Tips for Saving Money When You Have a Baby
Gearing up for a new baby can quickly get expensive. Here are some money-saving tips to follow when doing your baby shopping.
About tips to save on essentials
How to avoid unnecessary expenses
Ways to get the best deals
How friends and family can help
Despite the joys of welcoming a new little one into the world, having a baby can be a pretty scary financial undertaking. But with these money-saving tips from UpChoose, sticking to a budget can be a lot easier.
Have you ever considered how much you’ll spend raising a child? Giving birth and the medical costs associated with it are one thing. But the part that hits budding parents the hardest is the recurring costs. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, parents living in more expensive parts of the country can pay upwards of $50,000 during the first year alone! Even in more affordable areas, a significant chunk of your income will go to keeping your baby well-fed, safe, clothed, and healthy.
From must-have everyday essentials to the big-ticket items you need to replace as your baby grows, those costs add up. At UpChoose, we provide a cost-effective way to help you save on organic baby clothes without sacrificing quality or comfort. But that’s not the only way you can save money.
1. Buy in Bulk
If you’re not buying in bulk, you’re missing out!
Babies need several core essentials. You should always have diapers, wipes, and baby food available. Your little tyke will go through those items faster than you realize. So why buy small packages?
Low-quantity packs won’t last you very long. Plus, they tend to have a higher cost per item. Go for the largest quantity sizes available and stock up every time you have a chance to get to the store. It’ll save you the constant back-and-forth shopping trips while giving you plenty of opportunities to save.
If it’s within your budget, consider getting a membership to a big-box warehouse store. Buying in bulk is what those stores are all about, and the cost-saving potential is nothing short of impressive!
2. Accept Gifts From Friends and Family
Your friends and family love you and your new little bean! They understand that having a baby is a challenge on all fronts, and it doesn’t take much to realize all the costs involved. If your friends are willing to help, don’t hesitate to accept.
There are many ways your loved ones can help, and they don’t have to be monetary. Set up a registry, and the people in your life will know what types of essentials you prefer. They can also offer up their preloved items. Reusing big-ticket items like strollers, car seat carriers, and toys is always a good option.
3. Start Couponing
We all get those coupon mailers. While most people pay no attention to them, the potential savings you can find are fantastic. Baby product brands publish coupons regularly. Check out those mail circulars or pick up a Sunday newspaper. You’re bound to find coupons and discounts for products you use regularly.
Don’t limit yourself to baby products, either. Budgeting is about looking at the whole financial picture, and you can use coupons to save on groceries, household items, and everything else you might need.
4. Buy Generic
Quick: What’s the difference between your favorite brand-name dish soap and the generic version sitting two shelves down? If you look closely, it’s not much. The only major difference is that fancy brand name and expensive marketing!
Believe it or not, most generic store products are on par with the pricier labels you see advertised on TV. They’re often made by the same manufacturer in the same facilities! Look beyond the eye-level shelves at your local stores, and you’ll see many of the same options at a more attractive price.
Ditching all of your brand-name products isn’t necessary, but switching to generic on the goods you buy most can lead to significant savings.
5. Look Into Tax Deductions
Here’s where having a good accountant or tax preparer comes in handy. It may come to a surprise that you’ll get a few tax benefits because you had a baby! Child-focused deductions aim to help people just like you. They offset the high costs of having and raising a child by reducing your taxable income.
The benefit that most people are familiar with is the child tax credit, but there are plenty of others. For example, you can deduct qualifying expenses like babysitting, hospital bill payments, provider care fees, and more. Keep your receipts and maintain a log of what you spend. It’ll come in handy when tax season rolls around.
6. See What Insurance Can Cover
Your health insurance can help offset the costs of giving birth. According to the Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation, the average hospital bill for standard deliveries and postpartum care is around $18,000. However, it can be much higher in some parts of the country or during a more complex pregnancy.
Do your research months before you even set foot into the hospital to give birth. Figure out what your policy covers. Explore different insurance companies if necessary. Many new parents only pay a few thousand dollars in out-of-pocket costs. It’s a substantial difference you can use to your advantage.
7. Join Buy/Sell/Trade Groups
Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to bypass stores altogether! Instead of paying the full retail price for your must-have baby items, you can turn to a social group and find things much cheaper. There is no shortage of buy/sell/trade groups out there. You might find one for your area or join an online group with tens of thousands of users.
