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Tips for keeping costs down with a new baby(65 Posts)
My maternity leave starts today so I'm wondering if anyone has some good tips for saving money when you have a new baby.
Money hasn't been particularly tight for us while we've both been working full time, and we do have savings, so whilst losing a big chunk of my salary will mean that we need to tighten our belts, we are fortunate enough to still be able to afford what we need to (mortgage and bills). I'd just be interested in hearing people's tips for finding cheaper options (especially when food shopping) or to give ideas that I might not have thought about for saving a bit of money over the next year.
Thanks in advance!
eBay for clothes - we started buying second hand from 6 months upwards apart from sleepsuits, and that has saved us quite a lot.
Buying toys and books from Facebook local selling pages is great too and you can then sell on after.
We bought a brand new travel system but when I got pregnant with number 2 and we needed a double buggy we went straight for second hand.
eBay/charity shop for clothes, they grow so fast that they don't wear things out. (Particular bargins to be found if you shop ahead for out of season stuff)
When it comes to food it depends on your diet really, bulk mince dishes out with lentils/veg, stews and soups are really cheep to make. Learn when your local shop reduces stuff but only buy the bargins/what you'll use. Get some freeze-able food containers in appropriate portion size for your family and freeze leftovers, saves time as well as food waste because you have just what you need and not over eat or throw away.
Try and remember that your child doesn't need every toy/gadget going, if they love it at playgroup it'll often be ignored at home. My ds loved a lock an lock container as his best toy for a good month.
You might find you naturally save money on going out/cinema/wine/petrol because you're not commuting.
Make a list of what you need and if someone kindly offers to buy you / give you something don't be shy to tell them what you need.
Don't bother with things like special nappy bins etc.
Try Aldi / Lid nappies and formula if using.
Babies love walking around supermarkets and seeing all the goings on, I went to my local Sainsburys every day and bought yellow stickers.
How ever lovely it is to buy lots of newborn and baby clothes, they don’t actually need that much. They’re only in each size for a few months, and then grow into the next size. Also, you often get given quite a few bits of clothing as presents. Also consider cheaper places like Asda and the supermarkets who,do lovely clothing nowadays, or shop in sales.
Similarly, don’t be tempted to buy every ‘must-have’ gadget. Buy the basics, and then only as you need it.
For food, batch cook. Have a young baby can be tiring, so fill your fridge up,with mince, bolognese, stews etc, so you have meals ready prepared for when youn don’t feel up,to,cooking.
Nct sales for clothes. Facebook marketplace for toys and equipment. You don't need half as much as you might think.
Aldi nappies are the best. And their formula is cheaper. Formula is heavily regulated and they are practically all the identical. Check the ingredients.
Bubble bath is a lot cheaper than hand wash, so use that to fill up a dispenser. You'll be washing your hands a lot!
Reusable nappies/wipes. Preloved or hired from a library is the most cost effective way - brand new is costly upfront and does run the risk of making expensive mistakes. Average laundry costs including water and electricity if using cloth nappies full time come out at under £2 a week.
Facebook groups for second hand stuff - great for big things like bouncers and chairs, also bundles of clothing.
Oh also charity shops! I got a Moses basket for a tenner.
Try buy one big item a month so your not spending so much in one go, look out for baby events for bargains, Facebook selling pages, Shpock, hot uk deals(amazing app with great bargains) and gumtree is perfect for finding second hand stuff you may need or sometimes people sell new stuff cheap so worth a look c
Don’t buy loads of clothes for age 0-6 months. Just a few packs of vests/ sleep suits in newborn/0-1 months size. Most people but you a baby grow/outfit in age 0-3 or 3-6 months as a gift. You can always buy as you go.
Don’t buy anything gimmicky.
I did buy a bugaboo but it’s got me through 2 and will be used for the third so think it’s been good value as opposed to friends that have ended up buying a cheaper pram that didn’t last with every baby.
I loved going out to cafes with friends in the early day but was careful about it. If we had lunch, I would just get a water with it. Those coffees really add up.
Don’t buy anything till you need it. Ie don’t stock up on bottles. It might be a bottle refuser.
