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Our Almost $0 Baby Budget For Our 1st Baby (How & Why We Did It)

Our $0 Baby Budget

Ten and a half years ago, we welcomed our first child into the world — a beautiful baby girl, Kathrynne. Jesse was in law school at the time, I was trying to piece together enough income from various online pursuits to keep us afloat, and needless to say, we were poor as poor can be.

We were so poor, in fact, that we spent right around $0 out of pocket on baby things. Not because we didn’t want to spend anything, but because we literally had no extra money to spare.

As best as I can recall, the only thing we spent money on was a baby blanket. For real.

{I was overdue and we realized that we were going to be having this baby sooner rather than later and it was January, so we probably needed more than the one blanket we’d been given by a friend!

We scrounged together a few dollars, went to Walmart and bought a blanket, and that was the last we spent until Kathrynne was close to one year old and we went and bought her a cute new outfit to get her pictures taken for Christmas gifts.}

Our $0 Baby Budget

How did we spend almost zero out of pocket on baby things? Well, here’s how:

1. We Used What We Were Given

We were blessed with very generous friends. So blessed, in fact, that we ended up having three different showers thrown for us! One was by Jesse’s co-workers, one was by our little church, and one was by our church back home.

When people asked what we needed or wanted, we suggested practical things — like diapers, wipes, onesies, sleepers, and blankets. We ended up being gifted enough clothes to make it through almost the entire first year of Kathrynne’s life without buying her any new clothes.

A few people went in together and bought us some of the larger items — like a stroller, playpen, and carseat.

Our $0 Baby Budget

2. We Willingly Accepted Hand-Me-Downs

Some friends kindly offered to let us borrow their baby items or passed along baby clothes to us. We willingly accepted all of these offers and they were a huge blessing!

Yes, Kathrynne may not have been outfitted in name brand, brand-new clothes most of the time, but she survived just fine! Plus, I discovered that I didn’t have to worry if something got stained or ripped because it was already used and worn. :)

3. We Focused on Needs Versus Wants

It’s nice to have some of the non-necessities, but I’m here to tell you that your baby will be just fine without them.

Kathrynne didn’t have very many outfits per size. In fact, in most sizes, she only had 6 outfits, plus PJs. Yes, this meant I had to keep up on laundry more, but she survived.

We also had very few toys or baby gadgets. Some of the gadgets are nice and helpful, but very few could be considered actual necessities. {I wrote a post here with a list of what I consider to be the only items you really need to buy for your baby.}

This might not work for you. You might not have friends who bless you with multiple showers or offer you hand-me-downs. But I hope that this post encourages you to think outside the box and to realize that babies can get by without all the bells and whistles.

What are your best tips for saving money on baby things? I’d love to hear!

We Spent Almost $0 Out of Pocket

Psst! One of my very favorite companies — ePantry — is offering a special Introductory Baby Bundle deal exclusively to MoneySavingMom.com readers this week only!

This deal is valid for new or existing ePantry customers through September 7, 2015 only.

The Introductory Baby Bundle is a $67 value, but MSM readers can get it for just $29 for the first month. The bundle comes with the following:

  • 5 packs of Seventh Generation Diapers
  • 2 packs of Seventh Generation 64-count Baby Wipes
  • 1 Grove Collaborative Hand Sanitizer

Here’s how to get your $29 Introductory Baby Bundle.

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Why We Didn’t Use Cloth Diapers With Our 2nd and 3rd Kids

Why We Chose Not to Cloth Diaper With Our 2nd and 3rd Child

Cloth diapering is one of those things that is a frugal no-brainer, or so it seems. Using cloth diapers is often much less expensive. It’s better for the environment. And it’s a one-time investment that pays for itself again and again and again — especially if you have more than one child!

However, while we exclusively cloth diapered for our first child, we chose not to use cloth diapers with our second and third kids. Why? Well here are 4 reasons:

1. Our Kids Had Extremely Sensitive Skin

Kathrynne, our first daughter, had no issues with cloth diapers. Which was a huge blessing because we had no money at that season of our lives. And I do mean no money.

Some friends of ours gifted us a full set of Fuzzi Bunz diapers and it was one of the best gifts ever. We never invested a dime in diapers — other than paying for the laundry supplies and electricity to run the washer and dryer.

But when Kaitlynn came along, it was a different story. Every kind of cloth diaper broke her skin out. We tried a few different brands. I tried putting them on different ways. I tried washing them different ways.

To no avail.

Only Pampers diapers didn’t break her out. So I finally just gave in and gave up on my plans to exclusively cloth diaper her, too.

2. I Learned How to Get Diapers for Free

By the time Kaitlynn came along, I had discovered this thing called Drugstore Shopping. By carefully pairing coupons and sales with rebate deals, I was able to not only get groceries for free, but I was also able to get overage — and I used that overage to cover the cost of diapers.

When Silas was born, I had learned about Swagbucks and I was able to use my points called SB to earn free Amazon gift cards that I used to buy diapers for him. Best of all, when he was a baby and toddler, Amazon Mom did all sorts of incredible promotions that netted all of us some of the hottest diaper steals. I kid you not, the prices were insane — like $1 to $2 per package of name brand diapers shipped!

Why We Chose Not to Cloth Diaper

3. I Found the Washing of Diapers to Be Very Time-Consuming

Okay, so this might brand me as utterly lazy, but after a year and a half of washing diapers multiple times per week, I was just plain tired of washing them. You always had to stay ahead. You always had wet and dirty diapers in your laundry room and it seemed like you always, always needed to be washing more diapers.

After my third child was born, I was stretched so thin and struggling with exhaustion and postpartum depression that messing with cloth diapers just felt overwhelming to me. Just being honest here…!

4. I Was Tired of the Stink

And to be perfectly honest, I was tired of the stink. Despite what people will tell you, one of the unpleasant side effects of cloth diapers is that they do stink. You can put them in the most expensive stink-proof bags on the market, but when you dump them into the washing machine to wash them, it’s going to stink… and it can be a pretty overpowering smell.

Now here’s the thing: I’m not turning my back on cloth diapers. I think they can be a great way to save money and I’m so glad we had that option when Kathrynne was a baby.

However, I thought that an honest article like this on the cons of cloth diapering and why we didn’t exclusively cloth diaper all of our kids might be helpful to some of you who are in the middle of deciding whether to take the plunge or not.

As always, do what works best for you and your family. And don’t feel guilty if it’s completely different than another family!

Do you use cloth diapers? Why or why not? I’d love to hear!

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Psst! One of my very favorite companies — ePantry — is offering a special Introductory Baby Bundle deal exclusively to MoneySavingMom.com readers this week only!

This deal is valid for new or existing ePantry customers through September 7, 2015 only.

The Introductory Baby Bundle is a $67 value, but MSM readers can get it for just $29 for the first month. The bundle comes with the following:

  • 5 packs of Seventh Generation Diapers
  • 2 packs of Seventh Generation 64-count Baby Wipes
  • 1 Grove Collaborative Hand Sanitizer

Here’s how to get your $29 Introductory Baby Bundle.

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According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are almost 30 million businesses in the United States alone, with the overwhelming majority of these businesses having fewer than 10 employees. This makes them prime candidates for needing the services of a great bookkeeper.

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{Note: This post was underwritten by Bookkeeper Business Academy. Read our disclosure policy here.}

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Note: This post was underwritten by Blogelina. Read our disclosure policy here.

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