We asked the parents of BuzzFeed Community the smartest way they saved money once their little one came along. Here are all the best hacks they had to share!
1. Ask your pediatrician for formula samples.
"Always ask your pediatrician if they have any formula samples. The worst they can say is no. Once, I was lucky enough to ask on their delivery day and they gave me three cases of formula."
2. Peroxide and Dawn is a failsafe way to remove baby poo stains:
"First of all, babies poop. We know this. It's a fact. What you might not know is you could end up with poop leaking out of those cute little diapers! That cute little white onesie with the bunny on the front? It now looks like your little love sat in a chocolate cake. Instead of throwing it out and having to replace it, or buying expensive stain-removing products, simply pour a little peroxide over the stain, drip some blue Dawn on, and scrub. Throw it in the washing machine and it's good as new!"
3. If you can, switch your job schedule in order to save money on child care.
"My husband and I were both able to change our work schedule to have different days/times off. This meant we only needed two days a week of child care. It was hard because it meant we didn’t see each other nearly as much, but we saved a lot of money and our son got more one-on-one time with each parent. This only worked because we were privileged to have flexible jobs, but it's ALWAYS worth asking. The worst they can say is no."
4. Don't go overboard on spending money decorating their room at first.
"Skip decorating their bedroom with anything other than the basics until they're old enough to tell you what they like. We waited until ours was almost 2. Before that, we just used what we had on hand."
5. Buy a changing table that's also a dresser so it can be used for two purposes.
"My husband and I invested in a dresser/changing table combo. We figured that a changing table was way too specific and that we would be wasting money in the end because we’d be selling/giving it away once we’re done with babies. This way, we have our first dresser for our son once he grows up and has his own room."—cristinal491ac6dcb
6. Make every cent count by staying organized.
"Once a week, go through your purchases from your checking account and round up each transaction to the next dollar. Add up all that change and deposit it into a savings account. There are apps that can do it for you automatically for a subscription fee, but I made a spreadsheet in Google Sheets that does all the calculations."
7. Meal prep before your little one arrives.
"Meal prep and make freezer meals before the baby comes. It not only saves money, but a ton of time. You’ll be so exhausted that you won’t want to cook."
8. Sign up for coupons on every baby-related website you can think of.
"Sign up for every rewards and sample program that you can! Enfamil has sent me well over $300 worth of gift checks, and Similac has sent close to $100 worth. I've gotten free samples of diapers, wipes, toys, pacifiers, etc. It might not all be usable, but it never hurts to have extras of anything. I've also been able to trade unused samples for things I can actually use on sites like OfferUp."
9. Start stocking up on diapers before the baby comes by dedicating an amount from every paycheck.
"Buy a pack of diapers every time you get paid once you find out you're pregnant. Both Target and Walmart will let you exchange without a receipt for a different size or brand if your baby doesn’t do well with one or you have too many sizes of another."
10. Save money on baby food by puréeing vegetables and fruit.
"Instead of buying baby food, we would purée sweet potatoes and put them in Tupperware until she was ready to eat."
11. Find out what things your insurance will cover for you.
"If you’re planning on pumping, find out if your insurance will cover a pump. I got a nice electric double pump completely free!"
12. Accept any and all hand-me-downs.
"Someone offers you hand-me-downs? Take them! Baby clothes can get expensive and they only wear them for such a short amount of time."
13. Join your local parenting Facebook community to see what other parents are giving away.
"I joined a Facebook community of about 250 moms who are giving away used baby items FOR FREE! I literally don't have to buy my kid clothes, shoes, or anything brand-new. I make a request in the group, and 9 times out of 10 someone has it to gift. I always gift back our outgrown or unneeded items as well."
14. Don't spend all your gift cards at once.
"Don’t feel like you have to spend gift cards or cash gifts right away. I stashed the money in a separate bank account (in baby’s name) and held on to cards to use when people stopped gifting clothing (usually after the first birthday). Now my kid’s got a healthy savings account, and I had gift cards to use for a while later." —grant101010
15. Save money on wet wipes by only using them for diaper changes.
"I used wet wipes for diaper changes only. I was gifted lots of small washcloths (about 50!) that I would use for everything else, including wiping hands after eating, cleaning up spit-up, etc. I had stashes of them around the house so they were handy when I needed one. When I went out, I would put a few damp ones in a plastic baggy. I’d bring a couple dry ones, too. They washed up just fine, and I wasn’t buying pack after pack of wipes."