Saving Money With a Baby: Mother's Tips

When baby is born, financially this usually means that a) there is now an extra person generating expenses and b) there is one less income in the house. This can put a great deal of pressure on the household budget, unless you’ve been meticulous in planning ahead for some time – not that all of us can plan if baby was the result of a wonderful surprise pregnancy!

So for the many of us who couldn’t plan ahead as well as we would have liked, there are other things you can do which are great ways to save money. I asked the BellyBelly Forum members what their best money-saving tips are for baby – and they have come up with some fantastic ideas!

BellyBelly Member Money-Saving Tips:

Saving Money Pre-Baby

“This tip I discovered from a financial ‘expert’ is more for those who are in the pregnancy planning stages or for those who are currently pregnant – especially if one partner is planning on staying at home with baby. If you are in a position to plan ahead and are currently living off two incomes, a great financial planning idea is to open up a separate savings account as soon as you can (be it pre-pregnancy or during pregnancy). Put big chunks of money away each payday while you have two incomes, in preparation of dropping to one income. Ideally, live off one person’s income while putting away the other person’s. This will help you save for after the baby’s birth which brings more expense and less income, with all the regular bills you might have. You will also get a good idea for how you will be able to manage on one income. Even if you put away only half of the second income, this is a great start.” — BellyBelly

Clothing

“Buy their clothes from eBay! I have got sooooo much great Pumpkin Patch stuff for Ryley much cheaper!! Also you can re-sell them on eBay too!! So it also can make you money. Actually you can buy almost anything from eBay!!” – Pee

“We buy most of Alex’s clothing from op shops. When we were living in the country, people used to lend us things all the time.” – Divvy

“You can also save heaps of money if you knit by buying second hand jumpers and things from the Salvation Army and pulling them apart – then reusing the wool to make something you like! $2 for wool rather than $30 is a big saving.” — Fi

Feeding

“I make all of his food at home and put it into little Tupperware containers (actually they’re not Tupperware, they’re from the supermarket on special for $1.15 each for a 250ml tub) and freeze them. I do about 12 each week for lunch and dinner. We also cook up a big bunch of apples/pears/mangoes (whatever is in season) and mash them in the blender, then put them into the glass jars that baby food comes in, and freeze them too.” – Divvy

“Make up large batches of mashed fresh vegetables and place them in ice-cube trays in the freezer. Once frozen, place them in ziplock bags or freezer containers so they keep fresh and you can continue to make more batches at a time.” — Cailin

General Shopping

“Even if you aren’t going to use cloth nappies, buying a few is a great investment. They are perfect for all sorts of messes, putting over your shoulder to prevent you wearing possets/vomit, to keep in your nappy bag for on the go nappy changes (cheaper than buying disposable mats) and lots of other things!” — BellyBelly

“Lots of chemists have loyalty programs that are free to join. It’s amazing how quickly those points add up after you buy a few boxes of nappies.” – Dachlostar

“One thing I have done is to buy things each week when shopping and I’ve been doing it virtually from the start. A dummy, singlet, baby wipes, baby soap etc. You don’t notice a few dollars extra on the groceries each week and I’ve got a pretty good collection going.” – Sarah_H

“This is more for first timers about to drop to one income. When you are still working and doing your supermarket shopping. If you see good specials for the expensive non-perishables such as laundry or dishwashing detergent, toilet paper and baby wipes, stock up on them. It’s also a great idea as these things tend to be big and heavy – when you are shopping with a child you don’t want to have too much stuff to lug around.” — Anney

“Even though there is an expense up front, a freezer is a great investment. You can buy milk and bread (and anything else that freezes) in bulk when on special and then you always have it there ready and convenient. And don’t have to be going out every day for milk.”- Anney

“Really look at the way you shop and cook for weekly meals. This literally cut our grocery bill in half!

  • Make a list of meals that you are planning on cooking
  • Make a shopping list based on what your weekly meal plan is & what you already have in the pantry/freezer
  • Stick to the list as you shop

Also, with cooking, try to avoid convenience foods…..they are so expensive & really don’t save you that much time at all!" — Lucy

“I try and buy clothes/toys when there are sales on, even 10% off in Target makes a difference.” — JOJA

“Garage sales (for cots/bassinets/toys etc) are really good. But I wouldn’t buy prams or car seats there, unless you knew where they had been.” – Divvy

Bedding

“If you have a sewing machine or know of somebody that does, you can make your own bunny rugs and bassinet sheets. I picked up material at spotlight which was on special for $1.99 a metre and made most of Jack’s bunny rugs and bassinet sheets. By making your own, you can make them in any size you wish and I also personalised the sheets, so when you folded the top one over I had little pictures for Jack to look at. (Not that he was aware of them at that age, but it looked nice!).” – JOJA

