Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
Money Saving Tips for New Parents
It’s time to revise Frugal Baby Tips, a piece I wrote three years ago. I’ll gloss over the obvious tips…
1. Buy clothing from second-hand stores. Supply is so ample that stores can afford to turn away everything except near mint condition items. (If not, you’re shopping at the wrong thrift store.) Garage sales are also an excellent resource.
2. Borrow clothing and gear off friends who have had babies. It’s okay to ask. Unless an item has sentimental value or is outrageously expensive, "borrow" means "Here, take this off my hands. I don’t want to see it again, except on your child."
3. Breastfeed unless medically advised otherwise. Formula is a money sponge. I hate pointing this out, but there is a segment of society that views formula feeding as normal, rather than as a last option.
4. Embrace reusable diapers. How often is the most stylish option also a huge cost savings? Oh, and washing diapers in a machine is not icky. Don’t be a baby.
And now, a few more tips inspired by our pending second child…
5. Wait until after your baby shower before buying clothing and gear. You never know what you’ll receive.
6. If a purchase seems questionable, wait. You won’t need every
piece of baby gear. If an item is available at a local store, buy it
when you know for sure it’s needed.
7. Don’t decorate your baby’s room. This is a tough one to swallow because painting and decorating is almost a right of passage
for new parents (aided and encouraged by marketers). But within 3 or 4
years you’ll be redecorating again, either because the child has
outgrown the babyish decor, or you’ve had a second child who isn’t of
the same gender. If you must indulge, do so in a gender-neutral manner.
Otherwise, simply be sure there is something, anything other than bare walls for visual stimulation.
8. Crunch the numbers. Look at how much you’ll save or lose by having one parent staying home, or both parents
working part-time. Then weigh it against the benefit to you and your child by having
parent(s) around instead of a nanny or daycare.
9. The library is your best friend for baby music, and later, picture books.
10. Supplement life with blog product giveaways. *cough* Sites like Prizey
make contests easier to find. I got burned out on contest chasing
pretty fast. That’s a reason Thingamababy’s reader appreciation
contests involve no extra effort on your part, or are in some way thought-provoking. But if you enjoy being a
contest hound, there’s stuff to be had out there.
Now, when I posted my first frugal tips article 3 years ago, it was
less than two weeks after Thingamababy silently launched. My own mother
didn’t even know it existed; I wasn’t sure if this "hobby" was
So, now I look forward to you, gentle readers, posting your own bevy
of money saving tips below… and maybe even kicking my arse for
suggesting you should have committed career suicide by staying home
with your kid, or that you wasted money painting your baby’s room.