For starting out so tiny, babies sure need a lot of everything. There’s no denying that having a baby forces you to rework your budget and rethink your priorities. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t save on all the things your baby needs day in and day out. Here are several smart ways you can save on baby basics — and have more to contribute toward that college fund.
Buy Diapers and Wipes in Bulk
It will probably take a few weeks to discover which diapers and wipes perform the best for you and your baby. But once you do, it makes good sense to buy them in bulk. Not only is it more convenient — you don’t even want to think about running out — it will save you a lot in the long run and just make life with baby a whole lot easier. Many parents swear by ordering diapers on Amazon because you can easily compare prices and have them delivered (plus you can’t beat streaming Prime video during late-night feedings). And there’s always the option of buying at a warehouse club such as Sam’s or Costco.
Some brands, like Huggies, also have rewards programs that let you earn points you can redeem for gift cards and other merchandise. One thing to think about: be sure to pay attention to your baby’s weight, and when they’re getting close to changing sizes, cut down to purchasing a pack or two at a time until they’re into the next size. It’s an easy way to save on baby basics.
Say Yes to Hand-Me-Downs
It’s almost guaranteed that friends, family and co-workers are going to offer you their baby’s hand-me-downs. Take them! Even if they’re things your baby can’t use right away, they will come in handy down the road. To stay organized, get a few storage bins and label them with the sizes/ages the contents are for. It might take a few minutes of work now, but you’ll be thrilled later when you don’t have to buy everything new as your baby grows.
Make Your Own Baby Food
Don’t worry! It’s much easier than it sounds. While there are commercial baby food makers available, to start with, you won’t need much more than a food processor and some fresh cooked fruits and vegetables. And in some cases, all you’ll need is a fork to mash soft fruits like ripe banana and avocado. Not only will making your own baby food save money, you’ll know exactly what your baby is eating. Plus, you won’t have to worry about storing, washing and recycling baby food jars or pouches.
Save Your Receipts
Get in the habit of saving all your receipts for every baby-related thing you buy. If you end up getting a duplicate item as a gift or hand-me-down, your baby outgrows it before you even have a chance to use it, or you simply find you didn’t need it after all, you’ll be able to return it to the store for an exchange or refund.
Know When to Splurge
We will always advocate shopping around for the best price, but sometimes it makes good sense to pay a bit more. For example, if you have plans to go walking with your baby every day, a long-lasting, smooth-riding stroller is essential. And rather than buying a new car seat at every stage, consider one that is convertible as your baby grows. Saving money is great, but if you have to re-buy something because of poor quality, you haven’t really saved anything. Determine your priorities and spend accordingly.