2. Borrow a breast pump (or go in on one)-- If you need a breast pump, check with your friends to see if you can borrow one. Even with replacing a few parts, borrowing will save you a ton of money. I also know a couple of sisters who chose to purchase a breast pump together, knowing that they were both at the beginning of their parenting journeys.
3. Get a breast pump for free-- Some insurance companies will cover the cost of a brand new breast pump. Most require a prescription from your physician. Some will even cover delivery. Call the number on the back of your insurance card to find out what's covered.
4. Cloth diaper-- Cloth diapering can save you a load of money. Buy used, on discount, or from a friend and save even more. While the initial investment is a little steep, you'll save a a ton of money in the long run.
5. Borrow items-- Borrow a jumper, a bassinet, or a stroller... if your friend is willing to lend, be honest with your needs. Just be sure to be considerate. Try to return items in the same or better condition.
6. Buy used-- Not everything has to be new. Kids grow so quickly, especially in the first year. Most moms (and grandparents) are so excited when they find out about a pregnancy, they go out and over shop. You'd be amazed at the quality, or even new, items you can find in second hand stores and at yard sales.
7. Shop discount-- Besides second hand store, you can also find quality items at discount stores. Places like T.J. Maxx, Ross, outlets, and more regularly have nice baby items on their racks.
8. Invest in a quality items-- While it might seem contradictory, sometimes spending more upfront will actually save you in the long run. Spend your money on quality furniture, car seats, and strollers to save money later on.
9. Buy items that convert--Cribs, strollers, and car seats can all be bought to convert. The initial cost is higher, but it saves money in the long run.
10. Make your own baby food-- Invest in a Baby Bullet or an immersion wand, some fresh fruits and vegetables, and check out the ideas right here on Creative2xmom. Making baby food is healthy and easy. Make a big batch and freeze in individual servings.
11. Ask for freebies--Be sure to contact formula, diaper, and baby care companies with your due date. Once you're a part of their mailing list, you'll start to receive freebies and samples that stretch your budget just that extra little bit.
12. Use coupons-- As a part of being on these company mailing lists, you'll also receive lots of coupons. Besides that keep a look out for coupons on websites and in the paper and couple them with diaper sales and the Target cartwheel.
13. Register at Babies R Us--By registering with Babies R Us, you can receive a percentage off the unpurchased items after the baby arrives. So put some nicer items on your list and receive a discount on items you'll already need to purchase.
14. Keep it simple--Simple is always inexpensive. Do you need the sound machine that plays 10 sounds or the one that plays 3? Do you need the full nursery set or a few piece to build at a time?
15. Learn the fine art of photography--Pictures are very expensive. And if you're like me, you want to have pictures taken every time they breath. So get your camera out, experiment with lighting and poses, and learn how to take them yourself. You can do it!
16. Take advantage of tax deductions--Twenty to thirty-five percent of child care expenses can be deducted on your taxes, based on your income. Talk to your tax preparer for more information.
17. Fight the culture--You don't need every gadget under the sun. Purchase just a few simple items to get started and see what you need from you. Babies grow slowly and there will be time to purchase more as you need.
18. Exchange items with a friend--Do you have a friend that's a step or two ahead of you? Maybe she has some clothing or items you can borrow. What about that friend that's newly pregnant? Maybe she can use your maternity clothes before your next pregnancy. Beware who you swap with, but with the right mix of friends, you can save a lot of money.
19. Buy ahead--For clothing, try to buy a size or season ahead. Watch for end of the season sales and stock up on basic items for the next year. Make sure you get on our favorite stores mailing lists for coupons and sales ads. Skip trying this with shoes. I've found my children's shoes sizes too hard to predict and I end up loosing money.
20. DIY--If you're the DIY type, why not repurpose old furniture for the nursery? Older pieces tend to be more durable anyways and you can easy find a variety of ideas on pinterest. This is also a great idea for room decor, storage ideas, bedding, etc.
21. Get creative--Is there an item you just have to have? Jot down the price and a quick sketch. Then go home and think it over. Do you already have something that you can use in place of this item? Is there something that can multi-task or be used in place of something new?
How are you raising a baby on a budget?