Babies are expensive! If you have a baby, you’re probably nodding your head in agreement with me right now. I’m a frugal person, but not cheap. In most circumstances, I choose quality over quantity, and love to find quality items for a great deal. With these principals, I’ve been able to save a lot of money on our 11 month old baby. If you’re interested in saving money on your baby too, this is for you!
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10 Simple Ways We’ve Saved Money On Our Baby
1. Wants Vs. Needs
Adapting this principal as your “motto” throughout your baby’s life is the key to not overspending. There are a million products on the market for your baby, but you don’t need the majority of them. A lot of these products can be useful, but if you don’t have the budget for them, you need to have an honest chat with yourself and/or your spouse to determine what you actually need and more importantly what you can afford.
It’s easy to get caught up in what’s trendy, cute, or sounds helpful. But the truth is, until your baby is here, you won’t know what they’ll actually need beyond the necessities to eat, sleep, and poop because every baby is different.
Tip: Ask for gift cards at your baby shower so you have cash to spend once baby is here and you have a better idea of what your baby needs beyond the basic necessities.
If you can, avoid spending full price for the majority of your baby items. This will save you a fortune! I use OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, Mercari, Poshmark , Goodwill, Value Village, local thrift stores, and garage/yard sales to buy items secondhand for my baby. I clean and sanitize all items I buy secondhand and those items end up looking as good as new. My baby could care less if things are bought secondhand, and it saves me so much money.
Sign up for Poshmark using my code “meredithanne26” to get $10 free towards your first order. AND! Click my link here to sign up for Mercari and get another $10 towards your first purchase. Yay free money!
3. DIY toys
Babies are interested in all kind of objects and sounds, not just expensive toys bought at the store. For example, when I’m cooking dinner I set out a few pots, spoons, and plastic bowls for my baby to play with. It entertains him for at least 15 minutes, if not longer, which gives me enough time to prep dinner.
Seeing my baby find interest in all kinds of objects around the house gave me the idea to DIY toys by recycling items we already had. I made a YouTube video on my channel sharing the DIY toys I made. You can watch my DIY toys video by clicking here and create some of your own DIY baby toys.
4. Use a Smart Approach to Serving Solids (6m+)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prepared a meal for my baby only for it to be thrown on the floor and wasted. I’ve learned through trial and error that the best way to reduce waste when serving your baby food is to offer a small amount first (think 1 roasted carrot stick and one strip of peanut butter toast) then offer more once your baby finishes their portion. That way, the entire meal doesn’t end up on the floor or in your dog’s mouth and you can save the leftover portions your baby doesn’t eat.
5. Opt Outside Instead of Filling Your House with More Clutter
My baby is most happy when outside. He can play outside for hours (literally) and not cry once, whereas inside he cries and gets frustrated over his toys often. Instead of buying loads of toys to try to entertain your baby and make them happy, keep a few engaging toys inside for play, but also create a safe space outside for them to play and explore.
For younger babies, this might look like a blanket laid out in the shade under a big tree where they can lay on their back and watch the branches sway above them, or flip over and do tummy time as they watch the shadows dance in front of them.
For crawling and walking babies/young tots, this looks like a safe space where they can explore the grass, clovers, flowers, rocks, tree branches, and more. My baby LOVES textures, as most babies do, so giving them a space to explore all the textures nature has to offer is like an amusement park for their little brains.
Additionally, I’ve found that my baby absolutely loves to splash. During the warm months, I fill a kitty pool with warm water and let my baby splash around in it. He has the time of his life!
6. Get Free Stuff!
You can’t argue that the best way to save money is getting stuff for free. Check facebook groups such as “buy nothing” groups in your city or facebook marketplace. If you search for free baby items, there’s a good chance you’ll find something that a family no longer needs and wants to give towards another young family to benefit from. I’ve received a free Pottery Barn crib and changing table, baby clothes, baby proofing items for the house, and toys. They are such a blessing!
I also am a member of Influenster and I’ve received both diapers and wipes for free in exchange for an honest review of the products. You can check out Influenster here and see if it’s something you might be interested in.
Finally, I received free formula in the mail when I signed up for Enfamil and Similac. Before I had my baby, I thought I’d do it just in case. I ended up switching fully to formula when my baby was 8 months old and that free formula was super helpful to get us started and try out what worked best for my baby.
7. Purchase Items that “Grow with your Baby” (carseat, mattress, crib, etc)
There are quite a few items on the market that “grow with your baby”, therefore saving you money over time. Three of these items that we own that I can think of off the top of my head are a carseat, mattress, and crib.
Carseat: We have the Graco 4Ever Deluxe carseat. We bought it at Costco for a great deal. It lasts from the day you take your baby home from the hospital until the day they graduate from a booster seat. It can transform into 4 different positions, meeting your baby’s needs at each stage of life. We love it and it feels super comfortable for our baby.
