Everyone knows babies can be so cute, but does anyone ever stop to really assess how much they cost? Especially with the hard times many are facing in 2010, planning for a baby or caring for a new one comes with many costs. It's estimated that the average couple spends a minimum of $6000 that first year on baby products, not to mention the hospital bill and daycare if needed!
The good news is, well informed parents can save 40-50% off those baby products by following these tips:
- Buy used. Sites such as www.craigslist.com and www.freecycle.org are great places to pick up baby furniture at about half the cost. www.onceuponachild.com is another good resource.
- Stock up when the prices are low. See a clearance on baby clothes but the baby's 2 sizes too small yet? If the sale is significant enough, buy ahead so that when the baby is old enough, you won't pay full price.
- Swap babysitting with other parents. Find another couple who has a child, and instead of hiring a babysitter for a night out, swap babysitting hours. Make sure you get to know the couple ahead of time to feel comfortable and to introduce the baby.
- Ad Match at Walmart. See a stroller on sale at Target and a crib on sale at JCPenny's? Hit two birds with one stone by price matching the items at Walmart. One stop shopping.
- Make your own baby food. You can purchase a baby food grinder for about $15, or simply use your blender! If you eat green beans for dinner, put several in the blender (maybe add a little water) and puree it to a fine consistency. Your baby will never know the difference.
- Shop garage sales. Kids grow out of their toys so quickly; buying at garage sales can cut the price 75% or more off the regular price of items. A quick cleaning at home and your child is ready to play.
Another key to saving on baby costs is to use websites like the ones below to receive coupons in the mail for formula and diapers.
The sites above have a quick, free registration and then you will get regular mailings with coupons such as $3 off diapers and $1 off wipes. If you are brand particular about formula, you may want to register for all of them and then trade the coupons with other moms who may use the kind of formula your baby drinks.
With a little frugal planning, a newborn doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg!