Budgeting for Baby: 13 Money-Saving Strategies
Small savings add up when it comes to life with a new baby.
Oh Baby, What Savings! continued...
Buy diapers in bulk. Your cost per diaper is cheaper when you buy in bulk. And you'll go through them so quickly the first year that buying in bulk will also save you time and gas by not having to run to the store so often to replenish them.
Breast is best for your budget. Nurse your baby if you are able. Not only is it healthy for you and your baby, it will save you money on the cost of formula.
Make your own baby food. Get a small food processor and make your own baby food from fresh fruits and veggies. It's a lot cheaper than most baby food found in the store. Just be sure to freeze any leftovers so they don't spoil.
Put your money where it matters. Spend your money on safety items like car seats and cribs. Manufacturers constantly update these items with the latest safety features, so it's best to buy new.
Clip out, click on coupons. Comb through your local paper and flyers for coupons on baby supplies. You can also sign up online for coupons from your favorite manufacturers, and while you're at it, look at online social sites just for moms. Many of them offer special deals on baby purchases that can save you money.
Think "something borrowed." Ask friends and family with older children if they have anything they aren't using. Most will be more than happy to pass on baby clothes and other gear. You can also borrow things like a changing table (you'll want to buy a new pad for it), a highchair or booster seat, baby slings or backpacks, and a dresser.
Check yard sales and secondhand stores. Often you can find clothes that have been barely used and look almost new. This can be a good way to find special event clothes that your child may only wear once.
Hold off buying shoes. Yes, those tiny sneakers are cuter than words, but your little one really doesn't need shoes until he or she learns how to walk. Footies or socks work fine to keep your infant's feet warm.
Buy store brand and generic. Your little one won't know any different, and it can save you a lot of money on baby supplies and formula. Baby formula is regulated by the FDA, so you can be sure that the store-brand formula has the same quality as a brand name. Formulas, though, do not all have the same mineral content. So ask your pediatrician for recommendations.
Take advantage of tax deductions. 20% to 35% of child care expenses can be deducted depending on your income. Some states offer additional benefits, so check with your tax adviser.
Tax-free is free money. Some employers offer a dependent-care account where you contribute an annual amount in pretax dollars to be used for qualifying dependent care expenses. Check with your employer to see if they offer such a program.