Wee ones are cute, but they definitely aren’t free — budgeting with baby can often be a challenge. We are all about saving you money here at BabySteals, so we came up with ten tips to save you money on baby products, gear, food, diapering, activities and more.

• • • • •

 1. Buy baby products for a steal.
Get deals on baby items — buy the quality items you want, but without paying full price when you shop at BabySteals and KidSteals. Clipping coupons on the items you use regularly or buying in bulk can also save you hundreds a year. Before you buy any baby or children’s products online, search KidCrawl to be sure you are getting the lowest prices on the web for baby gear, baby nursery furniture and supplies, toys, even diapers!

 

2. Make your own baby food.
You can save a lot of money and control what you feed your little one by making your own baby food at home.  Check out blogs like Wholesome Baby Food or Weelicious for some yummy and nutritious baby food and toddler food recipes.

 

3. Borrow or rent expensive baby items.
Ask around with fellow mama friends to see if you could borrow items like a swing, bouncer, bassinets, etc. Bassinets are nice to have, but can be pretty costly when you consider you only use them for the first couple months. You may even be lucky enough to get a hand-me-down of items like these.

 

4. Swap babysitting with trusted friends.
Rather than always hiring childcare, find a trusted friend with whom you can swap childcare with on a regular basis. They watch your baby for a few hours a couple days a week and you reciprocate. That way you both save your sanity while saving money.

 

5. Fill your baby registry with practical items.
As a new mom, it’s easy to register for all the fun and frilly items, but try to hold back. Fill your registry with plenty of practical things you need. You will likely still get lots of the fun and cutesy baby shower gifts too, but with a good mix of those must-have baby items.

 

6. Save money on diapers.
Plenty of moms have latched on to the cloth diapering trend — they aren’t your grandma’s cloth diapers anymore. It’s now pretty easy to make the switch, plus they come in adorable prints that make those tushies even cuter while saving you hundreds a year. If you’re not into cloth, be sure to find the lowest price online per diaper with this diaper calculator.

7. Buy quality baby items.
Spending more may actually save you more if it lasts. When you are buying certain items like a stroller, car seat, nursery furniture, etc., buy items that will last you a long time, especially if you plan on having more kids. Look for weight limits and versatility and read reviews before  making a purchase.

8. Buy gender-neutral.
While some items you may want specific for boy or girl styles, you can save and reuse gender-neutral items — think anything that you would want to use after one child, especially those that are on the expensive side — strollers, car seats, swings, bouncers, exersaucers/jumperoos, high chair, possibly some clothing, toys, etc.

9. Make your own toys.
Has baby ever gotten a gift and like the box and/or wrapping more than the gift? There are plenty of do it yourself baby toys — think drums from wooden spoons and pots or a rattle in a bottle filled with beans. Baby won’t know the difference and it can definitely save you a fortune in toys.

10. Play for free.
Baby classes can get expensive, so why not find other local moms and create your own playgroup? You and baby will both have a blast while saving your pennies and making new friends. Find free events in the community, spend a day exploring music with your children, head to the library for story time together — anything that gives mom and baby some socialization and stimulation. Heaven knows mom needs it just as much as baby.
• • • • •

Stay tuned for another great mom tip next week! We’d love to hear your ideas so be sure to submit your entry.

What parenting questions would you like answered from our BabySteals community of experts? Click here to ask a question.

Have a mom tip? We’d love to hear from you! Click here to enter a submission.