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Babies don’t come cheap. But as with everything, there’s always money to be saved.
I asked my mum friends for the one piece of advice they’d give to mums-to-be and to share their favourite money saving tips.
Here’s what they came up with.
Non Branded is as Good as Branded
“Aldi milk is cheaper and better than the main brands, I wish I’d used it from the start!”
Though I personally can’t vouch for the milk, I definitely think the Mamia range at Aldi is fantastic – the nappies are dirt cheap and just as good as the leading brands. The food pouches (when baby starts weaning) are just as nutritious as the main brands and a fraction of the price too.
Don’t Waste Your Money on Labels
“I wish I had stuck with cheap onesies/outfits because lord knows they’re dirty little things and pooing through a £20 Ted Baker onesie is not the one.”
It’s definitely nice to have the odd lovely outfit, but honestly you’re better off buying cheap or secondhand. The newborn days are full of sick and poo explosions and once you get past that you’re on to the messy weaning phase. Don’t be fooled into thinking your baby needs a Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt or that £20 Ted Baker babygrow!
“I got a large amount of my little girls clothes off eBay or preloved groups. You can find some great bargains and sometimes you get stuff that is unworn too.”
Clothing is one of the things I would definitely recommend buying secondhand – or even better, accept handmedowns. I was given a black bag of clothes for my daughter and as she had bad reflux for the first 9 months, it saved us a fortune.
Look After The Pennies
“Not exactly baby related, but my favourite money saving tip is to round down your bank account! I log on every day and transfer the pennies to my savings. It’s surprising how quickly it adds up.”
I love this tip and it’s something I do myself. Whenever I draw up my budget I round everything up to the nearest pound, so when a DD goes out I’m often left with some change. Every time I check my balance, I transfer the pennies to my savings. So if I had £130.86, I’d transfer the 86p. It really does add up and you don’t notice you’re saving.
Let people help. If someone offers to watch the little one, use the time to sleep or do something for you.
I couldn’t agree more with this one. When you’re a new mum, you have this overwhelming urge to take on everything yourself, almost as if you’re trying to prove yourself that you can do it.
Don’t! If someone offers to watch the baby while you shower – enjoy that 10 minutes peace.
Being a new parent is exhausting, there is no shame in accepting help.
Shop the Sales
“I like to buy for Christmas and birthdays throughout the year in the sales! Not only do you save money, but you have stuff on hand if you forget an occasion (baby brain is real!).”
Having a presents/card stash is a great idea to save money and time. I stock up on offers like 10 cards for £1 from Card Factory and 20 for £1 from the works. Then if we get a last minute party invite, or I accidentally forget someones birthday, I’m covered.
I also keep a stash of books for kiddies birthday presents. The Works do a fantastic 10 for £10 deal and the quality is amazing.
Follow for Deals
“Follow as many Money Saving Bloggers as you can and set to see them first. I find absolutely loads of great deals and advice daily in my social feeds and I usually finish Christmas, with massive savings by October every year.”
I personally love the #debtfreecommunity on Instagram. I always find lots of new money making apps to try out, great freebie offers and discounts. Did you know you can follow hashtags on there too?
Cut Your Costs Before Baby Arrives
“Look at ways to cut your living costs before having a baby, like switching bills. If you can get used to living on less, it can bring the freedom to delay returning to work.”
I would definitely recommend living on less before baby arrives. Trial living on just your partners wage for a few months (if it’s possible) so that when the SSP kicks in, it’s not as big a shock to the system.
Keep a Spending Diary
“Seriously, write down every single thing you spend. Made me much more aware of where our money disappeared, so I could make changes.”
I’m a big advocate of tracking your spending. You can cut your fixed expenses as much as you like but until you address your spending habits you won’t be any better off. Keeping a spending diary is a real eye opener and can help to save you a fortune.
“My favourite money saving tip has to be to use cashback sites. We’ve been using them for around three years now and we must be at £1000 in cashback for things we’d buy anyway!”
Cashback websites like Quidco* and TopCashBack* should always be your first stop for any purchases you make online. You can even get cashback on things like changing energy suppliers or taking out a new phone contract. It’s free money, make sure you take it!