I have always been one to save anywhere I can. My parents taught me at a young age not to spend unnecessary money, even if you have it. So when we were planning for our son, I did a little research. Babies can be expensive. But here are a couple ways we saved thousands the first year. You will definitely tell we didn’t cut what our son has, just how he got it. Not all will work for every family, but these ones worked for us!
1. Breastfeed vs Formula: This not only saves you the most money but is the healthiest option for your baby! If you can breastfeed, do it. Do it for as long as you can. It makes me so sad when a woman’s milk doesn’t come in. Formula on average costs a family 1,500-2,000$ that first year. I personally have spent around 150$ on breastfeeding. I received a Medela pump from a friend and have a backup Ameda that my insurance provided. The 150$ entailed replacement parts, bottles (for occasional date nights), and storage bags. Seek out help from a lactation consultant if you are having difficulty. Savings on Average: 1350$-1850$
2. Accept Hand Me Downs and Borrow items- We did not have to buy a bassinet, swing, diaper pail, pump, and various little things including toys and necessities. My Son used the swing less than 5 times so I’m glad we didn’t spend money there. Just on the big items our Savings: 668$.
3. Store Brand Diapers: Now if you have the stomach for cloth diapers, go you! They are better for the planet, and on average save a couple dollars. For me, the limited savings were not worth the work. We started my son on name brand diapers thinking they will be best! After trying several brands, I realized CVS, and Target worked just as good for us! The average baby uses 2,500 diapers the first year. Store brand would cost us 347$ vs brand names at 709$. That is an average savings of 362$!
4. Buy on Sale!- While I was pregnant I watched ads like a hawk! We ended up getting our changing table free with our crib- saved us 100$. By shopping around for Gliders we saved 75$. We bought our play yard gate on Black Friday saving 35$. We saved 25$ on our Jumper on sale. We put EVERYTHING on our baby registry. We bought anything left that we needed before birth all on the same day when we received a 20% completion coupon. We also opened a store card receiving an additional 15%. We bought our camera this day as well. We saved 250$. Most recently we needed a convertible car seat. I knew I was going to splurge here because our son hates being in it. So I watched. I wanted a 280$ seat. Ouch! But I found it on sale, used my target card, an additional cartwheel discount, and a small gift card I had sitting around and saved 150$. Shopping smart savings: 635$.
5. Buying Gently Used- between excited first time grandparents and amazing friends we barely bought toys or clothes. We only needed to fill In where needed. We found a 40$ activity table for 5$. We also found an activity cube I was obsessed with that was a hefty 60$ for the lucky 5$. We wanted to prioritize reading to our son. We may have gone a bit crazy but he already has over 300 books. They range from .25-2$ each. BOOKS ADD UP, 5-15$ a piece on average brand new. We have saved MINIMUM 1200$ That’s just the beginning of it. Savings over 1290$!
6. Get Creative: I was obsessed with the ball pit idea for babies. Store bought ones are around 40$ and a bit small. So, I got creative. I bought an awesome blow up pool on clearance for 3.50$ and found 100 balls for only 15$. Also, never forget dollar stores!There are a lot of ways to get creative but the savings here: 22.50$.
7. Make your own baby food- I know we have saved tons of money already here but I’m also terrible at keeping track. We only feed our son Organic and I knew I would have the time to make his food so I decided to do just that. When he started on Purees I would buy bulk and use the ice cube tray method. I will talk more about this in a future post. I know exactly what is in his food and I’ve heard from other moms it is half the cost of pre made. I recently found out BJ’s wholesale has organic options. We are on about 70% finger foods so I now make everything fresh. If I make a purée I just throw it in the single serve cup food processor. I also did not buy a fancy machine for all this. We already had a Ninja from a wedding present and it worked great!
Just those added savings are OVER 4,300$. The best part of this number for me is that our son still has everything he could need or imagine. But at a fraction of the cost.