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So, you’ve got a new arrival on the way – congratulations!
If this is your first child, you may be slightly overwhelmed when thinking of all of the shopping you need to do before your baby arrives. Alternatively, you might be stoked and can’t wait to hit the store. Either way, here’s how you can save some money while stocking up for baby.
1.) Be realistic about what is necessary and what may not be.
My first tip is probably the most obvious, especially if this isn’t your first child, but you absolutely do NOT need everything you’ve been led to believe you need for a baby! It might be tempting to buy as must as humanly possible to prepare for your baby’s arrival, but you and your baby’s needs will be unique and in some situations, you won’t know exactly what you’ll need or want until the baby has arrived.
For example, you may buy a million and a half adorable swaddle blankets only to find that your baby hates being swaddled. Or you may invest in a set of nice bottles and when your baby arrives, he or she doesn’t take to them well. You know that you will need diapers, wipes, feeding supplies, a car seat, and anything else you view as necessary. Unless you simply have enough disposable income that you are comfortable making expensive purchases that you may not get use out of, try to stick to the very basics and then do some more shopping once baby has arrived and you’ve gotten to know them a little better!
2.) Shop at discount retailers.
This is probably a no-brainer for a lot of moms-to-be out there, but try to get some of your essentials at discount stores! Stores like Ross, TJ Maxx, Burlington, and Marshalls carry some new mom and baby essentials – like baby clothes, nursing pads, bras, maternity clothes, and other misc. baby gear. And it’s all at a much better price than you’d get walking into BuyBuyBaby or Babies R Us or Target. Just to give you an idea of potential savings – I found boxes of 100 nursing pads, regularly $7.99 at Kroger for $4.99 at Ross. I needed tons of these, personally, so this was a great find.
Other than diapering necessities, almost anything you can think of that you’ll need or want for your baby can be found at these places. Especially if you do not have your heart set on a certain brand for every piece of baby gear, you can expect to snag things like baby wraps and carriers, swings, toys, nursery furniture and decor, and other baby gear for 40-60% off retail prices and sometimes more if you hit the clearance section.
3.) Shop at secondhand stores.
Even if you’re someone who doesn’t normally shop secondhand, you should know that you can find a TON of brand new baby items at secondhand stores. These stores are a convenient way for parents to unload any items they bought or received that didn’t work for their baby. It’s easy to over-buy for babies… and they grow so quickly! A lot of brand new clothing is sold or donated to thrift stores because the baby grew out of the size before the got to wear it. You can find baby gear like strollers, swings, toys, and furniture at some of these places as well.
Some great stores to consider are Kid to Kid, Once Upon a Child, Goodwill, and Salvation Army to start. Do a google search for other secondhand stores in your area and call them to see if they carry baby clothing or gear! Kid to Kid has a 10% military discount and a 10% foster parent discount. They also have a loyalty program. Once Upon a Child has a loyalty program as well and they periodically send out coupons via email and text if you opt-in.
If you’re eyeing a particularly expensive baby item, such as the 4moms mamaroo, you might consider buying it at a secondhand store. It’s $219 retail right now at Amazon, BuyBuyBaby, and BabiesRUs. I know someone who got an almost-new one at Once Upon a Child for $100. eBay has tons of new-in-box mamaroos for significantly cheaper than retail as well and has some used ones in good condition for as cheap as $70.
4.) Use couponing apps or coupons
If you’re a regular coupon user, you know the drill. You don’t need me to tell you what’s up! Skip to the next tip. If you’re new to coupons – start getting familiar! You don’t necessarily have to clip coupons anymore if you don’t want to. There are plenty of digital coupons out there for you! Download the coupons.com app to start out and check out all of the deals they have for the stores near you. In many cases, you can add those coupons directly onto your store loyalty card to use next time you shop! No clipping involved.
If you have a store loyalty card, dig deeper into the potential savings. Kroger, for example, has an app you can download and add digital coupons directly to your loyalty card. Target’s app is super fun and I always see loads of awesome offers there, like 20% off Honest Company diapers or spend $100 on baby items and get a $20 gift card. You don’t need to have a Target credit card for this to work! You just need to download the app, select the offers you want, and have the cashier scan your barcode during the transaction.
If couponing still seems like too much work for you, check out apps like Offer Up, Letgo, and look on Facebook Marketplace for diaper/wipe/baby care bundles for sale. Lots of extreme couponers will sell what they don’t need through these platforms. You won’t get them at the prices they’ve paid, but you won’t be paying retail prices and you won’t have to bother with coupons yourself. You’ll probably also save yourself some time this way, you’ll find large quantities of baby supplies here and buying someone’s stash directly from them means you won’t have to wander around the store crunching numbers and comparing brands.
5.) Make a list and stick to it
If you’re trying to save money, the last thing you want to do is not have a list. Walking into a store without a list to buy for baby, when you’re expecting is like walking into a grocery store super hungry. You will leave the store with way more than you need! Make a list – on your phone, on paper, whatever works for you. Stick to it! Your wallet will thank you.
6.) Stockpile diapers (if you are using disposable diapers) and wipes
Start buying them early if you can and use coupons. This way you can get everything at a lower cost than you would be by rushing out and buying diapers last minute because you ran out of them. Also – if you have a tried and true preferred brand of diapers or wipes and you begin stocking up at the beginning of your pregnancy, you have most of a year to wait and jump on the best offers when those specific brands go on sale. Keep in mind that sometimes babies will have a reaction to specific diaper brands. If you can, try to diversify what brands you buy unless you feel confident that your favorite brand will work.
7.) Create a registry or have a baby shower
Having a baby shower is a fun way to celebrate the impending arrival of your little one and cross some items off of your list at the same time. You can easily create a baby registry with Amazon and add items for your friends and family to buy for your new baby. The Amazon baby registry allows you to add items from other websites, offers 90-day returns on most items, and you will receive a 10% completion discount (15% if you have Amazon Prime) for purchasing the remainder of your registry. You can also create registries with Target, BuyBuyBaby, and BabiesRUs.
Consider doing most of your shopping for baby after your baby shower or registry gifting ends, that way you don’t end up with duplicate items and you can exchange unwanted gifts for things that you need.
8.) Consider cloth diapering
Besides being so much more eco-friendly, cloth diapering can save you money. You’ll have a larger up-front cost, as each diaper can cost you up to $17 depending on the brand but obviously, you will not be buying hundreds upon hundreds of diapers. I change my baby about 7-8 times a day – that’s roughly 225 disposable diapers monthly, sometimes more. Yikes! With cloth diapering, you’ll buy wipes, diapers, and inserts, and pay for the utility costs of washing the diapers – which will not only save you cash but a little time as well, since you won’t have to make runs to the store to grab diapers. Cloth diapering is definitely not for everyone! But if you think it might fit you and your baby’s lifestyle, consider purchasing a few before your baby arrives so that you can give cloth diapering a shot.
9.) Use Amazon Family for 20% off diapers by getting them delivered regularly.
Get a hefty discount on diapers for your little one by setting up a diaper subscription through Amazon Family. You’ll save 20% on diapers! Especially if you don’t plan on cutting coupons, this is a great way to save by default with no work involved. You don’t even have to go diaper shopping! It doesn’t get more convenient than that. Here’s a link to join Amazon Family’s free 30-day trial.
Do you have any additional money saving tips to use while shopping for a new baby? Leave them in the comments below!