Well, it seems like more and more friends are expecting these days! If you know me well, finding ways to save money is my thing! Several friends have asked for tips, and I thought I would put together a list of my top 5 in order of the baby’s birth/needs. #5 is my favorite!
- Don't find out the sex – Don't get me wrong, I'm a planner. Some might call me crazy because of how much I plan. Secrets and surprises are not my thing, especially one that lasts 40 weeks AND one I can ruin by just asking the doctor. Finding my presents before Santa came was one of my favorite things. Not finding out what Owen was going to be, was not easy for me.
Many say it's the best surprise in life; I would definitely agree. But, the surprise was not the only reason we didn't find out. When nobody knows, you get practical gifts at your showers. We ended up with diapers that lasted until he was about 4 mo old, wipes until he was 7 mo, a swing, high chair, stroller, car seat, bottles, toys, nursing supplies, etc. All of these things are whites, yellows, and greens, which are colors baby 2, 3, 4+ can use, no matter the sex. (No we are not pregnant).
We had some friends who found out they were having a little girl while they were pregnant and ended up with 40 tiny adorable pink newborn dresses. They registered for all of the practical things and hardly any clothes. But, what person coming to your shower can resist the uber cute outfit. Burp rags just aren't as fun. Also, everything is pink or blue. If a future baby is the opposite sex, it means a lot more shopping.
- Don’t buy a ton of clothes – Our friends that ended up with 40 newborn dresses still had the tags on ½ of her clothes when she had to move to the next size.
I know it’s super tempting, but don’t do it. Don’t buy all of those super cute little clothes. They grow out of them so fast and don't have many opportunities to wear them. For the first couple of weeks, or so, Owen and I rarely left the house. We would dress him up for church and a few occasions when family or friends came to visit. Really, they only need 4-6 of those super-cute spiffy outfits.
I curbed my shopping needs by searching for the perfect outfit to take our little one home in. I bought one girl and one boy outfit. Owen looked like a stud coming home from the hospital in his collared shirt and sweater vest.
But really, they spend 12-14 hours a day sleeping. Jammies and onesies are ideal! Plus, when many friends and family come to visit you for the first time (or for my mom and mother-in-law for the 100th) they can’t resist but to bring you a new cute outfit they saw in the store.
- Breastfeed for as long as possible – If you’re looking to save some dough, breastfeeding is huge! We had some friends that have resisted having a little one because of the expense. We have told them, “God gives you 9 months to save up and prepare.” On top of that, if you are breast feeding, things are relatively expense free until 6 months or so--when they start eating real food. If you can pump, stock up your freezer. Just when you think you have a lot frozen, keep on pumping. You will be shocked how fast that supply depletes. If you're needing a pump, some insurance companies cover a breast pump. Give them a call and ask. If not, used pumps work as well as old.
- Formula is expensive – Well, this kind of goes with #3 and is pretty obvious for most. Formula is CRAZY expensive! Stock up on the free samples that your OB and the hospital give out, or any you can sign up for through Enfamil or Similac. When those run dry and you have to buy, SamsClub is where you want to go! If you don't have a membership, find a friend that does. Their generic brand formula is $.44/oz compared to Walmart’s generic brand formula at $.54/oz. Don’t buy the name brand stuff. It’s something crazy like $.98 or $1.14/oz, even at SamsClub. The difference in generic brands will save you a couple hundred dollars a -year, choosing the generic over the name brands could save you $500.
- Amazon Mom – Amazon mom is the best thing ever! If you are familiar with Amazon Prime, it is basically that, but you get it FREE for 3 months! Sign up. With amazon mom, you get FREE Two-Day Shipping and save 20% on diapers, wipes, and thousands of other family essentials.
Plus, you may be eligible for an extra $25 off select diapers when you join. They also send out a ton of great coupons. So far, I have gotten some for $10 of free baby food, 20% off baby toys, $3 for a movie through amazon video (a free rental). All of which I have already used. It's been great. If you ever had an amazon prime account or an amazon student account don't use that same email/login and you should be able to get the 3 months for free.
Here are the items that we have gotten a lot of:You get - 20% off diapers and wipes. I have found these to be the cheapest I could find at $.12/diaper. I haven't had to buy wipes yet because we got so many at my showers.
For baby food: I found it for $.10/oz or $.12/oz compared to Walmart's price of $.15/oz. You will want to subscribe and save to get the price of $.10 or $.12/oz. Look around at all their options. They have a lot. (I would just cancel the reoccurring order after the first month of getting them to get the discount, but not have to reorder.)
The membership has been nice to use when attending other baby showers. It's cheaper, less shopping is involved, and they deliver in two days.
Prime is also great for any other purchases you need. Brock had to get the new Madden game for x-box, which came with a subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket so we could watch the Chiefs games every week. Best part is, we just ordered it one week before NFL games start and it will be here in time for us to watch all of the games. WARNING: Prime might cause you to spend more money than save because it's just so awesome and convenient! (If you sign up through my link, I get a referral bonus.)
While I might be giving what some think is helpful advice, others might hate it. My biggest piece of advice for new moms is do what works and is best for you. Everyone has advice. Most of the time it's contradicting. The more you read or hear from others the more confusing being a mom can get. Just do your thing. Trust yourself. You'll be great!