10 Tips to Save Money on Baby Expenses (Part 2)

One of Sophia’s first smiles

While a new baby obviously brings added expenses, there are definitely some things that 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” relatively low.  Read on to learn more.

6. Cook before baby comes
Trust me, you are going to struggle to find the time and energy to feel like cooking for the first several weeks and unless you have a plan in place, takeout is going to be awfully appealing! Instead of blowing your money on expensive restaurant food, stock up your freezer ahead of time with homemade meals. Try making batches of easy dishes like lasagna, soups, and casseroles then split them into appropriate sized portions, label the containers with the date and freeze. You’ll be so thankful that you planned ahead as you enjoy those home-cooked meals in the weeks to come!

7. Stock up on diapers at low prices
By the time Sophia was born in December I had already bought 42 packs of diapers and several boxes worth of wipes.  I’m really hoping that it will be enough to last me the first 6 months of her life.  The great thing is that because I had time to watch for deals I didn’t pay more than $5 a package for any of them!

To get the best deals on diapers watch the sales at drugstores like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.  Combine the sales with coupons and you’ll get some amazing deals. This is actually how I’ve gotten the majority of the diapers I’ve bought.  You can also watch for specials on Amazon.  If you can’t do the drugstore deals, this is definitely the second best option.

8. Utilize rewards programs
Join the Pampers Gifts to Grow and Huggies Enjoy the Ride programs. These programs are simple to use- simply find the codes inside Pampers or Huggies packages and enter them on the respective websites. Then redeem your points for all sorts of neat things like coupons, toys, and gift cards.

9. Toys- be sparing and buy smart
Be selective about the toys you purchase.  Choose ones that are good quality, stimulate creativity, and generally will catch the interest of a variety of ages. Our culture is full of marketing that wants us to think that in order to have a content child you need to have lots of toys.  The reality is that children don’t really need many toys.  In fact, you might notice that often what they play with are not toys but things like pots and pans, boxes, and empty toilet paper rolls.  (Yes, you read right.  My 3 1/2 yr. old loves playing with them.  Hey, they make great spyglasses!)

As far as how to save when you do buy toys, check out consignment and yard sales.  I’ve found lots of great toys this way and a little soap and water soon had them cleaned up and looking new.  If you end up buying new toys watch for sales.  With a bit of patience you can often get a great deal with a coupon or sale.  Also avoid shopping at toy stores since they are typically higher priced and instead stick with places like Target or Walmart.  Also don’t forget about online shopping.  I’ve found that sometimes Amazon has the best price on a toy or game that I want and the great is I can use my Swagbucks to pay for it.

10. Play it smart with clothing
Resist the urge to tear the tags off every item that you get and wash it right away.  Babies grow incredibly fast and it is all too easy to have them outgrow something before you’ve even had the chance to wear it. (Anyone else been there, done that?)  Or you might discover that you don’t need as many onesies as you initially thought.  Because they still have the tags on and aren’t washed, you can easily return them to the store and put that money towards something you really need.  Or if it was a gift that can’t be returned you can re-gift it to someone else.

When I’m preparing for my babies birth, my rule of thumb is to wash only several newborn items and blankets.  Then as I see what else I need, I remove the tags and wash that as well.

So what tips have I missed?  What have you done to save on the expenses that come with a baby?  I’d love to hear them!

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  1. [...] Huggies were $4.32 each after coupons and sales.  Stocking up on diapers is one of the 10 ways that I save on baby expenses- and it really does save us a [...]