Valuable Tips on How to Save Money during Baby’s First Year
Having a baby is a blessing, but the costs can also get staggering! A new parent might want to give baby the best that can be bought by money; yet there are lots of new purchases that must be taken into consideration. It takes knowledge and planning to be able to stretch your hard-earned cash. Discernment is a requirement to be able to decide on what’s necessary and what’s optional for baby. A penny saved is a penny earned, so unless your wallet is bottomless, better start making the right choices. How can you save money during baby’s first year? Let me share with you some tips:
- Jot it down! Track down the baby supplies that you must purchase for the month as well as your weekly and daily expenses. This will be handy especially for first time parents. You might be tempted to buy a baby item on whim. Yet if you failed to foresee your needs and your incoming expenses, you’ll be surprised at the end of the month to find that you had run out of cash.
- Breastfeed as long as you can. Formula milk is costly; breastmilk will be the best choice nutritionally and financially. Breast pump whenever you have time. Keep a stash of frozen breastmilk sealed and stored at your freezer. Before buying expensive electronic breast pumps, shop around for manual pumps. A good suction power can be achieved manually even without batteries, all it takes is a good seal and a good pumping routine.
- Ask around for samples and baby coupons. Your pediatrician or OB-Gyne might have lots of samples and coupons stacked somewhere, so be sure to ask him/her during your clinic visits. Coupons and free samples can also be found online. Also, you can also get a good discount on baby supplies at some online sites such as Amazon.
- Try reusable diapers. This suggestion might sound too hard and yucky at first but it will turn out to be one of the best decisions that you can make.
- Do not buy cheap disposables diapers. It is better to buy branded diapers, if you can get a good discount. You might experience poop leaks with generic cheap diapers, so you’ll have to spend some additional money for laundry. Likewise, they cannot hold as much pee and hence, you might have to do diaper change more often than with branded nappies. Shop around for the cheapest branded diaper price. Depot and wholesale stores might even have buy-one-take-one deals. It pays to jot down the prices of diapers per store, including the discounts, so that you can compare. Look around before you buy in bulk. Just take note not to buy too much, as your baby can outgrow one size in a few months.
- Make your own natural baby wipes. Disposable paper towels can do the trick. You may use aloe vera, water and natural antibacterial oils to keep them wet. Seal them up on a container. You’ll eventually save hundreds of dollars for a year’s worth of branded baby wipes.
- Cook and prepare your own baby food. Branded baby foods are grossly overpriced and they aren’t as nutritious as their label says with all that preservatives and coloring. Vegetables and fruits that you prepare for your family’s dining table will do just fine. Buy small sealable jars or plastic containers. Steam a batch of potatoes, broccoli, carrots, squash and sweet potatoes. Mash them and store at the refrigerator or freezer in clean containers. Cook them in batches; they’ll be good for a few days. You can also run into the blender a batch of fruits that can later be served as a nutritious smoothie.
- Check what is essential versus what is optional. A cute baby bag can set you a hundred dollars when an old big bag can also do the job. Ask yourself if you really need to buy that electric feeding bottle sterilizer, when in fact, boiling them will do just fine. That fancy new stroller or baby seat can cause you hundreds of dollars; it is better to first look online or at a garage sale for a second-hand pram. Ask around, you might have a neighbor that can lend you their used stroller or baby clothes for free. Spend your cash instead on investing to new items that can secure your baby’s safety, such as a crib or a car seat.
- Do not buy lots of fancy and fluffy baby beddings and pillows. Your baby might not need them all during his first year of life. Besides there are lots of safety issues with regards to pillows and extra beddings.
- Do not shell lots of cash buying baby toys. Electronic or battery operated toys is not advisable for babies less than one year old. Aside from being unpractical, they usually have lots of small parts that are potential choking hazard. A baby will totally appreciate a one-dollar soft toy. There is no need for you to accumulate lots of toys as you can also get them as gifts.
- Buy cheap gender-neutral baby clothes. During your baby shower or on other occasions where you can receive gifts, let it be known that you will appreciate various sizes of baby clothes.
- Ask for help. You might have relatives who are eager to lend a hand for free to do tasks such as cleaning the house or painting the nursery. Do not be hesitant to ask for assistance. One stay-at-home parent can also help you to save lots on child-care costs. Baby-sitting can be costly if you’ll pay by the hour. It helps to make friends with nearby parents who have children of the same age as your child. Join an online or neighborhood parents group so that you can meet some like-minded parents. Try babysitting swaps instead of paying for a babysitter during those weekends when you have to run errands. Just be sure to return the favor afterwards.
Borrow before you buy, or buy second-hand. These are good rules to follow if you want to save money during baby’s first year of life. Your little one will grow fast, so there is really no need to stack up on items that he shall outgrow in a few months. You don’t have to shell out cash on everything. Ask around for help and you’ll be surprised!
A Short Bio: Sarah Morgan. A sister, a daughter, a wife, but most especially a mother. Being a mother makes me realize that life is a great adventure. No day is always the same, which makes every day so much more exciting.