97. Save $1,000s per year Ė Over 100 ways to save money on babies
Here are the top 10 ways to save money on a baby:
1. Nurse if you possibly can. Not only is it healthy, but you'll also save at least $1,400 in your child's first year. Ask your (grand)parents help for nursing if you can't do it yourself. Daycare costs can take up a big chunk of your budget. The cost of childcare can actually rival one parentís income. In a two-parent household, the ideal situation is to adjust working schedules so that your baby spends as little time as possible in daycare.
If changing works schedules is not an option consider asking family members for help. Or look into the possibility of working from home. See if the company you currently work for provides telecommuting opportunities, or start your own business at home. You can have the best of both worlds.
2. Keep abreast of the cost of formula. You can spend $1,500 a year on formula. Breastfeeding is free and according to many, healthier too. Breastfed babies are healthier. Parents of formula-fed babies spend more on healthcare costs than their breastfeeding peers. Furthermore, a childís illness can affect household income, as one parent may have to miss work to stay home or take the baby to a doctor.
Breastfeeding is a convenient way to boost your babyís health while saving money.
3. Dump disposable diapers. Washing your own diapers can save you a couple of hundred dollars in a year and your landfill will be happier too! Even though you have to use energy to launder the diapers, Earth Easy suggests the cost of cloth diapers, laundered at home, is significantly lower than using disposables, with estimated savings ranging from $800 to $1,600 over the course of two-and-a-half years.
4. Make your own baby food. There are plenty of free recipes online and in library books for food that is better than name brand because it wont have as much salt, sugar and preservatives. Its also infinitely cheaper. It's no biggie to mash steamed zucchini or a ripe banana. Make one serving and save another and you've kept a buck or so in your pocket. Check out free baby-food recipes. When your baby is old enough for food, consider making it yourself. On a per-serving basis, baby food sold by the jar is quite expensive. Instead, use the fruits and vegetables you buy for the rest of your household and strain, mash, cook or puree them. When you prepare your own baby food, you know exactly whatís in it, and you can tailor it to the texture that best suits your baby.
5. Rent your baby clothes and supplies. Well, not actually rent perhaps, but practically. Buy your baby clothes, crib, stroller toys and other things at up to 75% off by shopping at consignment stores. When your baby outgrows them, consign them yourself and make part of your money back. You can even consign online thanks to sites like Ebay.com. Visit your local consignment shop, and pick up a princess dress or a tiny suit for a fraction of its retail cost. Chances are its previous owner wore it just once or twice.
6. Don't buy baby clothes far in advance. Newborns can have sudden growth spurts, as my friend Heather learned the hard way. Last year she bought her infant son a winter coat in September, only to find he'd outgrown it by the time the cold weather actually arrived. You may be tempted by the fabulous baby stuff available to you, but much of what you buy for the baby will be used for a year or less, so control your impulses.
7. Make your own bibs. Cut the back and sleeves from an old kids T-shirt or sweat-shirt and you're there. If you want to get fancy, stitch around the edges.
8. When it comes to diapers, think big. Lugging home one of those 228-count cartons from the wholesale club is worth itóyou'll save about $170 a year.
9. Sign up for baby-food company newsletters and coupon offers. Visit gerber.com, beechnut.com, earthsbest.com, and stonyfield.com. Then do your shopping at a store that has a baby club: At my local supermarket, I get $10 off my next purchase after I've spent $100 on eligible items (including diapers, wipes, and some baby accessories). I saved $40 on groceries that way last year. You should also try savvy mom deal/coupon sites like CrazyCouponMommy.com because not only because of the free printable coupons, but also the weekly lists of free items you can pick up at CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Target! This week there are 10 things for free at Walgreens...:)
10. Donít buy things you donít need. You can picture a beautiful nursery with lovely furniture and coordinated bedding. But the reality is that you donít that so much of that stuff is simply not necessary. You donít need a diaper stacker that matches the babyís comforter Ė comforters arenít recommended for babies anyway. Why invest in a changing table? With inexpensive changing pads, you can take care of that business just about anywhere.
Get the Childcare Tax Credit (for children up to 13 years)
Sometimes it seems that itís more expensive for both parents to work than for one to stay home and take care of the kids. And in many situations, it is. However, the Childcare Tax Credit eases the burden of childcare costs, especially if you work only part time. The Childcare Tax Credit is exactly that ó a credit. This makes it incredibly valuable as it directly reduces your tax bill. This credit is calculated based on childcare expenses for children up to age 13 (older if they are physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves), that amounts to 20-35 percent of qualifying expenses depending on your Adjusted Gross Income. Maximum qualifying expenses are $3,000 for one qualifying dependent and $6,000 for two or more. Talk to your tax adviser.