Last week when I wrote about Great Educational Baby Games To Use While Homeschooling Older Kids I got to thinking about when my children were younger and all of the ways I had to be creative to save money. Money is still tight, but when I had babies and toddlers that seemed to outgrow their clothes almost weekly, I was sometimes much more conscious about spending money when it wasn’t absolutely necessary. This post is about a few of the ways I learned to save money with a baby.
1. Hand-me-downs and borrowed second-hand clothes are where it’s at! Sure, brand new clothes are cute, but babies need to be changed pretty much after every meal, so that gets expensive. Have an outfit to wear for ‘good’ and then let babies be comfy in ‘pre-loved’ outfits.
2. When you do purchase new clothes, try to buy ‘unisex‘ outfits in neutral colours so that if you have babies in the future, they can then also wear the outfits. This goes for blankets, bedding, and room furnishings as well.
3. Breastfeed. Health benefits to baby and mother aside (breastfeed now to lower health costs later), I personally don’t know how people can afford to purchase formula. The little bit of extra food I ate at the time was far less expensive than tins of artificial food. And combined with daily walks with the stroller, it is also a great way to lose weight!
4. If you breastfeed there’s no need to use bottles, so skip the expense! Tristan was born premature, and even 7 weeks before his due date, the nurses in the neonatal ward used a cup to feed him at night instead of a bottle. There are some nifty Doidy Cups (affiliate link)that are just perfect for the job. I had one for Tristan, and then gave a few as gifts as they were so great. And because they’re so easy to wash, we only needed one.
5. Don’t use follow-on milk. These products are completely useless and only to make money for big corporations who developed them after they were banned from marketing formula for kids under six months. By the time a baby reaches the age of a follow-on product, it’s healthier and more cost-effective to use real food and drink.
6. Don’t bother with sippy cups, I’m sure you saw the news reports about how they can go moldy-yuck! And they aren’t recommended by dentists, either, and it’s not just about cavities, but speech development as well. If you begin with a Doidy cup, you can easily move on to regular cups within a short period of time.
7. Still speaking of food. Make your own purees if they’re needed (you can always do baby-led weaning where you won’t even need purees). They’re so ridiculously easy to make and at just a small fraction of the price of bought food, you’ll be saving a bundle. Just think: you’re probably paying more for the glass jar than the food inside! I’ll admit, I have purchased one or two glass-jar meals when we were out longer than expected; but realistically speaking, I probably wanted the glass jar for a craft than the convenience of the food inside as it would have been just as easy to buy a banana while in the shop!
8. Use coupons as often as you can. Diapers are a great product to use for coupons; often brand names can be less expensive than store brands this way. This can really add up over the time kids are in diapers. Sometimes stores even have their own coupons available online.
9. Definitely do cost out the price for cloth diapers. Depending on how long your child will be in diapers, and the cost of electricity and water, etc., this may be a better option for you.
10. Keep your eye on the sales. Stock up when things are at a great price – but don’t buy more than you’ll realistically need or you’ll be wasting money.
These are just 10 painless ways I saved money when my kids were babies. There were many more as well. How did you save money when you had babies? Let’s help each other out – leave your tips in the comments below!