Adding a new baby to the family doesn’t just add love and joy to your lives, it also means adding extra expenses to the family budget. According to the USDA the average family will spend $234,900 to raise a child from birth through age 17.
Our third baby was born in June and we have been reminded over the past six months that though they may be small, a baby significantly increases our family expenses. Fortunately, there are lots of ways that you can save money on a new baby. Here are four ways that we have saved money while adding three babies to our family over the past five years.
Cloth Diapers and Wipes
We’ve chosen to use cloth diapers and wipes with all three of our children which saves us hundreds of dollars over the years that our children are in diapers. We’re using the most of the same diapers that we bought with our first daughter, which increases our savings even more. When we do need to add diapers to our stash I like to buy them used on sites like diaperswappers.com. If you’re interested in getting started with cloth diapers check out Cloth Diapering a Newborn – Where to Begin.
Hand-me-downs and Used Baby Clothes
As fun as it is to walk through the baby clothes section at the Big Box baby stores, the reality is that babies grow really quickly and will go through a lot of clothes in their first year of life. You can save a lot of money by accepting hand-me-down clothing and buying your baby’s clothes used at garage sales, consignment sales, and used clothing stores. The great thing about baby’s growing out of clothing so fast is that you can buy used clothes that are in excellent condition at bargain prices.
Breastfeed, if you can
If you are willing and able to breastfeed, you can save yourself up to $2,000 over the first year of your baby’s life. Even with the cost of nursing bras, nursing equipment like special pillows or a pump, and extra food for mama, breastfeeding is the most affordable way to feed your new baby.
Sign Up for Coupons and Deals
Companies are jumping on board with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and sharing exclusive deals, coupons and giveaways with their followers on those sites. In addition to following your favorite brands and stores on social media, you should also be sure to sign-up for their email lists to receive notifications about sales, as well as special coupons. In the event that you do have to buy baby items new, you can save on paying full price for things by using coupons and shopping the sales.
How does your family save money on a new baby?
Top photo credit: iStockphoto