How to prepare for a new baby while on a tight budget.
Are you about to be a parent for the first time? Or maybe you have done the parenting thing a few times? Either way, chances are you are probably busy preparing, reading and learning new tips to help you find success as a parent. One of the things you are probably looking into are tips to having a baby on a budget.
Babies are expensive, but there are some tricks you can do to save money and cut down on costs of raising a child. Today, I’m sharing a few of the money saving hacks that have worked for me and I hope will work for you too!
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Before Baby Comes
Preparing for baby can get expensive as you buy new items, prep the nursery and begin regularly visiting your doctor. Here are a few ways you can eliminate these expensive costs.
Buy Pregnancy Tests at The Dollar Tree
The first hack to having a baby on a budget actually comes before the baby. Pregnancy tests can get expensive (especially if you are like me and want to take 5 of them….just to be sure…;) ). To help decrease the costs, buy all of your pregnancy tests at The Dollar Tree.
Each one will only cost you $1! This is much cheaper than the alternative! (and don’t forget to grab a few tests…just to be sure….)
Shop Around Before Choosing a Doctor
Always shop around before deciding on an OBGYN and hospital to deliver at. Even if you have insurance, the amount you pay will vary. It’s OK to interview a few different doctors before you find the one that fits best for you and your budget.
I’ve delivered 3 kids and have been cared for by 5 OBGYNs (we moved a lot). Each doctor was so different. Looking back I can see that the more expensive doctors weren’t necessarily the best. It truly came down to personality and experience.
Skip Maternity Clothes
Instead of spending a whole ton of money on clothing you will only wear for a few months, buy non-maternity clothes that can grow with you.
For shirts buy stretchy or flowy shirts that will be able to cover a growing belly. For pants buy a few elastic waist extenders, or just wrap a ponytail holder around your pant button to give it more stretch (that’s what I did!)
Buy Second Hand
Babies grow fast (to fast if you ask me!), and a lot of the things you buy for them now will be tossed aside in a few months time. To help you save money on all the baby supplies, furniture, clothing, etc. buy these all second hand.
My favorite places to look for used baby items are local thrift stores, Facebook marketplace, and garage sales. These will all have the best deals.
Remember to be patient when shopping second hand. You will look through a lot of old, worn items before finding the like new favorites. Also, don’t forget to look beyond the dirt and grime. Sometimes all it will need is a little elbow grease, some paint, or a good stain remover to be just like new again.
- Related: 15 Baby Items You Don’t Need
Check Free Cycle Regularly
One of the best resources for having a baby on a budget is to check out your local Free Cycle to find free baby items in your area. This is a great website that gives people a place to list items they want to give away for free. Look at the website regularly as new items are always being added to the site. This should be the first place you check when you start shopping for a new baby.
Collect Free Samples
There are many, MANY free samples available to pregnant and new moms. Take advantage of these, all of them! You will find samples for formula, baby food, lotion, diaper, etc. Collect as many as you can, and use them all! If you find you don’t like or can’t use any of the samples, give them away to another mom that could use it.
Here are a few places you can look for free baby samples:
- Amazon Gift Registry: To get a free box of baby samples shipped right to your door simply fill out a gift registry on Amazon. These free samples are worth $35!
- Target Gift Registry: Fill out a Target Gift Registry online and then stop by your local Target to receive a free baby Welcome Kit. It is full of coupons and samples worth $80. PLUS! Target will give you 15% off on any item you didn’t receive from your registry! A great deal!
- Enfamil: Enfamil is great source for free formula samples. Simply sign up on their website and you will be sent your samples.
- Similac: Another great source for free formula samples is Similac. Fill out the easy registration form and you will get samples sent right to your door!
After Baby Comes
The expenses seem to never come after your newborn arrives. Remember to focus on what you need, rather than what’s trendy. This is one of the best ways to save money!
I completely understand that not everyone has a desire or is able to breastfeed, and that is fine! Fed is best, always! However, since we are talking about money saving tips I must mention that breastfeeding your baby will save you hundreds of dollars. This is free food made specially for your baby.
Buy Diapers in Bulk
Admittedly, buying off brand diapers WILL be much cheaper than buying name brand. However, in my experience cheaper diapers had more leaks and were not worth the money saved. I personally prefer name brand diapers, so that is what I will suggest to you.
The cheapest way to buy name brand diapers is to buy them in bulk. Shop at big box warehouse stores, such as Costco or Sams Club to find bulk diapers for cheap.
Another great option for bulk diapers is on Amazon. When you order diapers from Amazon sign up for the Subscribe and Save option. This will save you an extra 5% off! Which is a great deal, especially because this is something you will be buying regularly for years.
Make Your Own Baby Food
Save money on your new baby by making your own baby food. This is much cheaper than store bought and really easy to do!
All you need to do is boil the fruit or vegetable, mash it up, and store it. I liked to store the baby food in an ice cube tray for later use.
Check out this great tutorial teaching you how to make baby food at home.
Skip The Toys
Truly you do not need to buy all the flashy expensive toys you will find in the stores. Babies are so easily entertained with items you already have laying around the house.
A few of the favorites for my kids were:
- Measuring Spoons and Cups
- Baby Wipes Container
- Mirror (babies love to look at themselves)
- Silicone ice cube trays
- Laundry basket (they love to be pushed around the house)
You can definitely buy a few teething toys or rattles, but don’t go over board It’s just not necessary.
Ask Family Members to Babysit
Whether you are working full time or choosing to be a stay at home mom, you will need a babysitter from time to time. You will need a break, a few hours out with a friend, or a special date night with your love. It’s good and healthy to spend a few hours away from baby throughout the month.
Instead of paying an expensive babysitter to watch your baby, ask a family member or close friend if they would be willing. Most anyone would be thrilled at the opportunity to snuggle a little one, I know I would! And I’m betting they would be happy to do it for free!
Having a baby is expensive, but there are steps you can take to lower that cost. Being a mom was the best decision I ever made. I would personally spend triple what I paid to be able to do it all over again.