Save Money on Baby Stuff: Practical Tips for New Parents
Whether you’re newly pregnant or you’ve already had your baby, it will come as no surprise to you that these little bundles of joys come with a big price tag! Swings, cribs, car seats, strollers, diapers, formula, clothing, sometimes it seems like the list of items to buy for your new baby will never end. But there are lots of ways you can save money on the things you’ll need to keep your new baby fed, clothed, secure, and entertained.
You can start by purchasing your baby furniture and supplies with a rewards credit card. That way you’ll make a little money back every time you buy something for your new baby.
You can get even more money back by shopping through rebate sites like Rakuten (formerly Ebates). These sites will give you a percentage of the item cost back, which can really add up!
You can also sign up for coupons through online coupon apps like Rakuten (formerly Ebates). You can get manufacturers’ coupons, store coupons, and cashback for purchases both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Here’s a list of some of the top coupon and cashback sites on the web.
Check out Amazon Family discounts. You have to be an Amazon Prime member to have access to these deals. However, you can save up to 20% on baby diapers, wipes, and other essentials by setting up a subscription for them.
Save Money on Baby Diapers
The cost of diapers is one of the biggest expenses you’ll face as a new parent. It’s a good idea to ditch the brand loyalty. If you’re flexible on which brand of diapers you use, you can buy diapers when they’re on sale or when you find a good coupon.
Sign up for newsletters from your favorite brands. These frequently will include coupons and deals for diapers and wipes. Use the ones you want, swap the ones you don’t.
Be careful about stocking up on diapers. You don’t want to stock up on a size and then have your baby grow out of that size before you can use them all. If you find a deal on diapers that’s too good to pass up, buy a few packages of your baby’s current size, then stock up on the next size your baby will need.
If it works out for your family’s lifestyle, consider using cloth diapers. They can be an investment upfront, but cloth diapers can pay off in the long run, especially if you plan to use them through several babies.
Consider making your own baby wipes. They are less expensive than commercial wipes. They also have the added benefit of being made without some of the chemicals frequently found in commercial wipes. There are lots of simple recipes online for making your own baby wipes.
Save Money on Baby Formula
Obviously the easiest way to save money on feeding your newborn is to breastfeed. If you do plan to breastfeed, and you plan to pump, check with your insurance company to see if they will help with the cost of a pump. Some of them will! If not, consider borrowing a breast pump.
If breastfeeding your baby is not an option for you, or you plan to nurse and supplement with baby formula, there are lots of ways you can save money.
Sign up for rewards programs for all the baby formula brands. Even if you don’t use a particular brand, sign up and get their samples and coupons. That way you can swap with other moms who are using the brands you don’t use.
Ask your doctor for free samples. The manufacturers typically will supply pediatricians with lots of baby formula samples to pass along to parents. Don’t be afraid to ask for them.
Buy powdered formula. It’ll save you money over liquid formula and ready-to-use bottles.
Avoid using disposable bottles. The cost of the liners can really add up.
If your baby has to use a special formula because of allergies or a medical condition like reflux, check to see if your health insurance will help cover the cost.
Consider generic and store-brand baby formulas. All baby formula sold in the United States must meet basic nutritional standards. And some store-brands actually test higher in nutrition than the name-brand baby formulas. See how the generic formulas stack up against the name-brand formulas by clicking here.
Saving Money on Baby Clothes
Babies grow so quickly that first year, so it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on their clothing. After all, they’ll only wear each size for a very short time.
You can save money on your baby’s clothing by
Buying unisex colors that you can use on the next baby…and the next…and the next.
If you do plan to buy new clothing, plan ahead! Buy next season’s outfits at the end of each season, when stores are trying to make room for the next season’s outfits. And don’t forget to sign up for newsletters and reward programs from your favorite stores.
Saving Money on Baby Furniture and Accessories
Buying baby furniture and accessories is where the costs can really add up. When you’re shopping for all the furniture and accessories your new baby will need, it’s important not to sacrifice safety to save a few bucks. However, there are plenty of ways you can save money and keep your new baby safe and sound.
Consider buying convertible items, like baby beds that convert to toddler beds.
Consider using secondhand furniture and accessories. One word of warning though: whenever you’re borrowing or buying second-hand furniture, swings, or any other gadget for baby, make sure the product has not been recalled. You can do this by visiting the Consumer Product Safety Commission recall check and popping the name brand and item name into the search bar.
If you’re buying new items, wait until the end of the month. Many big box baby stores have salespeople who work on commission and have to meet a quota by the end of the month. This makes them more likely to cut you a deal on your big-ticket baby items like cribs, car seats, and strollers.
You’ll also want to do some research on gadgets. Before you buy, ask your friends what their “must-have” baby gadgets are, and which ones they could live without.