I have about 20 friends right now that are about to have babies in the next few months. I know that many of you out there have kids that are just reaching the toddler/preschool/actual school age that have made it through the first year on the cheap. And I mean REAL cheap.
I wanted to pass along a few tips.
1) go visit babycheapskate.com at least once a week. Whenever you need to buy diapers, formula, toys or clothes for yourself or friends. Especially around November, the blog author gives you the heads up on the best deals on presents for your kids or other peoples kids!
2) some things are just pure crap. Don't buy it. Don't register for it. My girlfriend Hannah took me, Natalie Knauer and Ellen Troyer with her to babiesrus to help her register. The three of us all found different things valuable and "necessary" in the first year. We got to help Hannah wade through if she needed a pacifier keeper or not.
3) Diapers. You go through a lot of them. After the first 6-8 weeks, I switched from Pampers Swaddlers all day to generic store brand diapers during the day and name brand at night. If this is your first baby, you might think that you want them to always be in the best things money can buy. Your money can buy a lot of diapers. A lot of expensive diapers. To hold poop and pee. My experience has been that Walgreen's premium diapers and Wal-Mart's White Cloud diapers are A LOT like Pampers. I really love the Walgreens store brand diapers. And, if you register online with Walgreens, you get coupons in your inbox.
I was able to double up savings because I had to get Asher some Pull-Ups for bedtime. I had a Huggies coupon, they were on sale (thanks Baby Cheapskate) AND I had get $5 off your $20 purchase. I ended up getting my diapers for FREE after I bought Lucy two packs of store brand diapers at the same time. Maybe you are not convinced?
Pampers: Size 4 $12.79
Walgreens: Size 4 $5.59
Hmmm. I think that Lucy can handle store brand diapers since I go through a pack a week. After four weeks, I have saved $29.16. After a year? $349.92. It doesn't seem like much per week, but it adds up to real money after a year. Also, about once a month; Walgreens has BOGO on their diapers. So I end up saving even more than that.
What about you? How have you saved money in the past on things that you already HAVE to spend money on for your kids?