This is a guest post by Gretchen, who lives just outside of Portland with her husband, Dominic, and soon-to-be little one who is due in October. You can follow their journey towards parenthood at That Mama Gretchen. Stop by to place a guess on baby’s gender and birthday!
Preparing for baby on a budget is no easy task! When I found out I was expecting in early 2010 I immediately started dreaming of everything baby related. I signed up for virtually every pregnancy newsletter and found myself bombarded with e-mails shouting, “Buy this if you want to have a happy baby!” and, “You must have this to survive parenthood!” My, oh my, talk about overwhelming!
Over the last few months I have waded through the marketing schemes and found a way to prepare for baby without breaking the bank.
Decide what is a need and what is a want
Baby shopping is full of glitz and glam, but what is really necessary? First, ask current moms what they recommend when it comes to baby gear. Listen to them rather than the “registry recommendations.” This way you are hearing from the experts rather than those trying to sell you everything under the sun.
Determine how much you want to spend before going to the store
Trust me on this one, you can go crazy buying baby things. It is all TOO CUTE!
Once you have your list of needs/wants sit down with your spouse and decide what you are willing to spend on each item. Remember, the most important thing is mom and dad’s love … not fancy clothes.
Buy some items used
Clothes, furniture, toys? I fell in love with a designer stroller. But, the designer price was a bit steep. We did our research and found a practically new stroller through Craigslist at a fraction of the price … and we got a bunch of after-market accessories! By doing some smart shopping, having some negotiations skills, and being flexible with minor things like colors, you can get great deals on used products!
Local consignment stores and consignment events are also great places to score deals. REMEMBER – whether you buy new or used, make sure to read the safety review and sign up for recall notifications with the CPSC. Use your nine months of preparation – God gave us 9 months for a reason!
Follow Frugal Living NW and other coupon sites to stock up on diapers, wipes and toiletries at rock bottom prices.
Wait until baby arrives
How do you know if your baby will like to swing our bounce? You won’t until they arrive. So spare the expense of purchasing a swing AND a bouncer by having a baby shower after your little one’s arrival. This way you can register for things you will actually use.
Invest upfront to save long-term
According to one cloth diapering mom, cloth diapers will cost approximately $800 up front (for a substantial stash) and can be re-used for multiple children.
In comparison, disposable diapers will cost a family roughly $1,500 over the course of one child’s diaper days. Research breastfeeding options by attending a La Leche League meeting and planning to either rent or buy a top-notch breast pump. Definitely worth the research since formula can run $20/can and up!
Other great deal resources …
Zulily – Daily Deals for Moms, Babies and Kids
Baby Steals – It’s not just a deal, it’s a steal!
Garage Sales – Summer is prime garage sale season and nothing makes me happier than a box of practically new baby clothes for 25 cents a piece
Value Village – They have 50% off days every Monday holiday throughout the year. Don’t forget Goodwill and the Salvation Army too.
What are some creative ways you have been able to save before and after baby?
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