According to CBSNews, it can cost approximately 233,610 to raise a child from birth to age 17. That is a lot of bills! The good news is that there are many ways to save money when raising kids. We have compiled a list of 20 ways to save money during those baby years. Some of these ways are super obvious to some, like couponing, while some are surprising to others, such as not spending money on a breast pump.
A baby isn’t cheap - between feeding, clothing, and diapering, money can add up very quickly. We understand how stressful this can be for some parents, so we have taken it upon ourselves to lessen the load. The ideas listed below will save you quite a bit of money, and let’s face it, who hates saving money? The money you save from all or some of these ideas can go towards paying off outstanding bills, go into savings, or even go towards a family trip to Disney World! The possibilities are endless! Don’t go wasting your money on unnecessary items when you can be pocketing that money for other things. Trust us, you won’t be sorry.
Which of these ideas are you going to try?
20 Make Your Own Baby Food
According to MoneyCrashers, making your own baby food can cost you up to 1/3 of what it costs to buy baby food at the store. Making your own baby food can save you up to $30 per month, according to MoneyCrashers, which adds up quickly! Not only is making your own baby food cheaper it is also fresher and healthier! There are many baby food recipes on Pinterest and you can use the tools you have at home, such as a blender and a steamer! This is a task you can have big brother help you with as well to make it even more fun!
19 Skip Out On Babysitters
Babysitters can be pricey. According to SitterCity, the average hourly rate for a babysitter over 21 years of age is $12.46 an hour. This can add up very quickly. The good news is, there is a possibility you can skip out on paying for a sitter. One option is to utilize family and friends around you that you trust. Grandma and Grandpa would love some extra time with your little one! If this isn’t an option, setting up a trade off with a friend is another option. You watch her kiddo for her one day while she has work or date night and she will do the same for you when you need her. This is a perfect way for you to get childcare for free!
18 Collect Coupons Before The Baby Arrives
Gathering coupons before the baby comes and once he is here can save you some serious bucks. It may not seem like a lot to some people, but a few dollars here and there really add up over a year. You can find coupons online, in the newspaper and in your favorite store weekly ad’s. According to Parenting, you can get coupons for formula and even baby food just by signing up for the company’s coupons. If you are unsure about couponing, there are many couponing Facebook groups and apps’ that can point you in the right direction. It may take some practice, but you’ll be saving money in no time.
17 Use Cloth Diapers Instead Of Disposables
According to AndThenWeSaved, you need about 8,000 diapers from birth until your little one is potty trained. That can cost you at least $2,500- yikes! Cloth diapering can save you some serious bucks. It can cost some extra cash to start off (if you buy new cloth diapers, it can cost you around $400) but in the long run, it saves you some serious cash. It may take some extra time with cleaning, but if you are dedicated to saving some cash, this is the route to go. Not only is this a money-saving hack, but who can resist those adorable cloth baby diapers!?
16 Breastfeeding Will Save You Serious Cash
According to TheSimpleDollar, over the course of the first year of your sweetie’s life, the cost to feed your baby formula is a whopping $1,733! You read that right! Breastfeeding can save you some serious money (and it is much healthier too!) Whether you pump, feed on demand, or supplement (if you have to) it can be more cost-effective than giving strictly formula for every feeding. Of course, breastfeeding is not for every mama and baby, but if you are able to give your sweetie the liquid gold, it can be beneficial for not only her but your wallet too!
15 Always Request Free Samples
Requesting free samples from companies can help save you money in two ways. The first way is that it gives you a product to use so you do not have to put money out of your own pocket until that free product is done. The second way is that samples can help you see what you and your baby do and don’t like, which can save you money in the long run. If you buy baby soap in bulk and then your baby has a bad reaction to it, it was a huge waste of money overall. Testing and trying out products can help you see what works best for your family.
14 Check Out Local Yard Sales
Hitting up a local yard sale can help save you money, big time. Your community, neighborhood, friend, or local paper may announce a yard sale- so keep your eyes peeled! You can get perfectly good items (sometimes unused!) for a very decent price so you can save your money for other things! If yard sales aren’t your thing, or you just can’t find one, a second hand/ consignment shop can be a great idea. In a consignment shop, you can save money on clothes, baby gear, and toys. You can snag clothes for $2-3 an item sometimes! It is worth checking out if you want to save some money.
13 Never Shop Designer
Many first-time moms think that Pampers and Huggies are their only diapering options, but there are much cheaper options! Walmart, Target, and your local pharmacy and/or grocery store carry their own generic brand diapers, which can save you money! Some people claim that they are of lesser quality than the name brand, but many parents love generic diapers, so that is for you to decide. Generic wipes and formula can save you quite a bit of money too. For example, JenSpends explains that nutritionally, the $15 store brand formula is not any different than the $25 container of brand name formula. Ditching name brand and going store brand can save you a ton of money!
12 Throw A Baby Shower
If you have a family member or a friend offering to throw you a baby shower- take it! A baby shower can save you a ton of money. Your friends and family may buy you tons of things you will need from clothes to a crib. If you make a baby registry, you can specifically request certain items. Babies are expensive you will need wipes, diapers, clothes, blankets, bibs, spoons, a crib, a car seat- the list goes on and on. Even if you do not need a whole lot of stuff, and you are using things from a previous baby, you can still have a baby sprinkle, which will be a smaller version of a baby shower. Either way, you can save money by having other people spoil you and your baby!
11 Rent Books And Movies At The Local Library
Your local library can be a money saver, and you may not even know it yet! You can go to your local library to rent books and movies, which saves you money in the long run as children outgrow specific movies and books very quickly. Your local library can also give you and the kiddo’s something to do by joining in on their story times and library events. This is a free way to entertain the kids and even to make some mommy friends for you! This is a great way to save money and keep the kids entertained at the same time.
