When you have children it becomes pretty imperative to save money whenever you can – well that is unless you’re something like a millionaire! We try to save money as much as possible because it’s true what they say: after you have a baby your heart may grow bigger, but your bank account definitely grows smaller. And so I have decided to start a series of posts, one every Thursday dedicated to being thrifty and helping us all to save money. Here is the beginning of my weekly Thrifty Thursday’s!
Having a new baby is expensive so before you go out and spend spend spend do your research and find out how to keep the costs as low as possible. Being thrifty is a key part in cost cutting so here I have compiled a few ways to save money when you’re expecting.
Free pregnancy tests
This may be slightly late for some readers, but if you’re planning a family you don’t necessarily have to actually buy a pregnancy test. Pregnancy tests are available for free to anybody from family planning clinics. Under 25’s can also get them from Brook Centre’s. However if you are going to buy a test, don’t just presume that cheaper tests wont be accurate. All tests regardless of the price all have the same accuracy level – I also did not know this until I read about it!
Compare nappy prices
Have a little look around and see which nappies are the cheapest and what shops have what deals. I find that Asda have the best deals on nappies, even without their baby events, whereas smaller shops like the co-op will be more expensive. Bum Deal is a good site for finding the best nappy deals at major supermarket retailers.
Stock up on cheap nappies
Whenever you see nappies on sale buy them! We bought loads of size 2 nappies half price on the clearance section thinking there’s no way we would use them all and now we need more! You won’t have to worry about buying more for a while either and you’re of course less likely to run out.
Buy the smallest size possible for as long as you can
If there’s still plenty of room left in those size 1 nappies, keep using them! Don’t just go by the weights shown on the front as this is more of an estimate. The smaller the nappy, the more you get in a pack for the same price as larger nappies with less in.
Reusable nappies can be a lot cheaper but let’s face it, they’re pretty icky! If you don’t mind putting a soiled nappy in your washing machine, you can save a lot of money, and you can actually get some that are really nice in decoration too. As a rough guide I would go for about 30 reusable nappies per child.
Go for cheaper brand baby clothes
Cheaper brands are just as good as designer but cost a lot less which will benefit you in the long run. Babies are in clothes for such a short time that it makes no sense to splash out on something they may wear once or twice. I only buy designer baby clothes either in the sales or second hand on eBay or at Carboot sales.
Breast feed – if you can
Breastfeeding rather than formula feeding is a lot cheaper as there is a lot less equiptment to buy and also no formula cost. Of course not everybody is able to or chooses to breast feed (I didn’t) but it is cheaper!
Work out how much maternity leave you are entitled to and how much maternity pay you should get per month. You can find this out by going online here.
Fathers are entitled to 2 weeks paternity pay if they are in full time employment. Find out how must paternity pay you are entitled to. You could also get additional paternity pay if the mothers maternity ends early.
Amazon & EBay offers
Check on Amazon and eBay to see if the nappy prices are cheaper there. Bear in mind sometimes they may be more.
Cheap and refurbished items
Rather than splashing out on a new pram or stroller, have a look on eBay for refurbished prams and strollers first. Make it easier for yourself by searching using keywords such as refurbished and reconditioned.
Sell unwanted and non needed items
Selling any items you no longer have a need for is a good way to get a bit of extra money in your pocket. Sites such as EBay, Facebook, gumtree and even Carboot sales are great for selling. For clothing, think about selling them as a bundle but remember to keep better and designer brands desperate to sell as these can be worth a lot more. When you buy anything new or second hand always keep the boxes as people will pay more when you go to sell them on.
There are plenty of websites and companies offering expectant parents some freebies. Try sites like Aptamil, Cow & Gate, Emma’s Diary, SMA, Pampers, Mum & Baby Online, Bounty, Ella’s Kitchen and HIPP Organic. You can find feebies like nappies, baby food, teddy’s, wipes and weaning products.
Own brand baby products
Don’t always assume that own brand baby products are worse than bigger brands. Often you can get the same thing just a lot cheaper by buying own brands.
Don’t buy a heap of toys
When you have children toys tend to be the first thing people buy you and the ideal go-to-gift from family members. This is great because it means you wont need to spend so much on toys at birthdays and Christmases.
Surestart maternity grant
The Surestart maternity grant is a one-off payment of £500 to new mothers of you have given birth or adopted. Not everybody is eligible so check online here. The grant is only available if you’re a first time mum. If you’re expecting multiples as a second pregnancy you may still be entitled and first time mothers with multiples may be entitled to more.
Free parenting help
You can get free parenting help from sure start centres all over England. They have a lot of free services available to you such as breastfeeding advice, parenting support and maternity help. These centres also sometimes have free play areas and activities for little ones.
Use a baby checklist
You can budget for a new baby by creating a new baby checklist. Save up for as long as possible before the baby is born and after birth too.
Buy second hand
You can buy plenty of great quality and designer brand clothing from charity shops, Carboot sales, eBay and nearly new sales. A lot of Amelia and Max’s clothes have been second hand and the quality is great! Babies are only in clothes for a short amount of time so if you’re worried about the quality of second hand close there isn’t much need. Just make sure you wash everything first in non-bio.
Borrowing and reusing
Rather than buying new baby/household items, try to see if you are able to borrow bits from family members or friends which will help you to save money.
Car seat safety
You must check to see if your car seat is safe, because if it isn’t you coils be looking at a fine of up to £500. Most places that sell car seats actually check safety and do free installations so check with one of these to be certain.
Baby discounts at supermarkets
New sign ups to parent clubs often get great promos. My Mothercare and ELC have a birthday club for children 1-5 years which gets you discount vouchers for birthdays and a booklet upon joining. You can get advantage point at boots baby club too. Asda often have great discounts and the store I recommend most. Other big supermarkets also have baby and toddler clubs which enable you to money off coupons and free samples too and you can join online.
Registering the birth
Make sure you register the birth as soon as possible after delivery. You will have 42 days (UK, Northern Ireland and Wales) or 21 days (Scotland) and failure to register by this time coils receive a fine of up to £200. Birth registry usually happens at a local registry office but some places do this in hospital.
Free dental care for new mums
New mothers get free NHS dental care in the UK which is a great little freebie so make the most of it. Pregnancy will make your teeth super sensitive so this is a great little additive.
Free prescriptions for new mums
New mums also get free prescriptions so make the most of these too!
There are two types of tax credits available – Working tax credit and Child tax credit. Child tax are for anyone with children, working or not. Working tax credits are for anybody who works whether you have children or not. You will have to renew every year so do a calculator and check your entitlement. Our tax credits really help with our monthly finances like rent and council tax.
Check to see if you qualify for child benefit using the check up tool online here. This saves you time after the baby is born if you already know what to expect.
If you’re planning on having more children opt for neutral colours that would be suitable for both boys and girls in order to keep costs low.
I hope this helps you save