CLOTHING & DIAPERS
1. Leave the tags on all of the baby clothes you receive until you need to use them, and keep any available receipts. Your baby may grow out of the newborn size in the first couple of weeks, or may be able to wear the 6 month size at 2 months, leaving you with tons of unworn newborn and 3-month sized items. Remove the tags and pre-wash only a couple of items at a time, as needed. If you don't have the receipts, most stores will give you store credit when you return an item purchased (by you or as a gift) at the store, provided the tags are still intact.
2. Forgo the pricey baby shoes. Until your baby is actually walking outside of the house, he'll do much better barefoot, in socks, or in leather slip-on shoes.
3. Use cloth diapers rather than pricey burp bibs to clean up and protect your clothing. In addition to being really effective, after your baby leaves the spit-up stage, these make great clean-up cloths. .
4. Save 15% on diapers with Amazon's Subscribe & Save. Diapers are shipped for FREE as frequently as you wish, making it cheaper and more convenient than purchasing from a store.
5. If you're on the fence about breastfeeding, consider this: breastfeeding saves approximately $1,500 per year over formula. Even if you cannot breastfeed all of the time, doing so part-time will come with the associated health benefits and savings.
6. Choose powdered formula over ready-to-drink for a 20% savings.
7. Purchase formula through discount stores (Costco, Wal-Mart, Target) rather than supermarkets, and avoid drugstores, which can cost 25% more than discount stores and 15% more than supermarkets.
8. Make your own simple baby food. It's as easy as mashing a banana or avocado and thinning it to the appropriate consistency with breastmilk or formula. As your baby gets a bit older, use a food mill to turn table food into baby food in a flash.
9. Want to save over 40% on organic formula? Purchase Earth's Best Organic formula through Amazon's Subscribe & Save service, which includes free delivery.
10. Skip the nursery bedding sets. Not only are they pricey, they are also dangerous. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that no pillows, quilts, comforters, or other soft bedding be included in your infant's crib. For the safest sleep environment, you need a tightly-fitting mattress, a fitted crib sheet, and either a blanket sleeper or a thin blanket tucked at the bottom of your baby's crib.
11. Over 600 five-star reviews can't be wrong. Buy the bible of baby frugality: Baby Bargains: Secrets To Saving 20% To 50%... Or, check it out at your local library.
12. Don't go crazy decorating your new baby's room with overpriced, super-coordinated room sets. The most beautiful thing your baby can look at is you, and all he or she needs is a safe, simple, clean room in which to sleep and play.
13. Decorate your baby's furniture and room with wallpaper cutouts (such as Wallies rather than opting for expensively painted furniture or full-blown wallpapering. They're easy to apply and remove, and the price is right for updating the room as your baby grows.
14. Buy multi-purpose furniture, such as a dresser/changing table combo, or a crib that converts to a toddler bed when the time is right. However, don't cut corners with quality. Make sure that the baby furniture you buy adheres to current safety standards. Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission's sheet on crib safety.
15. Ask for free samples at the hospital and at the pediatrician's office. Both receive tons of manufacturer freebies like ointment, baby lotion, baby bath wash, formula, diaper bags, and coupons. Ask and you will probably receive. Ask at the hospital while you're there, and again before you leave. Ask at your pediatrician's office at every visit.
16. For free baby books, DVDs and music, nothing can beat the library. If your little one falls in love with a particular item, then you can buy it. Otherwise, enjoy the huge, free selection of entertainment available at one the world's best resources.
17.While you're there, check into baby story times and classes available at your library. (And when your baby outgrows the books and DVDs you have purchased, give back by donating them to the library.)
18. Join a warehouse store, such as Costco ($50 per year), Sam's Club ($40) or BJ's ($45). You'll save on diapers, formula, wipes, batteries, gas drops, and teething medicine. In addition, many warehouse stores now carry high-quality and organic foods at costs much lower than the grocery store.
19. Consignment stores are a fantastic source of gently (or never) used clothing, toys and furniture. If you happen to live in or near an affluent city, visit the consignment stores in that area for the choicest items at bargain prices.
20. Load your baby registry with practical items. If your friends and family are kind and loving enough to shower you with newborn gifts, make sure that you'll use and appreciate them. There's nothing wrong with asking for diapers, wipes, and other items you cannot live without. Need to know exactly what you and your baby will need? Use our free, interactive baby essentials list!