I know I’m not going to blow anyone’s mind by talking about how expensive it is to get through baby’s first year. When talking about the financial aspect of having kids, people often point to the costs of schools and college (which are often, of course, large expenses).
But there are so many other costs, more than I ever could have imagined, that sort of go unnoticed while you’re planning and budgeting for the big ticket stuff. That is, of course, until you check your account balance and realize how much the fall wardrobe, extra diapers, and new big boy toys have added up over the past few months.
I already told you 10 things that are worth splurging on, so today I’m sharing five ways you can save on everything else…
Consignment Sales 1 of 5Most cities have a few big sales each year, where moms can buy and sell gently used baby gear. This is a great place to get cheap baby or maternity clothes, as well as things you don't necessarily need to have new.
Coupon Codes 2 of 5I am the queen of online shopping. I hate lugging Cullen out and dragging him around stores for long stretches of time. Plus, I've found that shopping online tends to be cheaper because I can almost always find a coupon code for the bigger stores! Google for coupon codes and discounts, and you can usually find a percentage off or a free shipping discount. (Tip: extra 15% off at Old Navy right now!)
Craigslist 3 of 5If you are looking for something specific, Craigslist is the way to go. At any given time, it seems like there is just about one of everything for sale, and many time you'll have multiple options to choose from. Tip: you can usually negotiate for a lower price than listed.
Local Listserves 4 of 5Most areas seem to have a local listserve for parents - a place to post questions, items for sale, local announcements, etc. In Seattle, I'm part of one called Greenlake moms, and I get emails a few times a day with postings from other local parents. It's a great way to find deals, as well as connect with the local parenting scene in your city.
Reevaluate your needs 5 of 5Honestly, my biggest tip for spending less is to simply have less. Sounds simple, but it's hard when you know there is always a latest and greatest gadget that claims to solve everything. We have nice things, and all the necessities, but I've resisted buying a lot of the "extras." For example, we have one stroller. I'm sure I'd love an umbrella stroller, in addition to a smaller walking stroller, but for now our jogging stroller does it all, and we've saved a few hundred dollars by just using one. As far as spending on lots of toys goes, half the things Cullen likes aren't toys anyway, so for now I'm making the most of "free" things like serving bowls, wooden spoons, and empty boxes.
Read more from Emily on her personal blog Daily Garnish, where she creates healthy vegetarian recipes, recaps her latest running adventures, and chronicles life as a new mom to her son and two crazy dogs. You can follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest too!