Save on Baby Stuff
Posted by Gail | Filed under SensibleSpending
It’s a common theme amongst new parents to overspend on baby, particularly the first. If you want to have money to save for baby’s post-secondary school, you’d be wise to find ways to not spend so you have some cash to stash.
Make sure you price-check everything, and use all the coupons you can. The baby biz is very competitive, but price points can vary dramatically from one store to the next. If you walk into a high-end boutique, you’re going to blow your brains out. Choose your stores carefully.
Speaking of stores, why not shop second hand? Babies grow quickly and buying clothes, furniture and toys second-hand is a great way to pay pennies on the dollar, leaving more for savings. Hey, don’t bother with the snobby, “Second hand’s not good enough for MY baby” crap. You can drop a small fortune on your Mini-Me now or have some money for college or university later. And tell the truth, it isn’t really about the baby, is it? She doesn’t have a clue about new or used. This is all about YOUR ego.
Parents are usually in a rush to get kids into the next size as proof that they’re doing something right and their babies are thriving. But if you rush into the next size of diapers, you’ll end up paying more because there are fewer in the box. And rushing to the next size means you’ll end up with a whole bunch of clothes that have barely seen the light of day.
You should keep your growing child in mind when it comes time to buy strollers and car seats. Since they often come with height and weight limits, buying equipment at the higher end of the size scale will mean fewer new buys as your baby grows.
Skip the fancy bedding sets completely. I’ve seen parents with four complete bedding sets for their baby’s crib. You’re showing off. Or you’ve got an impulse control problem. Your baby doesn’t care if he’s got little cars or flying sheep on his sheets. That’s you getting caught by the “Awww” factor.
Make your own baby food. You control the quality of the ingredients. You control the sugar and the salt. And you’ll save a ton of money… upwards of 50% over buying your baby food pre made.
Don’t get suckered into specialty kitchen appliances and storage system for your baby food. You’ll need a food processor, some ice cube trays and some plastic bags for the freezer.
Get stuff for free. Manufacturers throw stuff at new parents. In an attempt to win their loyalty, they bury them in coupons and free, Free, FREE! Get on all the mailing lists and sign up for the rewards programs. What you don’t use you can swap with other parents.
Bypass the organic milk. I had one mom insist on giving her toddler organic milk until I made her do the research and she saw just what “organic” meant. Not such a big deal. Certainly not worth the money! While you’re at it, don’t get suckered into “Toddler Formula.” Totally unnecessary.
Buy non-gender specific colours. Yes, you may want your girly-girl baby in pink, but if you have a boy next he’ll look pretty silly. Babyies wear their clothes for such a short time, you should stick with unisex colours so you can pass them down to the next kid. Yellow, orange, green, chocolate brown… great colours regardless of the gender of the child. And white onesies go with everything.
Pace yourself. You might want it all right now, but if that means tapping credit, that’s dumb! Don’t try blaming Mommy Brain. It’s your impulse monkey that’s jerking your strings. When you know you’re pregnant, make a list and then work the shopping into your regular monthly cash flow. Each year take an inventory of what you have and what you’ll likely need, and use your list to shop sales and get the best deal.
Perhaps the best piece of advice for a new mom or dad is to go shopping with an experienced parent (not your own!) Hormones and shopping are a bad combination. So is sleep-deprivation and shopping. Take along the voice of reason (so don’t choose your shop-a-holic BFF) and you’ll end up with money to stash away for Junior’s future schooling, which is a much better investment.