Looking for ways to save money on baby stuff? We’d been trying to have another baby for almost 5 years when we found out we are pregnant with TWINS that will be arriving here in just a couple of months. The thought of having to buy two of everything occasionally puts me in a full blown panic attack. And since I’ve been on bed rest for the last 6 weeks, I’ve had plenty of time to find all the best ways to save money on baby stuff.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON BABY STUFF: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE
SHOP SECOND HAND
One of the best ways to save money on baby stuff is to start by shopping second hand. You can get great deals on strollers, high chairs, baby clothes, bouncers, and anything else you might need. Some good places to start are:
- Facebook Market Place
- Once Upon a Time or similar second hand kids stores
- Kids on 45th: an online store for gently used kids items (get your first $10 free here.)
There are things I’d recommend not buying second hand, however, such as a car seat. While we want good deals on baby products, we want to know that our babies are safe. Car seats actually expire and with a used one you won’t really know whether it’s been in a car crash or should otherwise be retired.
Another great way to save money on baby stuff is to use coupons on items you will frequently need like diapers and wipes. You can frequently find Huggies and Pampers coupons on coupons.com. The Krazy Koupon lady suggests using your high value Huggies coupons (usually $1) at Dollar Tree to score FREE Huggies wipes! Huggies wipes are genuinely my favorite and getting free things is also my favorite. So win win.
If you are looking for deals on baby stuff, you definitely should be shopping sales at local and chain stores. In the past, I’ve seen some really good sales on baby gear at Target. My local grocer has pretty good sales on diapers and wipes occasionally. For clothes, Old Navy tends to put baby clothes on sale for super cheap. Kohls is another one that has good sales son baby stuff. So keep your eyes and ears peeled for sales in your area.
COMBINE SALES WITH COUPONS
One of the best way to save money on baby stuff is to then combine coupons with store sales to maximize savings. I like to use websites like Southern Savers and Hip2Save to help me pair store sales with coupons to get the best deals. These websites do the hard work of tracking down manufacturer and store coupons and combining them with store sales. All you have to do is go check out where you can get the best deal, and then go get it.
USE DISCOUNT APPS
Make sure you are taking advantage of store’s discount apps, like Target’s Cartwheel app. Each of the grocery stores around me (Safeway, Fry’s, Albertson’s) also have their own apps where you can score some serious discounts and rewards so make sure you check for an app for every place you shop! You’ll be able to pair some of those savings with coupons and store sales.
BREASTFEED IF YOU CAN
If you can breastfeed, that will obviously save you tons of money since you won’t be buying formula. I once read a statistic that it costs a little over $3000 to formula feed a baby the first year. I think with couponing, shopping sales, buying from Costco, etc, that number is probably far less, but still, breastfeeding is the cheapest way to go.
I realize that breastfeeding is not for everyone. Some can’t do it, some really don’t want to. If it’s not working out for you, seriously don’t sweat it. There are plenty of other ways you can save money on baby stuff.
USE CASH BACK WEBSITES AND APPS
Another big way you can save on baby stuff is to use cash back apps and websites such as Rakuten or Honey. Simply install the Rakuten extension in your browser and it will notify you when cash back is available for the website you are shopping at! For example, I just went to “walmart.com’ and clicked on the browser extension. It had a button to “activate 10% cash back” meaning I would have earned 10% cash back on whatever I purchased on walmart.com– diapers, wipes, a stroller, you name it! Seriously amazing. It’s literally free cash back for the shopping for you are already doing so it’s a no brainer. Sign up here and earn an extra $10 when you make your first purchase!
Honey works similarly, you download the extension on your browser. I’ve found that I tend to earn more cash back using Rakuten but have occassionally have found more cashback on Honey so it is worth having both since they’re both free! Honey also scours the internet for you and automatically applies promo codes to your cart to make sure you are getting the best deal/coupons available which is amazing! Sign up for honey here.
Both Rakuten and Honey have free apps that work similar to their websites so take advantage of those as well!
Another cash back app I love is Ibotta. You just search around for whatever you are looking for. Say you need diapers. You open the app and enter “diapers” into the search bar and see what rebates are available and then click the plus sign to add the offer to your account. After you’ve bought the diapers, simply upload your receipt and get that cash back! It’s another no brainer. So easy to use, it’s free, you might as well be taking advantage of those deals. Get cash back right away by signing up here.
EARN GIFT CARDS
One thing I love to do to save money on baby stuff is to earn Amazon gift cards to buy baby things from doing simple online tasks, like watching ads or taking surveys.
