Let’s chat about the various ways to save when having a baby.
This is the outline for the interview that aired on CBC Information Morning 106.1 FM Moncton in February 2013, just 6 weeks after we had our second child. I sat down with Jonna Brewer to discuss how we kept a tight budget and saved when preparing for and after baby arrived. (Information and links updated in 2021)
These are my tips on how to save and budget for your new addition.
Having a new baby in the house is a wonderfully happy experience, but may take a toll on the pocketbook. New babies require food, diapers, clothing and more…it can really burst 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 your 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 the baby’s arrival, as we knew we would receive some 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 on 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 able 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.
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 clothesline 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 upfront 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.
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 breastfeed, we have more tips below for formula savings.
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 breastfed both my children and this was convenient and cost-effective for us.
Formula: There are several companies that 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. The 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 when 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 a baby, a family of 4. This will no doubt change as he gets older and eating more.
(Update, this post was originally written in 2013. Today this budget would be $150-$200 in 2021, eating mostly fresh food, along with meal prepping and baking from scratch, etc.)
Everyone’s budget will be different, but this proves it does not need to change significantly 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!
Breast Feeding resources:
Formula Companies Offers:
- Join the Enfamil Family Beginnings club
- Join the Nestle Baby Program
- Join the Similac Club
- Pampers Gifts to Grow program
- Huggies Rewards
SOBEYS: The 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. (Not sure if they still do this)
Are you looking for ways to save when you have older children?
Here are some money saving tips when you have children: Click here