Babies. So cute. So expensive. But so worth every penny. There are some items you never want to skim on for the sake of beybey. There are still some ways to save big during this exciting time! (P.S.- That’s my sweet nugget in the picture up there! Isn’t she adorbs?!)
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Tip #1- BE patient!
Over the next 9 months, you are going to be so blessed by people you may not even have expected it from with hand-me-downs and gently used gifts. I cannot tell you how helpful it is. You will quickly learn as a new mom how a baby can go from size NB to 3 month to 6 month in just the blink of an eye. You may even find that you are having to add items to you “too small” bin before baby even gets to wear them! Chances are, that’s what happened with the hand-me-downs too! I would guess that 90% of Emmy’s clothes are gently used from friends and family, but you would never know it looking through her closet. Everything looks like it is in new condition!
I remember looking though those “Baby Checklist” on Pinterest and thinking “how on earth can we afford all of these clothes in all these sizes?”. I cant imagine how much money we would have spent if we went out and bought it all ourselves. We were so blessed by the generosity of others and I cannot wait to do the same for someone else one day.
Hand-me-downs and gently used items do not have to just be clothes! Emmy’s crib is used as well. We simply cleaned it well with Lysol before putting her in it. We have a ton of toys that have been used before too! You can thrown them into a net bag and run them through the washing machine to get rid of any germs or dirt.
You can also take a look at local resale shops. One of Emmy’s cutest dressed was found at a Goodwill with the tags still on it. Cost me $2.50! If you are in an area that has a Just Between Friends event and have never been, YOU MUST GO! They are only twice a year so check their website ASAP to make sure you aren’t about to miss one! It’s a great way to not only save money but make a little money too!
Bottom line- Don’t go out and spend a bunch of money the second you see the two pink lines! Build your registry, keep an eye out for second-hand items and wait until baby is here and you see that there is a need for whatever it is you want to run out and buy.
Tip #2- Shop Smarter
I am not a fan of credit cards, but the Target Red Card- I’m the president of the FAN CLUB! It’s not technically a credit card, it links straight to your checking account. You get 5% of every. single. time! You also HAVE to download the Target Cartwheel app. It has so many discounts you don’t get as a regular ol’ Target shopper. You can almost always find baby goods anywhere from 5%- 50% off in addition to your 5% off with your Red Card.
Amazon Family is probably the greatest tool I use to save money. We use the subscriptions to have diapers, wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, hand soap, trash bags. etc. delivered once a month. With each subscription you add, you get an additional amount off. I paid $23.99 for a 148 pack of Pampers Swaddlers this month. They are $34.99 at Target! Plus the convenience of having all those big, bulky items delivered to my door is a big plus! An added money saving tip- if you bank with Chase and have any sort of rewards points on your credit cards, they can link up directly with Amazon. We use the Chase Sapphire card for all of our monthly expenses and pay it off at the end of each month. The points are set up to pay for a portion of the diapers and wipes every month. This past month we only paid $7 for our subscription… I think that’s mom WIN! Be sure to also save the perfect stock pile checklist to make sure you aren’t stocking up on too many of one size of diapers.
Baby’s R Us
Before you purchase ANYTHING from Babies R Us, sign up for the Rewards R Us membership. It’s free and saves you money in TONS of ways. First of all, you rack up points for every purchase. You can cash in those points for coupons, starting at $5 off. Another part of the membership is Endless Earnings. This gives you up to 10% back items purchased off of your registry in the form of a gift card. We ended up getting $117 back and used that money during the first few months for any items we ended up needing. Plus- they save ALL your receipts if a future return is needed.
Target and Walmart are infamous for price matching. For big items, such as stroller, cribs, bedding, etc. ALWAYS scan the bar code! Download the Amazon app, to the right of the search bar is your camera app. Snap a picture of the bar code and you will see a whole list of places you can get your item! Target is always really great about using any amazon retailer to lower your price to match.
