How To Save Money On Baby Things
Kids cost money — that’s a fact. After having two of them, I’ve figure out what works best for us in terms of spending vs. saving money. Here are some of my best tips on how to save money on baby things.
Stop buying expensive pregnancy tests: I’ve recommended these tests in just about every pregnancy post I’ve written. They’re a combo of 50 ovulation testing strips (if you’re tracking and trying to get pregnant) and 20 pregnancy testing strips. TWENTY. Even if you don’t use the ovulation strips, the cost for the entire box is less than one pregnancy test. At least start with using these strips to see if you’re pregnant, and then if you want to double check with a brand name one, then do that.
Don’t buy maternity clothes: Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t automatically mean you need to buy maternity clothes. I was able to go through both pregnancies without anything maternity-specific (except I did buy a maternity dress for both my showers). It depends on how you like to dress, but most of my life is spent in leggings, so a good pair of Align leggings from Lululemon really helped (and yes, the cost was well worth it since I wore them daily). If you find that you can’t make your regular clothes work as you get further along, by all means check out maternity options, but just know that you’re not obligated to wear them.
Ask for extras at the hospital: One of the best pieces of advice that I got with my first was to take as much with me as I could from the hospital. Grab pads, diapers, bottles, whatever. You can also ask the nurses for extra. When we took him home, we also got a large bag from the NICU with more supplies, so we were well stocked for those first couple weeks.
Buy secondhand: I didn’t spend a TON on clothes for Miles, but I also didn’t take a lot of time to see what cheaper alternatives there were. As he’s gotten older, I’ve discovered some local consignment stores that have an incredible selection — not just of clothes, but toys and supplies for moms as well. Since kids grow so quickly, it makes sense to not have to break the bank when outfitting them. The only caveat I have to this is buying a used car seat – it’s fine, but make sure to check the expiration date before you do (and they do have expiration dates!).
Use local apps: I LOVE FB marketplace. I have been able to find so many things for the kids secondhand and in great condition. I also signed up for the Next Door app when we moved to NC and that has proven to be a great resource as well for people buying/selling things. If you’re a member of a local mom’s group and are looking for something in particular that you don’t see being sold, you can also ask about it because chances are that someone may have been meaning to list it, but simply forgot or hasn’t had the time.
Ask your pediatrician for samples: This has been one of my best ways for how to save money on baby things. Formula can be expensive, especially the higher calorie kind that we need to feed Remy. With Miles, we saved money by purchasing a generic brand at Costco (which turned out to be brand name, just repackaged with the Kirkland name). For Remy, we kept her on the same brand (Similac) that they started her on in the hospital, but this one doesn’t have a generic. Thankfully, her pediatrician had tons of samples and we haven’t had to buy formula since she’s been home! This has saved us HUNDREDS of dollars.
Don’t buy unnecessary things: It may feel good to shower your kids with toys, but until they’re older, they actually don’t need that many and can have a blast with everyday household objects. Miles is almost two and still loves playing with spoons, cotton balls, and whatever else he may find in the bathroom.
Other things I’ve had, but have realized aren’t entirely necessary:
- baby bath tubs (I did love this chair though for when they can sit up, but aren’t completely stable)
- shoes (until they’re actually walking)
- changing table (see below)
Don’t buy things until you need them: You may think that you need to set up a nursery in an extra room with a crib, chair, changing table, etc., but you actually may not. As you know, Miles spent the first year of his life with us in our bedroom in Chicago. Now that we moved to a bigger place in NC, he has his own room, but Remy is still in ours with us for the foreseeable future. She has a room that will eventually be hers, but there’s no need for us to completely outfit it until she moves. Also, the changing table we used with Miles has only been used a handful of times with Remy because it’s upstairs and we spend most of our time downstairs. Even with Miles, it served as more of a storage table because we would change him on the bed or the couch or wherever we were at the time. I’ve found that until I see the need for something specific, I wait to buy it.
I’m sure that this list isn’t exhaustive and that there are other suggestions based on those who choose to cloth diaper, breastfeed, etc., so let me know below what your suggestions are on how to save money on baby things!