From pregnancy to teenagehood, diapers to summer camp, raising a child is expensive. However, there’s a lot you can do to save money, starting with your pregnancy. Use these tips to cut costs during pregnancy so you have more to go around when your child is here.
Save Money on Maternity Clothes
Maternity clothes don’t have to cost a fortune. Maternity outfits are only worn for a few months, which means there’s an abundant supply of second-hand maternity clothing. In addition to thrift stores, look for local buy-sell-trade groups on Facebook and organize clothing swaps with friends who have recently had children of their own.
When you do shop retail for maternity clothes, check inexpensive stores like Old Navy, Target, Ross and TJ Max. You’re not wearing the clothes for long, so durability is less important than style.
Get Cheap Prenatal Vitamins
Stock Up and Save
Don’t run out of supplies and end up paying double at whichever store is closest to home. Buying essentials in bulk saves money and makes life easier when you’re a foggy-brained new mom.
Stock up on baby wipes, burp cloths, diaper cream, and other diaper bag must-haves before your baby arrives so you have time to shop around and find a good deal. Don’t forget to stock things for yourself too! Have a ready supply of hair ties, hand sanitizer, and nursing pads is a lifesaver when you’re away from home. Pack an extra shirt too, just in case.
Throw a Baby Shower
Some women eagerly anticipate the baby shower, but for many, the idea of opening gifts in front of an audience sounds unbearably awkward. However, baby showers are a tradition for a reason — buying everything you need for a baby is expensive, and letting others chip in is a huge relief to first-time parents. As long as you’re willing to return the favor, don’t feel weird about accepting gifts.
If you dread the idea of a traditional baby shower, keep it casual and skip the baby-themed games. However, you should create a registry so people know what you need — plus, a registry could lead to special offers and discounts.
Fill Your Freezer
Good nutrition is key in the postpartum period, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Unfortunately, knowing that doesn’t give you the energy to cook a meal when you’re exhausted with a newborn.
Preparing balanced freezer meals during pregnancy ensures you get the nutrition you need while healing from childbirth and keeps you from spending your grocery budget on meal delivery. In addition to sit-down meals, prep food that can be eaten on the go or standing up, like breakfast burritos, falafel patties, and energy bites.
Consider a Birth Center
Some women don’t realize that a hospital birth isn’t their only option. Delivering at a birth center may be more comfortable and less expensive than a hospital delivery for low-risk women.
Keep in mind that if you’re thinking of having a home birth to save money, that most health insurance providers don’t cover midwife services for home births. However, many insurance plans do cover birth centers — but check your policy before making a decision.
Find New Ways to Cut Costs
When you’re looking for savings, look beyond baby stuff. For example, you can save on yoga classes by starting an at-home practice. Or you find a cheaper phone plan or switch to a basic cable package without as many premium channels (streaming is also an option). Another idea is to look for ways to lower what you pay for car insurance. If you’re not on the road a lot, don’t have any traffic or speeding tickets, and take a defensive driving course, you may be eligible for a discount on your insurance. It’s also important to choose a company that has a high approval rating from customers so you know the policy you’re getting will protect you and your family. For example, Allstate has an A+ rating, while Geico sports an impressive A++ rating.
Even if you’ve never been a budgeter, it’s important to watch costs when you’re preparing for something as big as parenthood. Instead of letting the high costs of pregnancy prep overwhelm you, start thinking about what you really need to welcome your child into the world and looking for opportunities to save.
Emily Graham | firstname.lastname@example.org Mighty Moms