As a mom, I am always looking for ways to save money. Here are the top ways I have saved money since becoming a mommy (and some things I wish I had done!)
- Breastfeed – According to investopedia.com (“Budgeting for a New Baby”- http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/budgeting-for-baby.asp), you will spend approximately $105/month on formula in the first year. That is $1260 for formula for the first year. Because breastfed babies tend to be sick less, have fewer ear infections, and are generally more apt to fight off the common cold, you can add that to the cost of additional doctor visits, copays, medicines etc. and you will see the savings is astronomical. Of course not everyone can and/or is willing to breastfeed, but if you can and you are willing to, there is definite savings to be had, not to mention the health benefits for you and baby.
- Cloth Diaper- Surely some people who cloth diaper DO NOT save money. These are the people who buy every new diaper the moment it comes out and who have over 50 diapers in their stash. BUT you can purchase pre-folds and covers or even purchase pre-loved diapers and you can save a fortune. The same Investopedia article mentioned above estimates you will spend $550 on disposable diapers for the first year. That’s over $1,000 by the time your child is potty trained and this article actually quotes on the low side of some other estimates I’ve seen. If you go with cloth diapers you’ll have an initial start-up cost and then just the cost of detergent and an extra 2-3 loads of laundry per week. I have spent less than $200 on diapers and have enough diapers to do laundry every 2-3 days. I could have spent less but I ended up liking Bum Genius (which is a pricier brand).
- Homemade Baby Food – This is one of the easiest ways I’ve saved a ton of money. The same article mentioned above estimates $60/month on baby food. I bought a Baby Bullet used from a Facebook B/S/T site for $30. I buy produce at Southwest Ranch Market and I end up spending less than $0.15/ serving of baby food. I bought 3 large sweet potatoes for less than $3 and I made 25 servings of baby food. That is $0.12 per serving. I have made butternut squash, carrots, pears, and green beans for pennies as well. I know exactly what goes into her food, there are no preservatives, and I can even use breast milk to achieve the best consistency and it gives the food an extra boost of nutrients! My baby loves it and I typically spend a few hours one day a month making enough food to last her a month. It freezes well and will keep in the freezer for at least a month!
- Skip the special baby detergent – I used Dreft for the first month or so, but when we ran out of that first bottle, I just started using Tide (which is what I use for our clothes). If your baby has sensitive skin this may not be an option for you.
- Buy fewer clothes- I got lucky and had a ton of hand-me-downs from my cousin, but even if I hadn’t received her clothes I STILL would have had more clothes than I needed. Newborn babies poop on everything. Everything. And it stains unless you wash it soon. So I was doing laundry every other day. That was when I realized we really only needed 10-12 onsies/ pants and a few sleepers. Even now that my daughter is 8 months old I still don’t need a ton of clothing for her. I rarely need to change her clothes throughout the day now that she isn’t a poop-machine so we usually only go through one (maybe two on a bad day) outfits per day.
- Coupon- I still haven’t mastered this one, but I’ve heard you can really save a ton by planning ahead and shopping the sales. I have friends with stockpiles of items!
How do you save money? What are your tips?