Saving Big Bucks on Baby Gear
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This week for the Baby Expense Series, two guest posts are tackling the big costs of raising your baby. Today Katie Doyle is sharing some wonderful tips on getting the best value. If you have any suggestions, please leave your tips on the comments.
“Babies are so expensive.” “You’ll never have money to do anything anymore.” “Have you SEEN the price of diapers?!”
When people find out you’re pregnant, they have some uplifting comments for you, but mostly they want you to truly understand the financial impact this new life will bring.
But you can prove them wrong.
Our sweet daughter turned six months old this week and we sat down to figure out the financial cost of having a third person in our family. Turns out, she’s cost us $44.86 per month these past six months. That’s less than a tank of gas or dinner out.
You can save major dough if you’re willing to work with your schedules and do a little diaper math.
There may be cheaper ways to get diapers and wipes than Amazon.com/mom, but if there are I haven’t found them. We have 168 Huggies diapers autoshipped to our house every month and they cost us a whopping $22.92. The diaper math on that? $0.136 per diaper. And wipes and Diaper Genie refills? We have them autoshipped, too for less than $7 per month each. Just imagine the added savings if you used cloth diapers!
The biggest cost of having a baby is finding someone you trust to take care of him or her. In our case, we were able to negotiate working from home half of each day with our respective employers for the first six months after she was born. My husband worked from home and stayed with her in the mornings and I took over in the afternoons. This saved us about $1,000 per month and allowed us to have precious extra time with our little one.
7 Tips to Saving on Baby Expenses
Bankrate.com offers up seven other tips that came into play in our situation and may work well for you:
1. Barter online rather than buying baby items.
2. Hold a party to swap baby items.
3. Buy generic diapers and wipes.
4. Breast-feed instead of buying formula.
5. Use manufacturers’ coupons and grocers’ baby clubs.
6. Join baby-sitting co-ops.
7. Try free mommy programs at the library.
There are incidental costs that come up, but if you’re willing to do a little compromising, you can be sure that your little bundle of joy doesn’t require a wad of cash.
Katie Doyle is the mom of a 6-month-old princess and the director of content for Bankrate.com, a leading personal finance website.
Join In the Baby Expenses Series
Are you a parent or a parent to be with some helpful advice or stories? Please go ahead and join in on the fun, there are 4 ways you can be a part of it:
- Leave your tips in the comment section. I love reviewing thoughtful comments from readers. Some topics have several ‘right’ answers and I think sharing different view points can be helpful.
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If you’re expecting or raising a newborn, I wish you and your family the best!
i shy away from recommending breastfeeding as a method for saving money. it’s mainly for personal reasons but i know too many people who’ve thought they were going to breastfeed and for one reason or another, did not. while it’s good to plan to breastfeed, it’s also just as important to make sure that you account for formula in your budget. if you fail to account for it, you will be overwhelmed with the cost and it could wind up being a huge budget buster. besides, there’s no harm in having a plan B.
if you do go the formula route, make sure you sign up for manufacturer coupons. when my daughter was an infant, the $5 off coupons came in extremely handy!
I’m a first time mom of a precious 3 1/2 month old baby boy. I have to say the biggest expense we have is childcare. My husband works full time and I’m a nurse working part time. We started out with full time childcare just because that was our only option for a licensed childcare facility. Luckily starting next month our LO will be going part time as well. We received so many diapers at our showers that we haven’t had to buy too many and when we do we use Amazon mom. My biggest advice would be to accept all the hand-me-downs you can get from people you know are clean and take good care of their things. I wouldn’t just go buy somebody’s junk from Goodwill, and you should never, ever purchase or use a car seat from someone you don’t know or that was in an accident. My other advice-give breastfeeding a try! It is very hard in the beginning but after about 2-3 weeks it gets so much easier and it is free! It’s also the best food you can give your baby and provides a major bonding experience.
Our biggest expense by far will be health insurance, and I haven’t yet found a way around it.
We’re going to cloth diaper/wipe. Depending on how many diapers and wipes we get at the shower, we might only have increased laundry. (And we line-dry everything, so the cost is only the washer. We use homemade detergent, so the cost there is small.)
I’m planning to breast feed (for nutritional benefits, but financial benefits are an added bonus).
I’m taking my full available leave (12 weeks) and my husband is taking his full available leave after that (also 12 weeks), which will get us to the end or near the end of the school year (we both teach), so child care is not much of an issue for a while. I also have a friend who has already asked if she can babysit (yes!) and another who is willing to trade babysitting for personal training (I own a part-time personal training business).
Did you consider cloth diapers? I don’t have children, but a really good friend of mine has a two month old and they are all about the cloth diapers!
Also, that is a great idea to have both of you do half day at work for the first several months! I guess the only unfortunate thing is you don’t get to see each other during the daytime.
Clothing, toys and other items can be bought used or traded but at some point you’ll probably have to buy more for the baby than diapers and wipes.
Definitely check out the second-hand market for just about everything for babies, but buy carseats new. You can’t tell by looking at it if it’s been involved in an accident and is no longer structurally safe. Also be cautious about buying a used crib. Be sure the original instructions and all parts are included, and that it meets current safety standards. Cribs manufactured before 2000 may not meet current safety standards. Safety is my first priority, so those were really important to me!
One other way I’m saving is by cloth diapering. I just wrote about cloth diapering, which will cost $100 from birth to potty training for our next baby.
Daycare (if that will be a part of things) and health care are the biggest costs, in my view. That said, there are ways to save on baby stuff. I enjoyed saving on some baby accessories, such as a pack and play and bassinet. The pack and play was purchased from someone on craigslist for cheap – $60 I think for a very nice model that was in fantastic shape and worked really well. The bassinet was borrowed from someone….then given right back as the other couple was expecting again:)