Tips on How to Save on Baby Expenses
As many of you know, we just welcomed a new baby into our home on Dec 30th, 2012. I took a brief leave from my radio column on CBC Information Morning 106.1 fm Moncton, and this post was inspired by my first column upon my return. What better to discuss than what I am personally living at the moment, the impact of a baby on your budget!
This is the outline for the interview that aired on CBC Information Morning 106.1 fm Moncton in February. These are my tips on how to save and budget for your new addition.
CLICK HERE to listen to the Radio Interview (it`s only 5 minutes, so more info is covered on this page, please read on…)
Having a new baby in the house is a wonderful happy experience, but may take a toll on the pocket book. New babies require Food, Diapers, Clothing and more…it can really bust your monthly budget if you are not careful.
1. When it comes to a new baby, what are some of the ways you can save to keep within your budget?
There are a few strategies I used when planning our new baby’s arrival.
If baby is not here yet, start allotting a portion of your monthly budget to stocking up on items you will need. I used $20-25 of my budget for about 4 months before my baby arrived. This allowed me to stock up on Diapers, Wipes and some toiletries.
Items such as clothing, blankets and toys were left until closer to baby’s arrival, as we received many as gifts.
Using coupons, sales, clearance, second hand, baby clubs and points programs, you can save a great deal!
2. Can you share some tips for how to save on specific items?
Disposable Diapers: The best way to save on Disposable Diapers is to use a coupon with a sale, and watch the clearance bins. I have been abe to purchase many packages for $0.10 per diaper. They have been brands such as Seventh Generation, Pampers and Huggies. You can often get them much cheaper than the store brand when shopping with coupons. Calculate how many diapers you will use at each stage of development. CLICK HERE with these guidelines.
Cloth diapers are another option, with a high upfront cost, but much lower once you have them. When considering the cost of Cloth Diapers, work in laundry detergent, energy costs and water fees if you live in areas that cost you extra. If you have a clothes line and are on a well, you will not need to worry about those costs.
Purchasing your cloth diapers second hand is a great way to save on the up front costs as well. If you know you are going to cloth diaper, then research the brands and find the best deals possible either from the company or through distributors.
CLICK HERE for a Calculator to help you figure out what works for you.
Breast Feeding is the cheapest, it`s free! If you can do it, this is the best money saver to start out. Not everyone can breast feed, but you also should understand that often the first month is the hardest and it DOES get easier as you and your baby figure it out together. If you are having a hard time with breast feeding, do not give up, please seek out help and refer to the links provided below for resources in your area.
You may want to invest in a pump ($100 – $200+) if you are looking to bottle feed some. This will also allow you to freeze and store milk for future use as well. I breast fed both my children and this was convenient and cost effective for us.
Formula:There are several companies who have clubs you can join to receive samples and coupons. The coupons and vouchers you can get are high value and worth signing up for. These companies usually make follow up formulas and food for babies. They continue to send coupons to you for the various stages of baby growth. Refer to the links at the bottom of this page for details.
Watch for Formula and Diapers in the Clearance bins. Formula is put on clearance for 50% off usually a good month or 2 before the expiry date. If purchasing formula on clearance, buy the concentrate or ready made, you will likely not get through the powdered kind in time.
Clothing: Babies grow out of clothes long before they wear out. Consider buying second hand…and sell the ones that you no longer need to make room for new ones. Another great idea is to start a clothing exchange with some friends who have children at varying stages.
**Tip: Treat stains immediately and you will be able to keep clothing in better condition for swapping, selling or trading in at consignment stores.
Larger items & toys: Second hand all the way for these items. You can shop online on kijiji, ebay or other buying groups, or check out the local thrift shops and yard sales. The younger the child is, the better your chances of finding something in great shape for a fabulous price.
**Please consider safety with purchasing older items second hand. There are expiry dates on some items such as Car Seats, and safety standards on others that have changed over the years. Do your research before buying.
3. These are all great tips, but is it possible to continue to maintain a budget close to what you had before once the baby is here?
Absolutely. I worked the baby essentials into my budget prior to his arrival and continue to have baby items in my “stock up” budget.
I have a set budget for groceries of $100, then an additional amount up to $25 for stocking up on items we use regularly. So my food is in the $100, where my baby, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc are in my $25 stock up budget. This is my bi-weekly budget for my family of 3 and now with baby, family of 4. This will no doubt change as he gets older and eating more.
Everyone’s budget will be different, but this proves it does not need to change right away.
The things that will help you keep on budget are simple:·
- Coupons– often High Value for baby items
- Cash Back apps– watch apps and use for additional savings
- Clearance Bins – in store up to 50%
- Second Hand -many items 50-80% off
- Baby Clubs – Free sign up and send samples & coupons
- Rewards points (Optimum points, Airmiles, etc) I did not discuss this in the above sections, but many times you can get any of the items you are looking for free when redeeming point. Also, watch for bonus points being offered on baby items. If you are buying the item anyway, you should take advantage of any bonus offers!
Formula Companies Offers:
Join the Enfamil Family Beginnings club Free Samples, Valuable Coupons, and Special Promotions. A Month by Month Journey Through Your Pregnancy and Your Baby & Toddler’s Development. Expert Nutritional and Developmental Advice, Tips on Breastfeeding, Formula Feeding, and Starting Solids. Support from our Caring Team of Professionals
Join the Nestle Baby Program
Join the Similac Club Samples, coupons and information booklets
Pampers Gifts to Grow program
SOBEYS Pharmacy: offers Free Prenatal Vitamins the entire time you are pregnant and nursing (ask for a form to join up) there are also samples and coupons in a bag when you sign up.
JEAN COUTU: Ask to join their New Mommy club and get a bag of samples and coupons.