As all parents know, babies cost a lot of money. Diapers, stroller, car seat and doctor visits are some of the inevitable bills. But there are ways to minimize the output of your wallet's hard earned dollars. Here are 10 money-saving tips!
- Visit baby consignment shops or other gently used clothing stores. You'll often find new items with tags still on them for less than retail. There is also more name-brand variety and different price points since these stores accept items from across the spectrum.
- Slow down your buying. Your newborn doesn't need teething rings, a bath seat or a baby activity table right now.
- Choose items that serve double duty. Receiving blankets can also be swaddles. A Pack-n-Play can be used for travel and for naps at home.
- Repurpose items you already have at home. When you're on the go, use a small backpack, tote or messenger bag as a diaper bag. Instead of buying a changing table, secure a changing pad to the top of a dresser. Forgo a refillable diaper pail and use anything with a lid.
- If you're breastfeeding and pumping only occasionally, buy just a few bottles. You won't need that many. And too many bottles take up a lot of space.
- Buy diapers and wipes in bulk. Or split a bulk order with a friend. A single pack at the supermarket will cost you more.
- Beware of picture perfect clothing. They often have snaps down the back, ruffles in uncomfortable places, scratchy embroidery and are otherwise tough to pull over baby's head and frustrating to take off for diaper changes. Save your money and buy clothes you'll actually use and won't want to curse at.
- Your baby (or you) may not like the latest gadget, swing, baby carrier or nursing pillow. If you can borrow an item from a friend, try it out first before buying.
- There are scores of different varieties of the same product. Pacifiers, sleep sacks, bottle nipples to name a few. If you're not sure which brand your baby will like, try just one at a time.
- Check out https://www.freecycle.org/. All items are free. No strings attached. You just may find what you're looking for!
The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 5,323 groups with 9,164,233 members around the world, and next door to you. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Membership is free.