We always knew that having a baby would add various expenses to our budget, but there will always be those unexpected things that we didn’t plan on. As new parents, one thing you should probably do at your very first convenience is create a household budget, factoring in anything and everything baby. Let’s look at a few tips to get you started.
1. Discounts vs. Off-Label (Generic) Brands
While we, as adults, aren’t so picky when it comes to certain foods we eat or skincare products we buy, this isn’t something we want for baby if at all possible. Sometimes there are ingredients in generic products that aren’t in recognized brands and those ingredients could be allergenic. Even though you might be tempted to go generic because it saves money, you might be better off looking for discount codes for things like diapers, clothes and more. From baby formula to the lotions that we put on their new and fragile skin; it is important to seek discounts whenever possible if our budget is suffering to that degree.
2. Decluttering: Out with the Old but NOT In with the New
How many times have you glanced around your home only to think how crowded it has become? There may be plenty of things you can get rid of to give you more space to work with. Maybe you could have a yard sale or post them on a social media marketplace. However, don’t be tempted to use that money to buy more ‘things.’ Instead, set it aside in an ‘emergency’ fund for things you might need for baby but hadn’t worked into your budget. It’s amazing just how quickly money can add up this way!
3. Plan Larger Meals
No, we aren’t suggesting that you eat more. Instead of cooking meals for two, cook larger portions so that you can vacuum pack and freeze. Not only is it cheaper to buy in bulk, but you will also be saving on the electricity (or gas) it takes to cook from scratch. A few minutes in the microwave is so much cheaper than an hour or two stewing on the stove or baking in the oven.
4. Buy in Bulk
As mentioned above, buying in bulk is cheaper than buying smaller amounts. For example, if you purchased five pounds of ground beef, you would be paying much less per pound than if you went into the store or butcher to buy a single pound. Remember, every penny adds up, so buy in bulk whenever it yields a decent savings per ounce or item.
5. Learn to Kill Two Birds with One Stone
As the old saying goes, it’s much more expedient to ‘kill two birds with one stone,’ and so it is with your budget. Let’s look back for a moment at decluttering your home. Not only can you make money from selling totally usable items you no longer want or need but you will be amazed at how it also helps with climate control. Did you know that all those furnishings, for example, and boxes absorb heat so it costs more to cool your home in the summer and heat it in the winter? You want the air climate controlled, not those extra boxes, cushioned armchairs and everything else just cluttering a room.
6. Learn the 3 Rs of Conservation
Finally, pay attention to the 3 Rs of conservation: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. You are already working toward reducing and recycling when you declutter your home. As for reusing, what about going for cloth diapers instead of disposables? It really is cheaper to launder them than to keep paying for boxes and boxes of disposables. They can be safer for baby’s skin as well and certainly much better on the environment.
There are so many ways to save money when you budget with a new baby in mind. It takes a bit of honest thought and creativity, but when you are done, you might just realize you have more money than you thought you had. Don’t believe it? Give it a try!