When I had my second child everyone would say to me “congratulation”, BUT you do know kids are expensive…blah..blah..blah…Yeah so is anything is life, but it is how you chose to budget, and spend that make the difference! Sure having a baby could be expensive if you want it to be!! I on the other hand was on a mission with my second child to save as much money as possible, but still provide what she needed and beyond. Besides the hospital co-pays I like to think that thus far things haven’t been so expensive with two children. Here are a few tips and tricks that help me save money in my mama world.
Feedings-When my children were born I breastfed as long as circumstances let me-which in my case was not too far lol. For each of my children I was able to naturally feed them for exactly 6 weeks each. For my first I got an infection (mastitis) which scared me right to a bottle, and formula. With my second, the “pump” simply went dry. So, I had to look for an alternative formula that was compatible with my babies, and cost effective.
Since my two babies at the time, were not picky, or colicky I was able to use “Store Brand” formulas. After researching, and speaking to my pediatrician I found that this type of formula was safe, and provided as much nutrition as any formula would. I realize that breast milk is technically the best, but I had no choice. For $12.00-14.00 a week (we bought 1 the jumbo powdered can-1 year ago price) we were able to feed our babies on a feeding schedule that provided them with all the nutrition formula could provide.
We signed up for Enfamil family Beginnings, and Similac Formula clubs. They helped defray the costs on their brand of formulas because they send value samples, and checks for $$ off their products right to your home. I also signed up for valuable samples, and joined Pampers, and Huggies to save even more!! They will send free samples and coupons to your home if you visit their site and sign up for them.
When I had my first baby I was thankful to have a great baby shower where I got more than I needed for my daughter. Since I knew I had wanted another in the future I made sure I requested unisex blankets, carriages, and carriers. This is a good idea because it saves you the money with having to go out a buy gender appropriate baby gear for your next bundle of joy.
When my first grew out of her clothes I put them inside totes in my cellar “just in case” I ever had a girl. Well, two years later I was in fact blessed with a baby girl a month early! Since the seasons were a little off I supplemented my babies’ wardrobe with clothing from stores. However, my rule of thumb was to try and aim for pjs under $3-4, and outfits under $5.00. I had excellent luck, and even bought off season clothing at great prices for the next year (I still do this). Stores like TJ MAXX, Target, Marshalls, & yes even Walmart are all reliable sources for cheap cute clothing.
For my second I was adamant about getting a second carrier so we picked up a brand new one at a yard sale with the tags and box for only $17.00!! I also hit the jackpot at another yard sale and was able to stuff a huge trash bag with like new baby girls clothes for only $10.00!!! I always go to yard sales because you never know what you can find!!! They are a great place to find used dvds, and book for kids too! I NEVER pay full price for kids books, and only buy them for .25 each at yard sales!
My kids have so many toys, books, shows, movies- you name it they got it! Did I buy 75% of them-no! My kids are blessed with wonderful aunts, and grandparents that buy them plenty of stuff for each major holiday. If you are not as lucky as I am yard sales, and thrift stores have great finds! Sites like Craigslist, and FreeCycle also are great tools to buy, prickup, or resell items. Cheap toys and trinkets like bubbles, blocks, and crayons are also cheap form of entertainment for kids!
Currently, we thankfully, also have a yard for our kids to play in, but if you don’t the local parks, and college campuses generally have wonderful walking, and playing spots for children, and they are free! Zoo admissions for young children are also usually free, or at reduced prices.
Please share any frugal ideas, tips, or tricks you do with your family to save money.