Mattress: We bought a mattress for our baby that is firm on one side and softer on the other. When babies are 1 year and younger, they should sleep on an ultra firm mattress to encourage safe sleep and lower the risk of SIDS. After their first birthday, they can sleep on a slightly softer mattress. The beauty of a double sided mattress with firm on one side and soft on the other is you can use it for multiple years instead of having to buy a new mattress after your baby’s first year.
Crib: Our Pottery Barn crib we received secondhand for free also converts into a toddler bed. Once again, we won’t have to buy a new bed once our toddler is ready to transition out of his crib, therefore saving us money in the long run.
8. Sell Items You No Longer Need
I’m constantly selling baby items that are either outgrown or no longer useful on places like Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, Mercari, and Poshmark. I save clothing and items that I will use for future babies, but if it’s an item I didn’t love or don’t think I’ll use for the next baby, I turn it into cash if it’s in good condition.
9. Utilize Hand-Me-Downs!
There’s not much to say on this one besides the obvious… using items for more than one kid is a great way to get the most use out of each item and save money. I plan to reuse 90% of baby #1’s items for baby #2.
10. Use a Registry for your Baby Shower AND for Baby’s First Birthday
Finally, use registries for your baby shower(s) and for baby’s first birthday! A registry for a baby shower is much more obvious, but you may not have thought to use a registry for baby’s first birthday. Chances are, your guests won’t know what to buy a 1 year old anyway unless they have a 1 year old themself, so you’ll actually be helping them out by giving them options that they know your baby will use and love.
Simply include a little something at the bottom of your baby’s birthday invitation that says, “Need gift ideas? Check out our registry here: putlinkhere “. That way, guests can totally purchase their own gift idea if they want to, but if they are stuck not knowing what to buy, they can choose from your registry and it will be an item your baby needs, will use, and/or will love.
There you have it! 10 ways to save the most money possible on your baby. How do you plan to save money on your baby? Let me know in the comments below 🙂
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Saving Money Resources I Use Often:
Fetch Rewards: Scan any receipt (groceries, gas, restaurants, and more) to earn points towards cash back in the form of gift cards. I always cash out for Amazon. I use Fetch rewards in addition to Ibotta because Ibotta usually gives me more money back but takes longer to use. With Fetch, all I have to do is take a picture of the receipt and i instantly get points. EARN 2,000 POINTS FREE WHEN YOU SIGN UP USING MY CODE – 6VQ1A
Ibotta: With Ibotta, earn cash back on items you’ve purchased at the store by adding them in the app and taking a picture of the receipt to redeem your money back. I like to check the app before going shopping to see what high-paying cash back items are available. GET $10 ON ME IF YOU JOIN USING MY CODE – icnaysv
HONEY: I use honey to get cash back when I’m online shopping and to inform me of price changes on online items. I downloaded the honey browser extension to my computer so when I’m online shopping, I will automatically receive cash back for qualifying items. No research or logging into the Honey website is required. It saves me tons of money with zero effort. Honey also tells me if an item is a good deal or not. It will show me the item’s price over the past several months so I can see if it’s a good time to buy or if the item’s price is jacked up. GET 500 Points FREE ($5 value) WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR HONEY USING MY LINK – joinhoney.com/ref/h1pnwbp
RAKUTEN: I also use Rakuten in addition to Honey because they also offer cash back for many stores. I use both because Honey shows me price changes while Rakuten does not, but Rakuten offers cash back on 3,000+ stores so if Honey isn’t offering cash back on a store, there’s a good chance Rakuten is. Rakuten also offers a free browser extension so you can automatically earn cash back without having to do anything. Just make sure the browser extension is downloaded to your favorite online browser and start earning cash back when you shop online. EARN $30 FREE WHEN YOU SPEND YOUR FIRST $30 AT AN ONLINE STORE THAT RAKUTEN IS OFFERING CASHBACK FOR – USE MY LINK TO SIGN UP AND EARN $ – https://www.rakuten.com/r/MEREDI6080?eeid=28187
Poshmark: Buy new and used clothing for discounted prices and sell your own new or gently used items from your closet and earn money quickly. Poshmark also allows you to buy/sell home decor, shoes, baby toys, makeup/beauty products, and more. GET $10 FREE WHEN YOU SIGN UP WITH POSHMARK USING My CODE “MEREDITHANNE26”
MERCARI: Mercari is another buy/sell app I use to buy and sell new or gently used clothing, shoes, and items. I love that I can use both Mercari and Poshmark to buy secondhand items because it raises my odds of finding what I want to purchase. GET $10 OFF YOUR FIRST PURCHASE AND EARN AN EXTRA $20 IF YOU SELL $100 WORTH OF ITEMS ON MERCARI. SIGN UP USING MY LINK TO EARN THESE BONUSES – https://merc.li/T8EzH2b