I live to save money. I lie to you not, if they made bargain-hunting a competitive sport, I would be Michael Phelps. When we found out we were expecting, I focused my saving superpowers on the baby industry. I went into overdrive to discover ways to cut down on the major costs that come with raising baby Jaye. Truth is, you don’t have to spend a lot of money if you’re willing to do the work. I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 penny pinching pointers. Although I endorse a couple of products below, I have not received any compensation to do so, and the suggestions are simply my own.
1) Healthcare: As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, contact your health insurance provider to see if they have a prenatal program you can sign up for. Some will offer you not only great medical advice specific for expectant moms, but also give you great deals and free products. Our healthcare provider sent us free books and offered up to a $300 refund on a major purchase for your little one. Starting this year, the government offers you a tax credit for the purchase of breast pumps!
2) Chef Boyar-Mommy: When it’s time to start giving your sweet pea sweet peas, bypass those processed jars in the supermarket and grab an apron! I was pleasantly surprised to see how simple it really is. With many of the baby food processors on the market, all you have to do is cut up the fruit, vegetable or even meats and it does the steaming and blending for you. Cook in bulk and freeze food for up to a month, which means less time in the kitchen and more money in your pocket. The Baby Brezza has become the best culinary friend I could ever have!
3) Consignment Shops: If you heed no other advice from this list, stop what you’re doing and find your local children’s consignment shop. It is the pinnacle in my attempt at baby budgeting. You can find everything from clothing to toys to developmental products without blowing your budget. As a prerequisite to most shop’s resale policies, items are in great condition, and if you aren’t attached to a specific brand, style or even gender specific color, your wallet will thank you for it. Amazon.com and Ebay are also great sources for discounted, secondhand (or new) items.
4) Coupons: There are coupons out there for just about everything, and baby items are no exception. Some of my favorite coupon tips include: Don’t throw away your receipts without looking. Many stores printout coupons for future use at the end of your transaction! Don’t be shy. Call up a company’s customer service department and ask if they have any coupons they can send you. Also, sign up with the major baby formula companies. Not only do they send you a nice supply of samples for your newborn, but great cost-cutting coupons appear in your mailbox each month that help you keep the household’s bottom line happy!
5) Cloth Diapering: These are not the diapering systems of yesteryear. No safety pins or boiling here! Today’s cloth diapering systems are easy to use and maintain, while adding style to your baby’s bottom. Research shows that you can save thousands of dollars plus wear and tear on our environment if you are willing to take the plunge. It does require an upfront investment (approximately $400), but if you can afford it, your bank statements and Mother Earth will sing your praises. I went with BumGenius, but there are other great brands out there.
I promise to revisit this topic as often as possible. We can use all the help there is in this economy. Do you have any cost-saving tips you can offer? Post below along with any other questions or comments and help a mommy (or daddy) out!