Saving Money on Baby Items
Now that we have two children, my husband and I like to think we’ve figured a few things out. We know how to diaper the kids so that they (usually) don’t leak. We can tell when they’re hungry – and when they’re just acting up because they’re kids. But most of all, we’ve figured out a few ways to save ourselves some money – that don’t include asking the grandparents to buy them all the clothes, diapers and food that they need (although that would indeed be a money saver).
Here are a few of the things we do.
- Save up and make “bigger” items special gifts. We’d love to have a season pass to the zoo and to the local YMCA, but they’re not cheap. For holidays or birthdays, we’ve asked family and friends to give toward these memberships instead of buying clothes or other items. That way, the gift will be used – and appreciated – all year.
- Buy used items. This one is a real money saver for clothing and other items that we seem to go though quickly. Winter coats and other gear are especially nice to buy used, either at consignment stores specializing in baby items or second hand shops. Be cautious, however, when buying used cribs, toys or other equipment – inspect them carefully for signs of wear and make sure all pieces are there. In addition, be sure to thoroughly wash or clean any used item before the kids touch it. Never buy used car seats – you don’t know if they have been recalled or ever been in an accident.
- Buy in bulk. Purchasing diapers in bulk saves money. Better yet, switch to cloth diapers. They cost more up front, but we have saved a great deal of money in the long run with using cloth diapers – especially since we have used them on two babies.
- Make it yourself. Instead of purchasing baby foods in jars, I try to make baby food whenever possible. Steam some extra vegetables and blend them into a smooth puree for baby. Many play items can also be made at home for far cheaper than they cost to buy, such as play dough and finger paints from kitchen pantry items.
- Take advantage of Free Offers! You can find a wealth of free offers, samples, and coupons on the internet. Many sites, especially Babies Online, work hard to bring you the very best free baby deals available. Often times these deals are brought to you with zero obligation.
- Playgrounds are free. While it’s nice to have your own play equipment in the back yard, it’s not truly a necessity. We like to take the kids down to the neighborhood playground – not only is it free, but it’s also a nice way to meet other kids – and parents.
While having kids is by no means cheap, there are some ways to save money. What’s your favorite money saving tip?