As soon as you learn you’re about to be a parent, you’ll start hearing the horror stories of how much it costs to give birth and raise your child to adulthood. Then there’s the sticker shock of how much stuff you’re expected to buy simply to be ready for the baby’s arrival. However, there are tons of ways that you can save on everyday and important items for your child. Here are five smart tips for new parents to help you save money.
Take Advantage of Freebies
Your cute little bundle of joy can be expensive, but you’d be surprised how much free stuff you can find online. Sites like JustFreebies will help you find lots of baby stuff for nothing. You could get free boxes full of diapers, wipes, skin creams, and baby formula by companies hoping you’ll continue buying these products from them. You can also get deals on everything from beauty products to toys to snacks.
Also, don’t overlook the power of hand-me-downs. Ask for used items from friends, family, and neighbors. Building a network with other moms gives you a place to hand down items your child doesn’t need anymore too.
Shop Online Strategically
As an impending or new parent, you’ll eventually be targeted by marketers. You could get incentives like freebies and discounts for signing up for their mailing and email marketing lists. You could be offered discounts to buy through their online store too.
How it can be difficult to find the right size item when you’re looking at a picture on a website sometimes. It is just as easy to buy too much because you want to hit the minimum for free shipping. The solution is to limit online shopping to essentials that you actually save money on if you buy in bulk like formula, diapers, and wipes.
Don’t buy items like toys and clothes online since you’re more likely to make a mistake with these items or buy more than you actually need. Also, do your research. For example, you don’t want to pay full price for diapers and other essentials because you failed to shop around. Research the terms and conditions of e-commerce sites themselves, too. Only shop with websites that offer free shipping and don’t charge a service fee.
Be careful with automatic re-ordering. Automatically having formula delivered saves you from the temptation to click around and throw extra items in the cart, but you don’t want to receive deliveries of diapers that are the wrong size because you didn’t remember to end the online subscription.
Buy Items that Grow with Your Child
Look for items that can grow with your child. Buy a crib that can turn into a toddler bed. Some strollers will accommodate your baby carrier and convert into an upright stroller when your child is sitting up. Highchairs can pull double duty, too. Choose toys that your child will play with for years like blocks and stuffed animals.
Learn to Love the Library
You don’t have to buy a ton of parenting books. You can borrow them for free from the library. You’ll learn to love the free DVDs and children’s books you can borrow too. There are tons of family-friendly activities there. You could attend toddler story time while the baby is sitting in the stroller. This is a great time to network with other moms, too. You could learn other money-saving tips from experienced mothers and about free events in your area you could attend.
While kids do come with a few costs, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get ready for your new baby. Follow our tips, and you won’t have to spend more than you have to.