New parenthood means new responsibilities and new expenses. Keep it simple and less expensive by introducing some of these money-saving tips into your growing family’s life.
1. Breastfeed your baby.
Not only is this natural practice advised by experts and mothers alike for overall newborn health and growth benefits, nursing is absolutely free. An exclusive breast milk diet is recommended until the six-month mark, and a mixed diet of breast milk and soft, natural foods is encouraged throughout baby’s first year or longer. Nursing provides optimal nutrient benefits and special bonding time for mommy and child, all while saving money on formula costs.
2. Consider cloth diapers.
While disposable diapers are convenient, they’re expensive costing anywhere from $80-$150 per month during the first year. Cloth diapers are a viable alternative. Not only will you save over 60 percent on annual costs, you’ll save over a half ton of diaper garbage from going into landfills every year.
3. Make your own baby food.
Once your baby is ready for solid food, save money by making your own baby food. Puree your own with a blender or food processor to cut costs. There are also many health benefits of making your own baby food including cutting down on the amount of preservatives. Visit sites such as Wholesomebabyfood.com and Parents.com for plenty of cheap and nutritious baby food recipes.
4. Become coupon and sales-savvy.
Be sure to find ways to save on baby supplies such as diapers, clothes and baby food by looking for coupons on websites geared towards new parents, such as Diapers.com. Use these coupons on diapers or baby food during store sales to save even more.
5. Buy used or resale.
Keeping up with baby costs is almost as difficult as keeping up with baby clothes. Buying a new wardrobe for the baby every few months isn’t practical for growing families on a budget. Instead of investing in brand new clothing, try to buy the bulk of baby’s clothes pre-worn. Garage sales, craiglist.com and consignment shops are great resources for baby clothes and toys on a budget.
6. Shop in advance.
Before you know it, your baby will grow out of those tiny onesies and booties. Look forward to these transitions by purchasing clothes in advance and saving bundles in the long run. Watch for storewide and end-of-season sales at your favorite department stores.
7. Utilize free programs.
There are many free community events activities available for you and your baby. Take advantage of the programs in your area, such as story time at the library or bookshops, playtime at toy stores and baby yoga at wellness centers.
8. Become a member.
Many museums, science centers, aquariums and zoos offer free or discounted rates for infants and children under age two. Become a member of your family’s favorite institution to save on regular outings and city-wide events. These facilities often host family-friendly activities and classes for affordable entertainment and bonding experiences as well.
9. Stay at home.
New parents will soon find that extra-curricular time is reduced drastically once your baby is born. Consider spending your weekends entertaining at home rather than spending money to go out. Invite your friends over for game night, movie night, or cook-offs to keep your social life full and frugal.
10. Apply for assistance.
Government and privately funded programs are excellent resources for qualified families in financial need. WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program and Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) are just a few examples of many helpful programs for new parents and their newborns.
Don’t let unnecessary expenses add to your list of concerns as a new parent. Try some of these frugal, family-friendly tips today to keep your budget on track.