How to Save Money When You Have a Baby
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 the 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 nor 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 900g 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 being 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 baby sitter 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.
Would you breastfeed your baby in public?
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 diaper. 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 rest 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 going out. Not only do I save on the use of diaper, but I also found that the child gets potty trained faster.
4. Don't Buy Too Much 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 over-sized 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 the need is there.
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.
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© 2012 Chin chin