“For cot sheets you can just cut a double sheet in half. You will only have to hem one side on each half. For a bassinet a decent sized pillow case can fit over the mattress instead of buying bassinet sheets.” – Dachlostar

“I buy single flat sheets for Mitchell’s cot and fold them in half. When he moves to a big bed, that expense will be covered.” — Lulu2

Nappies & Wipes

“If you are a Huggies baby wipes person, a great way to save is to tear them in half! They are so big anyway, you get less wastage. If you tear them down the middle not across, they can clean just as well. Plus they are easier to use in half especially on smaller babies!” – BellyBelly

“I’m going to cut up some old towels and do some home sewn baby wipes. You can buy them from many SAHM on the internet for about 50c to $1 each, and they make a great alternative to disposable ones. And you won’t get them muddled with normal face washers. Try a couple of different varieties to find out what works best for you. Polar fleece on one side, with either flannel or towelling on the other. Use one side to wipe the poo away, and the other to clean up. You could either wet them or carry them in a zip lock bag, or you can make a solution in a small spray bottle and carry it with you.” — Fi

“I use face washers for his bum, which (of course) are separate from his general face washers. This cuts down on baby wipe usage. Cornflour works just as well as Curash nappy rash powder, although I only resort to corn flour if I have run out of the Curash stuff.”- JOJA

“When I bought nappies for my first born, I would only buy Huggies as everyone told me it was the best brand of nappy. I tried a few different cheaper brands, unfortunately only Huggies worked for her – she would have leakage problems or rashes with other nappies. However with my second, we now use Huggies for night and a cheaper brand for the daytime, since he’s not as susceptible to nappy rash and they work just as well. I know of some mums who only find homebrand nappies to work for their baby – it’s the more expensive brands that leak or cause a rash for them. Our babies are all so different! So it’s a great idea to try different brands if you are looking to save money – and to find a great nappy that works for you!” — BellyBelly

“If you are using disposable nappies, buy in bulk when there are sales on! It works out HEAPS cheaper and means you don’t buy nappies anywhere near as frequently at more expensive prices!” – Tootie

“Use the plastic bags you get from the shops for dirty nappies instead of Nappy Sacks (fragranced plastic bags) – that way you are having less plastic and saving money – mind you I would stick with Nappy Sacks when you have gone out!!! – Pee

“We use cloth nappies at home and disposables at childcare/when we are out. Saves us heaps.” – Divvy

“When I was pregnant with Kameron, I stocked up on wipes etc., during my pregnancy. I also brought “seconds” disposable nappies. Out of 7 boxes that I used I only had 3 that were duds." – Astrolady

“Instead of using baby wipes at all – how about buying flannels and using warm water to wipe baby’s bottom – after all baby wipes would not have been around 40 or 50 years ago! Keep a pack of wipes just for when you go out – you can also make your own baby wipes too. You need:

  • Plastic Container
  • 1 roll of Paper Towels (a better quality brand, strong and thick)
  • 2 T Baby Bath Lotion/Wash
  • 1 T Baby Oil
  • 2 C Water

Directions:

Cut the roll of paper towels in half with a very sharp knife. In your plastic container, mix the ingredients well. Add half a roll of paper towels. Place the lid on the container and let it set for about 10 minutes. Then flip the container over for another 10-15 minutes. It might not even take you this long, if you keep your eye on it.

You want to make sure that the ingredients have soaked through all of the paper towels. When all of the ingredients have absorbed, open the container and stand the paper towels on end with the jagged side that was cut down. Pull the brown paper out of the middle, so that you can pull the wipes through the center. Then you just pull the wipes as needed. They tear apart very easily and make nappy changing simple.

This recipe can be adapted for several household uses. Exclude the baby bath and baby oil to include about 1/4 cup of your multi-purpose cleaner for quick wipe-ups. Exclude the baby bath and increase the baby oil to your own desired amount for after-bath body wipes to decrease baby oil on the floor of your shower or tub. The possibilities for homemade wipes are limitless and efficient." – Astrolady

 
Last Updated: December 8, 2014

CONTRIBUTOR

Kelly Winder is the creator of BellyBelly.com.au, a writer, doula (trained in 2005), and a mother of three awesome children. She's passionate about informing and educating fellow thinking parents and parents-to-be, especially about all the things she wishes she knew before she had her firstborn. Kelly is also passionate about travel, tea, travel, and animal rights and welfare. And travel.


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