Having a baby is expensive. (Gasp! Who knew, right?) No, really, having a baby is very expensive. It’s a never-ending cycle of diapers, formula, toys, clothes, wipes, medicine, strollers, baby food, car seats, babysitters, doctor visits, and child proofing accessories. Although your precious little baby is the apple of your eye and the love of your life, every once in a while, you get a faint glimpse of a distant memory, somewhere back in the far corners of your mind, of a time long ago when money ran through the streams, grew off trees, and was abundant.
The latest pair of designer strappy sandals? You were once the first person to own them. But now? The last thing on your mind, or in your budget, is a silly pair of shoes that aren’t made for high-performance, running for preventing kid-accidents, or the fabulous, wear-while-gardening-or-out-to-dinner shoes called Crocs.
You laugh at your old naïve self and all the things you used to want and would claim to “need.” But those so-called necessities are a thing of the past. Now you fantasize about full-featured mini-vans instead of convertible coupes, your plush, white carpets have transformed into multi-colored polka dotted rugs, and your high-end, genuine leather sofas are now detailed with permanent marker hieroglyphic design ... Yes, things have changed, your priorities have changed, and all that said: you wouldn’t change a thing.
So, when you find a special baby product that “gets” the new you, one that incorporates the things you want, “need,” AND saves you money, you love them back! Follow these five money-saving tips so that you too can have more cash for things like formula, toys, diapers … and who knows? Maybe even a pair of semi-strappy sandals:
1. Pick Up Parenting Magazines. The next time you’re at the grocery store, grab a free parenting magazine and you might be surprised at all the local, low-cost family/kid activities available. You might also stumble across a contest or two that could score you some free kids’ stuff if you end up being the lucky winner!
2. Do Double-Duty Products. Investing in items that are multiple-purpose is a great way to save money. Buy things that you need now that can also be things that you’ll need later. A pregnancy dress that can be worn several ways or that also works as a post-pregnancy outfit is good option; or perhaps a crib that can be converted into a toddler bed can save some serious cash in the long-run.
3. Log on for Diaper Deals. Visit the Web site of your favorite diaper brand, sign up for their newsletter, and you can usually get some pretty good diaper discounts. By joining their fan-club you might find yourself eligible for free diapers or receive special diaper deals that you won’t find in your local newspaper.
4. Get Ahold of Hand-Me-Downs. While some baby items, like car seats (or, say, diapers?) are obviously better when they’re brand-new, other items don’t matter as much. Baby clothes are one of those baby items where the quality between a new and used item might not be very noticeable, but the difference between the price tag can be enormous! You’d be shocked at the steals that you can find for baby clothes through eBay or on Craigslist. The best part? No one will ever know that you got a cute baby shirt for $2 instead of $20. Bonus Tip: Go to the FREE section on Craigslist, and every once and a while there’s an “angel ad” where someone decides to give away their no longer needed baby clothes for free! These individuals may have older children, not need the baby clothes, and will thank you for taking them off their hands! Keep an eye out for angel ads, which are money-saving jackpots!
5. Do it Yourself: Professional-Looking Baby Photos and Books. You love to see your beautiful baby’s face in picture frames, baby books, and on your personal Web sites or social networking profiles, but stop throwing your money down the drain on high-priced photographers, photo prints, or photo albums. You don’t have to spend ridiculous amounts of money on making your baby photos look like they were shot by a professional photographer when you can easily retouch your photos yourself!
It’s much easier than you might expect: whip out your digital camera, take some photos of your little one, and get rid of red-eye, convert to black and white, or easily add artistic-looking effects to make your favorite baby photos look even better and professional with the Digital Scrapbooks and More.com’s Baby Series Photo Editing Tutorials! These easy-to-use tutorials are specifically made for moms and babies! Each tutorial is only a few minutes long (which is perfect for busy, on-the-go moms that need to learn at their own schedule), and the entire photo editing package is only $5.99! Or even better? Learn Digital Scrapbooking and Photo Editing with a set that focuses specifically on mothers and babies with the Digital Scrapbooks and More’s Baby Series Package. Learn how to convert your precious baby photos into personalized baby books or journals, full-featured baby photo albums, family greeting cards, birth or birthday announcements, photo stamps, and more. Bonus Tip: Sign up for the FREE Digital Scrapbooks and More Newsletter for free digital scrapbooking supplies, digital scrapbooking and photo editing training guides, articles, and more!