Save For Your New Family

Snag Gear for Less

Try before you buy. "Have your baby use a friend's swing or bouncy seat to make sure she likes it before you spring for one," Petersik suggests. If your buddy is done with hers, ask if you can borrow it instead of rushing out to buy your own. And feel free to skip some supposed must-haves -- your baby may not miss them. "We bought a $35 booster seat instead of a $130 high chair," Ashford says. Less kiddy clutter crowding your home, too!
Saved About $2 per week

Click for coupons. Before you order anything online, search for deals by typing "coupon" and the item into a search engine. Check sites such as RetailMeNot.com, and sign up for your favorite stores' email lists so they can send you promos. Major retailers, including Buy Buy Baby, offer primo deals when you "like" them on Facebook.
Saved About $4 per week

Request price breaks. "Some stores will offer you a discount on major items if you pay cash," says Kofke. This is especially true in locally owned shops. (Prices tend to be unbudgeable at the behemoths.)
Saved About $5 per week

Put credit cards to work. Cori Smith, of Boston, a mom of two, charges her big purchases on a credit card that accumulates points that she eventually cashes in for vacation perks. If you do this, though, make sure you pay off the balance to avoid interest and finance charges.
Saved About $10 per week

Earn dough while you spend. At UPromise.com, when you register for free, participating vendors (including Target, Home Depot, and many grocery-store chains) will give back up to 25 percent of your tab and put it into an account for you. You can have the money automatically transferred to your 529 plan. "I registered all my credit cards," says Macomber. "Any purchases I make feed our account." Ask grandparents (and aunts and uncles!) to register their credit cards at your baby's account, supplementing your efforts.
Saved about $2 per week

Get Grocery Deals

Shop less often. "The more time you spend in the store, the more unnecessary items you end up with in your cart," says Petersik. "We shop only twice a month, max." Once a year or so, she'll try to go 30 days without shopping for anything other than perishables (milk, fruit, and veggies). "We focus on cleaning out the freezer and pantry," Petersik says. "It helps us realize what foods we didn't eat."
Saved About $10 per week

Bank your coupon savings. Make a habit of eyeballing the "total saved" at the bottom of your grocery-store receipts and then promptly transfer that amount to your kids' 529 plans, as Kofke and his family do: "You'll be amazed how quickly all those dollars can add up."
Saved About $5 per week

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