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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

10 Ways to Save When Preparing for Baby

Babies are expensive!

I think its safe to say we all want to provide the best possible care for our little ones and often times we equate money with quality.  If you know me you know that I'm a huge thrifter and saver.  I love quality things, I just don't always want to pay crazy money for them.

Lucky for you, I've done a lot of the hard work and figured out ways moms and dads on a budget can provide that great quality for their babies without breaking the bank.

Here you have it...10 ways to save when preparing for baby:

1. Stick with gender neutral furniture and "big pieces".  By purchasing gender neutral furniture, you are creating a nursery that can be used for future children.  You can make the nursery special for your baby by adding in special artwork, bedding, and lighting fixtures.  Gender neutral high chairs, strollers, car seats, etc. prevent you from replacing them if/when you have a baby of the opposite sex down the road.

2.  Buy second hand.  I know many people aren't cool with buying used or previously owned items.  I will admit, not everything can be purchased second hand (i.e. bedding and stuffed animals are on my list - other people might not purchase bottles or teethers, etc. if they have been previously used).  You should never buy a carseat used unless you can guarantee it has not been in an accident and you can properly identify the expiration date.  However, many items can be purchased second hand including large ticket items like breast pumps, outdoor toys, strollers, and even clothing.

3. Price Matching.  Stores like Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby price match.  This means they will give you the same price (and perhaps even a percentage off of that) for a product that any other store is offering including online stores like Amazon.

4. Borrow.  If you're at the baby making phase of life, chances are you have friends in that same stage. If they have already had children and aren't planning on adding to their family for another year or so, borrow some of their baby gear.  Things like bassinets, bottle warmers, and swings are used for a very brief time.  Split the cost  and save yourself some money and space by sharing those items with a friend.

5.  Online "outlet" sites.  Sites like Zulilly, Ace & Ivy, Groopdealz, Woot, and Jane are awesome ways to save money on everything from clothing to toys to baby food and decor.

6.  DIY.  Don't be afraid to attempt a good DIY.  There are tons of tutorials out there thanks to Pinterest and most of them are fool proof.

7.  Coupons.  I know a lot of people don't see the worth of coupons because of the time involved.  This is one time a little time is going to pay off.  I've gotten coupons for everything from diapers to formula and it has saved me mega bucks.  Getting $2 off a package of diapers or using the checks you receive from formula companies adds up quick.  There have been times I've gone to CVS (my favorite place to coupon) and literally gotten paid to buy certain items.

Even if you are just supplementing with formula (we give CT formula at night to help with his weight gain/maintenance) it is super expensive.  If you go on and register your address with companies like Gerber, Similac, and Enfamil, they will start sending you samples and coupons in the mail.  *Also have the grandparents do this and they can get you these things as well.*  Often times they send coupons for $5 to $10 off a container.  These coupons work like checks and sometimes you can combine them to purchase containers of formula for absolutely free.  Other times you save yourself $5 or $10.  Win win! Also, Target will often give you a gift card for purchasing 3 containers of formula at once.  Combine that with your coupons and you're saving a lot.

8.  Rewards Programs.  I know Babies R Us offers a rewards program - the more you spend, the more points you accrue.  I haven't seen the fruits of that program yet, but I have benefited from programs like Pampers Rewards, Huggies Rewards, and CVS Bucks.  Every Pampers and Huggies package of diapers or wipes comes with a code.  Punch that code into your account and after so many points, you can redeem them for toys, prints from Shutterfly, more diapers, etc.

I could write a whole post about CVS in and of itself.  In a nutshell, they often run sales on items and offer CVS cash when you spend so many dollars on those products.  On top of the sale and cash, you can use manufacturer's coupons on those products as well.  Recently I purchased $30 worth of Pampers (which was 4 packages after coupons and the sale price of $8.99).  Since I spent $30 on P&G products, I earned $10 in rewards cash.  That $10 I then combined with those formula checks I was telling you about before to purchase $60 worth of formula for just $25.  I ended up going home with 4 packages of diapers, Baby Aquaphor, and 2 containers of formula for just $45.  That should have cost me at least $100 before rewards and coupons.

9.  Purchase items that serve multiple purposes.  Rather than purchasing a changing table, we decided on a dresser and a changing pad.  The pad is one of those items that doesn't get used for very long.  Once baby outgrows the changing pad, the dresser can grow with them.

10.  Bulk Stores and Online Sites.  Stores like Costco and Sam's Club are great places to purchase diapers, wipes, formula, and detergent in bulk.  Particularly, if you aren't interested in couponing, this is the cheapest way to purchase these items.  You can also use sites like Amazon Mom and Diapers.com to purchase these items at discounted prices and they often deliver right to your doorstep saving you on gas and travel time as well.

Like I said before, babies are expensive.  Saving money now means having it to spend making memories later.

How do you save?

Check out my post at Just Hatched sharing baby items I would spend on versus items worth saving on.


  1. LOVED your Just Hatched post and pinned it to my maternity board! :)

  2. We have found some great stuff just by putting the word out that we are open to hand me downs. A few coworkers and friends with slightly older kids have given us some great stuff.

  3. As always, I loved reading your post! Babies are expensive!! We breastfeed (which saves us money since we don't have to buy formula, tho I know not everyone can do this), use cloth diapers most of the time, and buy secondhand clothes. We've got a pretty tight budget each month, but right now I'm spending maybe $20 for the whole month on baby stuff (not including clothes since I buy clothes randomly and not all the time, this just covers wipes and disposable diapers for when we go out for the day). I did find that buying wipes in the bulk box is cheaper than buying the individually.

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