Swagbucks is a really easy way to earn gift Amazon gift cards. You can sign up for an account here to earn 300 rewards points. Then, login to your dash board and you’ll see lots of tasks you can do from taking surveys to watching ads to earn rewards points. Trade your rewards points for Amazon gift cards and save tons of money on the baby stuff you are getting from Amazon! This works especially well if you get an Amazon Parent subscription and are saving 20% on things like diapers and wipes. (Get a FREE 30 day trial to Amazon Family here.)
Another similar way I do this is with Capterra. You can earn $5-$10 per survey that you take with Capterra (capped at 10 surveys a month). They’re all really short (about 5 minutes) and you can find tons of very common products to review, like Microsoft Word and Google Docs for example. Link your LinkedIn account to get paid faster— you can make all of the surveys you take anonymous. It’s not the most user friendly website but there’s potential to earn $50-$100 a month on these surveys which could pay for all the diapers you need!
CREATE AND COMPLETE A BABY REGISTRY
Did you know a lot of stores will give you a discount on any items in your baby registry that weren’t purchased for you? Here are my 3 favorites:
- Amazon gives you a 10% discount (15% for Prime members– get a free 30 day trial here) on the baby products on your registry.
- Target gives you 15% off your registry items. You can also pick up a nice big bag of baby supply samples when you register at Target (things like stretch mark cream, diapers, wipes, a changing pad, were all included in mine recently).
- Buy Buy Baby also boasts a 15% completion discount on your registry items.
- Honorable mention: Walmart doesn’t offer a completion discount or coupon but if you do register with them, you’ll get tons of free samples, like diapers and pacifiers.
USE YOUR INSURANCE
Most insurance companies will cover a new breast pump per pregnancy. So, if you already have a pump, you can still likely score a free one through your insurance. That is definitely worth checking out.
CONSIDER AN AMAZON FAMILY SUBSCRIPTION
An Amazon Family subscription might make sense for your family if you don’t have time to shop around for the cheapest deals. You can try it for 30 days for free here to see if it ends up being worth it for you. It can save you quite a bit of money, but the biggest factor here will be convenience. If you are expecting twins or feeling overwhelmed at being a new parent, it’s a solid option. Try it free for 30 days here.
DON’T BUY BABY FOOD
Another big way to save money on baby stuff is to skip out on buying baby food. One way to do this is to try baby led weaning. You simply give your baby regular food, sometimes cut up in small pieces, and let them try to get it. This worked extremely well for my son. Just as a heads up– it can get messy. But on the upside, it will help fine tune your baby’s motor skills and teach her to gag rather than choke.
The other way to do this is to make your own baby food. Simply blend up some of the whole foods that you are already eating, like sweet potatoes, avocados, bananas, etc.
HAVE A BABY SHOWER
Having a baby shower is a great way to connect with your friends, celebrate the upcoming arrival of your little one, and of course, save money on baby stuff. If this is your second baby, you could also have a “baby sprinkle” where your loved ones could bring basic items you’ll need like diapers and wipes.
CONNECT WITH OTHER MOMS
Another great way to score baby gear is to connect with other moms in your community. The best thing you can do is find a mom friend who is done having kids and ready to get rid of all of her baby gear. Maybe she’ll sell a lot of it to you at a big discount or even give some baby goods to you for free. Moms tend to have compassion on each other.
GET FREE SAMPLES/OTHER STUFF
If there is one benefit to being a new parent, it’s all the baby product samples that are available to you. Here are some people and places you should be hitting up hard for samples:
- Your doctor. Ask your OB and your pediatrician for samples and coupons on products like baby formula.
- The hospital. After you deliver your baby, ask the hospital for samples on formula. Also hit them up for baby diapers and wipes and seriously stuff your bags full. The hospital might also have things like pacifiers, nursing shields, breast pads, pads for you, witch hazel, and all kinds of good stuff. Don’t be shy with your nurse. Ask for stuff!
- Lactation Consultant. If you get to meet with a lactation consultant (whether at the hospital or later) don’t hesitate to ask her for things that might help you with breast feeding, such as nursing shields, lanolin, nursing pads. etc.
- Similac– Join Similac’s Strong Mom’s reward program and get tons of free samples and coupons.
- Enfamil– Join Enfamil’s Family Beginnings and, like Similac’s program, score tons of free samples and coupons.
- Target – be sure to create a Target registry, then visit their customer service desk to get a nice big bag of samples on all kinds of maternity and baby products.
- Walmart – grab another big bag of free samples when you create a registry for Walmart.
SHOP AT COSTCO
One thing you might consider is getting a Costco membership if you don’t already have one. If you are willing to buy Costco’s brand of diapers, formula, and wipes, you can save a ton of money plus get everything in one convenient place. I will point out here that you shouldn’t buy name brand diapers, formula, or wipes at Costco– that’s better done with an Amazon Family subscription or better yet, with coupons and sale shopping. [Related: Things you Should Buy at Costco]
SKIP THE EXPENSIVE DIAPER BAG
Something you should avoid entirely if you are looking to save some money on baby products is an expensive diaper bag. I had a hunch that a big diaper bag was going to be a waste of money when I had my son, so I held off buying one. And you know what? A cute back pack that I already had worked just fine for me!
