Baby on a budget–ways to save

It seems like everything these days costs more.  Well, actually it’s not your imagination–but a very hard reality. Especially if you have been to a gas station lately–where you may have felt the financial pinch most significantly.  Of course, like gas, groceries and every other bill that comes regularly, baby supplies can take up a pretty serious chunk of your new-addition budget–but does it have to? I often hear my friends complain about how expensive their children are.  I don’t usually say anything, but I wonder in my mind–why? And yes, if you are wondering–I have two children and I rarely feel any sort of financial pinch from their existence at all.
Not every baby has to be expensive, nor does your pregnancy.  If you think having a baby is expensive, maybe it’s just you–and what you think you have to have for a healthy, happy addition to your home.  Learning to cut corners on the cost of preparing for a new baby are relatively simple if you are willing to make some concessions.

Buy Consignment
Buying consignment for everything from maternity clothes, to cribs, swings, and baby clothes is a great way to save money.  Reputable, high-end childrens’ and maternity consignment shops often offer the same sweet outfits, along with the same quality at a fraction of the price when compared to buying new items.  If you are worried about recalls or safety issues with big items like cribs–most stores will be aware of any of those, or you can do your homework before you shop to stay current on what to avoid.  The only item that I would avoid purchasing from a consignment shop for safety reasons would be a carseat.  Carseats are technically supposed to be retired after any collision, whether they appear damaged or not.  Because you can’t get a “CARSEAT FAX” I would avoid any seat that you can’t verify a history on.

Borrowing items that you will only need temporarily is a great way to save some dough. Infant swings, and bassinets are two items that come to mind immediately.  Babies often use these items no longer than the first three to four months (depending on how lively your little one is) before they are no longer safe or practical.  If a friend offers to lend you thiers, take it.

Shop for Sales
There are certainly some items that parents want to buy themselves.  Crib bedding is a big one, along with a special outfit for pictures in the hospital, or an outift to wear home.  Don’t let money keep you from buying a trendy set of duds–just shop around,look for sales and use those gift cards from your baby showers to save a few dollars.

Think Practically
I have seen some pretty ridiculous baby supplies on the market. With aisle after aisle of products to purchase, many parents are left feeling that they are supposed to buy everything– and for that reason may buy many things that they will never use. Who needs a wipes warmer? That’s just another gadget to take up space and use electricity–and when junior is out for the day, where are you going to warm his wipe?  One of the most comical products I’ve noticed lately is a pacifier wipe. What happened to soap and water? Mothers (and their children) have survived for decades without paci wipes and we will continue–and keep our money for something else.