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10 Wallet-Wise Ways to Bring Up Baby

How to save money when you're a new parent

Published on: February 27, 2019

money saving parent

New parenthood affects people in many wonderful and dramatic ways, from the heart-stopping sight of that positive home pregnancy test and the heart-squeezing love you feel for your new little bundle to the less than delightful challenges of sleep deprivation and death by laundry. And then there’s the impact on family finances. Suddenly, you have many brand-new expenses (hello, child care!) and zero time to look for ways to offset the sticker shock.

With the help of our readers, we’ve scoured the internet and other sources to present 10 pocketbook-friendly websites and tips for saving on all the baby basics.

Get free stuff! Join a local Buy Nothing Facebook group, where you can post wants and needs, browse items up for grabs and donate goods you’d like to get out of the house. Bonus: You’ll get to know your neighbors in the process!

If you can, go with reusable diapers, which can save you $1,000 or more over the diaper-changing years. Local services such as Baby Diaper Service make it simple.

No crib? No problem. A previously owned Pack ’n Play with a specially fitted extra pad is a great and inexpensive substitute for a crib, and it saves space, too. (Safety first: Always check for recalls and follow manufacturer recommendations!) 

Save on groceries by making your own baby food, a process that can be as simple as mashing an avocado or microwaving a sweet potato. Find tips and ideas for traditional weaning and baby-led weaning here.

Shop secondhand. When you can’t find gear for free, buy it used. In addition to Value Village and Goodwill, shop Craigslist and local family-oriented consignment or secondhand shops. Put yourself on the Jack & Jill list to get word of its giant consignment sales, held several times a year and offering loads of affordable baby and kid gear and clothing. For a list of readers’ favorite secondhand shops, go here

Thrifty Northwest Mom’s website offers family-friendly saving tips on everything from diapers to vacations, as well as printable coupons for local deals. Discover more sales, bargains and tips on cute gear and clothes at Seattle Moms Deal Finder.

Petty larceny on baby’s behalf is fun (and perfectly legal) at BabySteals, and for older kids at KidSteals.

Frugal Living NW is a one-stop shop for deals, sales and ideas for practical and frugal living in the Pacific Northwest. The site posts details of sales from major retailers, promotes local businesses and rounds up coupons that you can use.

Reuse, then resell. Babies grow quickly, so you’ll be able to sell your baby’s things on Craigslist or eBay before you know it. Cribs and high chairs hold up especially well and would be a sad sight in a landfill. Look at you, eco-superstar!

Wear, return, repeat. Mamas-to-be can be stylish and not break the bank by renting maternity wear from Le Tote, a subscription-based fashion rental service that provides unlimited access to clothes, mailed for a flat monthly charge. New kid on the block Relovable is a Seattle-area subscription service that delivers gently used kids clothing to your door and packs away all the togs and gear your little has outgrown to redistribute to other families. Genius!

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