Monday, July 27, 2009

The BabyCenter 7: Top baby costs, and how to save

Found this article on babycenter.com, one of the best baby/parenting sites out there.Anything that will help me save money on our bebe will be considered as long as its safe and practical.

1. FormulaCost: $105 per month"I would have tried harder to breastfeed if I had known just how expensive formula was going to be," says one mom. Another, whose son required a pricier brand because of a milk protein allergy, says, "We spent about $500 a month on formula alone!"
Ways to save: Breastfeed for as long as you can. If you're not breastfeeding, stick with powdered formula, which costs less than ready-to-use or liquid concentrate. Buy in bulk at wholesale clubs like Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club, or Sam's Club. Sign up to receive coupons on formula manufacturers' websites to use and trade with friends.
My thoughts: If I can avoid baby formula, I will. I do understand that there are circumstances where breast milk will be hard to come by; like when i return to work, and I cant exactly pump at my desk or go home to feed. But we'll work out a solution in time. I'd like to breastfeed as long as I possibly can, but I am so afraid of the sensation...suck it up Dana, you can do it!

2. DiapersCost: $72 per month"I was surprised by the range in price for diapers depending on where you purchase them — at a supermarket, pharmacy, or superstore like Target," says one mom.
Ways to save: Aside from using cloth diapers and washing them yourself, the best way to save on diapers is to buy in bulk at Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club, Sam's Club — or online from Diapers.com or Amazon. Sign up at diaper manufacturers' websites to get coupons, and stock up when diapers are on sale.
My Thoughts: Okay so cloth diapers are common in my family. Mom raised all of us on cloth diapers and we all turned out fine. In fact, we didn't call them cloth diapers, they were called "Nappies", a super soft rectangular cloth with a thick padding down the center. Mom knew how to fold them just right, I was 10 at the time, so I have no clue how she did it. No worries, thank goodness for technological advancements OR business minded smart mommies, we now have cloth diapers with closures designed just like disposable diapers. You can save TONS of money with cloth diapers, even with the cost of laundering, it still works out the cheapest, and I'm all for that. But I don't look forward to doing laundry every 3 or 4 days.

3. ChildcareCost: Varies"Babysitting is $10 per hour where we live, and daycare averages $1,000 a month," says one mom. "We constantly feel in a bind financially."
Ways to save: For full-time care, consider asking a relative or friend. Family daycare centers and nanny sharing can also save cash. For occasional babysitting, trade time with a trusted neighbor or friends or hire a responsible student. If possible, try to stagger work schedules with your partner so you can each cover some of your child's care. Finally, consider enrolling in a flexible spending account for childcare expenses if your employer offers one.
My Thoughts: The thought of childcare scares me terribly. I dread the day I part for my baby as she is left with some stranger for 8 or more hours. We haven't worked this one out yet, but I'll keep you posted.

4. GearCost: Varies"Everything costs about $100," says one mom. "After a while, that seriously adds up!"
Ways to save: Start with the basics — a good car seat, stroller, and bouncy seat, for example — and wait to buy other things. You may be able to try out a friend's activity center or swing to see if your baby likes it before buying. While it's a good idea to buy your car seat new, ask for other items as hand-me-downs and shop garage sales, community sites like Craigslist, eBay, and secondhand stores for other items. "I wish I'd bought more used gear," says one mom. "It wasn't until my baby was a few months old that I figured out how many moms would love to sell their barely used baby equipment."
My Thoughts: Send them to me!! I will take them all..well except for car seats (for safety reasons), but everything else..just send it I will take all of gently used baby gear off your hands!!

5. ClothesCost: $59 per month"There were times I went out to expensive stores and spent $40 on just one outfit," says one mom. "A couple of weeks later, it wouldn't fit anymore."
Way to save: Ask for hand-me-downs from friends and relatives. Get gently used items from consignment stores, thrift shops, Craigslist, and garage sales. Buy on eBay and look for store sales. Finally, treat your child's soiled clothes with stain remover or a laundry booster so they can be worn again!
My Thoughts: : I agree. As long as it's clean, gently used and unsoiled, I would take it. I know mom's who still have several tagged items that their baby will never use.

6. FoodCost: $57 per month"At one point, my daughter was eating seven jars of organic baby food a day at nearly $1 per jar," says one mom. "Baby food is ridiculously expensive," says another.
Ways to save: If possible, make your own baby food. "A good quality hand blender will pay for itself in about a month," says one mom. You may find that your child likes homemade food even better than jarred — and you can often make baby food out of what your family's already eating for dinner. If this doesn't work, clip coupons. "I know I should make my own, but with three kids, the convenience of buying jars tempts me," says one mom. "Portability and speed are worth something!"
My Thoughts: If I don't make homemade baby food, then what will i do will all of those jars sitting up in my cabinets? Plus where's the fun in popping off a cap and feeding your baby? I'd rather take more pride and pleasure (and more money in my pockets) in feeding her food that I made with love. Don't get it twisted, if I have to buy a couple of jars of Gerber, I will, but with coupons!

7. Toys, books, and DVDs Cost: $35 per month"Some toys are priceless, but you can't know which ones your baby will love," says one mom. "I found that my baby really only loves three toys out of the 20-something I bought," says another.
Ways to save: Let your child play with safe household items. "The whisk is a big hit with my little one," says one mom. Buy secondhand, borrow books from the library, ask friends for hand-me-downs, and consider setting up a toy exchange with friends or neighbors who have babies around the same age. Finally, keep in mind that less is more — though it's easy to get excited about the latest developmental toy, many older babies prefer to play with plastic food containers, plastic water bottles, TV remotes, and other "grown-up" stuff.
My Thoughts: I have no thoughts, I just learned something. Water bottles and tv remotes ? Well then I've got tons of toys for her to play with, we're set.


3 comments:

  1. This is very useful info. Babies are so expensive! Save, Save, Save everywhere you can. I like the cloth diaper idea.

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  2. I agree with making homemade and i will def bu buying diapers in bulk. Anything we can do to save is most advisable as long as it fits your lifestyle!

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  3. Homemade food is def the way to go.

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