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Easy Ways New Parents Can Save Money on Everything from Diapers to Daycare

Nighttime feedings, diaper changes, unsolicited advice, finding ways to save money. These are all common things new parents deal with when they bring their little one home from the hospital. While nighttime feedings will get less frequent with time (we promise), diaper changes become second nature within a week or two and even unsolicited advice is easier to tune out, coming up with ways to save money can be a tougher nut to crack. Thankfully, moms are here to come through with money saving hacks and ideas that helped them.

Just when you think you’ve found your rhythm with your new budget, your child might develop an allergy and require the pricier formula. Or you’ll discover your air conditioner broke during the first week of summer — coincidentally, also the first week of your maternity leave (just me?). Or maybe you had underestimated the sheer volume of diapers your little one will require. It happens to the best of us. Fortunately, that last one is easier thanks to Huggies Rewards+ powered by Fetch Rewards app, which lets you earn exclusive gifts and valuable rewards when you shop.

To help make saving money more manageable, we’ve rounded up some actually helpful advice (you’re welcome!) from been-there-done-that moms who found unique ways to save money on everything from diapers to daycare.

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale. 

Shop sales to stock up on items for the future

“I love when everything goes on sale for Back to School. I take advantage of the deep discounts by doubling down on my purchases. If there’s a great sale on a pair of shoes, boots or sneakers, I will buy them in my daughter’s current size as well as her next size. She’s still growing and it’s so awesome to know that she can wear something she loves even as she moves into the next size. Because of the sale price, I’m often getting two pairs for the price of one!”

— LA Dunn, founder of Black Girls Eat

Join Huggies Rewards+ powered by Fetch Rewards

Diapers can quickly become one of your biggest expenses as a new parent, but when you download and join the Fetch Rewards app and enroll in Huggies Rewards+ (view all brands and find “Huggies” under “baby”), you can start earning rewards with every purchase of Huggies diapers or wipes. Simply scan a receipt with your recent Huggies purchase and the app will track your progress toward different exclusive gifts and valuable rewards.

Join a mom’s group on social media

“I live in Irvine, California and it’s overall very expensive here! When I got pregnant, I started looking around for daycare and it was around $1700-1900 per month for a newborn. I was stressing so much and even questioned myself if I should give up my career and just be a stay at home mom. Then I joined a mom’s group in Irvine and found a smaller size daycare for half the price. Also moms in the group would share when [things] go on sale at Target and free events happening in the community. It was the best thing ever and saved me a lot of money and stress!”

— Cheeia Xiong, founder of Notes by Cheeia

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Image: Artem Varnitsin/Adobe.

Buy transitional cribs, strollers and car seats

“With my first, I bought a baby car seat, not realizing that there would be a need for another car seat when she outgrew it. So when she did, I bought the Graco 4Ever convertible one and I chose it for four reasons: it should be the only one I have to buy (car seats are expensive!), at the time it was the number-one rated, the cup holders are attached for when we go on road trips, and I loved how it was adjustable to position them laying down or sitting up. We lived in two cities about two hours apart, so we spent a lot of time on the road. They still love to lean back in the seats now. Also, the design just looks really secure.”

— Traci Houston, founder of The Gestational Diabetic

“We bought a stroller that was convertible from new born until now — [my son] is 5-years-old. [We did the] same with his crib.”

— Yully Hernandez, founder of Julesalmnt

Use your FSA for birthing classes

“Sign up for online birth and parenting education classes that accept FSA cards (both Discover Childbirth Education from Arrow Birth and Complete Postpartum Prep by Navigating Parenthood accept FSA payments).”

— Shari Stamps, founder of Navigating Parenthood

Buy second-hand

“Get a second-hand stroller. Take a look at your local donation center, garage sales, Salvation Army or Goodwill. To inspect it, push it around a bit while it’s empty, then put something heavy in it and push it again. You’ll see if it can handle the weight and if the wheels still spin properly. Make sure the strap and buckle still work. If you purchase it, wipe it down with a sanitizing wipe, scrub if you need to, especially the front handle bar because that tends to be where kids put their mouths. If the fabric is removable, take it off and throw it in the wash. For peace of mind, you’ll want to visibly see the difference after you’ve cleaned it.”

— Traci Houston, founder of The Gestational Diabetic

“Snag barely used baby gear in online yard sale groups for a fraction of the cost you would spend to buy them new. These items can easily be sanitized, and you are able to find some incredible deals!”

— Siobhán Alvarez, founder of Mimosas and Motherhood

save money library

Join your local library

“My number one tip for parents with babies, toddlers, and small children (even teenagers!) is to utilize your local library for books. We love encouraging our children to read regularly, but keeping up with the cost of new books is sometimes impossible. So, we use the ‘place on hold’ feature on our local library’s website and check out about 10-20 books per month through them. We have found this to be a huge money-saver for our family, and it helps our children as they are always getting ‘new’ books each month that they can read and re-read all month long. Even during quarantine, we are able to pick up our books at a social-distance-friendly pick up site. It’s super easy and helps with sustainability and reusing and saving money.”

— Leslie Windell, founder of the Leslie W. Blog

Embrace your creativity and DIY

“As a parent to two girls, I found out quickly that kids come with a lot of added expenses. My first venture into DIY was when I designed our baby nursery. I took a very high end design as my inspiration and recreated it for just a fraction of the cost with smart shopping and a little hands on work. The results were amazing. The first thing we did was put up a chair rail. We didn’t have any fancy saws or equipment so instead of buying a chop saw or hiring out the labor we bought a simple miter box saw kit that you can get at Lowe’s for about $10. It worked like a charm and allowed us to hang a cute white chair rail around the perimeter of the room.  I would have loved to hang bead board under the chair rail, but again the budget got in the way.  That was when I learned the power of paint and how, when used effectively, can completely transform a room. Instead of bead board we painted strips in varying widths and colors (this was back when strips were “in”) and it was so adorable.”

— Melinda Paulsell, founder of Missouri Girl Home 

Make your own baby food

“When your baby is old enough to begin eating solid foods, instead of paying top dollar for baby food in jars make your own baby food from scratch. Cooking your own baby food cannot only help you save money, but can also help to ensure your baby is eating the healthiest and freshest foods possible. It’s also easier to make than you might think!”

— Holly Hammersmith, founder of Welcoming Simplicity

This article was created by SheKnows for Huggies Rewards+ powered by Fetch Rewards. 

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