As you probably know, baby expense should be high on your list of things to plan for, before the baby comes. There is no cheap way to have and raise a baby: it takes sweat, work, lots of cash, patience, and more to have a happy, healthy baby.
But if you waited until you had enough money, time and energy to have your baby, you would probably end up without any children. Here you'll find a few ways to ease the finances so that you can enjoy your new bundle of joy.
1. Breastfeed your baby, if possible. It's free, it's convenient, and it might help against breast cancer. It's recommended as being the best form of nutrition for baby. If you can't breastfeed, don't feel guilty. You can also save money by buying formula in bulk, clipping coupons, and accepting free samples whenever they are offered. This is a baby expense you can't do without.
2. Nappies - Some nappies are better than others, but most are basically the same. Store brand ones can be just as good as the big name brands, and for cheaper. You can save even more if you use cloth diapers instead of disposable. A little more work involved, but well worth it.
3. Baby food - When it comes to baby food, a blender is your best friend: it will help you keep this baby expense at its lowest. Not only is it much cheaper, but it's so much healthier! Save the little baby food jars for quick trips, or special occasions, and give your baby pureed food made by you. You can cook a week's supply on the weekend, put the blended vegetables in the ice cube tray, for a few hours, and then place them in a freezer bag. Depending on your baby's appetite and age, you can microwave one, two or three cubes before meal time. It's quick, healthy and inexpensive.
4. Clothing - There is no need to buy expensive designer clothing for your little one. Do you think anyone will really notice that your baby is wearing Tommy Hilfiger? Babies look cute in anything: don't waste your money! You can save even more by looking around some of the nearly-new sales as babies don't get to wear everything!
5. Toys - they are big business, but you don't have to feel pressured to get the latest and most expensive models. My kids were happy with everyday items as their toys: empty shampoo bottles (make sure they are cleaned and rinsed very well before handing them to your baby), plastic bowls, plastic containers from food products that they could stack up, etc. Also, buy some toys that will help with your baby's development, are durable, and are age appropriate: a baby expense worth the money!
There are many many more - what are your favourites?