Having a baby can be a wonderful and special time for parents that are excited to welcome a child into their family. Planning for a baby can be magical, but it also can be very expensive.
It's estimated that most parents can expect to spend around $12k-$12.5k per year on infants and toddlers.
When you're expecting to spend thousands on your baby, you're going to want to save money wherever you can.
Car seats are a must for babies and toddlers, but they can be very expensive. If you're worried about affording a car seat, we're here to help.
Parents that want to save money on car seats, this is the post for you! We're going to help you find the best budget car seat for your baby.
In This Post:
How to Find the Best Budget Car Seat
When most parents can expect to spend a couple hundred dollars on a car seat, just shopping for seats can make you feel anxious. Sticking to a budget can feel impossible when essential items cost so much.
Unfortunately, we can't make car seats cost less, but we can help you find something affordable.
Car seats are an unavoidable part of raising babies and toddlers, but if you shop the right way you can find something that's safe and fits in your budget.
If you keep these tips in mind when you're shopping for car seats, you'll be amazed at what you can find!
Read Your Car Owner's Manual
A lot of new parents make the mistake of deciding on a car seat before they learn if it's compatible with their vehicle or not.
Typically, car seats can be secured using either the seat belt or the LATCH system (an abbreviation for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children).
Almost every new model car uses the LATCH system. LATCH has been required in every new car made since September 2002, so cars older than that will probably rely on seatbelts for security.
You may think that you know which securing method the seat uses, but it's still always a good idea to check the owners manual. There's nothing worse than wasting time and money on a car seat that will never be able to work in your car.
Avoid Flashy Car Seats
It would be great to have a car seat that perfectly matches your car interior or goes well with the color of your diaper bag. There are a lot of colors and styles available, but the more elaborate designs can cost you more money.
Certain colors and patterns can add on to the price. We understand wanting to be a fashion forward parent, but you can express your creativity in the nursery and baby wardrobe and avoid doing it in your car.
Going for a plain grey or black car seat could end up saving you a considerable amount of money. The colors may not make heads turn, but the seat will help keep your baby safe.
Look for Manufacturer Deals
Do you have your heart set on a car seat, but know you don't have the money for it? If you want to buy from a certain car seat manufacturer, look on their website for coupons and deals.
Certain retailers may not offer discounts on car seats, but the makers of the seats can.
Simply do a quick search for the manufacturer you're interested in along with the words deals and coupons. You'll be surprised by what you find!
Don't Get Dazzled by Names
If you're trying to save money you may forego buying name brands and settle for store brands at the supermarket. That same shopping strategy can easily help you save a lot of money on your car seat.
It isn't unusual for some car seat manufacturers to sell the same basic seat through different retailers. Those retailers and companies set their own price, and some may be selling the same product for considerably less money.
Certain features like the accent piping, fabric colors, and buckles may be different, but the car seat itself is still the same.
This is where doing research before you buy comes in very handy. If you find a seat you like that's out of your price range, search from the product name and the words lookalike and generic and you could find the same product for less.
Go for Convertible Seats
Parents that want to get the most bang for their buck should consider buying a convertible car seat.
The best part about a convertible car seat is that it can be used for every stage of your child's life.
You won't have to worry about rushing to find money for a new toddler-sized car seat, you'll just have to make a slight adjustment to the seat you have.
This useful guide can tell you a little more about rotating and convertible seat.
The only drawback of a convertible car seat is that it can't be taken in and out of a car like a newborn seat can. Other than that, it's the perfect cost-effective option for parents.
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Think About a Car Seat Stroller
You're intrigued by the idea of a convertible car seat, but you don't want to lose the mobility of an infant car seat. Your baby may outgrow their seat, but you like the idea of being able to easily move your sleeping baby without a fuss.
If you feel like you need an infant car seat but still want to save money, consider shopping for a two for one transportation deal.
An infant travel system is essentially a car seat and a stroller that are bundled together at a lower cost. These are typically found with strollers and not car seats, but they'll work as well as any individual car seat you'll find.
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Save More, Live More
Find the best budget car seat is easy when you take the right steps. When you look for deals, go for seats with the best longevity and value, and focus on safety over fashion, you'll have no trouble finding affordable car seats.
We have a lot of helpful content for new parents that need to save money, and we have an absolutely essential need for young parents that are prepping for their new baby.
There are so many baby products on the market, it can be hard to know which ones are the most important. Check out our guide on the absolute baby essentials new parents need.
Can't afford a new car seat? Make payments on baby stuff with deferred billing options.