Children are expensive. Raising one child, from birth through college, (a public college, at that), will probably cost you somewhere around $500,000. Baby's first year could cost you around $5,000 (if you don't have to pay for childcare), and you'll probably spend about $2,000 before you ever bring the baby home. That's why baby showers are such an awesome thing, they can help reduce the amount of money spent by new parents before baby comes home. That's also why you should seriously consider using coupons to help take some pressure off of your budget.
Julie just blogged about throwing a baby shower for her best friend and she jokingly asked if there were coupons for that. My response -- "Duh, there are coupons for everything."
Credit Image: Mikl Roventine on Flickr
Before we talk about coupons, let's talk about price matching. There are a lot of stores that will price match and that can save you a lot of time when you're shopping for several baby items at once. A stroller on sale at one store, onesies on sale at another -- check to see which stores price match and take those ads into THAT store. Making one trip will save you time, and gas, and frustration along with money. Target and Walmart do price match. Other stores MAY price match as well so call your favorite store and ask.
Along with price matching, you might be able to take advantage of stores that price adjust. If you buy a crib this week and it goes on sale later, you may be able to have the price adjusted and get money back. Sears and Kohls price adjust but be sure to call your favorite store to see if they price adjust.
You should always compare online prices to store prices because they are not always the same (not even taking shipping into consideration). Take advantage of store pick-up options when you do decide to order online.
Consider joining some of the rewards programs geared toward parents of babies and young children to get cash back on products you'll be buying. The Rewards R Us program at Toys R Us and Babies R Us is a nice example of this. And don't overlook birthday clubs; you'll receive special offers when you join.
If you haven't joined Upromise -- what are you waiting for? You can save money for your child's college fund and save money with coupons and special shopping deals all at the same time.
Look for store coupons and then check to see whether a store you're going to buy from allows you to stack a store coupon with a manufacturers coupon. Target does allow this.
Make sure to visit the websites, Twitter and Facebook pages of companies who make products you like or use. They often post sales, giveaways, and coupons on their Facebook and Twitter pages. As I was typing this post, a new coupon appeared for Playtex disposable bottles and samples ofHoneysuckle breast milk storage bags.
Let's talk about diapers. If you buy disposable, then you'll want to check out the rewards programs offered by Huggies and Pampers. (Luvs doesn't have a rewards program right now but they do offer coupons, if that's your preferred brand!) For those who aren't brand loyal, don't overlook sales on store brand diapers. I really like blogs who post a weekly best buy post for diapers, like Faithful Provisions Diaper Deals.
For the best deals on everything from teething gel to formula to baby shampoo, watch the weekly coupon match-ups for the chain drugstores. My favorite drugstore blogger is Southern Savers. Every Thursday, Jenny posts the best deals for all three stores, and you can create your shopping list for each store right on her site. Jenny also posts a weekly Best Baby Buys that will help you find the best prices on things you have to have right now. (Jenny's focus is on the southern region of the U.S., but many of the stores on her list are national chains. There are other bloggers, from other regions, who post something similar.)
There are dozens of ways to save money on the things you'll need to buy for your baby -- or for baby gifts. Don't pay full price -- you're going to need that extra money later. Trust me, as a mom of six kids, you will need every penny you can save.
Share your money-saving tips for new parents!
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