Getting everything you need for a baby can really put a strain on your budget. Not to mention, when you’re expecting multiples, the cost of supplies is multiplied too. These expenses can strike fear in the heart of any expectant parent, but fortunately, there are plenty of strategies you can use to make pregnancy prep much more affordable.
Stock Up and Save
There are some baby items that you need in constant supply: diapers, wipes, and formula are some of the biggest culprits. Then there are other essentials you need in your diaper bag that aren’t baby-related. Kindred Bravely notes certain items new parents might not even think of keeping in their diaper bag, like a wet bag, hair ties, hand sanitizer, and even an extra shirt for yourself.
It’s a good idea to start stocking up on these things while you’re still pregnant so you have everything on hand when baby arrives. The best strategy for getting all these essentials is to seek out sales and coupons. You can often stack savings when you buy in bulk, and you can even earn rewards to get free stuff.
Be Smart About What Goes on Your Registry
If you go to a big box store, the list of suggested registry items is a mile long. Before checking off every single box, Motherly recommends thinking about what registry items really fit with your lifestyle. Being smart about what you register for helps ensure you get more of what you need so there are fewer necessities you have to buy.
While the sleepless nights may feel long, babies grow and change incredibly fast. This is good news for parents on a budget because it means second-hand baby items are easy to come by, and as little as they’re used, you can find all kinds of things in excellent condition. Some of the best items to buy second-hand are things you use lots of: clothes, blankets, and burp cloths, just to name a few. You can also get some higher priced items used, such as swings and rockers. What you don’t want to do is compromise on safety, which means always buying new for items like cribs, car seats, and breast pumps
Set a Baby Budget
All families should operate on a basic budget to make sure you know where your money goes. When a baby is on the way, it’s important to look at your family’s finances and see how baby expenses fit in. For big ticket items that you don’t receive as gifts, the best thing you can do is save up to purchase them. For recurring expenses like feeding supplies, clothes, diapers, and childcare, it’s a good idea to estimate costs and add these expenses to your family’s budget.
Go the DIY Route
You can’t DIY every baby necessity, but you may be surprised by the number of “essentials” that you can actually make yourself or avoid altogether. One prime example is a changing table. Instead of investing in a dedicated changing table, repurpose an old dresser by adding a changing pad and using drawers for storage. Some parents find it’s easier to change their baby on the floor anyway. In this case, you’ll be glad you didn’t spend a fortune on a changing table.
To save even more money, the blog Money Crashers recommends making your own baby food and toys. All you need to make baby food is a blender or food processor, along with a few storage containers. And when you get deliveries of diapers and all those other supplies, keep the boxes for playtime. Let friends and family gift you the fancy baby toys – they’re sure to be appreciated, but don’t underestimate the joy a toddler gets from playing peekaboo in a box! If you’re crafty, you can even make extra special toys yourself.
It’s easy for expectant parents to get overwhelmed by all the things they need. In reality, you can cut costs on just about everything baby-related. Start by setting a baby budget, and then use smart shopping strategies to keep expenses down so your budget doesn’t get busted.
Emily Graham | firstname.lastname@example.org