it). There are people just wanting to give stuff away to avoid the hassle of trying to sell it. You also can ask for baby items on there. You’d be amazed what people are willing to part with once they know someone else needs it!
  8. Swap Childcare with Friends—You keep all the kids one night. They keep all the kids one night. You both get a night out, you both get free childcare, and both sets of kids get a playdate.

Bonus: If you can spend money to save, buy lifetime furniture—Yes, it is a bigger investment up front, but both of our children have “lifetime” furniture. Their cribs become toddler beds, then they can become daybeds. Or we can skip right to a full-size bed. All with just adding a rail that you can purchase with the bed. Easy. The changing table is actually a full-sized dresser. This is furniture that they can take with them to college. We’re done.

Photo credit: nbphotogfy

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