7 Ways to save money on baby items for your first child

by Cbb
Aug 17, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. ET

A baby budget was the first thing we started to work on after the doctor confirmed that we had a wee one growing inside my wife’s tummy. Then we created a list of all the baby essentials we would need to make sure our son’s arrival into the world was comfortable.

Like most parents we wanted to make sure we had all of our bases covered for our first child. This included items like diapers, blankets, a car seat, a stroller, play mats, toys, a play pen, a steamer, bottles, wipes, a wipe warmer and so on. Trust me when I say the list can go on forever, but looking back after almost a year, we can see products we bought that we really didn’t need.

These are just a few of the ways we managed to save big on all of those items we really did need for our baby.

1. Buy and sell sites

Buy and sell sites like Kijiji, Facebook auctions, Craigslist or various other sites are great to find secondhand and brand new baby products. You can find just about anything you need. If you are good at negotiating, which I suggest you do if you like something, the probability of saving some cash is very high. Many sites have a free section and many parenting groups on Facebook will give free stuff to other parents.The great part about this is you get to interact with the seller and other potential buyers. You can see what offers come in on items and decide whether or not you want to bid or buy an item as a straight sale.

More: 10 Baby items you're better off getting used

2. Secondhand shops or garage sales

We still frequent second-hand shops at least once a month to find items for our son. Before he was born we would especially check in on 50 percent off days to save even more money. The key is to know your prices when buying secondhand so you can ensure you're actually getting a good deal. Just because you see something in a secondhand store doesn't mean you're necessarily getting a good deal.

Baby items often get little to no use — which means they are essentially brand new even if you buy them secondhand. Garage sales can be a great place to find a deal if you are willing to make the effort to find them. Many people just want to get stuff out of their houses and will sell items for dirt cheap. If you purchase something at a garage sale, make sure it works before you leave.

3. Discontinued products or the clearance section

Some stores have products on reduced racks or simply are discontinuing certain items. If you have a coupon and pair it with an online coupon-app deal you can save even further.

4. Major sales

Stores typically have a few major sales a year, like Boxing Day, for example. Plan in advance for these sales by determining what you need, how much it normally costs and where the best sales will be. Last year on Boxing Day we managed to buy a carry-bag that attaches to our stroller on sale from $50, for just $9. You can often save big on higher-priced items during major sales.

More: 10 Baby items you'll regret putting on your registry

5. Coupons

What can I say that hasn’t been said before about coupons? They are like paper money waiting to be used up. Every chance we get we will use a coupon. In the past we used to stockpile everything we could using a coupon and with our son there’s no exception.

6. Rewards points

If you are like us and have a wallet full of rewards points, make sure you use the cards that offer the best bang for your buck. Both my wife and I love collecting rewards points and then redeeming them for baby products we need.

7. Sell what you aren't using anymore

You can sell items that you no longer have use for provided you keep all the products in good shape. If an item you purchase comes with a box, don't throw it away. That box may make the difference between a good sale and an excellent sale. Boxes always gain more attention for resale and more money is brought in.

My advice to new parents would be to think about what you are purchasing and do some homework online. Talk to other parents in chat rooms, Facebook groups or online forums to see what products worked for them. Even better, talk to moms you know in person or make a phone call.

What ways were you able to save money when you had your first baby?

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