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10 Money-Saving Tips for New Parents
Congratulations! You and your partner have a lot of fun on the way. My husband and I were ecstatic when we found out we were pregnant with our first son, but then reality hit. An extra person in the house meant more expenses in all aspects, and a complete change in our regular routine. There are often sacrifices to be made when we become parents, but that doesn’t mean our bank accounts have to be completely emptied as a result. There are many ways to save cash while welcoming a new member to the family.
1. Don’t buy maternity clothes
I will elaborate on this one. Of course, as a pregnant woman, you will need to expand your wardrobe to accommodate the growing life in your belly. I bought a few new items during my pregnancy, but I didn’t buy clothes that were marketed as maternity clothes. They cost a pretty penny, and since pregnancy has stages, you could end up wearing a maternity shirt for 1 or 2 months alone. What I did was buy clothes from my favorite store (or thrift store), but in larger sizes. Aim for rack sales to save extra money. In this way, you can always find items at competitive prices, while mixing with the general population. Once the baby is out and the weight is down, you can save them for the next baby, give them away, or make adjustments and continue wearing them in the postpartum stage.
2. Throw a baby shower
There is no doubt that baby showers are the best way to collect free baby products. If you decide to create a registry, make sure you choose the items you need, as opposed to what you would like. Don’t be afraid to choose big. A friend of mine surprised us with a new crib, which ended up saving us almost $200. I also suggest asking for gift cards at department stores, so that you have the flexibility to buy a wide range of baby items. Gift cards are also convenient because they can be saved for use at a later date.
3. Throw a Diaper Party
Not all husbands like to go to baby showers. For this reason, some might prefer to throw away diapers. It’s a way for guys to get together, share food and/or drinks, and just hang out. Creativity in gift giving is taken away by the simple fact that people are asked to bring only diapers as gifts. What we did was ask the men to bring diapers of any size, and believe it or not, we did not have to buy diapers for the first five months of our son’s life! Also, the leftovers were perfect for when the next baby came. If you don’t plan to have more children, you can re-gift them to another expecting family, give them away or sell them locally.
4. Get Coupons at the Hospital
Many hospitals receive a number of free samples and coupons for products to help new mothers heal. I received free breast pads, baby related brochures, nipple cream samples, pads, and Aspirin. All those free samples add up, so accept whatever you can get from the hospital.
5. Breastfeed / Pump milk if you can
Breast milk is not only the healthiest option for a growing baby, but it is the most cost-effective. A mother could save her family a minimum of $1,300 if she chooses to breastfeed. Unfortunately, it is not always an option. Issues such as returning to work, retention issues, health issues and more can prevent a mother from being able to breastfeed. In this case, choosing to invest in a breast pump would still save you some serious cash. You can borrow, rent, or even buy them second hand.
6. Return / Sell Unwanted Gifts
If you happen to receive items that you don’t plan on using, return or sell them as soon as possible. Waiting too long can make it harder to sell them. You could also re-gift these items to someone else who might have a baby in the near future.
7. Second-Guess your purchases
Before you buy baby items, ask yourself if you really NEED to buy them. We considered buying a changing table, and then realized that using our bed, or a blanket on the carpeted floor would work just as well. We keep a basket of wipes and diapers handy, so whenever we need to do a quick change around the house, we can do it anywhere in the house.
8. Order free samples online
There are a number of reputable companies that provide free samples to mothers. You will be able to find formula samples, coupons, special offers and more.
9. DIY baby items
Save cash by making some of your baby items yourself. Search online for homemade baby slings, booties, diaper bags, bibs and more. It’s a great way to save cash, and a productive use of time.
10. Homemade baby food
I cannot stress how much money you will save by making your own baby food. Store-bought canned foods have a limited amount of nutrients, and are expensive, with restrictions on quantity and quality. Homemade baby food means YOU control what goes into your baby’s system, including taste, quantity, and more. Also, raising a healthy baby means you could save on health costs in the future.
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