10 Whatever You Do... Don't Overbuy!
Although it can be tempting, it can actually save you money by not overbuying. Buying a ton of baby equipment, gadgets, clothing, and diapers may not be the best idea. According to WikiHow, you should have about 7-10 pairs of socks, 5-7 bodysuits, 5-7 pj’s, and 5-7 pants in a certain size. Baby’s really don’t need much and buying too much can waste your money. Often, when you overbuy, items will go to waste, so it is best to stick with what you truly need. You can save money by making sure you have what the baby needs, and nothing more than that.
9 Save The Hand-Me-Downs
If you are planning on having additional children (or are not 100% sure you are done) it can be a great idea to save hand me downs! From clothes and bedding to the bassinet - this can cost you a fortune! Babies aren’t cheap, so saving items that are not stained, damaged or expired can be a great idea. Storing these items in a basket, box, bin, or bag and throwing it in a closet, the basement or the attic can be a great way to help you out in the long run. Of course, you can never predict if you are having a baby of the same gender, but it is good to save it, just in case!
8 Start A Toy Rotation
According to VeryWellFamily, starting a toy rotation is a good way to have your children get the most out of their toys. The anticipation of having something new and different to play with every few weeks can be super exciting for the kids and a relief on the wallet. According to VeryWellFamily, it can be beneficial to create a rotation schedule. There is no set-in-stone way to go about it but it is great to be able to pull out the next box when the kids are getting bored of the toys they are playing with. Gather up toys and put them in another room or closet and then leave some toys out for them to play with. This will let your kiddos appreciate the toys they have and not be overwhelmed with all of the toys at once.
7 Don't Go Overboard During Pregnancy
Some mama’s go overboard buying diapers and bottles, diapers, and wipes before the baby comes. We suggest slowing it down a bit. Buying a small pack of various kinds of wipes/diapers as well as buying one or two of a certain bottle can save you money in the long run. This is because not every baby reacts to every product in the same way. Your little love may get an allergic reaction to the wipes that you bought 10 boxes of or reject the nip of the bottles you spent a fortune on. It is important for some moms to stock up to an extent before the baby comes, but it is also important to understand that your baby may reject the items.
6 Borrow And Lend Baby Products
Some baby items you will only need for the first six months or year, so it can be a great idea to borrow them from a friend or family member. Borrowing can save you the cost of spending the money on the item, and also save you the space of having to keep the item laying around (if you’re not saving it for a future baby.) Borrowing items such as a baby carrier, a crib/bed, swing, baby bathtub, or clothes can be a wonderful way to save you some moolah! If the items you are borrowing are in good condition and not expired, this is a great way to save money!
5 Skip Out On Big Birthday Parties
Many moms have Pinterest boards full of birthday party ideas for their little one. The truth is, birthday parties can get expensive. A way to save money (especially if you have more than one kiddo) is to cut down the cost on your kiddo’s parties. Some money saving tips, according to HowToNestForLess are to decorate your own cake, use free themed party supplies, have your party at home or at a park and to make your own invitations. A birthday party can be fun without the expensive decorations and fancy cake. You can save hundreds of dollars by shopping at the dollar store or saving on the pricey bounce place.
4 Don't Spend A Fortune On The Nursery
Believe it or not, a beautiful nursery does not need to cost a fortune. Resisting the urge to buy the expensive bedding, glamorous wall décor, and pricy fuzzy rug can save you some serious cash. According to TheSpruce, purchasing a convertible crib can save you some serious dough because it transforms into a full-size adult bed! If you plan on keeping baby in your room for a significant amount of time (due to nursing or wanting to be close to baby) it may be a waste of time to put together a nursery at all. If your little one doesn’t go into his own room until he is one, for example, save the money and make him a cost-effective toddler room instead, which will last much longer!
3 Get Your Insurance To Pay For Pumps
Pumps can cost as much as 300$, which is not something any mama on a budget wants to put out of her pocket. The good news is, that you may be able to get a breast pump through your insurance. According to YummyMummy, most insurance plans are required to cover the cost of a breast pump (under the Affordable Care Act) and it is usually no cost to mama. Of course, coverage varies from one insurance company and plan to the next. It is best to call your insurance company to see what they offer. You could save yourself some serious cash, so it is worth giving them a call.
2 Make The Kids Share A Room
A four-bedroom house can be significantly pricier than a three or two-bedroom home, so having your kiddo’s share a room may save you thousands. If you are a family that has multiple kids, it can be cost effective and space saving to have your kiddo’s share a room with another sibling. Buying a bunk bed, closet organizers, and separate dressers can make sharing a room a piece of cake. Some siblings may love this, while others will hate it, but it will do your wallet some good! Having the kids share a room can help bring them closer together and save money for more important things in life.
1 Always Buy On Sale
Believe it or not, buying your kiddo’s clothing during big sales or near holidays such as Black Friday, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Easter, and semi-annual sales can help your wallet out! It can be super cost effective to check out Carters, Target, or The Children’s Place to see if they are having sales around holidays. These sales can save you some money as they price down items either online and/or in store! Signing up for store emails can remind you of these events so you don’t miss out. Shopping clearance can save you some money too, so you don’t have to pay full price for items.
References: yummymummystore.com, sittercity.com, howtonestforless.com, thespruce.com, thesimpledollar.com, moneycrashers.com, cbsnews.com, parenting.com, andthenwesaved.com, jenspendsless.com, wikihow.com, verywellfamily.com