It's easy to get discounted big-ticket items like furniture and car seats, but it's the little costs adding up that really bite you in the booty. Baby wash, wipes, and diapers are things that constantly need to be replaced. And if you use a special laundry detergent for those precious tiny baby clothes...it all adds up. Add formula and jar baby food to that, and whoo boy!
So here are some tips for saving money, categorized by level of commitment/convenience and all costs are over 2 years with 1 baby. Obviously, certain of these aren't used the full 2 years and I've accounted for that.
Est. cost : (@$5/bottle and using a bottle every 3 months for 2 years) $40
Easy money saver: Dilute it and put it in a foaming dispenser. Use Subscribe and Save from Amazon or cut coupons to save quite a lot!
Big time money saver: A big bottle of Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap and dilute it by half. You can add essential oils to get your favorite baby smell (lavender or chamomile would be great!)
Est. cost : (I took the average of $3-600/yr depending on many factors)
Easy money saver: Cloth! $22 for 30 washable wipes on Amazon. You can moisten them with water or add coconut oil to the water to moisturize and wipe at the same time!
Big time money saver: Make your own cloth wipes or even disposables. There are tips and recipes for pretty much any of this if you do a search and try what appeals to you.
Est. cost: $2,000 (GASP!)
Easy money saver: Couponing! I've seen oodles of deals that cut big time bucks off of diaper costs.
Big time money saver: Cloth diapering! You can ask for the brand/style you want at your baby shower/s and potentially have no up-front cost! You can also make your own detergent for them and save on the laundry component as well. If you're at home part time and on the go a lot, you can use cloth at home and sposies when out and about.
Est. cost : Hard to say, but it's $2/box more expensive at my local Walmart than equivalent-sized Tide.
Easy money saver: Use your own regular detergent and skip the Dreft altogether.
Big time money saver: Make it yourself! All the ingredients can be found at Walmart. There are recipes online for liquid or powdered. You can also do this for cloth diaper detergent,
Est. cost : http://kellymom.com/pregnancy/bf-prep/bfcostbenefits/#formulacosts Estimate your cost here, but think somewhere in the $1500 range
Easy money saver: There are tons of coupons out there for this stuff. Also, part-time breastfeeding/pumping if you can will cut costs majorly and provide superior nutrition for the baby.
Big time money saver: Breastfeed exclusively and pump ahead for times you'll be traveling. This can also potentially save you a ton of money in healthcare costs, as breast milk contains oodles of antibodies to help the infant immune system along.
Jar baby food/cereal
Est. cost : Hard to say, but here's an interesting DIY versus purchased detailed comparison: http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/cost.htm#.UJwcH-TLQyg
Easy money saver: Use a food processor to blend steamed veggies at least once a week. Mash banana and avocados as snacks. Skip cereals, they're not the best starter foods anyway.
Big time money saver: Make it all from scratch. Freeze in ice cube trays, eat mostly fresh, can in 1,2 pint jelly jars, and pack refilled baby food jars for on-the-go.