These groups are a fantastic way to find deals you wouldn’t see anywhere else. For example, many participants will use extreme couponing or rare deals to snag items in bulk. Then they’ll sell them on forums and social media groups. You can also find big-ticket items and trade them for goods you’re not using; you can often get everything your baby needs without spending a dime!
8. Don’t Shy Away From Secondhand Goods
Speaking of trades, have you considered secondhand items? At UpChoose, we thrive on the concept of reuse. We believe that secondhand clothes have plenty of love and memories to give. But there are so many other preloved items worth exploring.
Some baby furniture doesn’t see use beyond a relatively short period. Why pay full price for a high chair or swing when your baby will outgrow it in a few years? Visit a consignment shop and see what you can find. They often have decent baby products. Put a little work into cleaning and revamping those items, and they’re as good as new!
9. Shop at Thrift Stores and Yard Sales
Thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales are a treasure trove of pre-loved items worth buying. Furniture flipping and recycling are all the rage these days. Now is your chance to get in on the action!
Secondhand shops are an excellent source of baby-friendly furniture. Find yourself a used crib, changing table, rocking chair, and other goods you might need to create the nursery of your dreams. That room will only be there for a few years at most. Finding those hidden used gems will help you make the space your own while saving many bucks.
10. Join Loyalty Programs
Don’t forget to join those loyalty programs at the stores you frequent. We already know that couponing will help you save and budget. But loyalty cards are another way to rack up savings. It seems like every store has a program or app these days. With every purchase, you could be working your way toward store credit, exclusive discounts, and more.
Some stores even use those programs to deliver limited-time coupons or inform shoppers of impressive discounts. The only way to take advantage of all those perks is to sign up.
11. Make Your Own Baby Food
During your baby’s first year, you’ll be going through quite a bit of breast milk or formula. But eventually, they’ll wean off and be ready to start eating baby food. Those jars of food are another significant expense that will eat into your budget.
Instead of going with premade, try making your food from scratch. Baby food is the epitome of simplicity, and that’s by design. Most products don’t contain a ton of extras. Their purpose is to provide your bundle of joy with the necessary nutrients they need to continue developing — and nothing more.
Research some easy baby food recipes. You can also ask your parent friends which foods their tiny tots love. In most cases, homemade food starts with steamed or blanched vegetables. They’re wholesome, tasty, and free from preservatives and additives.
12. Wait Until After the Baby Shower
Here’s a tip that can help you stock up on must-have essentials. New parents often dream of having a blowout baby shower, but these events are about more than love and adoration. They’re a way to help new parents and prepare them for the challenges ahead.
Avoid buying baby products until after your shower. Instead, set up a registry and provide a link to it on your baby shower invitations or for those who ask! Your friends and family can turn to that list to buy you everything from diapers and wipes to trendy diaper bags and even cribs.
13. Look for Sales
Always take a trip through the sales aisle! You never know what goodies you’ll find. Many stores mark down products weekly, giving you a new supply of discounted goods that can help you stay below your budget.
Pay attention to store fliers, too. They can give you a heads-up on future sales events with opportunities to save at every turn.
14. Skip Buying Baby Shoes
High-quality baby shoes are adorable. But do you really need them?
You’ll quickly find that shoes are more of a hassle than anything else. Your newborn doesn’t need them at all, and the youngsters learning to take their first steps will fare better on bare feet. Save the shoes for when your child is a walking, talking troublemaker! That’s when they’ll need shoes to explore the world.
Until then, stick to booties and cozy socks.
15. Don’t Buy Too Many Newborn Clothes
Our last tip is to hold back on the newborn clothes.
Many parents get lost in the adorable fashions, resulting in a closet full of newborn garments. But here’s the thing: Most newborns outgrow those sizes within a month or two. Some babies are already too big to fit into them on day one!
It’s OK to have a small selection but resist the urge to buy more than what you’ll realistically need. You can put that money elsewhere to stay on budget.
Get Started With UpChoose Today
Bringing a bundle of smiles and laughs into the world can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to lead to financial ruin. These tips will help you save money and leave stress at the door so you can focus on making new memories.
Don’t forget to sign up with UpChoose! We offer cost-effective clothing subscription boxes for babies and small kids up to age 3. With one of our plans, you can get new or preloved organic clothing. You can swap items out with the next size up as your kid grows, and you’ll have one less expense to worry about keeping under budget. Check out our plans, and take our style quiz today!
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