How to Save Money When You Have a Baby
After 12 years of marriage and raising 5 children, I know how important it is to learn to save money while raising kids. Consciously living on a budget is not just about living for the present, but it is also about planning for the future. It is expected that the family will have expenses from the time that the first baby is born until the time the children graduate from college or the university. So, living and raising children on a budget is not just logical but is actually one of the smartest things parents can ever do.
I don't claim to be an expert on parenting nor budgeting, but I would like to share what I have learned from experience so far when it comes to raising children. In this hub, let me share 5 ways how to save money when new moms and dads have their baby.
When the Baby Comes
There is definitely great joy when a new baby is born into a family. But with the coming of the baby is the additional expense that the family will need to consider in their budget. So here are 5 baby care tips that can save moms and dads the extra cash.
Use a manual breast pump to have more control over the pumping. It extracts milk more comfortably and efficiently.
1. Breastfeed your baby.
I breastfed all 5 of my children and I know we saved a lot of the money which could have otherwise gone to purchasing formula milk. Usually, a baby consumes 1 can of 900 g formula milk in a week. And how much is 1 can? Breast milk is free aside from it's the best milk for the baby. Imagine the savings!
It was easy for me being a stay at home mom. I don't have to worry about washing bottles, sterilizing and not to mention getting up at night to prepare bottled milk. But breastfeeding moms who go back to work and wish to save some can do so if they express breast milk for their babies to drink in a bottle later on.
You can do this manually or you can use breast pumps to assist you in the process. Keep the breast milk in a sterilized bottle and refrigerate. Then, ask the baby sitter to warm the milk before giving it to the baby.
One of the struggles or issues in our society today concerning breastfeeding is having to do it in public. Sometimes, it's just not that easy to find the breastfeeding station in the mall or practical to get to your car or in any other public place. So, would you do it in public?
Would you breastfeed your baby in public?
How do you breastfeed in public?
Mom, no one knows that you're wearing a nursing cover. It's stylish and discreet so you can breastfeed your baby when you need to.
2. Make baby food from scratch.
Buying bottled baby food is more expensive than just preparing the baby food from scratch. What you would only need are the fresh food ingredients and a good mini food blender or a baby food grinder. With this option, you get to expand on the baby's food choices beyond what is offered in store.
You can prepare a batch of the baby food like pureed vegetables or fruit then put them in ice cube trays and freeze them. When frozen you can put them in separate moisture proof packaging in serving sizes. When needed, just reheat to the appropriate temperature then serve.
How to Make Baby Food at Home
3. Save on the use of diapers.
Aside from milk, the second biggest expense in baby care goes to the purchase of diaper. How do you save on the use of diapers? First, you can use diaper coupons and watch out for deals on diaper in stores. Usually, buying in bulk is cheaper so you could consider saving for bulk buying.
Aside from that, I additionally saved on diaper use this way. When about 1 year old or so, I give the baby a rest from wearing diaper once in a while during the day, usually before giving the baby a bath or after he poops. I just let him wear a baby underwear until he pees. This allows me to save at least 1 diaper a day.
When the baby is ready for potty training, I buy a few pieces of baby trainer pants, those which are waterproof and washable. I let the baby wear this during the day, and he gets to wear diaper only when napping in the afternoon, sleeping at night or when we're going out. Not only do I save on the use of diaper but I also observed that the child gets potty trained faster.
4. Don't buy too much clothes for the baby.
The baby grows very fast literally and in just 2 months, the baby won't be able to wear his newborn clothes. It would be wise to buy clothes which are a bit over-sized so the baby can wear them longer.
I have 5 children, so I really saved a lot on baby clothes because I kept most of the clothes (including baby blankets and towels, bibs and baby shoes) that have been outgrown by the oldest child. I just have to learn how to keep things away properly and retrieve them when the need is there.
5. Find bargains at yard sales or thrift stores.
When we had our first baby, most of the baby items we had like the baby carrier, crib, baby bottles, bottle sterilizer, etc are all brand new. Either we bought it or a friend gave it to us as a gift. But we also had the chance to get a baby stroller at a garage sale. (See the picture of our son sitting on it?) It was really a big savings for us. We got it for less than $25 (equivalent to our currency) and we were able to use it until we had our 3rd child.
These are just some of the ways we had saved on our expenses as we were raising our babies. I hope these ideas are able to help you in raising your baby frugally.