Simple Money Saving Tips for Parents

Ask anyone who has children and they’ll tell you they do not come cheap. Having a baby is expensive, no doubt from furnishing the nursery to the essential baby care items needed for caring for your newborn. Have no fear for with my parenting experience I have come to find ways to cut costs and get more out of my budget. Here are some of my money saving tips for my fellow frugal moms.

Couponing

$T2eC16h,!ysE9sy0k0sCBRZjhIK1fw~~60_12In today’s economy, everyone is trying to find ways to save a buck. Clipping coupons (also known as couponing) has become such a rapidly growing shared interest that they’ve even made a TV Show about it. Cutting coupons can be a great way to save money if done correctly. Often times, I can find many things cheaper in the store brand than the brand name item I have the coupon for. The trick is to use coupons wisely:

  • Use coupons for items that are already on sale
  • Compare the cost of the item with the coupon to the store brand alternative
  • Do not buy items you don’t really need just because you have a coupon for it.

Some stores such as Kroger will allow you to stack or double coupons as a promotion to gain your business. This means they’ll take a coupon and double the value (usually up to $1) of it so instead of saving $1 on an item you save $2. In addition, some stores will allow coupon stacking where you can use the store’s coupon with a manufacture’s coupon to maximize your savings. There aren’t many stores in my area that do this. To find out, check out your local store’s coupon policy which should state whether or not they accept stacking coupons or run a special for doubling coupons.

There is so much to the world of clipping coupons now that it is mind-boggling and time consuming. I simply don’t have time to commit to extreme couponing and there are many products I prefer to make myself or buy naturally from a company I teamed up with (if you would be interested in learning more about this send me an email) but it does help considerably on things I normally buy in the store. Another tip is to look carefully at the products you are purchasing that are on the shelf. Some products will have a coupon or mail-in rebate right on the package which you can use at the time of purchase.

Rewards Programs

As an incentive, many places offer a rewards program where you earn rewards on your purchases. Drug stores commonly do this where they’ll offer a discounted rate to rewards customers. CVS, in particular, is an example and if you check their weekly ads you can find certain products they actually reward you by offering money back to you which you can use towards other purchases. Department stores usually offer some type of rewards program or free membership for frequent customers that offer savings and coupons in the mail.

As you may have noticed from some of my product list articles, I love Amazon. They have a program called Amazon Mom where they offer discounts to members. It’s free to sign up and certain purchases can qualify for free 2-day shipping. In addition, they also offer a subscribe and save program to offer you discounts on certain products you frequently purchase. As an email subscriber I also receive notifications when certain deals are going on. I originally visited Amazon after earning an online gift card and I was hooked (it is also the ONLY place where I order my breast milk storage bags from.)

Buying or Borrowing Second-Hand


A really great way to save substantially is by buying or even borrowing items that are used. Ideally, if there is someone you know who already had a baby and they aren’t planning on having more kids it’s better if you can borrow or have their hand-me-downs. Shopping at thrift shops and consignment stores are also a great way to buy gently used items for a fraction of what you pay in big name stores. Sometimes you can even find items that are brand new.

I would be cautious with baby gear and furniture for safety concerns because of recalls or outdated gear. For instance, most (if not all) drop-side cribs have been recalled and taken off the market due to injuries. We never had any issues but the crib we used for our first child was one that was recalled so we had to get a new one before having our son (we lucked out because upon contacting the manufacturer about it they were supposed to send a repair kit to fix it but they sent us a brand new crib instead – at no cost!) Infant car seats are also not advised to use second-hand especially from thrift shops where you don’t know if it was in an accident or not. You also don’t want to get used baby items like bottles and pacifiers. Gently used items that are less than 5 years old from someone you know is probably fine.

Baby Products That Are Safe to Buy Used

These are some baby items that are considered OK to use second-hand:

  • Baby clothes and shoes
  • Toys
  • Furniture – changing tables, glider rockers, dressers
  • Strollers
  • High chairs
  • Swings
  • Infant bath tubs

Most consignment shops usually inspect products before putting them on the shelves; although you should always check any used items for signs of wear that could be dangerous. Make sure furniture pieces are sturdy and stable, toys do not contain chips or lead-paint and there are no signs of mold or mildew.

I didn’t have to buy much with my first child because I had a baby shower where I received most of the things we needed. However, with my son I obviously couldn’t pass down her clothes. Babies grow so quickly that those adorable outfits are very short-lived.

For something that your baby will only wear for a few months at a time before needing a new size and gets spit up and pooped on frequently save your money. I had received so many bags of boy clothes for my son that I was very fortunate to not need hardly any new outfits (aside from nice outfits for special occasions and holidays) Now that he’s nearing his first birthday and the hand-me-downs are getting slim I recently had to buy a new wardrobe for both kids for the summer. Fortunately I am also a rewards member of JCPenney which often sends me coupons and special savings in the mail.

Save Money By Making Your Own

You would be surprised how easy and incredibly cheap it is to make many everyday products yourself. In addition to turning towards products that are reusable (cloth diapers and wipes) there are many products you can make at home that are just as good if not better than what you buy in the store. I have a few of these listed under How-To which I intend to update periodically.

Be sure to check back often for more ways and ideas to save money and cut costs on baby products. I plan to share more on repurposing common household items to help you save money and get the most out of the things you buy. If you have your own money saving tips please feel free to share them in a comment!

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