New and expectant parents have their work cut out for them when it comes to pinching pennies on baby items. According to a 2011 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, families could spend up to $12,000 the first year of their baby’s life.
The good news is, there are hundreds of ways to save on baby goods nowadays. Here are some resources to take advantage of.
Shop online daily deals. Daily deal websites like Totsy and Zulily are a haven for new and expectant families. Items range from big gear like strollers and cribs to smaller items like organic baby food and clothing. The deals are offered only for a few days at a time, so you’ll have to check it frequently to find what you need.
Borrow from friends. If you have friends who recently had babies, ask if you can borrow some of their items that they no longer use. Breast pumps are a great thing to borrow, according to Parent Magazine. You’ll still have to buy new cups, but those usually sell for about $50, as opposed to the entire system, which is priced up to $200 on Amazon.
Buy used. You may be the first of your friends or relatives to have kids, which means you’ll have to create your own arsenal of baby products. Before heading to a big-box store, try to find as much as you can on consignment or from an online reseller. While searching, I found new car seats, strollers, crib mattresses and more for very low prices.
Once Upon a Child is a popular consignment store for kid and baby items because it takes only gently used or new items and makes sure everything meets up-to-date safety standards. Many items sell for 70 percent less than their retail value, so you can find some impressive deals.
Sign up for ongoing promotions. Publix stores in the Southeast offer a baby club, a free program dedicated to saving parents’ money. Once you register, Publix will send newsletters and coupons on items specifically designed for your baby’s age. You can find more details at https://www.publix.com/clubs/baby/Subscribe.do.
Amazon offers a similar program through Amazon Mom. There’s a $39 annual fee, but you could earn that money back with all the savings offered with the program. Amazon already has some of the best prices on diapers in the market, and with Amazon Mom, you’ll save 20 percent more. As an added bonus, you’ll get access to streaming TV shows and movies for no extra cost. Find more perks of the program at www.amazon.com/gp/mom/signup/info.
Think realistically. It’s tempting to cover all the bases before your baby is born, but too much planning can actually cost you more. For example, you may spend $200 on a breast pump and specialty clothing, only to find that breast-feeding doesn’t work for you and your baby. This applies to small things, too. Don’t buy creams in advance because certain brands may irritate your baby’s skin. I can’t speak from experience, but I think it’s safe to say that a lot of parenting comes from playing it by ear.
Reach Abigail Darlington at firstname.lastname@example.org.