News, reviews & trends for fathers – a contemporary parent’s perspective.
When recently discussing the high volume and cost of the numerous different products needed for newborns, we all got a big kick when a friend suggested that the best way to save money on baby products is to not have a baby in the first place. Seeing as how you’re probably past that option, here are some more realistic tips and advice for how not to break the bank when shopping for your bouncing bundle of joy. As for nannies and automatic diaper changing solutions, well… that’s a different conversation entirely.
Talk To Your Friends With Kids – As you probably learned when you are pregnant, it’s nearly impossible for parents to refrain from giving at least some unsolicited advice when it comes to child-rearing. Take advantage of the fact that others are excited to share their expertise and ask them specific questions about baby products. Good questions include having them name something they thought was a complete waste of money, as well as what products have they found to be surprisingly essential. Take their inside information and learn where to focus your resources, and what you can avoid. My unsolicited advice: You don’t need specific bath towels or washcloths for baby – regular towels work just fine.
Shop Around For Diapers – While friends and can family can certainly debate whether most baby products are even necessary, the one certainty is that you’ll need to put your tike in diapers. Make sure to shop around and find where the best deals are. Babies R Us has great deals on diapers in bulk, but you can also have diapers shipped straight to your door from services like Diapers.com or Amazon, which may be more cost efficient even after you factor in shipping. And warehouses like Costco and Sams Club all offer their own brands as well. Shop around and buy them in bulk, it’s much cheaper than buying small packs.
Consignment Sales – There’s a healthy resale market for baby products as kids get older and necessity for baby items and toddler toys wanes. Check local ads for consignment sales such as Just Between Friends, or for any local Parent Connection groups that may have regular swap meets. You can find great deals from families who simply want to get rid of their stuff, as well as get more coveted insider advice if you’re willing to listen.
Hand-me-downs – One of the things that surprises many first time parents is the amount of hand me down clothes and other items they get from friends and family. While it’s borne out of a need to help out those you are close to, it’s also a great way for other to clear this stuff out of their house. See if you can talk to others with kids if they have any extra items they’re not using. And if you don’t have anyone to help you out, pay it forward and share your products with someone else who needs it. At the very least, you’ll get the good karma from helping someone out.
Don’t Just Buy The Cheapest Brand – Although that may seem counterintuitive as a way to save money on products, consider that if you buy a more expensive name brand stroller, for example, you’ll likely be able to resell it in a couple of years for close to what you paid for it, provided you kept in good shape. So if you can stretch your budget now to afford a Double Bob or a Phil & Ted’s for $250, make it work and you’ll likely be able to get a couple years use of it for only $25 or $50 when all is said and done and you sell it for $200. This applies to other products as well. Keep an eye on the resale market for certain brands, and consider buying them now (even used) with the knowledge that you can resell for approximately the same price after you’re done with it.