One of the first things you hear when you get pregnant is how expensive babies are. You’d think the little bundles come out requesting caviar and Perrier. Now don’t get me wrong–there’s definitely some added expense with having a child, but there’s also plenty of ways to get the ever-expanding baby layette (and all the extras that go with it) on a budget. Here’s some tried and true examples any frugal parents or parents-to-be should know about:
1. Have a shower–Don’t you even feel a tinge of guilt if you have to drop hints, or just come out and ask a friend or family member, to have a baby shower for you. You’re embarking on an exciting and new journey having a baby and it’s only normal for those who love you to help you along. Give the shower organizer a list of “must-have” items to include in the invites. Enjoy all the gifts when you get them, but don’t hesitate to take things back that you can exchange for more-needed or practical items (or just some much-needed cash for when baby arrives).
2. Recruit “sponsors”–Along the same lines as the shower, don’t be afraid to ask closer family members (grandparents-to-be, aunts and uncles) to help out by buying the baby one of the bigger items needed, i.e. a stroller, crib, rocker, playpen, etc. Most soon-to-be grandparents will be so smitten with the idea of their new title, they’ll agree without even thinking twice and be thrilled to be part of planning for baby.
3. Stash those diapers–One of the best pieces of advice I got from a friend during my pregnancy was to start buying diapers as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Having a nice, large stash of these essential items lessens the shock to the checkbook once baby arrives. Try buying just one pack or so of newborn size, in case you have a bigger baby, but mostly packs of size 1 and size 2. And don’t ever buy brand-name diapers without a coupon–you can easily shave another $1 to $3 off the price with the weekly newspaper coupons and by shopping when the discount stores have their monthly sale on the mega-pack size.
About halfway through the pregnancy, start stocking up on wipes, too–just buy one pack in the plastic case and stick to the less expensive refill packs from then on. And don’t forget coupons for those, too!