Guest post from Alisha of The Savvy Bump
Are you pregnant or planning on starting a family and concerned about the cost of having a baby? Well don’t worry just yet, babies can actually be more affordable than you might think!
Here are 6 simple ways to save on baby expenses:
1. Have a Smart Baby Registry
Many pregnant women are generously thrown a baby shower — and a baby registry is often appreciated so family and friends know what you need. Make sure the majority of your baby registry items are “needs” and not “wants” and wait to shop until after your shower.
If you receive mostly needed items at your baby shower, your shopping list will get much smaller and your bank account will thank you. Even if you are not having a baby shower, create a baby registry or two anyway so you can take advantage of the 10% of completion coupon that stores like Babies “R” Us and Amazon will give you later on.
2. Use Gift Cards Wisely with Price-Matching
Price-matching can save you a lot of money on baby items, so make sure you take advantage of this strategy even when you’re shopping with gift cards. It can be easy to see gift cards as “free money” but you should stretch your gift cards as much as you would your own hard-earned cash.
Shopping with a Babies “R” Us gift card doesn’t mean paying Babies “R” Us prices! Take advantage of the price-matching policies at Target, Babies “R” Us, and other stores and pay the often-lower Amazon prices.
3. Don’t Open It
It is tempting to open all your gifts and purchases before your baby arrives so that everything is organized and ready — especially when the nesting urge hits. But beware, you’ll find that some items will get very little use.
For my family, it was the bouncer I paid for with a Target gift card. It ended up being an unnecessary baby item for us because we always used the Rock ‘n Play.
If you find you don’t need something after the baby arrives, then return it! Amazon, Target, and Walmart all have a 90-day return policy so if you end up not needing a gift or particular baby item you can either get a refund or exchange it for something you really need. That will definitely save you money!
4. Wait for the Best Price
Over at The Savvy Bump, my goal is to help you get the best prices on baby items. I post a variety of baby deals, and although you certainly don’t need everything you see, if you have a gift card, Swagbucks reward, or money in your budget to use on baby gear, I want to help you get the lowest price possible on quality items.
If you’re patient, you can save a lot of money because you’ll get the best deal on wipes, diapers, nursery furniture, car seats, and so on. Prices on Amazon change by the minute and you usually don’t have to wait long for a price drop — you just need to be patient and pay attention.
5. DIY and Buy/Sell Used Items
I am not that great with DIY projects, but I am getting better, thanks to Pinterest. Did you know that you can easily make your own Moby Wrap for a fraction of the price? Just start a Baby DIY board and do a search on Pinterest. You’ll find lots of great tutorials for many baby and nursery related DIY projects!
Another tip is to buy and sell used baby items. Garage sales, Craigslist, and eBay can be great places to score great deals on used or even new baby items. When you’re done with an item, sell it! Most things can be easily disinfected and they’ll work just as well as something new right out of the box.
6. Just Don’t Buy It
Do babies really need a swing, bouncer, and a Rock ‘n Play? Does a crib need to be $500 in order to give your baby a good night’s rest?
A Bumbo is cute but can you manage without it? Yes, you can! Some items might be useful and a lot of fun, but is it worth credit card debt or a decreased savings account?
If I could go back in time, I would definitely buy less and keep it simple. It is easy to get so excited about your first baby that you want everything you see at the store! It just isn’t worth it if your finances cannot handle it. Talk to experienced mothers and ask them what they could have done without. You’ll learn and save a lot!
The best strategy for keeping your finances healthy with a baby on board is to keep things simple. Your nursery needs to be full of love — not expensive furniture. You don’t need the latest and greatest baby gear, just make sure everything is safe and functional.
The most important thing to provide your baby with is your love and attention — and those things are always free.
Alisha is happily married to a husband she considers her best friend and they enjoy the adventure of raising their two year old daughter together. She blogs at The Savvy Bump to help pregnant women and moms find the best maternity and baby deals.