Practical Ways to Save Money While Preparing for a Baby
When you’re expecting a baby, it’s easy to overspend on cute nursery items and unnecessary parenting gadgets designed to make your life easier. On average, parents spend $13,186 on their baby during their first year alone! This is, of course, understandable. We want our babies to have everything they need to be comfortable, safe, and happy. While it’s certainly okay to splurge a bit, overspending can set you up for financial problems down the line. So, here are some practical ways to save money on your pregnancy prep.
Splurge on the Right Things
Some baby and pregnancy gear is worth investing in. For example, MoneyNing recommends splurging on safety gear, a well-designed diaper bag, and a good breast pump to make your life easier as a new parent. Consider picking up a few special things just for yourself, like a maternity pillow or a pregnancy journal. You can find many of these splurge-worthy baby items, including keepsakes and other goods, at retailers such as Crate and Barrel. In addition to baby and maternity gear, Crate and Barrel offers a baby registry so you can let your friends and family gift you those special items that you really want. Before shopping, grab a Crate and Barrel promo code to save money on your new purchases.
Avoid Non-Essential Baby Items
Many parents recommend against splurging on non-essential nursery gear like baby swings, play yards, or bassinets; babies tend to outgrow this gear fairly quickly. You can skip nearly anything that is designed for newborns only, such as newborn-sized clothes, booties, diapers, and bathtubs. Instead, buy clothes and items that your baby can use for at least a year.
Shop Thrift Stores and Yard Sales
Some baby items should not be borrowed from others or bought used, according to the Bump, as certain secondhand items can pose a hazard to your baby. Parents should always buy a new crib, stroller, car seat, and breast pump. It can be tempting to borrow toys from other families, but these can harbor harmful bacteria. Make sure you wash and sanitize any toys that you borrow or buy from others. Remember to also inspect used toys for choking hazards.
On the other hand, there are many baby and pregnancy items that are okay to buy used. If you’re trying to save money, shop for clothes, maternity wear, and some nursery furniture at thrift stores and garage sales. For example, many moms decide to buy a used dresser instead of shelling out the cash for a pricey change table. If you’re thinking about hopping on the cloth diaper trend, consider buying cloth diapers from a parent swap or online marketplace. You may even be able to share maternity clothes with other expecting mothers in your area!
Stock Your Freezer with Nutritious Meals
New parents can spend a surprising amount of money on takeout and meal delivery services. Since you won't have as much time to grocery shop and cook after your baby comes along, stock your freezer with ready-made meals now. Simple meals like soups, stews, chilis, and casseroles always freeze and reheat well. It’s also a good idea to learn how to meal plan before your baby arrives. Meal planning will help you save money and time when you run out of those freezer meals and have to start cooking again. Plus, planning your meals will prevent you from ordering out or buying unhealthy, processed foods that you can prepare in a flash.
When you’re preparing for a baby, it’s tempting to buy every piece of baby gear under the sun. Most new parents are completely overwhelmed by the number of things available to buy. It’s easy to overspend when you’re feeling anxious or uncertain. However, just remember that you don’t need fancy gear and expensive items to be an amazing parent!