Anyone who has looked at a high-end buggy catalogue or even a mid-range baby clothing store will have already realised that it’s possible to spend an awful lot of money on a person half a foot long. And if you have the means and wish to do so, why not? At this age, your buying choices pretty much entirely reflect your own preferences in colour, style and price and if you want to spoil yourself with a too-cute baby outfit or a go-faster pram then by all means do it, you’ve earned it. But if you’re watching the pennies, or – like me – are just a bit culturally prudent, here are some top ways to save on endless baby expenses.
eBay is your friend
Having used eBay for years, I became seriously enamoured of the site when pregnant and looking for cost-effective ways to clothe my growing bump. I got some great bargains on maternity clothes including my favourite Isabella Oliver dress for twenty quid, which is excellent value given that a) I still wear it, all the time and b) at full price it would have cost £££. eBay is of course a great place for used items – outgrown carseats, baby carriers, prams and buggies; it’s also great for brand-new items sold cheap by retailers who don’t have to rent or furnish stores. Clothes, slings and all sorts of accessories can be picked up new and super-cheap on the site.
The other great thing about eBay (as we found with our partly-recycled wedding last year) is that once you’ve finished with the items yourself, you can sell them on again, reducing both your net expenditure and the amount of space you need in your house for accumulated clutter.
Friends are also your friend
Have friends with recently-born children (or really big attics)? Accept any and all offers of hand-me-downs, from cribs to clothes to toys. We’ve already discovered, just fifteen weeks in, that you’ll be doing said friends a massive favour by taking outgrown stuff off their hands. Speaking of which: if anyone has a baby girl (or a boy confident in his gender identity) aged 0-3 months and would like a load of stuff, message us.
Friends can also tell you what items were actually useful for them and what proved a needless expense, but ofc everyone’s mileage will vary on that matter.
It’s a family affair
If your families are anything like ours, you’ll be showered with more gifts than you know what to do with. Again, accept gratefully, even the pink stuff. Your daughter can always wear pink at night, or in private when nobody can see her, or you can save it for emergency nappy-accident dressing, or you can give the pink items to a friend’s baby boy to challenge gender markers, or you can sell it all on eBay for a handsome profit. You could even have her wear it sometimes if you like, it’s all good.
Buy in bulk, baby
Essentials like nappies, cotton balls, wipes and the like, which you’ll be using by the ton and which don’t have a shelf-life, are best bought in the biggest bulk you can stash in your house. Make use of online special deals, 2-for-1 and 3-for-2 offers, and buy the biggest pack size you can. If you spot a deal and are between nappy sizes, simply get one of each size – baby *will* grow into the next size up, probably alarmingly soon, and there’s no harm stockpiling items that will never go off or expire.
Look out for freebies
Your local children’s centre will have free stuff like vitamins, and money-off vouchers for everything from nappies and formula to swimming lessons. Look out for samples and coupons in baby magazines (these are often available online, so as long as you don’t mind ending up on a million mailing lists you don’t even have to buy the magazine). Check out your Bounty bag, too – it took us weeks to get it together to actually look inside the thing, but it turns out there were some useful items and coupons in there all along.
Have I missed any AMAZING MONEY-SAVING TIPS? Right this wrong in the comments below!