Congratulations! You and your partner have a bundle of joy on the way. My husband and I were ecstatic when we learned we were pregnant with our first son, but it was then that reality hit. An extra person in the home meant more expenses in every aspect, and a complete change in our regular routine. There are often sacrifices made when we become parents, but it doesn’t mean our bank accounts have to be completely drained as a result. There are loads of ways to save cash while welcoming a new member into the family.
1. Don’t Buy Maternity Clothing
I’ll elaborate on this one. Of course as a pregnant woman, you’ll need to expand your wardrobe to accommodate the life growing in your tummy. I did purchase a few 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 shirt for 1 or 2 months alone. What I did was purchase clothing from my favourite stores (or thrift shops), but in larger sizes. Aim for sales racks to save extra money. That way, you can still get items at competitive prices, while blending in with the general population. Once baby is out and the weight is down, 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, as opposed to what you might like. Don’t be afraid to choose big. A friend of mine surprised us with a new crib, which ended up saving us almost $200. I also suggest asking for gift cards to large department stores, so that you have the flexibility of purchasing a wide range of items for baby. Gift cards are also convenient because they can be saved to use at a later date.
3. Throw a Diaper Party
Not all husbands like attending baby showers. For that reason, some might prefer to throw diaper parties. It’s a way for the guys to get together, share food and/or drinks, and just hang out. The creativity in gift-giving is removed by the simple fact that men are asked to bring only diapers as gifts. What we did was ask guys to bring diapers of any size, and believe it or not, we didn’t have to purchase diapers for the first five months of our son’s life! Also, the leftovers were perfect for when the next baby came along. If you don’t plan to have more children, you can re-gift them for another expecting family, donate them or sell them locally.
4. Get Coupons From the Hospital
Many hospitals receive a number of free samples, and coupons for products to help new moms heal. I received free nursing pads, baby-related brochures, nipple cream samples, pads, and Aspirin. All these free samples add up, so accept whatever you can get from the hospital.
5. Breastfeed / Pump Milk if You Can
Breast milk isn’t only the healthiest option for a growing baby, but it’s the most cost-efficient. A mother could save her family a minimum of $1,300 by choosing to breastfeed. Unfortunately, it’s not always an option. Issues such as returning to work, latching problems, health issues and more can hinder a mom from being able to breastfeed. In this case, choosing to invest in a breast pump would still save you some serious cash. You can borrow, rent, or even buy them second-hand.
6. Return / Sell Unwanted Gifts
If you managed to receive items that you don’t plan on using, return or sell them as soon as possible. Waiting too long might make it harder to sell them. You could also re-gift those items for someone else that might be having a baby in the near future.
7. Second-Guess Your Purchases
Before buying items for baby, ask yourself if you really NEED to purchase them. We considered buying a changing table, and then realized that using our bed, or a blanket on the carpeted floor would work just as well. We keep a basket with wipes and diapers handy, so that whenever we need to do a quick change at home, we can do it anywhere in the house.
8. Order Free Samples Online
There are a number of reputable companies that give out free samples to moms. You’ll be able to get formula samples, vouchers, special offers and more.
9. DIY Baby Items
Save cash by making some of your baby items yourself. Search online for homemade baby slings, booties, diaper bags, bibs and more. It’s a great way to save cash, and a productive use of time.
10. Homemade Baby Food
I can’t stress how much money you’ll save by making your own baby food. Store-bought jarred food has a limited amount of nutrients, and they’re costly, with restrictions on quantity and quality. Homemade baby food means YOU control what goes into your baby’s system, as well as the taste, quantity, and more. Also, raising a healthy baby means you could be saving on health costs in the future.