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Simple Tricks for Budget-Friendly Pregnancy Prep
Article by Sheila Johnson
Most parents are familiar with the financial stress that comes with expecting a child. There’s just so much to buy during the months leading up to your due date that it can seem impossible to stay under budget. While it’s common for people to spend far too much money on pregnancy prep, having a baby doesn’t have to be expensive! Here are some simple and effective ways to cut costs as you prepare for the birth of your little one.
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Set a Maternity Clothing Budget
Come up with a budget for maternity clothes so you can avoid going overboard buying new pieces that you’ll only be able to wear once. When setting your maternity clothing budget, keep in mind that you can likely get away with spending very little in this area. Before going shopping, look through your closet and pick out pieces that will work with your growing bump—stretchy materials, flowy tops, maxi skirts, loose-fitting dresses and plain T-shirts make for excellent pregnancy clothing. When shopping for maternity clothing, think about items that work both before and after the baby arrives, so consider functional tops, high-waisted leggings, tunics and nursing pajamas.
Buy Used Toys and Baby Clothes
You can save even more money when it comes to buying clothes for your newborn. Babies grow out of their clothes very quickly, so it makes no sense to splurge on brand-new clothing items—no matter how adorable they are! LoveToKnow recommends shopping at thrift stores, consignment shops, and garage sales or searching for used baby clothes on sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Baby toys can also be bought second-hand, as long as you perform safety checks on them. However, certain types of baby gear, like cribs and car seats, should always be purchased new due to safety regulations. Save money on clothing and toys so you can splurge on quality nursery equipment to keep your baby safe.
Make the Most of Your Baby Registry
Setting up a baby gift registry is a fun and practical way to save money on your pregnancy prep. To get the most out of your registry, use it to ask for things that you need to buy regardless, such as diapers, wipes, bibs, burp cloths, and baby bath accessories. Keep it simple and avoid adding a lot of items you don’t really need. The more baby gear that your friends and loved ones buy for you, the less of your own money you will have to spend on all this stuff, so stick to the essentials! Keep in mind that some stores offer completion discounts that will help you buy anything that’s left on your registry after your due date. You may even get a basket of free samples and coupons when you sign up!
Ask Your Doctor for Free Samples
Expectant parents can also get free samples from doctors and hospitals. This can help you save money during the first few weeks of parenthood. According to Verywell Family, baby formula companies often give hospitals and doctor’s offices quite a lot of free formula to share with new parents, so call your doctor and ask if they have any samples available. You may also be able to get samples of diapers, breastfeeding products, baby bottles, and swaddling blankets this way.
Stock Your Freezer
You won’t have much time for cooking after your child arrives, and ordering takeout every night can get costly pretty quickly. Your pregnancy is a great time to stock up your freezer with healthy, nourishing meals that will help your body recover after the birth of your baby. Prep a bunch of freezer-friendly foods that you can throw in a pot or pop in the oven at dinner time. Soups, casseroles, curries, and chili work great for this purpose.
Cook Your Own Baby Food
You can also save money by cooking your own baby food! Homemade baby food is much more economical than store-bought varieties. Plus, you get complete control over your baby’s nutritional needs and environmental impact. Parents.com recommends making batches of baby food and spooning it into ice cube trays so you can freeze your creations in neat little portions. Then, you can store these cubes in airtight freezer containers and label them with the date—baby food is best used within 3 months in the freezer.
Rethink Your Living Situation
This may be on the pricier side, but if you have room in your budget, buying a larger home can better accommodate your growing family. If you haven't done so already, decide whether your current home has enough space for everyone. If you find that it's too cramped, it might be time for house hunting. Analyze your budget and then look at listings within your price range. If you're planning to live in Decatur, you'll find that homes here have sold for $296K on average. Work with a real estate agent to maximize the sale price of your current home and to find a home that fits your budget and preferences.
Cutting the costs of your pregnancy prep will allow you to save more money for when you'll need it the most, such as buying a larger home and paying for your child's education. With these budget-friendly tips, you can experience less stress and more excitement about becoming a new parent!