TRADE IN OLD CAR SEATS FOR NEW ONES
Did you know Target will give you a 20% discount on a new car seat when you trade in an old one? Since you can’t really sell your old car seat anywhere, this is definitely a good deal to take advantage of, especially if you can pair it with a car seat that is on sale and or discounts in the Cartwheel app.
DON’T STOCK UP TOO EARLY
If you want to save money on baby stuff, be careful not to stock up on some baby items too early. Specifically, you’ll want to wait until your baby is born to stock up on bottles and pacifiers until your baby has a chance to try them out to see which ones they prefer. It would be a huge waste to buy a bunch of bottles and pacifiers before your little one arrives only to discover that they won’t even take them! So hold off on buying a bunch of them, no matter how good the sale is, until your baby has tried them out. On the other hand, if you’ve had a baby before and you know what kind of diapers and wipes you personally prefer, by all means stock up before baby gets here when you see a good deal.
USE GOOD RX
If you aren’t already using GoodRx, it’s definitely time to get on that train when baby comes to town. GoodRx is an app that is completely free to use that can save you hundreds of dollars on prescriptions, even if you have health insurance. It’s basically just coupons and discounts for prescriptions and prescriptions are things that you and baby are inevitably going to be dealing with from now on.
NEGOTIATE YOUR HOSPITAL BILLS
A big way to save a ton of money on baby stuff is to negotiate your hospital bill for the birth of that sweet babe. A lot of hospitals will give you a discount for paying for the birth up front (i.e. before you actually give birth). If you are unable to negotiate before delivery, make sure you get an itemized bill from the hospital about all of your charges. Hospitals are notorious for getting some of the medical coding wrong which can result in big over charges for you and or your insurance company. Make sure you actually received the care they are claiming you did. If you don’t have health insurance, always ask for a self pay discount, or a discount of around 30% since that’s what insurance companies are frequently given.
SKIP BABY SHOES
I used to get so excited over baby shoes. Something about little tiny shoes! Ah they are just the cutest. But the fact of the matter is, before your baby can walk, baby shoes are completely worthless. Especially if you live somewhere warm, like I do. Grab socks or some cheap leather moccassins and skip out on the expensive baby shoes all together. In fact, even after my son started walking, we only put him in these moccasins for the first several months because it was closer to being bare foot for him which helped him have better balance.
Borrow any baby gear that you possibly can! Switch off with another friend who is either in between having kids or is done completely. See if you have any friends that are willing to let you borrow things that you only need for a couple of months, like a bassinet or a bouncer that you baby will quickly outgrow. Some ideas of things that could be borrowed rather than purchased:
- Infant swing
- Changing table
- Infant bath
- Breast feeding pillow
- Maternity pillow
- Maternity clothes
BUY A CONVERTIBLE CRIB
You can save some serious money (and time and energy) by purchasing a convertible crib. Once your babe outgrows their crib, simply convert it into a toddler bed. No shopping, no fuss. We bought this crib from Ikea for M and it worked well for us for 5 years and is about to get reused on our upcoming twins.
CREATE A BABY BUDGET
It’s easy to get carried away buying baby stuff. There are so many cute baby clothes and convenient baby products out there it is actually mind blowing. Plus, babies go through stuff like clothes at lightning speed. And that is exactly why you should create a baby budget. Figure out exactly how much money each month you can afford to spend on baby and then stick to it no matter what.
STAY OFF PINTEREST TO SAVE MONEY ON BABY STUFF
Seriously. Stay off Pinterest. It will just make you want all the things that you don’t need. If you really want to save money on baby stuff, the last thing you need to be doing all day is pining over all the expensive things that are out there. Instead of using your time pinning, use that time to find coupons or find ways to earn extra money.
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS
Along the same lines as staying off Pinterest, don’t get caught in the trap of comparing yourself to others. You might have friends who are pregnant or have young kids who have every convenient expensive baby product on the market. Just because they have it, doesn’t mean you need it. Sometimes we get stuck in this trap of thinking we need things (in this case, baby things) simply because other people have them. We waste a lot of money doing this. I truly believe that the more simple you are able to keep things, the happier you will be.
Baby stuff can get really expensive, but I promise you don’t need to spend all of your hard earned money on all of the baby things. Start by making a list of things that you actually need for baby, and then get to work shopping sales, clipping coupons, and seeing what things you can borrow from friends and family.
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