27 Ways to Save Money When You Have a Baby

27 Ways to Save Money When You Have a Baby | AndThenWeSaved.com

Having a baby is no doubt the most expensive thing you ever will do in your adult life. Having one child cuts deeply enough into your budget, but those with two, three or nineteen – like that family on TV – must come up with some pretty creative ways to save money. Here are 27 tips to help you save some cash, whether you’re on your very first or you are trying for your own “Kids & Counting” television show.

27 Ways to Save Money When You Have a Baby …

 

1. Get as much from the hospital as you possibly can

When you are in the hospital, they are going to give you some baby stuff. You definitely should take that home and use it. Yet, I happened to be checking my phone during my hospital stay, and I found that manufacturers leave samples and huge value coupons in maternity wards – but you must ask for them because the nurses are busy.

 

2. Breastfeed

On average, formula costs about $1,000 a year; plus, breastfeeding is much healthier.

 

3. Barefoot babies

Don’t buy shoes for your baby. They don’t need them, and they’re actually an impediment to learning to walk. Let them go barefoot unless you are taking them outside and it is cold. In that case, use thick socks or booties.

 

4. Don’t Buy Clothes For Your Baby To “Grow Into

I made this mistake. I bought some baby clothes, because they were on sale, that I figured my son would fit into in a few weeks. Then he had a growth spurt and wore them for less than a week.

 

5. Test Bottles First

Don’t buy a bunch of bottles. My son didn’t like the expensive bottle I bought, and I had half a dozen of them. I ended up buying several much cheaper bottles.

 

6. Return Gifts

If you don’t like something, return it for store credit. Make sure you do it quickly before the time limit is up.

 

7. Buy Diapers in Bulk

Go to Costco or Sam’s Club, or whatever your local bulk store is, and buy your diapers in as large a quantity as you can.

 

8. Get a Stroller You Can Return

Buying a stroller is kind of like buying a car. Test drive it first, and if you don’t like it, take it back and get a different one.

 

9. Make Your Own Baby Food

You can save yourself some money if you make your own baby food. Mashing up a banana is an easy way to create something for your baby to eat and there are lots more recipes online.

 

10. Go Generic

Don’t listen to the commercials. I’ve found that generic diapers, wipes and other baby supplies are totally fine, and they cost about half as much as the name brand. Just because Huggies has a great commercial doesn’t mean you need to spend extra money to get them.

 

11. Borrow Short-Term Items

I learned that if I needed something temporarily, sometimes I could call up my friends who had kids who already had outgrown their stuff and borrow it. I did that with a baby bath and with a walker that had toys for my son to play with while he strolled around the living room.

 

12. Subscribe & Save

Subscribe to as many baby discount places as you can find. You also can sign up for discounts and coupons at Gerber.com and other places.

 

13. Decorate with Crafts

Decorate your baby’s room with crafts that you make yourself, using items that you can find around the house.

 

14. Listen for the Phrase “Finished Having Kids”

When someone mentions they are not planning to have any more kids, find out what they have that their kids already have outgrown and try buying things from them. I got my crib from a co-worker who told me she was done having kids. It cost $200 new, and I got it for $75 – in excellent condition.

 

15. Minimize Birthdays and Holidays

Until your child is old enough to appreciate birthdays and Christmas, minimize your celebration. They won’t know the difference, and you will save money.

 

16. Get a Breast Pump

These are expensive, but I got mine from a friend who didn’t need it anymore. The price when they are new is about $250 to $300. I paid $50 for mine and an addition $30 for the attachments, which is what you should buy new for hygienic purposes.

 

17. Dollar Tree Shopping Spree

You can find so many baby items at Dollar Tree; with everything very simply priced at a dollar. It’s also the best place to get toys for your infant or toddler.

 

18. Call for Medical Advice

Hospital nurse hotlines and your pediatrician often will give advice over the phone. That saves you the co-pay and a bill to your insurance company.

 

19. Bottle Warmers Are Unnecessary

I never used mine. I just used warm water instead.

