If you’re expecting a little one, you’ve probably begun to realize just how expensive they can be! From all the items you think you need to the constant string of new products hitting the market and the pressure to be prepared, it can be incredibly overwhelming. With that in mind, today’s post shares my best tips for how save money on baby stuff. Using these strategies can help put hundreds back in your pocket, while not sacrificing anything important.
#1: Only buy things you think you’ll actually need (and use!)
This tip may go without saying, but it’s important to consider. There are SO many baby products on the market, and many of them feel like you just HAVE to have them. But often the companies selling them are using clever marketing to convince you that you need them, even when they aren’t necessities.
For example, my daughter only took a pacifier for a few days, and then stopped. Thankfully, we had been gifted a few, but hadn’t registered for any or bought any ourselves. And if she ends up taking one in the future, we’d need different ones anyways that suit her age. If we had bought Wubbanubs and other more expensive pacifiers and accessories, they would have been a waste.
If instead, you buy the key things you’re pretty sure you’ll need, you can save money. And if your baby loves a certain product or runs out of something? Buy more! It’s easier to stock up on things that are working than to buy every possible thing they could use, only to find some of the products aren’t a good fit.
#2: Repurpose existing items.
This is another tip that may sound obvious, but can go a long way in helping you save money. Look at what you already have to see how you can use them for your baby.
Some examples are:
Using a smart speaker (like a Google Home Mini or an Amazon Echo Dot, Kids Edition) in the nursery to play white noise for naps and music when you’re just hanging out.
Putting baby pictures in extra frames you have in order to decorate the nursery.
Using decor items like artificial flowers in the nursery.
Repurposing glass jars or containers to house small items like pacifiers or bibs.
Using an old dresser you already have as a changing table.
#3: Create a baby registry!
If this is your second (or third, or fourth!) child, you may not be planning on having a baby shower. But it can still be a fantastic idea to register, for a few reasons.
First, if anyone’s looking to buy you a gift, they can buy something you actually want, versus guessing what you need.
Second, many registries come with extra perks like discounts and free products.
And third, it’s a good way to keep an ongoing list of what you need so that you’re less tempted to buy additional items.
#4: Take advantage of sales.
Especially when it comes to bigger ticket items (like strollers, car seats, and play pens), buying during a sale can go a long way in saving you money.
The big sale events like Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day are great places to start, but what if you’re shopping in another time of year? Subscribe to your favourite store’s online newsletter for updates, or check their social media for sale information. Chances are they will have some type of offer happening soon. Plus, many offer a coupon code or discount just for signing up.
#5. Compare prices, and shop around.
No matter whether your shopping list items are on sale, comparing prices can save you money. And a quick Google search will help you shop around without having to leave your couch! Don’t forget to factor in coupons, discounts, duties, fees, and shipping costs to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.
#6. Shop online with cash back sites.
My favourite way to score savings is shopping online using cash back sites. They let you earn cash back on most purchases, regardless of whether the retailer is already offering promotions or discounts. Ebates (Ebates.ca/Ebates.com) and Giving Assistant are a few sites you may have heard of.
And if you’re interested in learning even more about how to use cash back sites, check out my post about them!
#7: Use coupons and discounts.
Stacking savings is every shopper’s dream! While couponing can get a bad reputation, there are efficient ways to find codes and discounts. Sites like RetailMeNot.ca and RetailMeNot.com are fantastic for finding coupons for use in store and online. You can also search Google for “[store] coupon code”, “[store] promo code” and wording like that to find discounts.
#8: Sign up for freebies.
If you’re going to be using disposable diapers and/or formula, I’d highly recommend signing up for free samples with some of the bigger companies. They are highly motivated to get new parents using their products from the start, and many give away significant values of freebies, just for requesting them.
Huggies has a great offer where they send you a decent-sized package of diapers and wipes. And some of the formula companies offer free formula and coupons too. Even if you’re planning on breastfeeding, having a bit of formula on hand is a great idea, especially if you need to supplement at all.
Here are some links to sign up:
#9: Hold off on buying many clothes.
Baby clothes are some of the cutest things to buy, and one of the top things you’ll probably receive as gifts, especially from people who don’t have your registry link or don’t know you well. They’ll buy what they think is cute, regardless of whether you already have a drawer full of clothes in that size.
Given this, I’d suggest holding off on buying too many baby clothes, since you’ll probably be gifted a bunch. Plus, you may want to wait to see how big your baby is and what clothing works best for them. For example, bigger babies won’t wear newborn clothes for long (if at all!), and certain styles or brands may work better for your baby’s body type. Lastly, since you likely won’t know how big your baby will be during different seasons, trying to plan ahead can be futile (if your baby starts wearing 6-9 month clothing in July, for example, and all you have in that size are warm fall clothes, you’re sort of stuck).
#10: Consider buying second hand.
For certain items, buying them second hand or pre-loved can be a fantastic option. It saves you money, and can make sense when it comes to items that your child will go through quickly. One perfect example is clothes! Babies grow so fast, and sometimes won’t even wear all of their clothes in a given size before growing out of them. Filling in their wardrobe with a few second hand pieces can make all the difference to your budget. Plus, you can easily wash them before they wear them if you’re worried about germs. Many cities have second hand clothing stores specifically for children’s clothes.
Another good thing to buy second hand is baby gear like bouncy chairs or swings. Check your local Facebook Marketplace for sellers in your area, or use apps like LetGo or Kijiji.
#11: Sign up for Amazon Prime.
Amazon Family (a benefit of Amazon Prime) lets you score some pretty cool discounts like 20% off diaper subscriptions. This means you save an additional 20% off Amazon’s already low prices (comparable to Walmart) if you order an item to ship on a regular basis. We did the math and paying for Amazon Prime for a year was a drop in the bucket compared to the savings we’d be getting through the 20% discount.
Plus, by having Amazon Prime, we can get baby products at great prices shipped to our door next day, saving us time and money. It’s been hugely worthwhile.
With some advance planning and strategy, you can make preparing for baby much less costly. Leave me a comment below with your favourite shopping hack!