Having a baby can be a costly affair but by not falling victim to the gadgets and gizmos and sticking to the necessities, you can save heaps of cash.
Money saving blogger and mum of two Kayleigh Hughes, who blogs for PromotionalCodes.org.uk, has put together her top tips on how to bag the best bargains when you have children.
The 29-year-old, from Grantham in Lincolnshire, is mum to Joshua, three, and Jaxon, one, but admits that she spent a lot less money with her second child than with the first.
She says that by only purchasing the items you really need, buying a second hand pushchair and resisting the urge to buy lots of clothes are all great ways to save the pennies when you have a baby.
Kayleigh said: “Having a baby is one of the most exciting times of your life – the anticipation and the countdown to the final few days can be filled with different emotions, but when you hold your little miracle for the first time and see that beautiful face looking back at you it makes it all worth it.
“I’m a mummy of two beautiful boys and I definitely learnt from having Joshua that there are some things you really don’t have to buy, so when Jaxon arrived I was fully prepared.”
Here are Kayleigh’s top tips on saving money when you have a baby:
Stick to the necessities
There are endless gadgets and gizmos aimed at new mums and they make it sound like you have to buy them all. Honestly, in my opinion sticking to the basics is all you need.
The first items that you can never have enough off are nappies and wipes. They are perfect items to stockpile as you can really never have too many. Buying them when they are on offer is a great way to make some savings. Pampers regularly do some great options if you like to use branded products, but a lot of supermarket brands are just as good and often cheaper.
Build up a stockpile
I chose Pampers and made sure to bulk buy them in various sizes when they were reduced.
Laundry supplies are definitely other great items to stockpile. General laundry detergent can be too harsh for a baby’s skin so make sure to use the specially formulated products. You will be amazed at the amount of washing you can get through when you have children, it’s a never ending cycle, so get fully stocked up.
Don’t go crazy on clothes
Be careful not to go mad on clothes. This is a mistake I made with my first child. I got very carried away and when he arrived he was a lot bigger than expected, so straight away I had a big box of brand new clothes that he didn’t fit. He also outgrew clothes so fast that he never wore a lot of what I had bought.
Luckily, my second child was also a boy so I got more use out of all of the clothes in the end. But we didn’t know he was definitely going to be a boy until he was born, so for a long time the clothes were just a lot of money sat in a box. I would advice to stick to the basics and buy just a few of each item.
Don’t waste your money
One of the biggest wastes of money for me was buying a nappy bin. They don’t work! The idea is that they wrap the nappy in sealed bags that link together, and when the bin is full you empty it without the smell and the mess. I got sucked into buying one, believing all of this, and was hugely disappointed. For a start, the refill cartridges are a ridiculous amount of money and they don’t last five minutes. I also think, why would you want a load of dirty nappies hanging around in the nursery. A bag of 30p nappy bags work a lot better and they can be taken straight outside to the bin.
Buy second hand
One of the biggest expenses when you have a baby can be the pushchair. I’ve seen models for sale for up to £1,200. For a lot of people, including me, that’s a big no go, as even if I had the money I wouldn’t spend that much. Kids grow out of pushchairs just as fast as they do clothes so why not save money and look for a second hand one.
Even if you buy a pushchair brand new, they only have around six months wear on them so start looking online on places like eBay and Gumtree. They are great for bagging a bargain. I bought a Quinny Buzz pushchair, which was only four months old and in perfect condition, from Gumtree for only £30. It’s perfect and it was really cheap – it was in the owner’s way and she just wanted to get rid.
Don’t always look for the cheapest
For some items though I would actually tell people to not go for the cheapest option – a steriliser is one of them. For my first child, I had a Tommee Tippee microwave. This held four bottles and it was used constantly because of the number of bottles I was going through. For my second child, I paid a little bit more and went for an electric one that held six bottles. It was definitely a wise choice and I would recommend an electric steriliser to anyone, as they are great.
My overall tip for new mums is to not fall for the gimmicky gadgets that trick you into believing they’re essential. Nine times out of ten you will only use them once and then never touch them again. Stick to the items that have been tried and tested for generations and are still used today – that way you can’t go wrong.