When I was pregnant with my daughter, I remember having several all-encompassing panic attacks about how we were going to afford to have a child. Friends and family assured me that it would just work out, but that’s not my style. I need a plan.
Fast forward to today, and while our budget is noticeably tighter with an 8-month-old in the house, I’ve picked up a few strategies for saving some cash.
- Skip the name brands: After repeated reassurance from our pediatrician that yes, our daughter would live and grow just fine, we chose to skip the name brands for formula. The ingredients in her generic formula are very similar to those in the name brand formulas and the generic is a fraction of the cost.
- Request coupons: When buying wipes and diapers, we go the cheapest route. Sometimes that means generic, but if I have a good coupon that I can pair with a sale, sometimes the name brands are cheaper. Even if you don’t subscribe to the newspaper, you can still get coupons by emailing the baby supply companies directly to request coupons. We received a “welcome home” kit from Enfamil just by signing up on their website–it came with a few different types of formula (a whole canister of one) and some good coupons. We don’t still use the name brand formula, but that kit did help us save money for a month.
- Make your own baby food: Once our daughter began to move on to fruits and veggies, I decided to make all of her food. At around $1/jar, baby food can become very expensive very quickly. We buy a variety of fruits and veggies, some of which we mix with rice cereal, depending on the consistency. Sometimes I boil them in water first (e.g. sweet potatoes) and sometimes they’re already soft enough (e.g. bananas). There is NO NEED to purchase one of those expensive baby food blenders. We use this stick blender and it works perfectly. I can usually make enough food for one week in about 1-2 hours.
- Use consignment stores to buy and sell: I talked about this one in a previous post. We have a local consignment store where I sell clothes and toys that my daughter won’t need or use. I’ve purchased some clothing and books for her at the same store, all of which look brand new. They also have a small selection of toys, cribs, high chairs, swings etc. that are in great shape and that cost much less than buying new. For instance, my mother-in-law just purchased a used high chair for her house that was $50. We have a nearly identical high chair that cost about $150.
- Check out mommy blogs: There are a handful of blogs that I will occasionally check for deals on baby items. This is a great way to find out what the current deals are in stores and online for baby food, diapers, wipes, clothes, books, toys…and the list goes on. One of my favorites is Money Saving Mom.
How have you saved money with a new baby in the house?