Having a baby at any point in your life is going to incur extra costs, but there are ways to save money when you’re preparing to have a baby and in the early years. Here are my top tips and tricks for ways to save money when you’re having a baby.
1. Get those Freebies
Did you know there are lots of places that offer freebies for pregnant women and new Mums? Check out my current list of pregnancy freebies.
2. Buy Second Hand
The baby won’t care if it’s clothes and pushchair are new. Even the cot and crib can be bought second hand, just get a brand new mattress. Speak to friends and family who’ve had children and see what they still have that you can use.
3. Use Discounts and Vouchers
Make sure you’re signed up with amazon family or amazon prime, you get 20% off nappies, and if you start an amazon wish list for your gift list, there are free gifts and discounts to be had.
4. Don’t go overboard on toys
Babies don’t care for a start, they just want to see your face. Once they get to around 3 months, they start to engage a bit, but a couple of toys will do, seriously. They love crisp packets, your keys and your phone.
5. Bulk Buy
Get a whole box of wipes and nappies, a multipack of vests, muslins etc., you’ll save on trips to the shops and money.
6. Don’t get sucked in
There will be the world and his wife telling you what you need for the baby. In reality they need very little. I have a small list of baby essentials I recommend. Other than that, think carefully whether you need a nappy wrapper, a massive mobile, a baby swing, bean bag, baby bath, top and tail bowl (a clean kitchen bowl is fine).
7. Go with re-useable nappies
Some councils offer incentives and free re-useable nappies. They’re better for the environment and cheaper in the long run. Check with your council to see if they offer a scheme. There is an initial cost for nappies, but after that you save loads.
8. Save money on disposable nappies
You don’t need to be brand loyal, go with bulk buys, supermarket own brands and take the offers when they come.
9. Swap expensive items
Hook up with a friend and both get one expensive item each, like a jumperoo and a walker. When you fancy a change, swap the items!
10. Meal plan
Before the baby arrives, do some meal planning and write shopping lists. You can even save them on online shopping sites like Tesco (the one I use). Then when you’re time poor, you have your shopping lists and meal plans ready. You can also factor in quick and easy meals like pizza, pasta, ready meals too.
11. Batch cook
Again, before the baby arrives to some batch cooking of things like spaghetti bolognese mix (just add spaghetti), casserole, roasted vegetables, marinated chicken. Check out Pinterest for batch cooking ideas.
12. Buggy buying tips
Go second hand. Use sites like the Facebook selling groups, eBay and Gumtree. There are also free sites like Freecycle to try. Do your research beforehand, don’t just go on looks. If you’re tall, or your partner is, it makes a difference when looking for prams and pushchairs. There’s no need to go designer.
13. Switch bank accounts
It’s easier than you think, and a lot of banks offer an easy switching service, plus incentives to switch, often money – up to £100. Use compare the market to compare the bank offers and switch. Bear in mind the bank’s customer service record and their app services or branches depending on your needs. Halifax bank customer services have always been rated highly.
14. Sell your baby equipment
Once you’re done with baby clothes and equipment, they often have a good re-sale value. Lots of parents, like you did, are after a bargain, so get listing on eBay once you’re done and free up some cash.
15. Make a bit of money on the side
Check out my ultimate list of ways to make money whilst you’re on maternity leave. You can get paid for surveys and more whilst you’re feeding or trapped underneath a sleeping baby.
16. Get your benefits sorted
Work out what you’re entitled to with the benefits checker. Even if it’s just child benefit, get what you’re entitled to.
17. Take free baby classes
Register at your local childrens centre, they often have free baby massage or music classes to sign up to instead of forking out for expensive classes. A lot of baby classes also have free trial lessons, so see if you like them first. Libraries often have music time sessions that are free. Go to church mother and baby groups too, they have play time sessions for a small donation.
18. No need for expensive breastfeeding clothes
Most of your clothes can be adapted to feeding. Use a vest top underneath your top so that you can pull up the top layer and pull down the vest top, so your torso will be covered. Use button through shirts or dresses, scarves as cover ups. Go for cheap primark vest tops and size up.
19. Don’t buy baby shoes
They’re so cute, but unless you have a wedding to go to, they’re just not worth it! They will be used once, max, I promise.
20. Get multi use furniture
Ditch the changing station and just use a cheaper chest of drawers and pop a changing mat on top. Don’t just get a highchair, get one that converts into a booster chair and toddler chair. I love this one, it converts into a table and chair, and it’s only £29.99, including the liner!
21. Make your own baby food
Nowadays with baby led weaning, it’s not so necessary to make tons of puree, but pre-making some tried and tested baby food will save you time and money.
I hope I’ve given you some money saving ideas and food for thought. Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments!
Disclosure: collaborative post