Adding another child to the family doesn’t have to mean big expenses. True, all of those diapers, formula, and adorable new outfits come at a cost. But a bit of pre-planning before Baby arrives can help you save plenty of cash.
Save the Big Things for Baby #2
You’re considering adding to your family. Hang on to the big ticket items if you have the space to store them. Furniture like a crib and changing table and baby equipment like a bouncer or swing are pricey. If these items are still in great condition after Baby #1, consider keeping them for the second baby.
Some of these items have sentimental value as well – I love that my baby daughter sleeps in the same crib that her teenaged brother used when he was an infant!
Consider Doing Without
There are so many fantastic baby items out there — but how many items on your wish list are truly essential? Some things, like a breastfeeding pillow and a stroller were must-have for me. And of course each baby needs a new car seat.
But think seriously about which of the baby gear items you truly used with your first baby. Now, which of these could you do without for your second baby? When my daughter was born, I opted out of purchasing a costly swing. Instead, I chose a less expensive vibrating bouncer seat to lull her to sleep.
Resist Costly Take-Out Food by Planning Ahead
Once you add another baby to the family, your time and energy will be better spent tending to his needs instead of standing in the kitchen! You might be tempted to order take-out every night just out of sheer exhaustion.
Plan ahead now and stock up the pantry. Dry goods like pasta and beans have a long shelf life and will be there when you need them. Stock up on canned tomatoes and jarred sauce when they go on sale. Spaghetti was my go-to when I needed to put a fast dinner on the table.
Buying in bulk and freezing extra guarantees a good value and ensures that you’ll have food on hand. Blocks of cheese and cut fresh fruits and veggies can be purchase on sale and frozen until needed.
If you have the energy in your final few maternity months, prep and freeze meals that can be defrosted and cooked later. Homemade soups are healthier than canned and are very easy to make ahead. Breakfast for dinner is one of our family favorites – I make waffles or pancakes from scratch, preparing a double-batch and freeze half to eat later.
Budget Now for Baby Needs
There are some things you don’t want to stock up too much of. Diapers can be tricky to pre-purchase in bulk because you don’t know what size Baby will be. Some babies skip over newborn sizing completely and you don’t want to be stuck with a case of too-small diapers!
However, you can budget ahead for what you’ll need to buy down the road. Estimate now what you’ll expect to be spending and set aside money each month, earmarked for that purpose.
Take Advantage of End-of-Season Discounts
One way I saved on clothing for my second and third children was to shop end-of-the-season sales. If you know that Baby will need a winter coat next year, by purchasing one at the end of the season you can save a ton!
Politely Ask Friends for Hand-Me-Downs
With my firstborn, I was purchasing almost all new items. By the time I added my second and third child, I was all about the hand-me-downs! Once you know you’re adding to your family (and ready to spill the beans to your friends), put it out there to them that you’re looking for secondhand baby gear. Most friends are more than happy to send you home with their unneeded items.