6 Ways To Eliminate Overspending
by: Linda Holmes
New babies are so cute it is almost impossible not to buy every cute thing you see for them, but all of that spending can add up fast. Here are a few good ideas on ways to avoid overspending and still enjoy that little one.
Tip #1 - Accept and use those hand-me-downs. If there is someone passing down clothes, furniture or toys to your baby, take them. If you find some of the items are too used, just throw them away, but at least go through them before you refuse anything.
Babies outgrow everything, from their clothes to their car seats, so fast that you will save yourself a lot of money just by using hand-me-downs.
Tip #2 - Use bottles you sterilize instead of bottles with disposable liners. Many people think disposable bottles are more sanitary for their baby, but if you take the time to sterilize the bottles (just as you do the nipples) then refillable bottles are just a sanitary as the ones with the liners.
The added benefit of using refillable bottles is you aren’t adding more plastic to the landfills.
Tip #3 - Use cloth diapers and launder them yourself. This is one money saving tip that many parents are not willing to do - especially if you work full time outside the home. This does take a lot of extra work as far as laundry goes, but the savings to the pocketbook and the landfill, is well worth it.
Using cloth diapers takes some patience, but once you get the hang of it, it isn’t near as bad as most people think. Just use an airtight hamper to put wet diapers in until you wash them. If the smell is too much for you, rinse each diaper in ammonia water or vinegar water until laundry day. Don’t let the hamper of wet or soiled diapers set for more than 4 or 5 days. Then wash and reuse.
To make matters even easier, you can buy diaper liners. They are small sheets that fit inside the cloth diaper and can be flushed down the toilet, making diaper cleanup much easier.
Tip #4 - Buy clothes at second hand stores, garage sales, or marked down. This one seems obvious, but many people don’t take the time to do this. It does take extra time to find marked down items, or to go to garage sales and sort through all the items, but the savings is huge.
Try to plan one Friday or Saturday a month (during garage sale season - usually the warm months) to go garage sale shopping. If you don’t have these sales in your area, try to find second hand stores. If you can’t find either, try to buy all baby clothes on sale.
Sites on the internet like Craig’s List or EBay are also great sources for second hand clothing.
Tip #5 - If you aren’t passing along baby clothes, sell them to a consignment (or second hand) store. No matter what you paid for baby clothes, you can get some money back by selling them to second hand stores.
Again if you don’t have any of these stores in your area, you can either have your own garage sale or list them on the internet. Try either of the sites listed above. It is free to list things on Craig’s List.
Tip #6 - Once baby is eating baby food, start making your own.
Take whatever you prepared for dinner for yourself, mash it up with a fork or in a food processor, add a little water or formula, place in ice cube trays and freeze. Anytime you are having food that is too spicy for your baby, just thaw and warm one or two of these ice cubes.
I would suggest you take the portion you are going to make into baby food out before you season the food. That way you aren’t giving you baby too much sodium.
There you go - 6 tips to save you money during those first years with your baby.
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