10 Tips to Save Money on Baby Expenses (Part 1)

Our Little Sweetheart, Sophia Delight

Having our second child in December reminded me once again that right along with the joy that a new baby brings, comes a lot of new expenses.  However, the excitement of new life doesn’t have to be dampened with the worry that you’ll go broke in the process! In fact, with our son and now our daughter, I realized that there are many ways that you can reduce the costs of having a baby. Here are a few of my favorite ways to save.

1. Borrow as much as possible from friends
We live in a smaller townhouse built in the 1800′s, and while it is full of character it really lacks storage space.  So when our son was born 3 yrs. ago, and again this time around with our daughter, we took advantage of borrowing items from our friends who offered their baby things.  Some of the things we borrowed were a bouncer seat, a swing, a cradle, and even some clothing. Not only did this save us from having to buy these items, it also freed us up from having to store them in our little house!

2. Take advantage of inexpensive clothes at yard sales and consignment shops
I have hardly bought any clothes brand new for our 3 yr. old son.  In fact the only things I can think of are a couple of pairs of shoes, a pair of boots, and maybe two pairs of pants.  Between baby gifts, yard sales, consignment sales, and borrowing a few things from family and friends he’s been able to have a great wardrobe for very little cost!  And trust me, I’m picky about what I buy- used clothing does not have to look used.

3. Breastfeed
Okay, so I know this is one of those very controversial subjects. And I know some of you likely have tried to breastfeed and have not been able to do so for a variety of reasons. Please don’t get me wrong- I’m not saying everyone must breastfeed! However, it’s pretty obvious that breastfeeding is by far the cheaper way to go. If you want to breastfeed successfully, my advice is to learn as much as you can by reading books, asking your doctor and your breastfeeding friends questions and utilizing a lactation consultant if necessary.

4. Make your own baby food
This is such a simple thing to do and is not only cheaper than buying baby food but also typically healthier. You can get some great ideas for fruit purees and other homemade baby food ideas from The Highchair Times blog.

5. Don’t buy big ticket items new
Big ticket items like cribs, strollers and changing tables are some of your biggest expenses when you are gearing up for a new baby.  The good thing is that they are also fairly easy to find used.  I suggest looking for these items at yard sales, consignment shops and even Craigslist.  And a less familiar option, but one that we love, is Freecycle which is basically a place for people to swap items that they no longer need for free. With Freecycle you can even request exactly what you are looking for.  Do be aware though that due to safety issues, some items are not recommended to buy used. 

And when you are looking for used furniture don’t forget that a little elbow grease and paint can do wonders in making a rough piece of furniture look new again.  We’ve had great success with painting several different pieces of wood furniture.  And an added bonus is that you can paint it whatever color you want to make it match your decor.

Next week I’ll share another 5 ways to save on baby expenses.  In the meantime I’d love to hear: What ways have you found to save on baby expenses?

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  1. by Coupon Cutting Mom

    On January 27, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Excellent article. With my 1st daughter I bought all her baby food, at that time I didnt use coupons and just pulled things off the shelf into my cart at the grocery store:( How my thinking and way of living changed until my second daughter came along 3 years later. I’m not even sure if she ever ate baby food out of a jar, maybe a few times when we were away from home. I bought an electric baby food mill like this one http://www.amazon.com/Kidco-Babysteps-Electric-Food-Mill/dp/B000A6OLM2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327680324&sr=8-1 and I would highly recommend this to anyone with a little person. I could grind any of the food we were eating each meal for her. Well worth the money. She isn’t my picky eater either and I think that might have something to do with the fact she ate the same food we did and not stuff out of a jar when she was little.

  2. by Joanna

    On January 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Awww, your little girl is so cute! I can’t wait to see her in person.

  3. by Lydia Beiler

    On January 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Coupon Cutting Mom- Thanks for pointing out how helpful a Food Mill is. I used one of those some with my son too and yes, it is an easy way to make baby food.

  4. by Lydia Beiler

    On January 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Thanks Joanna! Can’t wait for you to meet her. :)

  5. by Courtney

    On January 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    This is a great article! I definitely agree with everything you said. With my first child, who was born 6 years ago, we pretty much purchased everything brand new, except clothes. We formula fed, used disposable diapers, and purchased pre-made baby food. I’m delivering my second child in about a week and we’ve only bought a few things new. We were able to purchase a used car seat/stroller system (we checked it out prior to purchasing because I’m VERY leery about that kind of stuff) much, much cheaper from a consignment shop and got a bassinet, 2 Pack N’ Plays, and a swing from friends. It’s definitely saved us a lot.

    With our new baby, we’ve decided to nurse, use cloth diapers, and make our own baby food. I haven’t actually calculated how much money we’ll save but I know it’ll be a lot, not to mention better for her and the environment!

  6. by Lydia Beiler

    On January 30, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Courtney, way to go! I’m sure you’ll notice significant savings this time around. I still haven’t been brave enough to try cloth diapering- and I’ve actually read some conflicting things about whether or not it is truly a savings, so that has made me feel better about not doing it. :) Still think I should maybe sometimes though!

  7. by Alexsmom

    On January 31, 2012 at 2:53 am

    I’m agree with most that is on your list but I would say forbuour first baby by everything new. Buy gender neutral items such as bouncers tubs even cribs. Borrowing and buying second hand is not the safiest for kids. Over night items like that are recalled and any big item passed two years is recommended to be thrown out and not used. If you buy it yourselfbuou know exactly what shape it is in and how log you’ve had it.

  8. [...] you can do to help keep those expenses as minimal as possible.  Last week I wrote about tips like borrowing from friends and making your own baby food.  This week I cover five more tips that I’ve found help keep our “baby budget” [...]