Tip #3- Only Buy the Necessities
I know that all 16 of those baby blankets at Target are so stinkin’ cute and we want to be sure your baby knows they are hers so better have them all monogrammed, right? No. It’s the hardest thing for an expectant mother to do, but you have to separate the needs from the wants. That’s why there are SO MANY baby nick-knacks out there for sale. The baby companies know that expectant mother usually can’t control themselves and they market some pretty useless items. Here are a few you can steer clear of and save the money for something more needed.
You will only be able to use it until baby is able to roll over. That’s a big chunk of change for 6 months of use. We purchased a pack n’ play with one added on. You can also look for the toppers that go on dressers as a smaller priced solution.
I promise you that your babies bottom will be just fine with a normal wipe. If you are worried it will be too cold, simply hold it tightly in your hand for 15 seconds to warm it up.
Fancy Baby Bedding
My baby spit up/ pooped through her bedding at least once a week. Bumpers and fancy comforters are an extra expense you don’t need. A colored fitted sheet will do just fine.
Fancy Clothes and Shoes
This is another tough one for mom’s to be. Your baby cannot walk, so therefore he doesn’t need shoes. As far as clothing goes- baby is most comfortable in the most minimal amount of clothing for the setting. So while the 4 piece ensemble might be totally adorable, baby isn’t going to be totally happy in it. Plus, you are going to quickly find that the easier an outfit is to change a diaper, the more you will like you baby in it.
Changing Pad Covers
I had one of these for Emmy. She pooped on it after about 3 days of being home. I took it off to wash it and realized that the pad underneath was perfectly fine and a cover was not needed. Plus if she poops on the cover (which she has), it’s a quick clean with some Lysol.
Control the quantity
Do you know how many pacifiers my baby has? SEVENTEEN. 15 have been in the cabinet since the day she was born. One is attached to her wubanub and used daily. The other is in the diaper bag as back up. Now, I see the point of having 2 maybe three as replacements, but seventeen? Not necessary. Your baby doesn’t need an excess of anything except for diapers. You will probably do laundry at least twice a week so you don’t need anymore than 3-4 pair of pajamas, maybe 7-10 day time outfits, a few pairs of pants and socks. Anything more than that is a waste of money!
Here are a few posts that may help you find reasonably priced baby gear for baby’s nursery:
Tip #4- Cut the cost of hospital bills
This is by far the largest expense you will take on as new parents. It can be preeeetty pricey to crank out a kid. If you do not have health insurance, the hospitals almost ALWAYS offer a huge discount for paying up front (some that I checked with said up to 70%!).
If you do have health insurance, you will still have out of pocket expenses. Our baby was due in July and we met our deductible prior to having the baby. We paid ahead of time and after having to have an emergency c-section I had a additional $400 balance due. I called and kindly asked if there were any further discounts that could be given. I received a call back the next day saying the amount had been reduced to just $61! Kindness and patience will take you a long way! And save you alot of money. The worst they can say is no and in that case you can always ask to set up a payment plan.
Tip #5- Saving Money on Feeding Baby
There is no cheaper way to feed baby than to breastfeed. Now I understand that not all mama’s are able to breastfeed, and in that case, fed is best. But if you are able to nurse your baby, you will save TONS of money! Formula is expensive, breastfeeding is basically free. You can also get your pump for free in most cases. When baby is ready for solids, you can save a ton by preparing your own baby food (one month supply for $10!). I have also started using reusable baby food pouches that have saved us a ton when it comes to the grocery bill. With how little baby eats in the first year and all the ways to save, it should be easy to keep baby on a healthy and fulfilling diet for little cost.
Tip #6 SAVE, SAVE,SAVE!
Having a savings account set up before baby arrives can help you avoid putting unexpected expenses on a credit card. Plus, having some extra cash on hand with a newborn around gave us so much peace of mind. Our goal was to have $1,500 saved up just for baby expenses that may catch us by surprise. Here was our savings plan that we followed to save up before baby #1 arrived: