Having a baby is expensive. On average a middle class family will spend about $12,000 on the first year of their babies life. That is a lot of money but, not to worry I have some easy ways where you can save money and still have everything you need.
Hand me downs
When I announced I was pregnant so many of my family and friends were literally harassing me to give me their old baby items. In the beginning I thought to myself no way I want my baby to have all brand new items. WRONG! I snapped out of that very quickly because I am quite frugal. Just take a visit to your local baby store and check out the prices on anything. Accept any and all hand me down items. My cousin had just had a baby girl a few months back and she was using her nieces baby clothes from years before and every few weeks she sends me a bag of baby clothes. Babies grow out of there clothes so quickly my daughter doesn’t even get a change to wear them all. You just wash them and keep the styles you like. You can then go to good will and give away the styles you don’t like and save the receipt to get a tax break. I also received a pack and play, a crib and mattress, bottle warmer, a car seat, a swing, two bouncers, and baby toys. You always accept it! If it something that doesn’t work out for you then you can sell it locally using apps like Offer Up or to a consignment store an make some extra cash. Some of my friends ended up pregnant around the same time and I gave them my extras. My mom takes care of my baby from time to time and I set up her house with all he extras. She has a complete baby room and we didn’t pay a dime. You can wash the covers and cushions of most baby items. If you do receive a carseat just look up the serial and model number because they do often have recalls and expire about every 6 years. In my opinion the only thing I would get new is a mattress. Babies pee, puke and poop on them and it is important for your child to have a clean place to sleep so just check the condition of any mattress you receive.
On the weekends use the early morning wake up to pee as an alarm clock and get up and hit all yard and garage sales. You can pick up most anything you need for your baby and spend just a few dollars. They start at 7am usually. Bring singles and always be ready to haggle after all no one is going to say no to a pregnant lady. I found my solid wood diaper changer for $20 and the family I had purchased it from they originally had bought it a yard sale. A brand new solid wood diaper changer can be up to $200! The diaper changer was in great condition just needed to be cleaned and have some of the paint touched up. You will also be walking around and being active which is great for your pregnancy. If you had your heart on something and they don’t want to budge on the price don’t worry take a chance and come back around noon which is usually when the sales end and they will be desperate to get rid of it. So check your local paper, craigslist, or just drive around and look out for signs.
These stores are great for both buying and selling your old baby items. They take items that are in good condition and clean them up make sure they are still within proper safety standards so you can feel good about these gently used items. You can also bring them your old baby stuff and they will buy it from you. Thrift stores are also great place to find low price baby items.
Coupons and Rewards
My local baby stores are Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby so I had two registries. For Babies R Us you get points for every purchase on your registry. Even purchases that you make. So basically anything I needed to get even if it was a dollar or two I added it to my registry and made sure it was purchased through there. A few weeks after your due date they send you a gift card based on the amount of points you accrued. My gift card was $77. I basically made money from purchases off my registry list. Buy Buy Baby is the same company as Bed Bath and Beyond. Everyone knows about those blue 20% off coupons that you get in the mail. Well you can use Bed Bath and Beyond coupons at Buy Buy Baby. I went to the Buy Buy Baby and Bed Bath and Beyond website and signed up my parents, my boyfriend, and myself for text coupons so once a month we each get a 20% off. This is great for big purchases. From what I hear they accept the mailed coupons even if they expire but, I haven’t tried that yet.
Borrow a Breast Pump or Call your Insurance
If you are planning to breast feed chances are you will need to pump at some point. A brand new pump on average is about $300. My sister in law lent me her breast pump. No it is not gross. The pump itself is just the motor but all the parts you buy new and they can range from $50-$70. Some insurances also send you a pump. So call your health insurance and see if you qualify.
So many people do not know but if you breast feed it is tax deductible now. Make sure to keep any receipts that are breast feeding related. I will have more on exactly how this works once I do my taxes next year.
With these tools you can save and make money for your new baby. I would love to hear any ideas you all have out there please feel free to comment.