Monday, December 2, 2013

Baby on a Budget...

A while back I wrote a post about making ends meet. I mentioned that I thought adding BD to our family has not increased our bills too much… here are some ways we have saved money.  Note that some of these ways won't work for everybody… this is just how we did it.  

1. Birth

Generally, no matter what your insurance is the less expensive the birth, the less you pay out of pocket.    And just so you know, EVERYTHING at the hospital costs money.  You can even get an itemized bill to see the total breakdown.  So for us a totally unmedicated birth was our choice for this among other reasons.  But know most important is a healthy baby and healthy mama, so this is not the place to skimp if needs are there :).
Note that having a home birth is even less expensive, and certified midwives are trained in pretty much everything except to give a c section.  We felt like we could not do this at this time because of my family's history of C sections (I am sure a hospital transfer is not pleasant and expensive).  I could possibly see us trying a home birth in the future… who knows.

2. Breastfeeding

As my mama puts it, "perfect temperature, perfect amount, available all the time, for free."  Formula is expensive, and I know there are cases where it is necessary, but if you can avoid it, you can save SO much! Here are some fun facts about breast feeding.

3. Cloth Diapering (CD)


This is a commitment, and it is not for everyone. That being said I love it, and actually dread anytime I have to use disposables. We even usually travel with our cloth diapers as long as there is a place to wash them!  I have read that it can cost thousands of dollars to diaper a child.  We invested about $300, and we did not go with the cheapest options.  You could invest anywhere from $200-$500 and still be saving big in the long run, especially if you use them with your second child!  I love cloth diapering, so if you ever have any questions, feel free to be in touch :)!
 

4. Baby Led Weaning (BLW)

We have never really bought baby food.  Babies are not supposed to start eating food until 6 months now, which by this point they can feed themselves!  Just continue to have them get their primary nutrients from breast milk (or formula) and have your child eat what you eat!  For us our food budget has not changed and we are generally eating healthier! I also love baby led weaning, so if you ever have any questions, feel free to be in touch :)!

5. Returning Unneeded Things

If you are preparing for your first child, chances are you will be having showers and getting lots of gifts.  Many people told me to keep as much stuff in the package as possible in case I wanted to return it, but it was just so hard for me... I wanted everything to be ready. There are multiple items that I wish I could have returned something, but had opened it, washed it or used it once. That being said, I did return a lot of things I did not need. If you return stuff you don't need, you can use the store credit it get stuff you need.  I even got some stuff handed down to me and went back and returned the new versions.  I just returened some stuff to babies r us a couple days ago... And my baby is 8 months old.  You can save a lot of money by using store credit to just get stuff you need!

6. Buying Used/Accepting Hand Me Downs

Whether it be clothes or toys, in most cases there is just no need for new.  The few outfits I have bought have been off eBay and I plan to eventually sell them. The few toys I have bought have been from a baby consignment.  We took lots of little and big hand me downs. If you can not spend the money or at least save money on almost every item (not car seats... those should be new) it helps.

7.  *Trying* to Keep Clothes and toys to a Minimum

The clothing thing is hard. Especially if you have a girl. . I can definitely say that our sweet BD does not even need the all clothes she has.  We have gone through her closet and started to sell and give away things she has not worn, barely wore, or that I cannot see her wearing.  I can tell you from experience now, when I look at all of the summer clothes BD has and think about the fact that she wore each a couple times at most and will never be able to wear them again, it makes me a little sick.  There is no need to pay adult prices for kids clothes that get barely worn!
Toys.  I still think we have too many of these as well.  People like to give babies toys.  I am sure we will have a great influx for BD as Christmas and her first birthday are fast approaching.  There fore we really don't need to buy her any!  In light of these holidays, we have also started BD a college fund and told family about it and highly encouraged them to contribute there instead of buying BD big expensive toys.  The other thing is that BD likes things that are not toys as much if not more than toys… so there is no need for too many toys!

These have been the ways we have kept our baby spending under control… what about you?  Any other suggestions?

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7 comments:

  1. These are all great tips! I was truly afraid our little man was going to break our budget now that I'm a WAHM, but we have been doing fine. We just started the solid food adventure, and I have no intention of buying much (if any!) baby food due to costs. So far he is liking eating the foods we have at the table each night, and I'm hoping it helps me stay a bit healthier with my eating habits as well. Great post! I'm pinning it for others to find as well. =)
    ~Heather aka HoJo~

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    1. Thanks Heather! The solid food is certainly a fun adventure. We found that doing food this way was freeing too… no spoon deeding for us!

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  2. Great Advice! The more kids I have the more I see how little we really need for them! God has truly given us everything we need to care for them...including breast milk;) Now that my kids are older they usually request $ for their bdays so that they can get what they want. As a family I ask our family to get us passes to the zoo or aquarium so they don't spend $ on toys we don't need or have room for. I tried cloth diapering with one of my children but and loved it but after my 5th I was happy to resign to disposable;) linking up with you at Tuesday Talk:)

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    1. You are so right! Kids are as expensive as you make them!
      And cloth isn't for everyone… each person does what they have to do to save money and what works for your family!

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  3. Great tips. I breastfed all three, specifically to save the money. Didn't know how much I would fall in love with it. Weaned themselves. Then I made all my own baby food. Another saving tip. Not for everyone, but you save where you can.

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    1. I have heard great things about making baby food! Buying it is so expensive!

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