Well, my husband and I have survived the first three months of parenthood. We have made it through sleepless nights, hundreds (if not thousands!) of diaper changes, and the challenges the first few months of parenting brings. I have to say, this journey became easier when my son learned to smile. It reassures me when I feel like I do everything wrong and gives me strength to keep going through the haze of sleep deprivation.
Now I have said all of that, I want to use this post to share with others how we have managed to save money with this baby. I realize some of these tips won’t work for everyone, but I hope my readers can glean some useful information from my ramblings. Without further ado, enjoy my list!
1. Start early! Even before my husband and I tried to conceive, we started buying things here and there for our future family, such as extra shelving, children’s books, and our rocking chair.
2. Accept hand-me-downs. Honestly, this has probably saved us the most money. Fortunately for us, we have several friends who have already started families and want to pass along items their children don’t use anymore. I will say, however, to always get a car seat new.
3. Borrow bulky baby items. This goes along with #2. We borrowed items we knew we didn’t/won’t need for very long, such as a nursing pillow and swing. Many people offered to loan us baby gear, so we could choose what we liked and what works for our tiny space.
4. Shop at thrift stores. We managed to score a solid, wooden rocking chair for $30 at a thrift store several months before we even conceived a child. We knew we wanted children in the future and decided to take advantage of an awesome deal.
5. Take advantage of Goodwill’s 50% off Saturdays and 25% Wednesdays. Goodwill has 50% off at least one Saturday each month and 25% off every Wednesday. I have scored several baby items in great condition for only $1 each, including a SwaddleMe blanket. Children’s books are regularly priced at $0.75, and toy range in price from $0.50-$2 on a regular day.
6. Shop at garage sales. People accumulate a ton of stuff when they have babies. Sometimes, babies will grow out of items in only a few weeks. Or, they enter the world too large for the newborn-sized clothing. This leads to people wanting to purge a bunch of things, often in like-new condition, for cheap. By shopping at garage sales and other second-hand places, I have yet to spend more than $2 on an article of clothing for my baby.
7. Find out about local sales for parents. A few towns around me have market days with just children’s items. My town in particular has a sale twice each year (spring and fall). Volunteers carefully screen clothing for stains, working items (like swings) which take batteries, and other baby gear. This provides a way for parents to easily get rid of things their children have outgrown, while still making some money, and a safe place to buy baby gear second-hand.
8. Get crafty! Even before I became pregnant, I learned how to make stuffed animals, hats, blankets, and other items a baby could want. I have also learned how to make even more things since my son arrived (teething toys, anyone?). Why pay $10-20 for a brand new hat when I can pay $1.50 for a skein of yarn and make a hat and a toy?
9. Accept the generosity of others. Not everyone has the blessing of a baby shower, and we had three. This has saved us a ton of money. People have even given us so much, even after our baby’s arrival. I feel truly blessed.
What about you? Any money-saving tips for new parents? Feel free to comment.