No doubt waiting for your baby to arrive is an exciting time. From choosing baby names to getting the nursery ready—prepping can be lots of fun. However, new parents often forget how big a financial responsibility having a child really is.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report back in 2017 stating that parents spend an estimated $233,610 over the course of their child’s life from birth until age 17. Surely, in 2021, that estimate has only increased.
From the cost of healthcare, to housing, food, clothes, diapers, and education (not to mention miscellaneous expenses such as toys), raising a child doesn’t come cheap. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to be frugal and save some of your hard-earned money.
Here are 10 money saving tips for new parents.
Tip #1: Invest In “Convertible” Items
Your baby is going to grow fast, so buying items that grow alongside your child is a big key to saving money—especially on bulkier, more expensive items. Many strollers, cribs, and high chairs today convert to accommodate your child from birth until their toddler years saving you some serious money.
Tip #2: Buy In Bulk
Newborns go through a lot of diapers, 8-12 a day on average. And it’s believed that in your baby’s first year alone, you’ll go through roughly 3,000 diapers give or take. Not to mention, most children aren’t fully potty trained until between 2-3 years old, you start to understand just how big of an expense diapers are. Fortunately, buying them in bulk can save you hundreds of dollars a year. If you’re a member of bulk warehouses such as Costco and Sam’s Club great, if not, SIGN UP! Trust me it’s worth it.
Tip #3: Don’t Spend Too Much Money On Newborn Clothing
Shopping for your new baby is incredibly fun. I’m guilty of it and spent hours online buying up the cutest outfits. But, let me tell you, it’s not practical. Your baby will only be in newborn sizes for a very short time (shorter than I initially thought). In addition, your little one will go through several outfit changes a day due to spitting up or a full blown diaper blowout. It’s best to buy outfits that are easy to get on and off and that are sized slightly bigger so that your baby can use them for much longer than the few weeks they’ll be in newborn sizes.
Tip #4: Accept (& Embrace) Hand-Me-Downs
It’s your first baby and you want to give them the best; often meaning new, unused items. But you’ll quickly realize how much that adds up. I was not only open to receiving hand-me-downs, I was grateful! Me and my cousin swapped outfits from her girls to mine and that saved us money (hundreds if not thousands) in clothing and shoe expenses.
Tip #5: Check If Your Insurance Covers A Breast Pump
According to Healthcare.gov, all Marketplace plans MUST provide support and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding. Why is this a good thing? well because breast pumps can be quite expensive—some costing several hundreds of dollars. Check with your insurance provider and see how you can rent or obtain a new breast pump shipped to you. Some may allow this before the birth of your baby.
Tip #6: Sign-up For Free Samples
Who doesn’t love free stuff? I signed up for several free baby welcome kits from companies including Amazon, Target, and Walmart. The welcome boxes included numerous samples (some even full-size items) of products you and your baby will need such as wipes, breast pads, baby body wash, and laundry detergent. This here is one of my favorite money saving tips to tell new parents.
Tip #7: Join Loyalty Reward Programs
You’re going to be purchasing diapers and wipes for the next couple of years, why not get rewarded for your loyalty? Companies like Pampers and Huggies offer loyalty reward programs where you can earn cash back, discounts, and exclusive offers. Simply download their apps, scan the bar codes on your diaper and wipes packaging, and watch your points rack up!
Tip #8: List Big-Ticket Items On Your Baby Registry
This is especially useful if you’re a first-time parent. Many family members and friends are just as overjoyed as you are to welcome your new baby and are eager to help in any way they can. List more pricey items on your baby registry such as strollers, car seats, and cribs to see if anyone is willing to buy them for you. Raising a family isn’t cheap; anyway you can save money helps.
Tip #9: Avoid Buying Unnecessary Baby Gadgets
Yes, shopping for your baby is fun and you want the latest and greatest in baby comforts, but I’m hear to say, it’s not necessary. Some gadgets are just plain useless and overpriced…I’m looking at you Diaper Genie. Stick to the basics and you’re sure to save money.
Tip #10: Make Your Own Baby Food
Once your baby starts solid foods, it’s just another expense to factor in. However, buying baby food adds up quickly. Fortunately, you can make your own at home for much less. Simple ingredients such as carrots, peas, and bananas are all relatively inexpensive ingredients at the grocery store. Mix those in a blender with some breastmilk, formula, or water until pureed, and there you have it, you save money!
Did you find these tips helpful? Tell me your other genius money saving tips for new parents below!