 

20. Replace Your Changing Table with a Bath Towel

You don’t need to buy a changing table. Just get a big bath towel because you hardly ever will use your table and a towel allows you to change wherever you happen to be.

 

21. Backpack as Diaper Bag

Instead of a diaper bag, use an old backpack that you have in the closet.

 

22. Skip the Ear Thermometer

They aren’t accurate, and the rectal or mouth thermometers are way cheaper.

 

23. Kid-Pool Instead of Day Care

If you need day care, try setting up a ‘kid-pool’ with some friends and trade off babysitting.

 

24. Get Advice

If this is your first kid, ask your friends who have kids for advice – on everything.  If your friends are anything like mine, you will get lots of money-saving tips.

 

25. Don’t Build a Nursery

We decided not to build a nursery and just put the crib in our home office.

 

26. Buy Unisex

The clothes that you buy, the toys that you give your kids to play with, and the other items that you purchase should be unisex if possible. That way, you can use them for another child later. That’s a trick I didn’t learn with my son, and now that we’re expecting a daughter I’m sorry I didn’t get that advice earlier. But now you can take advantage of my experience!

 

27. Prepare Food When Baby Time is Close

My husband thought of this because we just didn’t have the budget to eat out, and we knew how tired we both were going to be with jobs (on maternity leave for me) and a new baby. Casseroles are a good choice, but you can freeze lots of meals.

 

 What are some ways you’ve saved money with a new baby?

Vera is a blogger trying to lead a frugal (but not frustrating) lifestyle. She is also an avid food enthusiast who loves everything about cooking, especially using modern tech in cooking that can make even a novice cook look like an expert chef.  You can find her at Frugal Frogs.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “27 Ways to Save Money When You Have a Baby

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  1. Amanda

    If you do need to purchase a crib, IKEA has wonderful, safe ones that are incredibly affordable and convert into toddler beds. We bought one but ended up co-sleeping (unplanned, lol), so it never got used! We also bought a low, long dresser for $40 at Goodwill and put a quilt (with the rubber no-slip stuff you use under rugs under it) on the top and used that for our changing table. But it’s a regular dresser that my son can continue to use as he grows instead of a regular changing table that would be useless in a few years. (I’m one of those weird people who DID use a changing table constantly, mostly because we have a dog that would get in my way if I tried to change our son on the floor or the couch or bed). I also found that I didn’t need a baby monitor — for daytime naps, my son slept in his swing or on the sofa (as a toddler) so I could keep an eye on him easily, and at night he co-slept so I was right there with him. Definitely saved a lot of money by breastfeeding and making my own baby food too.

    Reply
  2. Alicia

    I’m surprised cloth diapering isn’t on this list! It saves a mountain of money on diapers, especially if you can get a “pre-loved” stash. Elimination communication also helps save money if you couple it with cloth diapering. Kinda hippie-dippy but it worked for me.

    I’m also a big fan of baby-wearing instead of using a stroller. Lighter and cheaper, and you get to be hands free.

    Reply
  3. Meagan Golden

    Wonderful tips! Never thought there would be many ways to have some extra savings when you already have a baby. I never thought an old backpack would make a good diaper bag. For personal savings, I buy large items like powder, oil and lotion. I really like the tip on purchasing unisex item – the things you bought today might still be useful when the next baby is coming. Also, I am having extra savings because my crib and strollers are hand-me down from siblings.

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  4. Renate

    I always give unused stuff away. When I was expecting my first child I got ‘paid back’ and friends, family and friends almost gave me everything we needed for our baby. Important to let people know what you still lack and unexpected people will offer you this. It’s important that the people around you know that you our using pre-loved items so they know you won’t feel awkward when you offer it. Also, it’s really unnecessary to use shampoo for a baby. Just rince with water. Bathing once or twice a week is enough. You are already cleaning the important parts several times a day with babywipes. That’s why you also don’t need that much soap.

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones

      Thank you for sharing those tips. Babies grow out of clothes so fast it makes all the sense in the world to pass on clothing.
      Are you in our Spending Fasters Facebook group? Here’s the link: SpendingFastersGroup.com

      Reply

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