4 Things to Save Money When You Have a Baby
One fear new parents have is if they will be able to afford the costs of having a baby. The truth is a lot of the items you really need, get lost in the scramble of what retailers tell you that you must buy. This can be costly.
Here is a list of 4 great ways you can save and make life easier when you have a baby. It might make you get out of your comfort zone a bit but it will save a lot in the end.
1. Use Cloth Diapers
This has been the biggest money-saver for us. A lot of parents cringe at the idea of this but really, it is not that bad.
Changing diapers is never a chore parents look forward to. If the thought of having to wash the soiled diapers really turned you off then you are going to have to get over it to be successful.
However, it’s really not as bad or gag-inducing as it seems. You just take off any “solid matter” and place it in the toilet, then toss ’em in the washing machine, run a cycle or two in hot water(depending on how soiled they are), then into the dryer or place them out on a drying line outside. There you have it….clean diapers.
The savings quickly add up. Our preferred brand (we tried five) were gDiapers and then some very cute handmade ones on Etsy. If you are lucky enough to know someone who sews, or you sew yourself, you can pick up a super cute pattern and everything else you need at your local craft store.
If you buy them a starter set of 12 diapers costs little more than $200. That’s equivalent to the price of about four 234-count boxes of Pampers. If we were to buy Pampers or whatever else brand those disappear with the trash. With cloth, you use them again and again.
If you take care of them, and regularly wash them, and use a great eco friendly detergent, they’ll last for more than one kid. So it’s a long-term investment if I’ve ever seen one. I used them for two kids and it was wonderful.
I have “boy” diaper covers and simply just added some cute patches to make them more girlie when my daughter was born…it cost me $5 and she was able to use the same diapers.
Tip: To even be more successful spend the extra $15 on a good “wet bag” or two.
These are plastic-lined bags you toss soiled diapers into until you’ve got enough to wash. It keeps the mess (and, more important, the smell) contained.
2. Use DIY Wipes
Along similar lines, you can save the $20 a month or so that baby wipes cost and buy a handful of cheap washcloths for the same price. Just mix baby body soap with water into a cheap spray bottle, and you’ve got yourself a durable, reusable wipe system you can simultaneously toss in when you’re washing diapers.
It sounds weird but honestly, they work better than baby wipes in most case! Hit up the dollar store for wash clothes…I got about 20 and was just fine with that!
Tip: If you have spare wipe tubs lying around, you can presoak washcloths in them, so that they’re quickly accessible each day. I started off the morning by making this up each day.
3. Shop Second Hand Stores for Everyday Clothes
Seek out your communities “Lightly Used” boutique and invest in not only reselling the clothes your child out grows, but then buy lightly used clothes for everyday wear.
This has saved me tons. Kids grow so fast and many moms use this service to “trade up a size” I have gotten amazing outfits (top, pants, jacket) for under $10 for everything.
4. Make Your Own Baby Food
When the time comes for your baby to start solids, this should be a no brainer.
First of all, they’re jar food is over processed and not all that great tasting.
Second, you’ll save a lot of stress down the road by making your own baby foods at home with foods you’re already eating. Then you baby will know already what real food tastes like.
Different sources tell you when to introduce your children to different foods, so make sure you check around or talk with your child’s doctor.
It’s crazy easy to take a small portion of the meal you’re already eating (yes, seasonings and all) for baby! Just mix in a milk or water, and feed the baby that. When baby is first starting out on solids keep it simple with single foods like banana or peas.
As they get older, spice it up with the food you are eating. One of my kids favorites was tacos. I just pureed black beans, cheese, tomato and onion. They loved it.
Tip: Don’t waste your money on one of those “baby food processors.” They’re cheaply made. Nothing but a gimmick. You can use your own food processor, or get a $35 Cuisinart hand blender. The bonus is you can use the hand blender for many years to come!