You might think the big secrets to saving money on baby stuff are coupons and vouchers and cheap bargains plus shopping clubs and stockpiling.
But I promise you they are not.
In fact the best ways to save money on bringing up baby don’t involve endlessly hunting down the cheapest deals at all.
They are actually really, really simple but they will save you loads and loads of money and really help you enjoy raising baby on a budget.
And they actually give us the chance to invest big time in the really essential item most of us miss off our baby registry and budget: a baby emergency fund. But – you may ask – what the heck is that?
What Is A Baby Emergency Fund?
I know it doesn’t sound like the cutest, cuddliest thing to have on our baby list but thing is, babies never go to plan. Stuff happens, difficult stuff. And sometimes that means medical bills and sometimes one of us not working.
So we need – more than anything – when we’ve got a baby on the way to squirrel away as much as we can into our emergency fund rather than chuck it all away on clobber and clutter we don’t need.
To get that fund started I’ve got five really big, simple tips for you that will help you save money on everything on your baby registry from essential baby products to nursery furniture and cute baby clothes.
5 Best Ways To Save Money On Baby Stuff
1. Buy Pre-Loved & Sell Them On
It’s really easy to be snooty about pre-loved baby stuff but the thing is we can afford to buy much better quality pre-loved baby products than we can new.
And that’s because we will be able to sell them for a profit.
Let me give you an example.
I – stupidly – bought a good value travel system to save money. It was OK but not brilliant. My friend spent a little more on a pre-loved one. It was amazing.
When we both eventually sold them. She made over 50 quid in profit. I lost almost everything I paid. Even though they were in equally good condition.
Financially it makes sense to invest in a few really desirable, big brand, preloved products you will use loads AND make a profit on because they hold their value e.g.:
- Travel system
- Cot (you could buy a new mattress)
- Baby mat & gym
- High chair (from five months or so)
- A baby jumper (from 6 months) – I was sceptical but they are awesome and can really help baby burn off enough energy to sleep well
It ALSO makes sense to buy pre-loved baby clothes because they do NOT hold their value. Honestly, do not spend money – or let anyone else spend money for you – on fancy baby clothes.
Baby will barely wear them a month. And then you will practically have to pay people to take them off your hands because there are mountains of barely worn baby clothes out there.
So before you spend a penny on baby stuff, join your local parents or mothers group on Facebook and look out for basic stuff like these you can pick up from neighbours for next to nothing:
- Baby clothes
- Baby bed linen
- Baby bath
- Changing mat
Getting into the buy preloved-sell it on way of living truly can save us thousands for our emergency fund & if we get smart about it by looking after them and flipping them for a profit, even more.
2. Borrow Stuff
OK so the next way to save money is to borrow stuff.
Not everything but a few great baby products we’ll:
- Use loads for a few months
- Or only use occasionally
I found there were some brilliant baby products that you use loads for a short period of time and then you’re done. And they clutter up a cupboard or the loft for a few years until next baby arrives. Which means plenty of your neighbours will be sitting on them.
So ask around friends and in local Facebook groups and see if you can borrow stuff like this for a small fee for the months you’ll need them:
- Moses basket : they’re lovely but only needed for 3 months.
- Baby bouncer : classic ones like the Baby Bjorn are great for baby whilst you’re doing chores and can help with colic and reflux but aren’t cheap and by 6 months babies will be restless in them.
- Baby carrier : structured baby carriers are again super handy and help with colic and reflux but you’ll probably only get 9 months out of them so may well be something you can borrow.
- Breast pump : I have to be honest and say I don’t think pumping is always the answer to our breastfeeding woes and unfortunately, you do get what you pay for. But they can be helpful. So do try and borrow one before you even think about buying. If it works for you, then sure invest in a good pre-loved one as above.
We can save even more money – and space – by borrowing the baby stuff we only use very occasionally such as:
- Travel cot
- Car seat wheels for when you’re flying or taking trains
Again ask around amongst friends and local Facebook groups before forking out money on stuff you’ll only use a few times a year.
It’s pretty easy to spend £/$100 a pop on each of the above so borrowing great ones could easily save another £/$400 for our emergency fund.
3. Embrace Zero Waste
We can save loads of money for our baby emergency fund by buying big baby stuff preloved or borrowing it but we can also save money and stay on budget by going zero waste and making sure the little baby products we use over and over again everyday are reusable.
Great examples of this are:
- Cloth diapers or nappies
- Baby wipes
- Breast pads
You can save at least $350 a year per baby just by using cloth diapers. So if you pick up pre-loved ones locally – pick up tips from local parents who’ve been there and done it whilst you’re at it – and have two or three kids you could be saving well over £/$1,000 for your emergency fund!!
4. Make Your Own
Our first three tips can save us over £/$2000 but we can still save even more money by making do with our own perfectly good resources rather than forking out money for someone else’s products.
The two biggies here are:
- Breastfeeding : formula costs over £/$1,000 a year!!!
- Baby led weaning : which basically means baby eats what you’re eating rather than fancy jars and packets of baby food. It’s again pretty easy to spend over £/$1,000 year on the stuff.
Now breastfeeding doesn’t work out for all of us. And it really won’t save money if we get conned into forking out for all sorts of bits and bobs we don’t need. But even doing half breast and half bottle feeding – and yes that is possible! – can save over £/$500 a year.
This idea of making do with our own perfectly good resources can also save us a small fortune on baby’s entertainment and social life!!
There are so many people out there trying to separate us from our money for baby toys and baby “classes” whether it’s gym or singing or massage.
Sure baby needs some toys and we need some company but we can:
- Keep baby perfectly happily entertained with things from the kitchen
- And it’s crazy to spend £/$20 a week on baby classes when we’d all be just as happy – and a grand richer!! – meeting up for tea and a biscuit and a bit of a sing song in someone’s front room.
5. Have A Minimalist Registry
Tip four leads us into my fifth and final simple money saving tip for you and that’s: go minimalist.
As a mother of an incredibly grown up 10 year old, I can tell you the biggest single thing that most parents hate about having kids is their kids clutter!!
It takes over your whole house. And is the cause of more family rows than almost anything else. And it all starts when they’re babies.
First, we fall for all the marketing gumph and become convinced baby needs huge quantities of stuff when they truly don’t.
Secondly, our friends and families share their love by gifting us all sorts of lovely stuff that will never actually be played with or enjoyed. However, gorgeously, cute they are no child needs fifty soft toys – all they’re going to do is provide a breeding ground for clothes moths!!
So write yourself a truly minimalist registry list – I’ll be sharing one soon and then take the plunge and talk to family and friends and ask that they only:
- Buy from the list
- Or donate to your emergency fund
- Or give you the greatest gift any new parent can ever receive which is a really good nap whilst someone else watches baby.
Very curiously, a heartfelt gift of a good nap can actually save us money. Who knew? With a few more hours sleep stashed in our sleep bank it’s much easier to believe we can can meet our own baby’s needs rather than hand over our hard earned money for crazy baby clobber we can so easily do without.
And so there you go, the five best ways to save money on baby stuff. I really hope they help you stick to your baby budget and build that baby fund.
For more simple tips do follow me on Pinterest and have a read of these posts.
- 12 Simple Baby Sleep Tips
- Breastfeeding Made Simple
- 12 Natural Remedies for Baby Colic
- 25 Natural Remedies For Baby Reflux
- Natural Remedies For Mastitis