As we all know, babies are the most special gift anyone can be blessed with. But when you have one and you don’t have a lot of extra money to spend, things can get pretty tight real fast. Today’s post is going to give you some insight on a few different ways to save on baby expenses.
Cut Your Expenses Now
Whether you already have a baby or you are expecting, you should go ahead and re-adjust your budget. I always knew that having a baby is expensive, but until you actually have one, you don’t realize how much extra money one can cost you if you don’t plan accordingly. There are tons of things to think about when adding up your expenses such as doctor bills, baby food (they’re not going to eat your potato chips and steak just yet), bottles, diapers, diaper cream, clothes (although everyone is going to buy you clothes for a new born) and the list goes on and on.
Get Into The Habit Of Buying For Baby
We even took it a step further than just re-adjusting the budget. After the second trimester, we started buying a pack of diapers every trip we made to Wal-mart or any grocery store, just to go ahead and get into the habit of buying for baby. We piled them in the closet and actually filled it up by the time Jonah was born. Because of this habit, we didn’t buy another pack of diapers after he was born until 7 months after he was born.
Have one, end of story. Even if you don’t think you have enough people to constitute having one, go ahead and do it. If you end up getting only one pack of diapers, that is one pack you won’t need to buy yourself later on. Believe it or not, it is becoming more and more popular for guys to have a get together with all of their “guy” friends for a diaper party. I did not get the chance to do this one but my wife had about 4 or 5 so it made up for it. My brother-in-law had one of these at a local resturant, every guy is expected to bring a pack of diapers, simple as that. If you call it a diaper party, not much explanation is required.
There are a lot of people out there who don’t want to do this, but trust me, take your time and plan this one out. Most stores that offer a gift registry for baby showers have a list that you can go by if you don’t have a clue what to register for. Even if you do have a pretty good idea, I would recommend looking the checklist over a bit before you go scanning everything in sight. Think of this as if you were grocery shopping while you are hungry, you spend a whole lot more and don’t end up with much of what you came for. With a baby registry, you are taking the guess work out of shopping for you and your shower. That being said, you need to strategically plan what you want people to get you. I would highly recommend going crazy with all sizes of diapers and formula if you aren’t planning on breast feeding (that stuff is expensive). If you are planning on breast-feeding, you may still want to get a package of formula just in case the baby doesn’t take to the breast-feeding idea, this will come in handy (trust me, this happened to us and we were so unprepared.)
Register at places that have good prices and are easily assessible by those who will be shopping for you. This will just increase your chances of getting what you want and also increase the amount of what you get. Most people, while shopping for a baby registry, will go to the store with a set dollar amount in mind of what they are going to spend, so if you register for cheaper items (or the same items at a cheaper location) you will more than likely get more from the registry overall.
Plus, when you register, they give you a ton of coupons and samples (which are great for packing your diaper bags in the future). Those coupons are awesome because you are gonna have to buy a lot of this stuff whether you want to or not, it comes with being a parent or guardian.
Make Your Own Baby Food
You wouldn’t believe the money you will save doing this. If you are unsure you can do this, click here to see how easy it actually is. On my spare time, I write how-to’s on different things and making baby food is one of them. In that post I talk about how do do it without having to buy that kit that is $70-$175 depending on where you buy it. You don’t need to buy the kit, but even if you did, you would still save a ton of cash by taking an extra few minutes out of your week to make the baby food yourself.
Babies = batteries… and a lot of them. Batteries can really dig into your pocket, so it didn’t take me long to realize how much money I would save if I would buy rechargeable batteries and a charger. I purchase only the highest grade of rechargeable battery, the ones like you need for a digital camera. The reasoning behind this is that the baby’s toys will drain batteries quicker than you can you think, and they are used more and more as they get older. The regular batteries or the regular rechargeable ones will not last nearly as long as you think but the higher end batteries are well worth the extra couple of bucks initially. They more than pay for themselves when you have children.
Craigslist or Online
Whether you are looking for toys, swings, bouncer seats, exersaucers, jumpers, bottles, clothes, bottle warmers, cribs, furniture or anything else, you should take a moment and check craigslist for these items. If you have to get it new, check other sites online because shopping online usually saves a lot of money, especially when you are signed up for ebates.
Babies are expensive, but well worth it. By following a few of these simple steps, you can really cut back on necessasary expenses quite a bit. I know that there are plenty more ways to save on expenses (after all, I’ve only been a dad for 8 months now) so please share your tips for cutting cost below in the comments section.