The arrival of a baby can be a wonderful time in any parent’s life. The prospect of bringing new life into the world can evoke great joy, love and excitement. The thought of all the associated expenses can also, however, bring its fair share of financial overwhelm.
A baby will set you back financially before you have even left the hospital, with the average cost of delivery currently being between $5,000 to $11,000 in most states. In addition, there are other costs incurred when having a baby including diapers, food, toys, clothing and a stroller.
If you are expecting your bundle of joy, it’s reassuring to know there are many ways you can save on costs and still give your child everything they need. In this article, we will look at some money-saving ways to raise your baby on a budget.
Second-Hand Baby Clothes
If you are expecting your first child you may not realize how fast a baby can grow. It may be tempting to stock up on cute outfits and matching sets for your child, however, it’s best not to buy too many baby clothes in advance. Newborns often experience growth spurts which means they will not fit into many of their clothes for long.
Buying second-hand baby clothes is a great way to save money while ensuring your child is well dressed no matter the weather. Many charity shops offer good quality, discount clothing as do parents that are selling bundles of pre-owned baby clothing online. You may have friends or family that have hand-me-downs they can gift to you and there are also many preloved baby clothing retailers that sell baby clothing brands at a fraction of the price, allowing you to buy items for special occasions without going over budget.
Another way to save money on baby clothes is to take part in local clothing swaps. This will give you the chance to declutter your own wardrobe while stocking up on your little one’s. If there are none in your area, consider setting up your own clothing swap from home. As well as saving you money, this can offer a great way for you to meet and connect with other parents in your local area.
Pre-Owned Baby Gear
When it comes to high-ticket items such as strollers, cribs, car seats and bassinets you can make significant savings by purchasing pre-owned gear. Many apps and online retailers sell good quality, certified, second-hand baby gear. When selecting your items look for sites that offer a warranty, free repair and a full safety inspection on their products, giving you the peace of mind of purchasing equipment that is safe for your baby.
It is also economical to buy convertible baby gear that doubles up on its function. Multi-use products will save you money in the long run as they can often be used as your child grows and will also save on storage space.
Some convertible items include cribs that convert into a toddler and full-size bed, high chairs that turn into reclining or regular chairs or convertible car seats such as those from Diono which can be used for newborns as well as booster-age children. Another great combo is a car seat and stroller in one. Both of these items can be expensive yet are essential for transporting your baby, so it makes sense to save money by purchasing one item instead of two.
Make Your Own Baby Food
Nursing is one of the best ways to save on the cost of baby food. According to the U.S. surgeon general, breastfeeding can save you up to $1,500 on baby formula within the first year.
Consider making your own baby food rather than buying it from a store. Not only will you save money but you will have full creative control over the nutritious ingredients you choose to put in it. If you grow your own fruits and vegetables these can be easily pureed to produce unprocessed and organic homemade food for your baby which is free of preservatives, sugars and salts. You can also make batches of baby food which can then be frozen for easy access later.
According to the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the average expenditure on food for babies up to 2 years old ranges from $83 a month to $130 a month. Making your own baby food will not only save you money, but it will also ensure your baby has a healthy diet.
On occasion, you may also wish to buy baby food. Another money-saving tip is to take note of coupons for moms and kids such as those offered by baby food companies. By signing up on their websites you can be notified of offers and receive free formula samples and coupons for discounted baby food.
By following the suggestions in this article, you can begin bargain hunting with gusto and remove any stress related to raising a baby.