Expecting - These Budget Friendly Tips Will Help You Prepare!
I had the pleasure of having Emily Graham from Mightymoms.net write a guest post. Enjoy!
When we fantasize about having a baby, we imagine all the cute baby clothes and nursery décor we’ll buy for our little one. But the truth is, preparing for motherhood is a financially challenging experience for a lot of women. If you don’t have a lot to spend (or you just love a good deal!) these tips will help you save money while preparing for pregnancy and parenthood.
Your body changes quickly when you’re pregnant, and while you can get away with wearing pre-pregnancy clothes for a few months, eventually you’ll need to buy maternity clothes. The cost of maternity clothing adds up quickly, especially if you need professional and casual attire. To save, look for online sales at major retailers. Department stores like Target and Macy’s are usually a sure bet for steep online discounts and if you look for a Macy's coupon before shopping, you can cut prices even further.
Most women keep wearing maternity clothes for a few weeks after their baby is born. You might want to buy fun accessories to help you feel good during this time, but otherwise, your biggest clothing expense is nursing bras. Wearing poorly-fitted bras while nursing can lead to mastitis or clogged ducts, so nursing bras aren’t something to skip. Three nursing bras should be plenty. If you’re only finding frumpy options in stores, try looking online. Not only will you find more styles, but some online retailers offer discounts when you buy multiple.
It is so easy to go overboard on baby clothes and gear, especially if you go shopping without a list. Always research what you need before shopping, and if you can buy secondhand, do it. That’s especially true for baby clothes — there’s no point paying full-price for something you’ll use for a month or two!
The only things you should never buy secondhand are car seats and breast pumps; for those, the risk is too high to justify buying used. Luckily, most health insurance plans cover the cost of a breastfeeding pump, and there are plenty of affordable options for car seats.
Food for You
It’s always important to eat well, but especially when you’re pregnant and postpartum. Not only do you need more calories per day, but you also have to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients to support your baby’s healthy development.
Meal planning and avoiding highly-processed foods are the keys to eating well on a budget. Meal planning prevents spoilage, while skipping convenience food ensures every calorie (and every dollar) go to high-quality nutrition. Eating in-season produce, buying pantry staples in bulk, and using coupons are more ways to save on healthy food. Low-income women may be eligible for assistance through SNAP or WIC.
Food for Baby
Not breastfeeding? Formula is expensive, but there are ways to save other than buying secondhand formula that may not be safe. If you don’t qualify for WIC, ask for free samples from your doctor, request coupons from manufacturers, and ask friends with weaned babies to share their unused formula coupons. And don’t worry if you buy the generic formula: All formula, whether generic or name-brand, has to follow the same FDA standards.
Don’t forget your prenatal vitamins! Prenatal vitamins are specially formulated to prevent birth defects and keep pregnant women healthy. If your health insurance has good drug coverage, getting a prescription for prenatal vitamins may be cheaper than buying over-the-counter. Several popular pharmacies heavily discount certain generic prescriptions, including prenatal vitamins. If you live near Meijer and have a prescription, you can get prenatal vitamins for free!
From the moment the world learns you’re pregnant, you’ll be bombarded with ads for maternity clothes, baby gear, and all kinds of things you never knew you needed. With so much temptation, it’s not easy to stick to a budget. But by taking a frugal approach to your pregnancy, you can spend less on pregnancy — and save more for your little one’s future.
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