Expecting a baby is one of the most exciting events in life, but you may find yourself feeling a little stress over the extra costs a baby brings. Based on studies done last year, parents will spend an average of $12,350 to $14,000 yearly on their children.
Fortunately, there are ways to combat these costs without sacrificing the things your baby needs. Here are seven ways you can reduce costs when expecting a new baby.
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1. Embrace Used Baby Items
Many parents are eager to give away the baby clothing or gear they have finished using. If you get any of these offers, always accept! Larger-sized clothing can be stored and will come in handy when your child grows into them.
Children’s consignment stores often have a wide selection of gently used baby items, with prices generally being significantly lower than purchasing the items new.
While the figure will vary based on how much your baby eats and what type of formula they need, the average cost of formula for one year is estimated to be just under $1,735. Breastfeeding does entail some extra expenses, such as a pump, nursing bras and high-quality food for the mother, but the typical cost of breastfeeding is far lower than purchasing formula.
3. Register for Practical Items
As enticing as all those cute baby shoes or fancy coordinating crib sets are, the reality is they may sit unused and taking up space. On the other hand, you will always find practical things like extra diapers, wipes, neutral onesies, simple toys and books useful.
4. Use Coupons
Using manufacturer or store coupons can be a great way to reduce costs on items like diapers, wipes, toiletries and baby food. Online deal sites, signing up on a manufacturer’s website, store fliers or retailer websites are all good places to look for coupons. Some stores allow you to use more than one coupon at a time or combine coupons with in-store sales.
Several websites also offer baby preparation checklists that can help you use your coupons most wisely. For instance, most babies wear certain sizes of diapers for longer periods of time. Using deals and coupons to stock up on strategic sizes helps you build the most efficient stockpile.
5. Meal Prep
After you give birth, there are many household jobs you likely will not feel up to doing for at least a couple of weeks. Cooking is definitely one of these tasks, but getting takeout or commercially prepared meals can be very expensive. Spending some time in your last trimester assembling your own freezer meals is a wise investment.
Many easy recipes are available online. The most popular ones typically call for simple ingredients to be put in a ziploc gallon freezer bag. These meals can then be easily thawed and cooked in a slow cooker or oven.
6. Talk to Your HR Department or Insurance Provider
Certain insurance plans cover services from different providers or facilities at varying rates. Taking the time to make sure you understand which providers and procedures your policy covers can help prevent unforeseen medical bills.
7. Shop Your Closet for Maternity Clothing
Many pregnant women look forward to buying stylish maternity outfits but may find themselves facing sticker shock at the store. Fortunately, you may have more pregnancy-friendly items already in your closet than you realize. Loose tunics, dresses and tops with empire waists and stretchy leggings or yoga pants can all be comfortable options. Maternity items in great condition can often be found at thrift or consignment stores, and don’t forget to check with your mom friends to see if they have any pieces you could borrow.
In reality, babies have few actual needs. They require food, clean clothes, diapers, a safe place to sleep, a car seat and lots of love. Once you separate the needs from the wants, you can find both reduced stress levels and a lower price tag.