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How to Save Money When You Have a Baby

Chin chin is a Christian stay-at-home mom with five children. She's been a Sunday School teacher for about 30 years now.


After 12 years of marriage and raising five children, I know how important it is to learn to save money while raising kids. Consciously living on a budget is not just about living for the present, but it is also about planning for the future. It is expected that the family will have expenses from the time that the first baby is born until the time the children graduate from college or university. So, living and raising children on a budget is not just logical, but is actually one of the smartest things parents can ever do.

I don't claim to be an expert on parenting or budgeting, but I would like to share what I have learned so far when it comes to raising children. In this hub, I'll share five tips on how to save money when you have a baby.

1. Breastfeed Your Baby

I breastfed all five of my children, and I know we saved a lot of the money that could have otherwise gone to purchasing formula milk. Usually, a baby consumes one can of 900 g formula milk in a week. Breast milk is free, and it's the best milk for the baby. Imagine the savings!

It was easy for me to be a stay-at-home mom. I didn't have to worry about washing bottles, sterilizing, and getting up at night to prepare bottled milk. But breastfeeding moms who go back to work and wish to save some money can do so if they pump milk for their babies to drink in a bottle later on.

You can do this manually, or you can use breast pumps to assist you in the process. Keep the breast milk in a sterilized bottle and refrigerate. Then, ask the babysitter to warm the milk before giving it to the baby.

One of the struggles or issues in our society today concerning breastfeeding is having to do it in public. Sometimes, it's just not that easy to find the breastfeeding station in the mall or practical to get to your car or in any other public place.

How Do You Breastfeed in Public?

2. Make Baby Food from Scratch

Buying bottled baby food is more expensive than just preparing the baby food from scratch. You only need fresh food ingredients and a good mini food blender or a baby food grinder. With this option, you get to expand on the baby's food choices beyond what is offered in the store.

You can prepare a batch of baby food like pureed vegetables or fruit then put it in ice cube trays and freeze it. When frozen, you can put it in separate moisture-proof packaging in serving sizes. When needed, just reheat to the appropriate temperature, then serve.

How to Make Baby Food at Home

3. Save on the Use of Diapers

Aside from milk, the second biggest expense in baby care goes to the purchase of diapers. How do you save on the use of diapers? First, you can use diaper coupons and watch out for deals on diapers in stores. Usually, buying in bulk is cheaper.

Aside from that, I additionally saved on diaper use this way. When my children were about one year old or so, I gave them a break from wearing diapers once in a while during the day, usually before giving them a bath or after they pooped. I just let them wear baby underwear until they peed. This allowed me to save at least one diaper a day.

When the baby is ready for potty training, I bought a few pieces of baby trainer pants, those that are waterproof and washable. I let the baby wear this during the day, and they got to wear a diaper only when napping in the afternoon, sleeping at night, or when we went out. Not only do I save on the use of diapers, but I also found that the child gets potty-trained faster.

4. Don't Buy Too Many Clothes for the Baby

A baby grows very fast, and in just two months, they won't be able to wear their newborn clothes. It would be wise to buy clothes that are a bit oversized so they can wear them longer.

I have five children, so I really saved a lot on baby clothes because I kept most of the clothes (including baby blankets and towels, bibs, and baby shoes) that have been outgrown by the oldest child. I just have to learn how to store things properly and retrieve them when needed.

My son sitting in his stroller bought from a garage sale.

My son sitting in his stroller bought from a garage sale.

5. Find Bargains at Yard Sales or Thrift Stores

When we had our first baby, most of the baby items we had, like the baby carrier, crib, baby bottles, bottle sterilizer, etc, were all brand new. Either we bought it or a friend gave it to us as a gift. But we also had the chance to get a baby stroller at a garage sale. It was really a big saving for us. We got it for less than $25 (equivalent to our currency) and were able to use it until we had our 3rd child.

These are just some of the ways we saved on our expenses as we were raising our babies. I hope these ideas are able to help you in raising your baby frugally.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Chin chin


nenytridiana from Probolinggo - Jawa Timur - Indonesia on August 28, 2012:

Very useful tips! I have five children too. We experienced 'rise and fall' as young couple. I have 19 month daughter now. Thank you chin chin.

