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10 Money-Saving Tips for New Parents
Congratulations! You and your partner have a bundle of joy on the way. My husband and I were ecstatic when we found out we were pregnant with our first son, but that’s when reality hit. An extra person in the home meant more expenses in all aspects and a complete change in our regular routine. Sacrifices are often made when we become parents, but that doesn’t mean our bank accounts have to be completely drained as a result. There are plenty of ways to save money while welcoming a new member to the family.
1. Don’t buy maternity clothes
I will elaborate on this one. As a pregnant woman, you must of course expand your wardrobe to accommodate the life that is growing 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 stores (or thrift stores) but in larger sizes. Aim for sale racks to save extra money. That way, you can still get goods at competitive prices, while at the same time falling in with the general population. Once baby is out and the weight is off, you can save them for the next baby, donate them, or make adjustments and continue wearing them in your postpartum stage.
2. Throw a Baby Shower
There’s no doubt that baby showers are the best way to collect free baby products. If you decide to create a registry, be sure to choose the items you need as opposed to what you might think. 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 to major department stores so you have the flexibility to buy a wide variety of items for baby. Gift cards are also practical because they can be saved for use at a later time.
3. Have a diaper party
Not all husbands like to attend baby showers. For that reason, some may prefer to have diaper parties. It’s a way for the guys to meet, share food and/or drinks and just hang out. The creativity of gift giving is removed by the simple fact that men are asked to bring only diapers as gifts. What we did was ask guys to bring diapers of any size, and believe it or not, we didn’t need 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 gift them to another future family, donate them or sell them locally.
4. Get coupons from the hospital
Many hospitals receive a variety of free samples and coupons for products that help new mothers heal. I received free nursing pads, baby related brochures, nipple cream samples, pads and aspirin. All these free tests 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 by choosing to breastfeed. Unfortunately, that is not always an option. Issues like returning to work, latch issues, health issues and more can prevent a mother from being able to breastfeed. In this case, choosing to invest in a breast pump will still save you some serious money. You can borrow, rent or even buy them used.
6. Return / sell unwanted gifts
If you managed to receive items that you do not plan to use, please return or sell them as soon as possible. Waiting too long can make it harder to sell them. You can also gift these items to someone else who may be having a baby in the near future.
7. Other – Guess your purchases
Before you buy baby items, ask yourself if you really NEED to buy them. We considered buying a changing table, then realized that using our bed or a rug on the carpet would work just as well. We keep a basket of wipes and diapers on hand, so when we need to do a quick change at home, 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 get formula samples, coupons, special offers and more.
9. DIY Baby Items
Save money by making some of your baby items yourself. Search online for homemade sails, booties, diaper bags, bibs and more. It’s a great way to save money 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 limitations on quantity and quality. Homemade baby food means YOU control what goes into your baby’s system, the taste, the amount, and more. Raising a healthy baby also means you can save on healthcare costs in the future.
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