You’ll be surprised at how littleba baby actually needs, and how cheaply you can live if not working, and all the train fares/parking/lunches/coffees/dry cleaning that goes with it.
My biggest recommendation is to buy everything second hand except a) anything your baby sleeps on (matress in particular) and car seats. I saved hundreds buying second hand crib (chicco next 2 me- amazing- got for about half price and then bought a new matress for £20), cot, pram and toys. Things like playmats, baby seats, play gyms can be bought for a massively reduced price on fb market in amazing condition.
Look out for baby groups that are free. I’ve never had to pay for any groups as there is a good selection of free ones around. There are some that are £10 a go!
And as everyone will tell you, don’t buy too many clothes.
And lastly, only buy what you need at the current stage you’re at. It’s easy to get carried away but you will get a hang of what your baby is likely to use or not use, like or dislike as they grow up.
Fantastic, thanks! I've heard good things about Aldi but haven't ever shopped there, mainly because I'd have to drive past six other supermarkets to get there. Is it worth the extra drive?
Baby-wise we have everything we need already and a lot of it was bought on Facebook or has been bought by our parents. The majority of his clothes are old ones from family and friends too, or stuff we bought in sales after Christmas (bigger sizes for this winter). He definitely doesn't need anymore clothes for a while - he has more than my partner and I put together! I'm hoping to breast feed so that should keep costs down too.
My commute was only about 20 mins each way, so not a huge petrol cost, but it will help. Plus, my car is a tiny 1l engine which is very cheap to run and DP and I are going to swap cars so he'll use mine for his daily commuting and I'll have his bigger (and safer!) one for if I need to go out with the baby. Hopefully this will make a difference as the bigger car won't be used daily anymore.
Buy out of season.
See if you have a local toy library.
Look for free/cheap activities - the free stuff near me has been much better than the spenny things.
Batch cook now! I wish I had. Batch cook for the freezer and buy in bulk to fill it. You’re not going to have time or the inclination to cook anything for about 3 months.
Avoid panic buying. With a few weeks to go you will decide that you need x, y and z or lots of ‘just incase’ purchases like a wipe warmer 🙄 You need very VERY little to raise a newborn.
Is it worth the extra drive?
To me, yes. One trip a month to load up on nappies wipes and weaning stuff (a bit later), and do your grocery and freezer shop while you’re there.
Don’t fall for “must do” classes like baby music, baby massage, baby swimming etc, None of it is necessary.
I met up with ante natal friends round each other’s houses and the only class I paid for was a “buggycise” exercise class -
Fresh air, exercise and socialising with other mums all in one - cancelled expensive gym membership!
Do you have a Lidl closer? Just as good as Aldi.
We didn’t buy much, a changing mat two nappy buckets, clothes, nappies.
We co slept and breast fed, so it was cheap.
@HagueBlue2018 I've seen women running with their buggies in the park before and thought it was a great idea! I'm assuming that's what the buggycise is?
Two Lidls in the closest city but both are even further than Aldi. Sainsbury's, Tesco and ASDA are our three closest (and less than half the drive than to Aldi). I live in a village south of a city and Aldi and Lidl are both north.
I have found the free classes run by the children's centre much better than the paid classes. And you can go to each as you please rather than feel obligated to go. I've paid for massage, sensory and sign language, but the one my baby has enjoyed the most is the free baby rhyme time!
@KimchiLaLa and @EssentialHummus Thanks for the class tips, I'll look into those.
@QueenJane Very up for batch cooking but our freezer has just decided to pack up in the last few days, which means we need to get a new one before the baby arrives. Another cost!
Re Aldi nappies, worth a try but they didn’t fit my baby’s shape well, much to my disappointment. We tried a few brands but have found we prefer Tesco ones for her shape. So my tip is don’t bulk buy nappies til you’ve tried them, they are all different shapes!
Yes to 2nd (or 3rd!) hand clothes - hand me downs or eBay once the gift clothes were grown out of for us. Has saved us hundreds of pounds.
Check out whether your local library does a baby group - ours has a Bounce and Rhyme class once a week, really sweet with songs, instruments and a story. Great to meet other parents and have an adult conversation too! And free!
Charity shops for books.
Re food we spend more now than we ever have. I need to make more effort on this front!
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