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10 Money-Saving Tips for New Parents
Congratulations! You and your partner are in for a lot of joy along the way. My husband and I were ecstatic when we found out we were pregnant with our first child, but that’s when reality hit. An additional person in the household meant more expenses in all aspects and a complete change in our usual routine. Sacrifices are often made when we become parents, but that doesn’t mean our bank accounts have to be completely drained. There are many ways to save money while welcoming a new member to the family.
1. Don’t buy maternity clothes
I will elaborate on this one. Of course, as a pregnant woman, you’ll need to expand your wardrobe to accommodate the life growing in your belly. I bought some new items during my pregnancy, but I didn’t buy clothes that were marketed as maternity clothes. They cost a pretty penny, and since pregnancy has stages, you could end up wearing a maternity top for only 1-2 months. What I did was buy clothes from my favorite stores (or thrift stores), but in larger sizes. Aim for the sale racks to save extra bucks. That way, you can still get items at competitive prices, while blending in with the general population. Once the baby is out and the weight is off, you can save them for the next baby, donate them or make adjustments and continue wearing them in your postpartum stage.
2. Throw a Baby Shower
There’s no doubt that baby showers are the best way to collect free baby products. If you decide to create a registry, be sure to select items you need, rather than items you might like. Don’t be afraid to go big. A friend of mine surprised us with a new crib, which ended up saving us almost $200. I also suggest ordering gift cards from department stores, so you have the flexibility to purchase a wide range of baby items. Gift cards are also convenient because they can be saved for use at a later date.
3. Throw a diaper party
Not all husbands like to attend baby showers. For this reason, some may prefer to have diaper parties. It’s a way for guys to get together, share food and/or drinks, and just hang out. Creativity in gifts is eliminated by the simple fact that men are asked to bring only diapers as gifts. What we did was ask the boys to wear diapers of any size, and believe it or not, we didn’t have to buy diapers for the first five months of our son’s life! Plus, the leftovers were perfect for when the next baby came. If you don’t plan to have more children, you can re-gift them to another expecting family, donate them, or sell them locally.
4. Get coupons from the Hospital
Many hospitals receive a number of free samples and product coupons to help new mothers heal. I received free nursing pads, baby related brochures, nipple cream samples, pads and aspirin. All those free samples add up, so take whatever you can get from the hospital.
5. Breastfeed / Express milk if you can
Breast milk is not only the healthiest choice for a growing baby, it is the most cost-effective. A mother could save her family at least $1,300 by choosing to breastfeed. Unfortunately, that’s not always an option. Issues like returning to work, attachment issues, health issues and more can prevent a mother from being able to breastfeed. In this case, choosing to invest in a breast pump would still save you some cash. You can borrow them, rent them or even buy them second hand.
6. Return/sale of unwanted gifts
If you have managed to receive items that you do not plan to use, please return or sell them as soon as possible. Waiting too long can make it difficult to sell. You can also re-gift these items to someone else who might have a baby in the near future.
7. Guess your purchases
Before buying baby items, ask yourself if you really need them. We considered buying a changing table and then realized that using our bed or a blanket on the carpet would work just as well. We keep a basket of wipes and diapers on hand, so whenever we need a quick change at home, we can do it anywhere in the house.
8. Order free samples online
There are several reputable companies that offer free samples to mothers. You’ll be able to get formula samples, vouchers, special offers and more.
9. DIY baby items
Save money by making some of your baby’s items yourself. Search online for homemade baby slings, booties, diaper bags, bibs and more. It’s a great way to save money and a productive use of time.
10. Homemade baby food
I cannot stress enough how much money you will save by making your own baby food. Store-bought canned foods have a limited amount of nutrients and are expensive, with restrictions on quantity and quality. Homemade baby food means you control what goes into your baby’s system, as well as the taste, amount and more. Plus, raising a healthy baby means you could be saving on health costs in the future.
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