Yes, another money saving post about babies. It appears that I have babies on the brain, thanks to the multitude of ultrasound and new baby pics showing up all over my facebook newsfeed. Is that only happening to me?
Note to self: hubby needs to see a doc about some scissors…
After compiling a list of stuff your baby doesn’t need, I figured I’d help you figure out how to save money on the stuff you will need!
1. Check If You Qualify For WIC
Think you make too much money to qualify? Think again. If you are a family of three and earn less than $35, 317 per year, you qualify for support in most states. Use the WIC Prescreening Tool to see if you or someone you know qualifies for the program.
Did you know that WIC has a breastfeeding initiative that offers additional assistance and extended benefits for nursing moms? If you opt to breastfeed your child WIC can supply breast pumps, shields, and more!
2. Nurse For As Long As You Can
Breast is best, put your boobies to the test…I just couldn’t stop myself. But in all honesty, formula is EXPENSIVE. Holy crow! You can expect to spend roughly $100 per month if you choose to bottle feed, and that’s just shooting for powder formula. You can up that amount substantially if you opt to use premixed or liquid formulas. Heaven forbid your child is lactose intolerant and has to use soy-based formula…up it even more.
Breastfeeding is comparably cheaper and is unarguably a money saver, even if you buy a breast pump and account for the additional cost for food for Mami. MMC is a mommy-judgement free space…we all do what we need to do. I had a challenging time breastfeeding La Grande and had to switch to formula after 5 months. With La Rubia, we made it 13 months . No judgement.
3. Make Your Own Baby Food
If you can boil it, bake it, and have a food processor handy, you have all the essentials for making your own baby food! Granted, this does take a little more time, but it can save you big bucks in the end. One sweet potato can yield several portions of food for your wee one at a fraction of the cost.
4. Use Cloth Diapers
I’m not going to wax poetic about this one. You know how I feel about cloth diapering at this point. You can save money (mad moola…another $1200+) if you opt to go fuzzy on your baby’s bum. I know there’s a lot of info out there, so I thought I’d save you some time by sharing this awesome intro to cloth diapers video from my good friends at Dirty Diaper Laundry:
5. Buy Gender Neutral
I know, I know. You waited patiently to find out Baby’s sex…and right after your ultrasound tech identified your little hotdog or hamburger, your shopping extravaganza was on like Donkey Kong. Let it rain tiaras and moonbeams or firetrucks and doggies! (Oh my gosh…my Women’s Studies Professor’s are going to kill me.) You know what I mean. Rather than invest in tons of gender specific gear, go neutral for the big, expensive stuff: Strollers, car seats, bedding sets, activity mats, jumparoos, and high chairs. I promise, you’ll thank me.
If you buy neutral gear, you can get a second, third, or fourth (or fifth <gulp>) use out of them. Talk about saving money! Oh yeah, did I mention you can do that with cloth diapers, too? Okay, okay, I’ll stop.
6. Buy Used Gear
That’s right. Get off your baby gear high horse. Hand me downs are totally legit and totally cool. And when you’re grown, nothing is cooler than saving money. At least, that’s what all the cool kids say. Check local consignment stores for great deals. If you’re a military family, Sarge’s List has a fabulous base-by-base online classifieds with tons of listings for used baby gear in your area.
Don’t forget to check Recalls.gov to ensure the safety of all of your baby gear, new or used.
7. Books: Borrow, Don’t Buy
What to expect from buying lots of baby books? You’ll read them once…very quickly…like you’ll know what’s happening the first year within one week. And the only time you’ll really read them? When you’re expecting your first child. Take my word for it…go borrow them from the library, or a friend, and save a buck.
8. Buy A Used Family Car
Only if you REALLY NEED IT and PLANNED FOR IT. Given all the extra expenses of expanding your family, you really don’t have to have a giant Mom-mobile. And you really don’t need a car payment. And the additional gas expense. Babies do have lots of gear, but I promise, you can get by in a compact car. It isn’t ideal, but neither is a car payment.
9. Try Before You Buy
I love Amazon.com like a fat kid loves cake, but there are certain things I have got to get my hands on before I buy. Make sure you try out your gear in person, especially if you’re opting to buy online. Looking to buy a stroller? Make sure you close it, open it, lift it, spin it, drive it, flip it, put your purse in the bottom basket, and then let Dad do the same.
You DO NOT want to find out that you bought the advanced origami version of a stroller in the parking lot, in the sweltering summer sun. Just ask my Mom. She had to shove our stroller into the trunk of her car, fully open. Stroller: 1, Nana: 0.
10. Take Good Care of Your Gear
Best lesson I learned from my Dad about stuff? “Take care of your posessions, they will last a life time.” So true. Take the time to keep your baby gear in tip top shape. Do your best not to let a layer of crumbs cement themselves to the car seat, wash toys that come into contact with spit up, spot clean stains, periodically scrub down the stroller and wash and drip dry the seat cushions.
My stroller will see 6 years of constant use by the end of next year. My high chair will see 3+ children (2 mine and then my sister’s progeny), as will my bouncer, activity table, swing, and more items.
What savings tips for baby do you have? How did you cut costs? Secrets, secrets are no fun! Secrets, secrets, tell some one!
This is a sponsored post for SargesList.com – Trusted Military Classifieds. All research and content is my own.
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