Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.
Having kids is one of the most rewarding experiences in the world for a lot of people. It’s also really expensive. While there is almost no getting around this fact, there are plenty of things that you can do to soften the blow. I’ve outlined five money saving tips below to get you thinking in the right direction.
Second Hand Clothes Are A Life Saver
At first glance, it might not seem like baby clothes are all that expensive. After all, they probably cost a lot less than the outfits that you buy for yourself. There are a couple of things you need to take into consideration though.
First, babies tend to be a messy bunch so they go through a LOT of outfits every day. Second, they grow pretty quickly. So, the new onesie that fits perfectly today will be relegated to the dust bin in just a few months.
If you have to buy all new clothes for your little one, you can end up spending a fortune. So, it’s a good idea to check with friends and relatives to see if they have anything that they want to unload.
Saving A Little Bit On Diapers Can Really Add Up
Diapers are another one of those items that seems cheap but can cost a lot over time. In the beginning, babies will be going through more than 10 diapers a day. While this number will gradually decrease over time, it’s not uncommon for parents to spend close to $1000 in the first year on diapers.
There are a couple of things you can do to save money. One is to use cloth diapers. Unlike disposables, you don’t need to throw these out after use. So, while cloth diapers themselves cost a bit more, you end up saving a lot of money over time since you don’t have to buy nearly as many.
If you decide you want to go with disposables, it pays to shop around. Check your grocery store, Target, Walmart, Costco, and Amazon. If you can save a few cents per diaper, the savings add up over time.
Make Your Own Baby Food
Once your little one starts eating, you might notice that all those jars and pouches of baby food are actually rather expensive considering the portion size. If you want to cut costs in this department, it’s actually pretty easy to make your own food.
Just toss some sweet potatoes, carrots or whatever else your baby likes into a food processor, and you’re good to go. You can serve up a small portion and freeze the rest to save for later.
Get A Library Card
It’s a great idea to start reading to your child at an early age. But, while it’s nice to buy a few books, it can be expensive to buy a lot. Yes, you’re going to want to introduce some variety so that you and your child don’t get bored. But, that is essentially why libraries exist. So, head over to your local library, and check out a few books at a time. Then, rinse and repeat.
Be Mindful Of Which Purchases Are Temporary
When you’re out making major purchases, it’s a good idea to think about how long your going to be using them. For example, if you’re buying a new set of drawers that your child can keep for years and years, it might make sense to get something nice. On the other hand, if you’re purchasing a bassinet that you plan to use only for your little one’s first few months, it might be a good idea to get something more affordable.
It’s natural as a new parent to want your child to have the best of everything. That approach can get quite expensive though. So, unless you’re made of money, I would suggest looking for places to save here and there.