Friday, January 28, 2011

Money saving strategies for a new baby

Babies can be expensive or not, it really depends on you. Here are our strategies to curbing those costs and staying realistic about time vs cost of stuff we need.

  1. Breastfeed. Seriously, check out how much formula costs, breastfeeding is free and better for you and baby.
  2. Give cloth diapers a try. Notice that doesn't say go all out and commit, but give it a serious chance. Yes disposables are convenient, and they're not ludicrously expensive, but over time it's a repeat expenditure that adds up. Plus modern cloth diapers are just about as convenient except you wash instead of going to the store, so we will see if it is a worthwhile investment that can eliminate that expenditure.
  3. Only buy things as they are needed. Do we need a baby monitor? Special baby toys? Bassinet? Swing? etc. We wont know until the baby is here. We've go the basic outfits for the first 2 sizes, and we will see what we need from there.
  4. Ask people to provide essentials as gifts instead of frivolous things. Our family got together and made (we have a carpenter in the family) our crib and rocking chair. The change table is also a chest of drawers and handed down.
  5. Look at kijiji and goodwill for needed items. Other than car seats most baby items are just fine used, you may even get them for free.
  6. Sign up  for every free baby stuff site and accept coupons and 'gifts' as they arrive. Realize that this does not mean you need to use Nestle products, but they do send a really nice free diaper bag and changing pad with a bottle.
  7. Borrow items that wont be used long-term. If you are part of a community that includes other young parents, look into borrowing items as their children out grow them. Just remember to return the favour.
  8. Share babysitting. Find other couples with young kids and exchange babysitting so that everyone gets a night out, without the extra costs.
  9. When you make a purchase, do you research. Quality items that will last more than one kid will save future costs and can potentially be resold to recoup some of the cost.

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