Basic baby supplies and necessities (not including major furniture or
equipment) average over $3,000 in the first year of life. Diapers alone cost
the average American family $75 a month. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways
you can cut back on these expenses.
First, use coupons for baby supplies. Go to the major diaper and formula manufacturer’s websites and sign up to receive coupons. In case you would rather call instead, here are the numbers:
Next, consider breastfeeding to save money. Formula
costs over $1000 a year, so breastfeeding could save a lot of money each month.
Most hospitals offer lactation consultants to help you get started. If you
qualify for the WIC (women, infants, children) program, they also offer
assistance in breastfeeding or formula savings.
Remember not to be overwhelmed with your all the decisions you will need to make as a new mom. Seek out help, whether it is with breastfeeding, shopping, or caring for your baby. The best places to find help are free--friends, family, and the internet:
The Essential Infant Resource--Advice from Newborn to 18 months
Shop around to see what is one sale. Many pharmacies have weekly specials on items like formula or baby food, and you can take advantage of these sales. Combine your savings with coupons. For example, if the store has a sale on Pampers for $8.99 a package, you can combine that with a $1.50 coupon to bring your cost down to $6.50.
Consider cloth diapers. Cloth diapers are not for everyone, but they are good for baby and good for the environment. I used cloth diapers, I'm not know how much money I saved but cloth feels a whole lot softer than paper. And it's better for the environment.
Do not always consider bulk buying your best savings. To experiment, I compared the cost of bulk diapers at Sam’s Club with the same number of diapers bought in single packages with coupons on sale. Surprisingly, the bulk diapers at Sam’s Club were much more expensive!
Another great idea for saving money is to make your own baby food. A jar of baby food can cost between $.50 and $1.00 (for organic). Making your baby’s food can either mean blending up your family dinners, or using specially designed recipes. Blend it using the Magic Bullet or a food processor. I put my blended up food in ice cube trays and frozen them to keep them fresh and for easy defrosting. My son loved baby food but my daughter ate grown up food as soon as she could hold a chicken leg in her hand! There are a lot of great websites with ideas for baby food recipes
The website below offers a lot of great ideas:
Homemade Baby Food Recipes
Always be open to buying store brands. All baby formula manufacturers have to comply with federal nutritional guidelines. This means that buying store brand formula will not rob your infant of any essential nutrients. Some store brand diapers and wipes are excellent also—just try the different kinds and see what works for you.
Debt free living with a baby means coming up with creative ways to save on baby supplies, and potentially saving hundreds of dollars a year.