My husband I love a deal, and looking back, I think we managed to do a great job getting ready for baby without spending a boatload of money. Here’s what we did. I hope some of these ideas work for you, too.
Spare Change – it adds up!
When I first moved in with my husband, he had this giant ceramic piggy bank shaped like a tropical fish. It sat behind the TV on the console and we both dumped spare change in it from time to time. It was so big and so full, it was hard to move. When we sold our little townhouse and got ready to move into our new home, my husband decided that the fish bank didn’t need to come with us. So he decided to empty it and take the change to the coin-counting machine at the grocery store.
The bank was so full that the coins filled up two gallon sized Ziploc bags. Out of curiosity, we put them on the bathroom scale – they weighed thirty-five pounds! We tried to guess how much money we had. I said around $300. He said $400. Turns out, we were both wrong.
$487 later, we stood at the coin machine trying to decide how we wanted to get paid. If we took cash, the machine took a percentage. If we took a retail gift card, we got all the money. We decided to go with the gift card. We were leaning towards Amazon until my husband scrolled past Babies R Us. I told him to get a gift card for there, figuring we would e spending a lot of money there in the coming months.
That evening, I glanced at the Babies R Us website and learned that they were having a nursery sale. We ended up buying a convertible crib and matching dresser with the gift card! Two (big!) pieces of furniture for the nursery – bought and paid for with spare change!
A lot of stores are now offering some sort of cash back incentive. (For every $50 you spend, get $10 back!) My husband and I are not big Black Friday shoppers, but we’ll check out the online sales and specials so that we do t have to go out and deal with all the craziness in stores. Since we were moving into a new house after the holidays last year, my husband decided to take advantage of the Black Friday deals and bought two small TVs and some other items for the new house from Kohl’s online. Because Kohl’s is one of those store that does cash back, we ended up wth a bunch of Kohl’s Cash. We joked that since we bought the baby’s furniture with spare change, we should see what we could get him with the $300 in Kohl’s Cash that we accumulated.
All joking aside, we learned that even though Kohl’s might not carry a lot of baby stuff in the store, they have a ton of items on their website. Even car seats and strollers! We went to different stores to physically check out car seats and strollers but ended up ordering our car seat/stroller combo on the Kohl’s website. It was completely paid for with the Kohl’s cash – we just had to pay shipping. $27 for a car seat and stroller isn’t too shabby!
We prefer ordering our diapers from Amazon (more on that later) and there are all kinds of web pages and blog posts on how to stockpile diapers, but my friend shard this much simpler method. Every once in awhile, Target will have a special where if you spend a certain amount, you get a Target gift card back. My friend bought a bunch of diapers, (and used coupons or bought them on sale) got the gift card, then turned around and bought more diapers. (With coupons or on sale again!)
Hand Me Downs
When it comes to diapers, sometimes it’s time to move up to the next size and you still have half a package of diapers! When this happens to us, I end up passing them down to someone else. I’ve also been on the receiving end of lots of hand me downs, too! I know some people are bothered by the thought of using someone else’s stuff, but I say take what you can! You never know what you’ll end up using. A friend bought a baby papasan chair at a yard sale (anther great way to save money, obviously!) for her daughter and then ended up giving it to me when her daughter outgrew it! And keep the cycle of generosity going by passing stuff on to friends and family or by donating it to someone else who might need it!
Subscribe and Save
We use Amazon for all kinds of stuff, but it’s become a total lifesaver since we had our baby! (Thank goodness for our Prime membership! Everything gets here in two days or less!) I’ve used Amazon Pantry for snacks and cleaning supplies so we don’t have to run out to the store as much. If you’re like me and don’t have the time or patience to save up coupons and watch for sales, I’ve done some comparison shopping and found that diapers seem to be a little cheaper on Amazon compared to different retail stores. Plus you can use their Subscribe and Save service and have brings you use often sent to you at regular intervals. We do this for formula so that we don’t have to worry about running out!
This was something we signed up for when we registered at Babies R Us and then completely forgot about! I bet other stores do something similar! For every item purchased from your registry, you get a percentage back on a gift card after your due date! You don’t have to do anything else, and like I said, I totally forgot about it – until I got an email from Babies R Us with a code that could be used in the store or online for a $179 gift card! Free money!!! More stuff!!!
Also, a lot of places will offer you a discount after your due date to help you complete your registry. Babies R Us gives you at least 10% off. Amazon offers 20% off one item.
Those are some of my money-saving suggestions for purchasing baby gear. I’d love to hear what other tips or tricks YOU have for buying baby stuff!