Expecting a new baby brings a lot of excitement. More often than not, the excitement extends deep into your pocket and you may find yourself spending a fortune on things that your baby might never even use. While it is every parent’s joy to give the best to their baby, it doesn’t always have to cost you an arm and a leg. Your baby can still have a great life at a lower cost and by the way, he can’t even tell the difference between a $20,000 handcrafted mattress and the $50 one from the local second-hand store. If you are looking to manage your budget, here are tips on how to save money on baby products and expenses.
Reduce Diaper Expenses
Babies can use between 6-12 diapers in a day. Diapers can vary depending on the number used and the cost per piece which can range from $0.20-0.40. While you can’t forego the use of diapers, these few tips can help you to bring down the amount of money you spend on them.
- Sign up for a subscription program which reduces the cost of each piece by several cents and saves you some bucks in the long run.
- Buy in bulk to save on cost per piece and save on time and gas spent while replenishing the stock every now and then.
- Use cheaper diapers during the day and the pricier, high absorbency ones at night.
- Use cloth diapers during the day and disposable ones at night.
- Ditch the disposables and use reusable nappies.
Bring down the Cost of Feeding your Baby
The cost of feeding a baby can go higher and higher especially if you choose to feed your baby on formula and buy baby food. According to Walmart, breastfeeding can average from $130-$300 while formula can range from $914-$1633. Solid baby food on the other hand can cost between $219 and 951.
If you are planning to save anything on feeding, you may need to consider breastfeeding as much as possible and making your own baby food. Freeze fresh pureed baby food and defrost it in hot water bath when you need it. You can reserve pre-made food for when you need a quick meal or when you are travelling.
Take advantage Second Hand Gear
Babies don’t get to really wear out their stuff. If you let family and friends know that you would be willing to take some gently used hand-me-downs, you will be surprised at the great condition of some of the items and kind of use you can put them to.
You can also visit a second-hand store and buy baby stuff at just a fraction of the original price. Some of the things that you can lay your hands on are prams, toys, baby swings, clothes, dressing tables, shoes, baby-carriers etc. There is no limit to the number of things that you can get. Second-hand toys should be cleaned and air dried to make them sanitary.
Work Around Baby-sitting Expenses
Shuttling a baby to and from day care can be inconveniencing especially for some working parents not to mention the cost that comes with it. Hiring a nanny or a sitter may be a better option but it costs even more, between$10-20/hr. While there are times that this cannot be avoided, there are other times that you can actually work around it. Some of the strategies include;
- Swapping baby-sitting with another parent so that one can run errands while the other is watching the baby.
- Organize with another couple so that each pair can spend some time alone while the other is watching the kids.
- Split baby-sitter cost when you are going out with another couple
Employ Smart Shopping Strategies
Sellers are always looking for strategies to make more sales, shoppers should also look for opportunities to cash in. For example, products that remain after a season are sold at a cheaper price to clear the stock. Some of the strategies that you can adopt to save a few bucks include;
- Shopping for off-season products that you know you will need in future
- Identifying a brand of supplies that you use long-term e.g. diapers and sticking with it to earn loyalty points that you can redeem for supplies
- Sign up for rewards cards offered by the baby retailers you frequent
- Shop at dollar or bargain shops
Saving money on baby products and expenses is possible. However, it calls for you to scrutinize every area of spending and to make the decision to bring it to a minimum. While this could include more than just diapers, baby food, shopping and baby-sitting, any single buck spared should be considered a step in the right direction.