Babies are cute.
Babies are also expensive.
So, today I’m sharing my top hacks for saving money with a baby in the house.
Don’t buy everything brand new.
Honestly, I made this mistake myself when Miles was first born- (rookie mistake).
The truth is it’s just more convenient to buy things new because you can just run to the store and know they have it in stock or better yet buy it online with two clicks and it comes right to your door. And in those early months of having a newborn, maybe paying the little extra is worth it to avoid having to try to get out of the house to bargain shop. BUT, when you are ready, buying baby things used is THE WAY TO GO.
Here’s an example, Miles needed some pants for fall. I was at the outlets with my mom and got him a pair of jeans, they were 50% off, only $12, what a deal I thought. The next week I swung by my local thrift store and got TWO pairs for $5.
Here are my tips for shopping used:
- First, make a habit of swinging by your local consignment stores and thrift shops every 4-8 weeks.
- And, consider following them on Facebook and Instagram because a lot of them will post their new stuff.
- Also, there are Facebook groups online for swapping baby stuff, usually for free or super cheap. They usually have different ones for different areas, so ask some of your local mom friends. I have a friend who got an entire box of baby boys clothing for free.
- And, if you’re looking for a bigger purchase like a bassinet or playard, keep your eyes peeled on Facebook Marketplace.
Do your research when you buy bigger items.
I know, it gets kind of overwhelming because there are SO many different products to choose from at SO many different price points and SO many Instagram ads claiming this product will make your baby sleep through the night.
But it’s worth it to spend a little time researching the bigger items you want and even consider going into the store to see it in person. I’ve heard so many stories of moms getting a stroller and then realizing it after having it in person they hated it or getting a bassinet that was way too big for their bedroom. See my favorite baby products for baby’s first year.
Stock up on Frozen Essentials
When you have a baby, many nights you’re too tired to cook which can lead to expensive take out. So, for us, frozen pizzas are a go-to. We always make sure we have one in the freezer at all times because then when night comes around when we’re both too tired to cook, the pizza comes out and we save an expensive takeout meal.
Another trick is when you’re making a dinner that freezes well, consider making 2 and you can save the second for one of those nights you don’t want to cook. For example the other day I was making lasagna and I made an extra to throw in the freezer.
Get DOWN with Amazon Subscribe and Save.
Ya’ll Subscribe & Save saves me so much on my regular baby purchases. I save 20% on diapers and 15% on wipes and diaper cream.
So, if you don’t know how Subscribe & Save works I’m about to blow your mind: Basically, you subscribe to monthly deliveries of certain things you buy a lot, and you save 5-20% on them. It’s that simple. And, what I love is you can also edit a subscription or skip a month or cancel a product at any time.
Use Toy Rotation
My next money-saving hack is to use toy rotation which is a trick I learned when teaching preschool. Keeping our little ones entertained can feel like a full-time job. And desperate for something to keep them occupied we can accumulate a lot of toys. And you might think that by having ALL THE TOYS ALL THE TIME your little one will stay entertained but the truth is it tends to just overwhelm them and they get bored with the same things. Instead, I suggest you only put out 10-25% of your baby’s toys at one time. It gives them fewer options so they aren’t as overwhelmed with what to pick.
Then, when you notice they seem to tire of a toy or are acting more restless throughout the day, rotate all the toys out with new ones and put those ones away. To your baby, it’s like a whole new selection of toys to explore! This can help you avoid feeling like you constantly need to buy new toys to entertain your little one, keep your toy collection smaller, and overall save a lot of space and money.
Buy in Bulk
My next tip might seem like an obvious one, but sometimes we skip over it in day-to-day life and that’s buying in bulk. It’s a more expensive purchase upfront but is almost always going to save you in the long run. It’s just a fact that a 288 count diaper is going to cost less per diaper than a 48 count pack. Buying a pack of 6 diaper rash creams will cost less than buying them individually.
Make Your Baby Food
Baby food is expensive. And, while I always keep pouches and cereal puffs around for busy days or eating on the go (or when my fussy toddler refuses to eat anything but yogurt melts), I try to make a lot all of Miles’ food because it’s SO much cheaper. And, this has nothing to do with choosing to do BLW or purees or a combination- no matter what you choose, you can make a lot of food.
Let me give you a tip to make it achievable: pick one afternoon a month and just prep a ton of stuff. I’ll make 3-4 different purees and freeze them. Cook up some spinach pancakes to freeze. Steam and dice veggies and portion and freeze those too. And like I said, I still get some of the prepared stuff too because I’m not trying to be a superhero here, but by supplementing as much as I can with my own stuff it helps to save on money.
Get A Free Breast Pump
While we’re on the topic of feeding baby let me share some final tips on this. The first two are for those moms who are breastfeeding. First, health insurance is actually required to provide breastfeeding support, counseling, and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding which means pretty much every insurance offers you a free pump. I had no idea this was a thing I bought a breast pump when pregnant and then realized I could get the same one FOR FREE through my insurance.
Avoid buying tons of nursing-specific clothing.
You might think you need it, but the truth is, besides some nursing bras and maybe 1-2 nursing PJs, you’ll probably find that loose-fitting tops or shirts/dresses that button down the front are actually much easier and more practical than nursing tops with extra clips and flaps.
Plus, most nursing clothing is crazy marked up because it’s such a niche need. Read my post on dressing your body postpartum for some of my best postpartum clothing recs.
Saving Money on Formula
85% of women stop nursing 100% exclusively by 6 months which means they are likely doing at least some formula and formula IS EXPENSIVE.
When you’re pregnant you’ll likely get free formula samples and coupons in the mail. I threw my away because I didn’t plan to formula feed. Then I had a baby who wouldn’t latch and had jaundice and I HAD to introduce formula alongside nursing (read our breastfeeding journey here).
So, tip one is save those coupons and freebies because you never know if you might need them. Second, always ask your pediatrician for samples because they usually have free formula. And lastly, comparison shop for the brand you use because I find that the one I used varied by as much as $8 each depending on where I was buying it.