Today’s money saving tip is inspired by all of the years that we had babies in the house. The funny thing is that this is something that I had always said I would NEVER do! Only took me 8 weeks into motherhood before I realized that the only way that we could afford to still eat and pay the bills, and have me stay home with our daughter.
Tip #4 (I posted 3 the other day, remember?) Breastfeed if at all possible…..not only is it the best thing for baby to help build immunity, but it is also free! Back when our oldest was a baby, it was reported that formula for a baby from birth to 1 year old could cost up to $1000, I can’t even imagine what it would cost today! Even if you work fulltime, you can still successfully breast feed….I have babysat for several families that have not had to use any formula at all. The mom’s pump their breast milk and freeze it for me to use during the day while they are working. If for some reason you are physically unable to breastfeed, look for the best price possible for that formula, use coupons, and take advantage of free samples available from the formula companies.
Tip #5–once you have found your favorite brands of diapers, wipes, baby food (if you are using it), baby products, etc call the companies to get signed up for their coupon mailers. I don’t know of any company that provides baby products that doesn’t have a coupon mailer or incentive program of some sort.
Tip #6–take full advantage of yard sales, borrowing from friends and family, consignment stores and sales, thrift stores, etc. When D and I were young parents we had several different baby items (specifically strollers and infant swings) that we got second hand that were broken when we got them. I was able to call the 1-800 numbers for the companies, and in EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE they replaced the broken part or parts for the items completely free of charge.
Tip #7–talk to your friends and family that have young children. Find out what they found to be most important, and least important in terms of clothing items, equipment, etc. For instance, all of the baby books and pregnancy books suggested dressing gowns for infants….I HATED them! They got all tangled around baby, and just made baby miserable. Another thing that was suggested was changing tables….we NEVER used it! The floor was always there and convenient, I just kept diapers, wipes and baby ointment in a basket in the corner of the living room where 95% of the diaper changes occurred. We also kept a smaller basket in our bedroom and the kids bedroom for the same purpose.
Tip #8 Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit more money on trustworthy brands of things like maternity clothes and infant clothes…things that can be worn in multiple pregnancies and by multiple babies. Keep the basics gender neutral. I know that it is tempting to buy all blue or all pink and frilly when you get those early u/s results, but please remember that if this is your first baby, it probably won’t be your last. Also, ultrasounds are not 100% accurate in gender revelation, so keep that in mind when purchasing the basics. And along those same lines, keep most everything in their original packaging and with tags and save your receipts just in case you need to return things after baby is born. I know that it is tempting when you are “nesting” to wash everything in the expensive baby detergents and fold them up and put them away or hang them on the cute little baby hangers in baby’s closet. But you may find that you don’t need everything you have, or that you want to take things back to get larger sizes, smaller sizes, different gender, etc.
Tip #9–use cloth diapers and washable “wipes” (I used baby wash clothes, they were small, thin, and came in packs of multiples inexpensively). WE saved THOUSANDS of dollars over the course of 4 babies by using cloth diapers. With an initial investment of $30 for 2 dozen diapers, a set of pins and plastic pants, and an additional 3-4 dozen diapers over the course of the next 10 years we were able to diaper 4 children for under $100. I did try the fancy wraps and things, but never liked any of them as much as I did the plastic pants. Again, it is a bit of an initial investment, but will pay off in no time!