I never realized this until I became a mom, but once my daughter was born I tightened my wallet and became a thrifty, coupon-clipping, bargain-hunting mom. Sure I always loved a good deal but I found my purchasing patterns shifted from buying things on a whim to analyzing the value of each purchase.
This is true with almost all moms.
Let's be clear. If there was anything my daughter needed and pretty much most things she wanted within reason, I would get for her with little hesitation. Whether it was the premium multi-function Uppa Baby stroller and car seat set, organic and all natural baby soaps, or the latest educational toy, I was down. There was nothing my daughter would need and she couldn’t have.
And with this attitude comes a price.
Somewhere you have to compensate and that’s when I automatically cut back on any unnecessary or frivolous expenditures on myself. Those monthly mani–pedi sessions at my favorite salon and relaxing massage were the first to be cut out. Random shopping sprees for the latest fashion trends are now at an all time minimum. And you know what? I’m ok with that.
Becoming a new parent means you have to start from the beginning and get everything! How do you save when you have to buy car seats, strollers, bassinets, cribs, changing tables, breast pump, etc. How on earth do you save money with all these expenditures?
Well I’m here to share some of my findings to help you cut unnecessary spending.
9 useful tips for the money saving mom:
- Accept hand-me-downs. This may be a weird concept at first but trust me, it can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars! The thing about hand-me downs is that babies grow so fast that things, especially clothes, may barely have been used before it has been outgrown. If you have a sibling, family member, or close friends who have clothes their babies no longer need, don’t hesitate. A lot of times people go nuts on buying new baby clothes not realizing that the newborn may be able to wear the outfit only a handful of times before it gets too small. Also this is a great time to see if there are spare rockers, bouncers, toys etc. that are not being used. Parents will gladly lend these things out to help unclutter the house and reduce the ever-growing pile of toys accumulating in every room of the house.
- Get your breast pump through your health insurance provider. Most insurances will give you a credit towards a breast pump and some even allow you to choose from their pre-determined selection. This could save you anywhere between $50 - $200 dollars when you get your free pump depending on your coverage. Most providers will allow you to select your pump 30 days before your due date so be sure you take advantage of this opportunity!
- Get breast pump nipple cushions to help you build your milk supply. Fed is best. And sometimes moms need to supplement with formula for a variety of reason. But if you can pump and build a milk supply, may as well do it while in comfort. BeauGen breast pump cushions can help you add comfort to your pumping sessions. For moms who are teetering with quitting because pumping is too painful or uncomfortable, the nipple cushions can help you keep pushing through to build that milk supply and avoid spending aon formula. Breastfeeding and pumping can help avoid unnecessary formula purchases.
- Buy diapers and wipes in bulk. Getting a Costco or BJs membership may be one of the best investments to buy baby essentials in larger quantities. There are also online delivery sites like Boxed that allow you to buy in bulk and then deliver right to your house. You’ll save hundreds of dollars a year on your diaper purchases alone! Not to mention butt creams, baby lotions, and wipes. Well worth the cost of the membership!
- Minimize the toy purchases. I know this part is harder said than done. You don’t want to deprive your baby of educational experiences by not buying the latest Leap Frog gadget or downloading the latest app for baby learning the ABCs. I’m not saying don’t buy anything, just remember everything is new and exciting to your baby. The box that your latest amazon shipment came in can provide hours of entertainment or even the contents of your purse. Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that are the best things. Just keep in mind that your baby’s development will accelerate when you teach and interact with them and is not dependent on the fancy toys you buy. Buying all new toys and learning devices can get costly. Sometimes being innovative and using what you already have around the house can go a long way.
- Try DIY activities at home. Pinterest will be your new best friend. Here you will find a plethora of resources from other moms who shared their “Do It Yourself” kid friendly activities like holiday decorations, party ideas, and safe science experiments. Not only will you save money from not going to a kids camp, this is a great bonding experience to share. Also, DIY activities can keep the older siblings occupied while you tend to the baby.
- Get a library card. This may seem like an obvious thing but not everyone takes advantage of this resource. The library host lots of activities for kids such as story time, arts & crafts, science learning, and different activities for the babies to socialize with one another. Also most importantly, you can check out books for free! We all know establishing the love for reading early is advantageous and buying books all the time can get pricey while also cluttering the house. Why not cycle the library books with some of the classics you have at home to keep your kids interested. Great advantage is the types of books will change as your child develops and they can discover what they like themselves!
- Look for free local events at science and art museums. A lot of local science and art museums host a day each month that allows kids and parents to attend for free. This is a great way to encourage kids to explore the fine arts and learn about science. We parents are always a sucker for educational activities so why not participate in these great events. The kids will love seeing and experiencing with something new.
- Look for discounts. When you online shop, no matter which brand website you shop at, there is almost always a discount code floating around. Many e-commerce businesses use discount codes to entice customers to shop on their site. Before you check out, do a quick Google search for any discount codes. I’d say at least half the time, you will find something like free shipping or 10% off purchase which y ou don’t want to pass up. It’s always exciting when you stumble upon a great deal!
Lets face it, we all like to find a good deal! As parents, we will gladly sacrifice new purchases for ourselves to give our children whatever they need but it doesn’t always have to be like that. There are ways that parents can be money conscious with expenditures when it comes to the kids too. It’s all about being smart with our finances so that you can spend the money on experiences for the entire family.