Economizing As A New ParentMonday, August 16th, 2010
Believe it or not we are heading into the busiest baby months of the year. The highest rate of babies in the U.S. are born between August and October. I want to go over some good ways to economize as the baby arrives. If you’d like you can watch my Good Morning America spot or read about some ideas here.
In a good or bad economy – when it comes to your children, you should never compromise. Here are some simple and fun things you can do to save money and still be a super successful parent:
- Your diet is very important – rather than spending lots of money on maternity clothes, spend the money on wholesome, nutritious foods. Your baby can’t see how cute your dress is, but they will most certainly feel the effects of everything you put into your body!
- Drawstring pants & skirts are great – they can be worn throughout your entire pregnancy & after childbirth – they’re really versatile. Plus, when you’re pregnant, comfort means everything.
- Focus on the simply nutritious foods – shop the outer perimeter of your grocery store. By spending 20 minutes planning your family’s meals for the week and making a complete list, you’ll be amazed at how much money you can save, how much less you will throw away, and how much satisfaction you will get from your meals. Fresh produce, meat, fish and dairy are so good for you and your baby and so easy to incorporate into your diet with just a little advanced planning. Avoid the processed and frozen foods in the middle aisles! They have less nutritional value and will end up costing you more in the long run.
- Buy for the long term, borrow for the short term.
- Breast pumps are a necessary tool for working mothers. They also cost upwards of $300. There is no need to buy one if your girlfriend just finished using hers a year ago. It’s simply a pump with a replaceable xxx – this is a perfect thing to borrow.
- Same goes for a stroller. A $1,000 stroller with a hood ornament is about status – it you want to be practical, borrow a stroller or purchase a sturdy, reliable one for under $250. After all, a baby only needs a stroller for about 3 years.
- Buy items that your child can use for several years. A crib that converts into a bed is a perfect example.
- If you plan on having more than one child, buy unisex clothing for the early years. Yellow, green, red and neutral patterns are great for boys and girls. If you want people to know it’s a girl, buy her some simple pink bows – not a pink wardrobe.
- The value of community. Think of your friends and family as a baby—raising consortium –
- Make your baby shower a “Pass It On Party.” Turn it into a potluck where women can exchange their ideas and experiences.
- Instead of purchasing a gift, ask each attendee to bring a gently used item for the baby or mother-to-be.
- Instead of signing a card, ask each guest to bring a book – used or new – with a special note to the baby – perhaps a favorite book of theirs from childhood, or their child’s favorite.
- Each guest also brings a healthy, easy to prepare dish along with the recipe to pass on.
- They could also share ideas on child rearing, their favorite maternity book or website – make the shower less about gifts and more about knowledge.
- Onesie Painting Party – a fun and low cost activity for your baby shower.
- For your gift, ask the hostess of your baby shower to buy blank onesies of various sizes as well as bibs. You can also borrow or purchase stencils and multi-colored paints from your local arts & crafts store. Ask each guest to create a custom onesie or bib for your baby – the shared experience and savings will be well worth the time spent creating these unique and useful pieces.
As a mother and a pregnancy professional, the best advice I can give you is this: the most valuable thing you can spend on your child is time, before and after it’s born. Time is money. By taking a few extra moments here and there to plan your pregnancy and your child’s early years, you will see huge savings not only in your wallet but also in your busy life.