Last week I talked about four ways to save money on the cost of having a baby. Here are four more.
5. Give breastfeeding a chance – Please do not mistake me. I am in no way judging anyone’s choice on how to feed their baby. What I am suggesting is that women give breastfeeding a real chance. My lactation nurse in the hospital recommended two weeks of exclusive breastfeeding before deciding if you want to stick with it.
Most women give up long before this because they are afraid their babies aren’t getting enough to eat or are worried about what breastfeeding will do to their bodies or lifestyles or maybe just because in the beginning it can be painful. With breastfeeding all you need are a couple good nursing bras, some breast pads, a nursing cover up or blanket, and nipple cream (if needed). You could save a lot of money by not buying expensive bottles or formula.
Get Skinny Without Hitting The Gym
A bonus for mom is that it burns a lot of calories and speeds up the process by which your uterus shrinks back to its pre-pregnancy size. You could find yourself back in your regular jeans a lot sooner. It’s also great for bonding with your baby. That being said, if you can’t breastfeed for whatever reason, there’s no need to feel bad because your baby won’t care how he or she gets fed.
6. Consider using cloth diapers – Notice I said “consider” and not “use cloth diapers.” You can buy some really great diapers now with adjustable buttons or Velcro that can be adjusted as your baby grows. You could look for these diaper covers used on Ebay or Craigslist and simply buy new inserts for your baby. Cloth diapers could save you thousands of dollars on diapers over the course of the three years your baby will be in them. Bonus: if you can use the same set for subsequent children you could save a LOT more.
7. Join the Club & Coupon It Up – When dealing with baby poop, we all have our limits on what we will or won’t do. Some people can’t get around the idea of washing dirty diapers or paying for a diaper cleaning service so I recommend couponing and taking advantage of every rewards program you come across. Sign up for e-newsletters from your favorite brands whether it’s Pampers, Luvs, Huggies, etc. Do this for your formula, baby food, and bottle brands of choice as well. You can get free samples and coupons just for signing up in many cases. ShopRite has a Baby Bucks program where you can earn a $10 catalina (coupon that prints at checkout) for a future order when you spend $100 on baby items including food, wipes and diapers during a certain time period. Check with your favorite grocery store to see if they have a similar program.
Check for deals that give you catalinas for purchasing certain brands of baby items. On Saturday I got a sweet deal on Luv’s diapers at ShopRite. For buying four packages of diapers at only $6.49 a package I got two catalinas – one for $5 off a future order and one for $3 off a future offer. Plus I used a $1 off Luv’s coupon to reduce my cost to $24.96 pre-tax with $8 back, making it like $16.96 for 4 packages of diapers. I also snagged two packages of Pampers wipes on sale for $1.59 each and used two .50 off coupons that each double to $1. So I spent $1.18 for both packages.
8. Make your own baby food – If you have a stove and a blender or food processor you can make your own baby food. Make your meals like you normally do, but perhaps make a little extra and throw the unseasoned cooked food into a good food processor or blender and blend till appropriately smooth for baby (depending on how old the baby is). You can increasingly leave it thicker as the babies gets older so they have an easier time transitioning to finger foods. Just ask your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns regarding their ability to mash or digest certain foods.
Share your money-saving tips here.