Friday, August 26, 2011

baby on a budget

A friend recently asked me what our budget is for Isaac. She's pregnant and is trying to set a budget for when the baby is born. To be completely honest, our baby budget is almost nothing. I don't see the point in spending a ton of money on brand new items that will only be used or worn for a few months. Nor do I feel it's necessary to buy premade food. So here it is...

thrift tip: keep baby costs low

Our current monthly baby expenses are:

diapers: $13.01- I buy one pack of 96 Fisher Price diapers through using Subscribe and Save. It's delivered automatically once a month (you can set it to however many times a month you'd like). Because I'm signed up for Amazon Mom, I get 30% off my diapers. We cloth diaper part time and so we don't use all that many disposables (we usually don't even get thru the whole box by the time the next one arrives).

For wipes we buy the giant pack of 900 at Costco. I bought 3 boxes when Isaac was born (7 months ago) and we still have several packs (100 each) left. I also sign up for free samples of wipes whenever I see them and they're perfect for carrying around in my purse. Otherwise I just put a few wipes in a ziplock baggie!

the cost of fruit and vegetables- Isaac eats whatever we eat. I don't buy any baby food or special food for him. If we have carrots, he eats carrots. If we have avocado, he eats avocado. And so on.

_MG_0182[the after-avocado-mess]

How do I keep costs low?:

Breastfeed!!! and pump- Breastfeeding is free. What can be better than free? Of course if you pump it will cost a little extra for baggies in which to store milk. And if you don't want to go all out on a automatic pump (and you're not planning to pump on a daily basis), I would suggest a manual pump. I know it might sound crazy, but they work just fine. I use one. It was only $30. And as far as breastfeeding pillows, regular pillows work just fine. Just stack them up on your lap and all around you. No need to spend big bucks on name brand pillows.

Don't get all the fancy stuff- Isaac dosen't have a swing. He never had a bassinet. His pack 'n play was given to us and is one of the old ones without all the extra pieces. He doesn't have a jumperoo. He doesn't have a walker. He doesn't have a Johnny Jump Up. He doesn't have a fancy bouncy chair with all the toys and lights and sounds (it was $2 at a garage sale). His umbrella stroller doesn't have a sun shade (he just wears a hat). And guess what, he's perfectly normal and is developing right on schedule (and ahead in some areas!). If I do buy him something brand new, it's from Walmart and it's small and cheap.

_MG_0378[elephant rattle, Walmart, $2]

Determine what you need before baby is born and register for everything!- Of course you may not get everything on your list, but this will better help you know what you'll need to get before baby comes. And you can get what you need with any extra gift cards or money you receive or you can just thrift it! But having a specific list and sticking to it will help reduce cost.

Shop secondhand- I don't buy anything brand new. If it wasn't given to us, it was thrifted (with the exception of a crib and mattress because we plan to reuse them several times). There is nothing wrong with using baby items that have been used before. This is the best way to buy clothes, especially since they are only worn for a few months at a time. Garage sale, thrift, borrow, hand-me-down. Isaac's high chair, dresser/changing table, nursery decor, bouncy chair and some clothes.

_MG_0980[onsie, thrifted. toy blocks, garage saled]

one a side note here: do not purchase a breast pump secondhand or borrow one unless it's one made specifically for sharing. You can wash all the pieces or buy new attachments but the motor cannot be cleaned and it's usually exposed to the milk. There can be bacteria still in the motor from the previous user.

What did I miss? Any tips for staying on a budget? Any questions about this topic I can answer??


  1. I wish I had been your friend or subscriber back when my guy was little. I would have saved a ton. Instead, I tried to keep up with my then mom friends. I had the Bugaboo and the Skip Hop (many actually) and so on. Boy did we waste a lot of money. It's not like any of this stuff will even be around in a few years.

  2. You are such an inspiration!
    And I'm telling you, that last picture with the block is out of control in the cuteness department.

  3. Fantastic advice! This is really good to know. I always thought having a baby had to be suuuperrr expensive but you've blown that notion right out of the water. I think a lot of this thriftiness can apply to weddings too. I had a long convo with my mom and we discussed where you can save when planning a wedding (answer: with enough time, everywhere).

  4. way to go, mama! great work keeping costs low! xo

  5. You're amazing! I will have SO many questions for you when I get pregnant! ;) xo