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on March 17, 2012:

@cebutouristspot, I hope your 2nd baby will be delivered safely and I hope the information in this hub will help you save somehow.

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on March 17, 2012:

@debbie roberts, thanks for sharing how you are raising your children. That is one real advantage of preparing baby food from scratch - you know what goes into it. You could make it as healthy as possible.

cebutouristspot from Cebu on March 17, 2012:

Am expecting my 2nd kid 4 months from now and this is very useful thanks for sharing.

Debbie Roberts from Greece on March 17, 2012:

You have included some really good money saving tips in your hub. I breastfed and made puréed baby food out of what we were eating - every thing was cooked salt free and I added the salt once the food I wanted for the baby was taken and froze it in batches. I liked it too because I knew exactly what was in the food as well as saving money.

A very useful hub especially with times being tough.

Voted up and shared.

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on March 15, 2012:

@sunkentreasure, thanks for sharing your poem. The parenting advice contained in it will surely be a blessing to those who can take action. Be blessed.

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on March 15, 2012:

@jpcmc, I'm glad that you find this hub really helpful and I hope to write the next one soon.

Thanks for pointing that out about the diaper. Saving doesn't mean buying the cheaper brand, but buying the best product at a reasonable price. It's nice to hear that your wife is breastfeeding your little one, too. Have a nice day.



Bless your children with the power of prayer

Celebrate their uniqueness

Feed them encouragement and inspiration

and let them feel they are greatly loved.

Teach your children the beauty of kindness

Enrich them with the wonders of nature

Fill their hearts with joyful melody

and always be their friend.

Clothe your children in goodness

Make their world full of nice surprises

Help them to follow their dreams

and thank God they came into your life.

© Bernard Levine

JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on March 14, 2012:

I adore this hub Chin Chin. I'm new to parenting and not to mention new to the financially draining role of parenthood. It helps to squeeze out every cent I can. We used to buy inexpensive diapers just to save on cost. But we found out that we are actually spending more. When we switch to a new brand (although a little more expensive) we did not have to change nappies as often.

My wife is still breast feeding so it cuts our cost on milk. As for the clothes, we have relatives who are happy to give their baby's old clothes. That's a big slash on the baby budget.

I can't wait for the rest of your parenting advice series to come out.

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on March 14, 2012:

@ripplemaker, thanks.

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on March 14, 2012:

@alezafree, now you know. You can get to save on other items some other time.

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on March 14, 2012:

@Becky Katz, thanks for sharing your baby care budget tips. We also buy clothes from yard sales and my children totally got a lot of hand me downs as well from our friends' children. When they were all grown up, I pass on some of the clothes to the next generation of children in our circle of friends.

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on March 14, 2012:

Excellent tips chin chin. :)

Aleza Freeman from Las Vegas, NV on March 14, 2012:

I definitely wish I had taken advantage of garage sales sooner. I was hesitant when my son was an infant because I thought I had to buy everything new. What a mistake! I could have saved a bundle.

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on March 14, 2012:

I bought most of the baby things I had at yard sales. Most of the clothes were like new and in very good shape. I paid $1 a bag for the clothes and you can stuff a bag with a lot of baby clothes. They went through my children and my sisters children. We each added a few special things for each child but had lots to choose from. Anything but car seats can be bought from yard sales. Car seats should be bought new. They will generally be worn out by the time your child is out of them anyway.

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on March 14, 2012:

@Simone, well saving that way on diapers had its funny and frustrating moments - it gets messy sometimes.

Chin chin (author) from Philippines on March 14, 2012:

@Kelleyward, thanks for reading and commenting. I am also glad to pass down to the next sibling whatever clothing the oldest had, at least as long as they are wearable.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on March 14, 2012:

Excellent tips- and smart move with the diaper!! Gosh, I'd hate spending so much on dealing with my baby's waste... anything to reduce that cost and the number of discarded diapers is great!

JR Krishna from India on March 14, 2012:

Very practical budgeting tips for parents.

Thanks for sharing

kelleyward on March 14, 2012:

Great Hub! I did most of these things you listed except, bought too many clothes. Thank goodness I have 3 boys so I can pass them all down the line! Thanks for sharing your parenting tips!