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Babies Can Be Frugal Too!

July 22nd, 2011 at 08:44 am


Lorelei says "Bleeehhhhhh!" to spending money.

This Friday, I would like to talk about babies. So, before you go out and spent a boat-load on your bebe, please give this article a read.

A lot of people feel that babies are expensive. I know of people that spend hundreds of dollars a month on diapers alone. Then there's formula, or when they're old enough, baby food. There's clothing, walkers, high chairs, potty chairs, teething rings, toys, etc., etc.

However, I am here to tell you - you can spend less than $50/mo on your new bundle of joy, and she will still have everything she could ever want or need. 

In the six months our daughter has been on this earth, we have spent less than $1,000, easily. I would go so far to even say we have spent less than $500. Less than $300, even! 

Yes, it is true. How can you do this?

My wife's baby shower is responsible for a lot of it, I must admit. But none of the things we got were worth over $50, for one item. So, if you have any family or friends, chances are they can help you out a lot! The gals at our church were there, as well as family and friends. What we got was quite a few outfits, a breast pump, plenty of cloth diapers, about two month's worth of disposable diapers, and a few odds and ends. 

Most people these days do not breast feed and use disposable diapers. However, since my wife is able to breast feed, that is what we do. Why not? Breast-fed babies are shown to develop mentally, emotionally, and physically better than formula-fed babies. Also, we use cloth diapers. A friend's rationalization for not using cloth diapers, is that he would not wear something that he'd crapped in more than once, so why would he make his child...? Interesting. Spendy, but interesting. We do use disposables when we are out of the house, and at night. We use about one case of diapers every 1.5 to 2 months. Not bad, eh?

When it comes time to start weaning your baby into solid foods, most people purchase baby foods. But why? Laziness. Would you not rather give your baby freshly prepared fruit & veggies straight from your own kitchen? All you need is food and a food processor (or you can mash the foods yourself!). 

Now what about clothing and toys? As you know, babies grow out of both rather rapidly! However, this does not mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars on them. If you have family and friends that are able to help contribute any amount of money to your baby fund (via purchases they make themselves), then you should be set. 

My wife and I took the clothes that our daughter had never worn and was already grown out of, to a store called Other Mothers. We ended up with a lot of in-store credit. And were able to get things for our daughter that she actually needed. So 'second-hand' stores can be great for both the buyer and the seller. And don't go thinking your child is 'too good' for second-hand.

Also keep in mind that your child does not need every obnoxious toy that every store has to offer. Our daughter - now almost six months - has three toys. Her peacock from Babies-R-Us, her twinkly birdie that looks like an elephant that we don't know where it came from (haha!), and her key ring. Those are the ones that were purchased. But usually, she would much rather play with her Oragel tube, a clean toothbrush, or any sort of paper or grass so she can rip it to shreds. Other than that, she also has her walker. So, you can see that we have not spent even $50 on toys yet. Nothing can compete with a child's imagination. 

Just so you are aware, our budgeted allowance for baby-related expenses is $30. And so far this month, we have only spent $12, and the month is almost over.

Some people may think we don't spoil our child enough. And we wouldn't have it any other way!

6 Responses to “Babies Can Be Frugal Too!”

  1. Petunia 100 Says:

    Lorelei is gorgeous! Congratulations.

  2. uRabbit Says:

    Well, thank you! Smile

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    So true. We've spent more than you (especially since we use a cloth-diaper cleaning service, which is about as much as buying disposables!), but our friends and family are seemingly endless sources of clothes, toys and books. We've also gotten many high-cost items as hand-me-downs, like a Bjorn, exersaucer, all but one of our many strollers, swing, baby gate, 2 highchairs (1 portable), travel crib, initially our main crib (but it was drop-side, so we eventually replaced with one we bought) and some of the diaper covers (we eventually had to buy some larger ones). For people who don't have lots of friends and family with older kids and lots of hand-me-downs, I say put some requests on Freecycle, and shop from Craigslist and garage sales.

    For our baby shower, we actively requested used or hand-me-downs, and by virtue of that we got a lot of big-ticket items that would have been out of our friends' price range if they'd bought them new, but used or hand-me-down were totally affordable for them to give us!

  4. uRabbit Says:

    Great stuff, ceejay!

  5. Jerry Says:

    I am a huge fan of breastfeeding, (as is our baby daughter) Wink, and it is amazing how much savings that alone can lead to! Yes, there are come instances when a mother cannot breastfeed, but I am amazed at how many women simply opt out without consideration of the benefits for their baby. The national board of pediatric physicians, as well as the WHO, have stated specifically that breastmilk is the best food for babies, and offers them insurance of additional immune protection, as well! These are all great tips, but that one really resonated with me...
    Jerry

  6. uRabbit Says:

    Exactly, Jerry. We had a friend that only tried once, in the hospital, to breastfeed! She then insisted that her body just would not do it...

    But yes, there are genuine instances where it is not possible for some.

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