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Budget friendly baby ideas

Having a baby is can be very costly, but there are lots of less expensive options out there. It may be very tempting to get only the best for your child, but isn't saving for - say, an education - more important than a closet full of designer baby clothes? Not getting all soapbox-y here, but scale it back a little maybe?? When it comes to parenting on a shoestring, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

Shop consignment stores: Shop at local consignment shops, online classifieds, and the side of the road. Make friends with that woman who just had her fourth child and is sending her husband for a vasectomy. She's ready to offload a crib or two!

Borrow everything people offer: Many people like to hang onto their gear for subsequent babies, but the Exersaucer is taking up a lot of space in the interim. Get it as clean as possible when it is returned in order to improve the chances of securing future loans.

Need it? Or want it? Consider whether baby-themed purchases are needs or wants. Is that $30 dress from Baby Gap really necessary? Hello??? And how many times will the babe even wear it? Tempted by a $50 mobile? String up some soft toys, photos, and origami creations above the crib instead (click here for an idea). Careful consideration before handing over the credit card will be a big money-saver.

Scale back the gifts: Little people don’t need tons of Christmas and birthday presents. Furthermore, they don’t even want them yet. Take advantage of the pre-peer-pressure stage. What are they going to with lots of things anyway? Chances are it will just take up valuable room in your den, languishing, forgotten.

Barter babysitting: If new parents need a night out, find another parent friend and trade off on the babysitting detail so both couples can benefit. That way mom and dad can enjoy their excursion without stressing about the fact that once childcare is factored into the equation, the pasta and rom-com costs $30 more than pre-baby.

Break out the food processor: Make your own food. And don’t stop after the puree stage. Gather the scraps from your plate and freeze in ice cube trays for future consumption. Plan meals to accommodate for little-person-friendly alterations: cook an extra sweet potato with a chicken dinner, or ladle out some of that black bean soup before adding hot sauce. Soon enough there will be a stash of food in the freezer that will minimize the need to purchase the expensive pre-made processed stuff.

On the subject of food, legumes in the slow cooker on a regular basis will keep grocery bills from spiraling completely out of control. Try homemade baked beans, lentil stews, and vegetarian chili. All are cheap, plentiful, and healthy.

Look for community based programs and activities: Search out free or by-donation baby and toddler programs in the neighborhood – and be amazed at what’s out there, including: Kindergyms, playgroups run by ECE professionals, toy lending libraries, and story times. These options are much cheaper than swimming lessons or a trampoline in the backyard. Check community centres and libraries, as well as online playtime calendars.

What did you do to save pennies when you had a baby?

2 comments:

Salma said...

Great post...everything here makes sense.
When my babies were small I saved by using rags to wash their bums, and saved the wipes etc for going outside. I don't think I was trying to be frugal per se, but it just helped keep costs down.

Anonymous said...

Stay out of the Baby Superstore places, it doesn't take all that fancy expensive "stuff" to parent well.
-coffeymama

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