New Parent on a Budget
Becoming a new parent is filled with so many emotions. You’re excited, scared, and completely overwhelmed. Believe me, I’ve been there! The market is flooded with so many gadgets and “must have” goodies that I found myself going in circles trying to make the best decisions for my growing little family all the while sticking to a budget. It’s so easy to go overboard. What I learned along the way is that the most expensive stuff is not always the best. If you have a budget and are worried about how you’ll ever stick to it keep on reading to see my list of wallet friendly tips for preparing for your new arrival.
1. Friends and Family
Unless you’re the first of your friends and family to have a baby there’s bound to be some baby things lying around in storage. Don’t be afraid to tap them on the shoulder to see if there’s anything they can lend, sell, or give to you. We’ve been blessed with dear friends of ours who have an older son and luckily kept all of his clothing and some essentials like the Baby Bjorn training potty.
2. Stores that sell Gently Used Baby Things
Once Upon a Child is a store that buys and sells gently used baby and kids items. They have a huge selection and everything is in great condition. With the option to sell some of your stuff back you can stretch your budget even more. It’s kind of like finding a rolled up twenty in last year’s winter coat. Bonus!
3. Online Platforms for Private Local Sales
My two favs are VarageSale and Kijiji. You can find a wealth of deals online for gently used items. Some of the things I found through these channels included books, clothing, toys, a baby carrier, and cloth diapers. Yes, you read that right! I started my cloth diaper stash with a used set of GroVia AI2s from a lady who used them to potty train her daughter. They were never pooped in and were in great condition. I also resell gently used or brand new items online.
4. Cash in on Loyalty Programs
Luckily for me, I’ve been an Air Miles collector for a long time. I had a ton of miles racked up and was able to put them towards a really good stroller, swing chair, and thermometer. If you shop online like I do, check to see if your favourite online stores are part of the Air Miles Shops program. If you access these stores via AirMilesShops.ca your purchases earn you miles as well!
5. Subscribe to your favourite online stores to catch some good deals
I subscribe to email newsletters from stores like the GAP (an Air Miles Shop btw) and Well.ca. I receive weekly email notifications of any deals going on. If there’s a really great deal for something I need I will buy new.
6. DIY – Do It Yourself!
I LOVE DIY projects. If you’ve got some spare time you can have a lot of fun creating your own things from scratch. Let your creative juices flow and feel the stress melt away! I was really sick throughout my pregnancy so much so that I was stuck on the couch or in bed for a good portion of my days at home. I ended up using that time to create wall art for baby’s room. Check out this post to see what I made: DIY Nursery Wall Art. I also created my own baby wipes out of cotton receiving blankets I was no longer using. Finding a new life for old things is a great way to save some money.
7. Shop IKEA
Okay, so some people are surprised when I say I love IKEA but how can you not? They have some very cool and practical things. They not only have great prices but I was able to find baby furniture that uses safe and natural materials that didn’t break the bank. The crib I bought is made of solid beech wood with no varnishes or paint. Great for when baby decides to gnaw on the rails to soothe teething pain and no chemicals off gassing!
8. Make a good Registry for your Baby Shower
If you plan to have a baby shower or if someone is throwing one for you, think ahead! Your little one will grow up fast and soon enough you’ll be whipping up his first solids in the kitchen. People tend to gift new parents with newborn items but those are really only useful for a handful of weeks. Add items like feeding bibs, spoons, teething rings, and a baby gate.
9. Be Realistic About What You Need
There’s an endless array of fancy gadgets out there that are completely unnecessary. If there’s anything on your wish list that you suspect could fall into this category but you don’t want to nix it off just yet, put an asterisk beside it to give it some more thought.
Have fun and enjoy your baby prep time. It really does go by so quickly. Spend lots of time with your family and friends. You’ll have your hands full in no time!