Since, I don’t have babies or toddlers, I know nothing about ways to save money on them. But, the beautiful thing is that I know some people who are great at saving money on their babies. Thankfully they are willing to help!
This is a another guest post from Resa at ResaDesign. She is a mom of two and a couple years ago began making some very cool clothing and accessories for babies and toddlers. You can find out more at her site –Resa Design.
1. Avoid splurging on expensive and fancy baby clothes.
Before they reach sizes 2 and 4 kids grow out of their clothes so fast. And with no concern for labels, why are you wasting the cash? If you must, start a savings account for those tween years when the kids ask for items by name! In the mean time a few quality basics for each season will get you through the first two years with ease. Try thinking ahead and buying a few things at the end of each season to put away for next year. This is especially great for coats, hats, swimming suits, and other seasonal items that if too big next year, will fit the following year.
2. Save money by making your own baby food.
At least make SOME of it. Jar food is super expensive when you count the cost per serving. It’s really easy to mash up your own bananas, peas, and cooked carrots. With the help of a food processor or blender you can make just about any fruit of veggie into baby food. (check out this link)
3. Take great care of what you have.
We like to use a product called Zout to beat stains of all the baby and big kid kind. (Easy to find at your local Big Box store.) When away from home, be sure to soak the stained item and throw into a bag until you can get home and get some soap on it. Soaking is also a great time saver for newborns- fill a dishpan with water and a little soap. Just keep filling until laundry time.
4. Pass on special baby laundry soap.
Unless your baby has special issues, I suggest washing his clothes right along with your own. If you want to be more sensitive, check out a fragrance free and dye free soap the whole family can get in on and is less expensive than the ‘baby’ kind. While our kids don’t have any special skin issues, we have washed their clothes with ours since pre-birth and they seem to be surviving just fine.
5. Share or buy ‘gently used’ baby clothing and items
Many baby and toddler items are only used for a short time. (i.e. Swings, bathtubs, tub rings, jump toys, saucer, bouncy seat, etc.) This ensures that a borrowed swing or play mat has only been used for a few months (per child). It also means your child is only going to use it for a few months too so why spend $100+?
6. Breast feed.
When possible, this will save you gallons of money on gallons of formula and all the bottles that go with that.
Having a baby soon? Check out our Printable New Baby Checklist!
7. Save money on toys by starting a toy diet early.
Too many toys are overwhelming for kids and parents. Stick to some quality basics (think quite, battery free). Think outside of the box, or of the box itself, when you need some new distractions. Other great box like toys- tubes, spoons, bowls, milk jugs, water bottles filled* with household items that make different noises. *be sure to glue or tape the lids on to prevent choking.
8. Save by taking advantage of free books, DVDs and CDs.
I’m all for a mini home library of the classics, but how many books or DVDs do we really need? Check out your local library for the best assortment of kids books, movies, cds, etc. You’ll have more variety than you could ever get at home. (Hint- I keep a list of books I see in magazines or online in our library book bag so I always have a place to start.)