Since I have had my baby boy (and several months prior), I have been engrossed in the world of strollers, diapers, and toys. This has challenged me to make my little one's world sparkle, saving money all the while.
My husband and I had fun doing our inexpensive nursery. We found bargains and reused some things from other parts of our home. But not so long after the nursery was complete, our little Jack came along, which meant reasons to find even more bargains. Here are some great ways I've found to save money:
- Read Baby Bargains. I am forever grateful to the person who recommended this book to me. It's especially helpful for major purchases when you're preparing for baby. It includes reviews and ratings based on cost and quality for many different baby products, including car seats, strollers, diapers, cribs, toys, and more. As a first-time parent, I was overwhelmed with all the brands and choices and safety claims and gadgets. I wondered if I didn't have this or that if I would be a terrible mother or perhaps my baby would implode. This book is really helpful in that department plus it identifies as the best deals (for price and quality). Then you can watch for sales on the best-deal products you select.
- Watch for diaper deals. Frugal bloggers (see right side) are a wonderful find in this area. They are constantly posting deals or coupons. Friend Pampers and Huggies on Facebook for more deals. Subscribe to the Babies R Us (which, outside of wearhouse clubs, have the best prices on large boxes of diapers in my area—even better than Walmart) flier and wait for sales. They often offer gift cards or discounts. Some people would rather use no-name diapers to save; this can work, too, but if you are willing to spend time clipping coupons, major brands can be the same price or cheaper (and perhaps better quality, depending on your opinion).
- Join diaper clubs. This is mostly just for fun, but both Pampers and Huggies have reward programs. They are free to join; members enter codes found on diapers and wipes (and on frugal blogs) and collect points to win prizes. Just the other day, I got my first reward—a free toy—from the Huggies Enjoy the Ride rewards program. It was about a $10 retail value and provided some extra entertainment for Jack.
- Buy consignment or use friends' gently used equipment and clothing. I am pretty picky about used clothing that I purchase, but I have found some quality (and even new) clothing at yard sales. And friends who have given us clothes are wonderful (thank you!). I still have fun buying my little guy cute new clothes, but we sure have to buy a lot less. Since most babies are in and out of sizes in a flash, it seems crazy to spend gobs on little clothes. One caution in this area: Beware of purchasing/getting used car seats (could be damaged if they have been in an accident) and other major equipment, such as cribs, that are older and may not be up to current safety standards.
- Save on toys. Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Amazon, Target, and other stores often have toys on clearance. Combined with coupons, toys can be nearly free. If you are looking to get a few more toys for your little one, watch for these types of sales and take advantage of them. For example, Babies R Us had a sale recently: buy one Fisher Price toy, get one free. I had a gift card that I received from a diaper deal, plus 2 $5 coupons. We walked away with four new toys that would normally have totaled $110 for about $35.
- Get free stuff. See my previous post for ideas, but I have received free diapers, a board book (one of my son's favorite books), a sippy cup, and more baby-related items.