Monday, January 30, 2012

Saving Money...Getting Ready for Baby...Part 1

As you probably know, our second child is due this year. With our first child, we registered for everything and spent way too much money on things we ended up not really using. This time around, we have a better idea of what we'll actually use, and what is just a convenience.

Adjust these lists to your own personal needs. Just because we found that we did or didn't need a certain item doesn't mean your family will have the same needs. Having a baby has many associated costs, but knowing where to save your money and where to spend it will give you more freedom to purchase better quality items when necessary (and maybe put a few dollars into baby's college fund!)
  • A Safe Crib is your Best Bet!
    • Buying a used crib for $20 at a yard sale is tempting, but you might want to consider other options. Drop side cribs have recently been banned, and many older cribs don't have the same safety regulations as new cribs. New cribs can often be found on sale, so you don't have to break the bank, but if you can find another area of your budget to shave, splurging on a safe crib is a good idea.
  • Washcloths are Versatile!
    • You won't believe how many washcloths you'll go through...all the way until your baby is a toddler! Not only for use in the bathtub, but also to wipe dirty faces, or use as a burp cloth. Save money by purchasing extra washcloths and not baby wipes or paper towels.
  •  Save Money on Wardrobe.
    • Yes, all those outfits are SO cute they're irresistible. But, your baby really doesn't need a huge wardrobe. And, baby will probably grow out of many of the newborn outfits before he or she is able to wear them. Save money by arranging for hand-me-downs from friends and family, or purchase quality gently used clothing at your local children's consignment shop or on Ebay. The best prices I have seen on new baby clothes are on the clearance racks at Kohls or Target (Target often has baby apparel coupons on their website). I have been able to purchase items for as little as $0.98 each. Ask your local store when they put out their clearance, and try to shop right when they put it out for best selection and prices.
  • Save Money On Bedding.
    • Many baby bedding sets are over $100, just for a bumper, quilt, and one sheet. Now that the American Academy of Pediatrics has suggested that crib bumpers are not the safest option, and quilts shouldn't be used in a crib at all, the only thing you really need as far as bedding is a sheet. You can purchase 10 or 20 sheets for the price of one bedding set! That's a big savings, considering you'll probably only need 3 or 4 sheets.
  • Buy Neutral When Possible
    • Yes, pink or blue is cute...but if you're planning to have more than one child you may want to consider purchasing basic baby gear (and some clothing) in neutral colors to avoid incurring additional expenses if baby #2 is a different gender than baby #1. The pink stroller system is cute, but that green one could save you a few hundred dollars down the road!
What are YOUR favorite ways to save money on newborns and infants?

Come back to read Part 2 and see more ways you can save money as you prepare for baby.

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