In the days where almost everyone is now getting the latest gadgets for their new little one, a baby’s first year can cost parents over £11,000. However, if you’re willing to do a little bit of work, then there are a few simple and easy ways to make this figure decrease dramatically.
For us, it’s all started with planning. The fact that I’d begun planning very early in each of the pregnancies I’ve had has meant that we’ve accumulated a rather large stockpile of freebies already. With each of my previous 4 miscarriages, I popped anything I’d gotten in the loft, hoping one day they might finally get used. Until this pregnancy, I hadn’t paid a penny for anything I had stored. How? Freebies.
Whether you want to start your stockpile whilst trying to conceive, or you’ve just found out you’re pregnant and want to save as much money as possible, freebies are your best friend. If you look online, you’ll find plenty of companies offering freebies when you sign up. Companies offering freebies include Boots with their parenting club, Cow and Gate’s C&G Club, Amazon with their baby wish list offers (more on that later) and many more. You can also sign up for free baby products via Emma’s diary and Bounty packs which you pick up in local stores, as well as Your Baby Box. I’ve received everything from babygrows to full-sized packs of nappies, bottles, baby toiletries, mum-to-be goodies and more. 90% of my current stockpile is from freebies.
If you’re in the market for second-hand baby items, places like Gumtree, FaceBook, and Freecycle are good places to look for free items too. I’ve managed to pick up some excellent clothing bundles, toys and cot bedding from these places. eBay is also highly recommended for buying things like second-hand breast pumps at a heavily discounted price if you intend to express. I picked up my electric Philips Avent Natural electric pump for just £7.50 on there (normally retails new for £125).
Things I wouldn’t buy second-hand are cots (unless getting a brand new mattress), baby carriers and car seats, but there are ways to get them that won’t cost the earth!
Even during the lockdown, several baby shows have been happening; they’ve just moved online! I’ve been to 2 so far, and each time, the exhibitors have had some excellent show discounts. It’s how we got our Ergobaby Omni 360 baby carrier as well as other bits. Most exhibitors offered at least a 10% discount on their products, with some offering up to 30% off! A great offer that The Baby Show, in particular, did in February was the show’s Made For Mums goody bag. Not only was it only £9.99 including postage, but the bags were around £80 in value! Products included a full-sized child-friendly sanitiser, MAM self-sterilising bottle, travel-sized baby toiletries and wipes, a £5 off Lidl voucher, nappy and vitamin samples, snacks (including love corn), and a resistance band. The biggest bargain in the bag was a NUK training cup kit which retails at £18.99 alone – making the bag pay for itself and more!
Baby lists and payment plans:
For us, baby lists will be a massive help! Not only do they help you keep track of what you’re spending, but they also allow family members and friends to know what it is you want for your new bundle of joy!
Many companies do them, but two that we’re using are the Amazon baby wishlist which gives you free items if you add £20 worth of qualifying items from your list and use the word GIFT in the promo box at checkout. This list can also be shared with friends and family, so they’re able to buy items from there for you. This is great for us as we’re planning to bring up our child trilingual, and it allows us to add their first German and Spanish books and toys to the list.
The downside to the Amazon baby wishlist is that family and friends can’t make part payments. That’s where the Mamas And Papas payment plan comes into its own! Next week, we happen to have an appointment in-store when shops reopen to set up our own list and payment plan. However, in a nutshell, Mamas And Papas allow you to create a list of items in-store, pay a minimum of a 10% deposit and then you can make payments whenever it suits you, either in-store or over the phone. Any remaining balance has to be made 28 days before delivery or on collecting your order from the store. But the beauty is that family and friends can also make payments towards the balance on your behalf. It’s a complete game-changer in that if family and friends want to help towards the cost of the larger items instead of buying little bits you may not use, then they can.
Have you got any tips for saving money when buying for baby or found any bargains? Share them with us!
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