Before Baby T's arrival, I always wondered why people say raising kids is one of the most rewarding things in life. Now I'm a dad, I finally understand the reasons. It's so wonderful to see Baby T learning new things, and developing his own personality. My life has change dramatically since becoming a dad and I am really enjoying this journey. This morning while having breakfast with Mrs. T, Baby T clapped his hands for the very first time. He was laughing and smiling while clapping his hands, it was a great way to start my day. It's so neat to see him learning these little things that we take for granted.
Having a new born does mean increasing the household spending a little bit. We do, however, try our best to reduce baby related spending. Here are 6 ways to save money on baby items
1. Buy Used
When we checked out strollers and cribs in baby stores during Mrs. T's pregnancy, we were SHOCKED to see the price tags. Most strollers are over $600 brand new, some strollers are selling over $1,000! The same goes for cribs. This is INSANITY!!!
After a bit of research, Mrs. T and I decided on the stroller and the crib brands. We looked all over Craigslist and various moms groups to find a used stroller and a used crib. Our hard work didn't go wasted. We were able to find a used stroller and a used crib of the brands and colours that we want. Both items were only used for about a year and we saved over 60% compared to buying brand new!
We also purchased a number of items used, such as baby clothes, cloth diapers, and toys.
A word of warning - make sure the used crib that you are buying is not being recalled or have any defects.
2. Use Cloth Diapers
Using cloth diapers instead of disposal diapers was a no-brainer for us because cloth diapers are much more environmentally friendly. Cloth diapers also save us a lot of money too!
According to Kerry at Squakfox, using cloth diaper will save you $1,799 (or 77%) on a single child! When Mrs. T and I went through the numbers, we found using cloth diapers will save us over $2,000! When we have more kids in the future, we can re-use the cloth diapers. Cloth diapers is an excellent long term investment.
3. Use Pass Downs
If you have friends that have older kids, don't be afraid to ask if you can borrow items that they no longer use. Most people will be more than happy to help out. It's nice to be able to loan out some items as a way to clean up the closet. Baby T is about to turn one and we already have a few boxes of clothes packed up in our storage room. We would be more than happy to loan these clothes to friends with younger kids.
4. Think Long Term
A lot of people buy baby items for the convenience and not think about the long term solution. A good example is baby car seats. Most people buy infant car seats because it's easier to take them in and out of the car. When the baby is older, a new car seat is needed. Consider buying a convertible car seat that can be used for more than a few months. One item at $500 is cheaper than two items at $400 a piece.
5. Do We Really Need This
"Do we really need this?" is probably one question that gets asked a lot in our household. This question not only applies to baby items but other items too.
Do we really need a fancy automated baby bouncer/swing? No we don't!
Do we really need a fancy $100+ designer diaper bag? No we don't, a $10 cheapo from Babies "R" Us will do!
Do we really need a fancy $80 diaper pail? No we don't, a cheap $10 metal garbage bin from Ikea will do.
Keeping asking this question and tally the money saved.
6. Avoid Baby Bjorn brand (or other name brands)
After looking at different baby items in stores, we realized that the "Baby Bjorn" name will automatically add 50% or more to the cost of the item. Just because it's from Sweden, it doesn't mean it's top quality. This also applies to other name brands too.
Do you have any tips you want to share?