As soon as the doctor confirmed that I was pregnant, the expenses of having a baby began to add up. First, there were medical bills; then, there was all the “stuff” we needed to buy ahead of our baby girl’s arrival; and finally she was here and we were constantly buying more diapers and formula. Babies are expensive, but if you’re budget-conscious, there are some easy ways to save money:
It starts during pregnancy…
Depending on your insurance coverage, your pregnancy, labor, delivery, and hospital stay will cost you anywhere from $0 to thousands. In my experience, unless you ask first, no one tells you what is or isn’t covered, or who is in-network or out-of-network. Be sure to do your research, ask questions, and take notes.
Sign up for rewards
If you will be formula feeding, Similac, Enfamil, and other popular brands offer reward programs with free samples and coupons. Our two babies were exclusively formula fed, and we spent a few thousand dollars on formula, but we saved a few hundred dollars as members of Similac StrongMoms. In addition, we spent about a year buying Pampers diapers, and I recently redeemed my Pampers Rewards for a Barnes & Noble gift card. It’s a small reward, but it was easy to earn, and we’ll gladly use it.
Target frequently runs promotions on diapers and formulas where you can earn a gift card if you buy a certain quantity, or spend a certain amount of money. I’ve seen similar promotions offered at Buy Buy Baby, CVS, and Stop & Shop. Baby food and snacks (we love Earth’s Best, Ella’s Kitchen, etc.) are frequently on Target’s Cartwheel App for up to 30% off. For baby and children’s clothing, I’ve saved by buying at the end of the season, for the following year (i.e. winter jackets in the Spring and bathing suits in the Fall).
Exchange unwanted items
At some point in your baby’s life, I’m sure you have (or will) receive a gift that you’ll never use, including items that you already own. Sometimes I keep gifts out of guilt, but then they go to waste, and I feel even more guilty! This might not be a popular opinion, but I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to return unwanted items and use the store credit for something you need.
We signed up for our Target REDCard less than a week before our first baby was born. We save 5% off every purchase and receive free shipping on online orders. We always pay our bill in full, we just really enjoy the card’s benefits. I love my Target REDCard the same way that many moms love their Amazon Prime/Amazon Family membership.
What are your best money-saving tips for new or expectant moms?