Living in a military household sometimes the budget can be pretty tight. Well, really, living in ANY household the budget can be tight. Here are 5 awesome parenting hacks that I have found work for us to help us save every penny we possibly can.
1- Register for everything!
From car seats to q-tips make sure to put every single thing you will need on your registry. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save by ways of gifts or gift cards. Remember to plan for about a year out too, don’t just register for what your baby will need as a newborn.
2- Cloth Diaper
The average baby will use about $2000-$2500 worth of disposable diapers in the first 2 ½ years. The average cost to use cloth diapers for those first 2 ½ years is about $300-$500. That’s a no brainer! PLUS if you care for your diapers, they have resale value or can be used for future babies. My favorite brands are Grovia and Best Bottoms.
3- Baby led weaning
Forcing solids on an unready baby tummy is not only dangerous but can be costly! Baby led weaning is an easy and cheap way to transition your baby to solids without buying costly baby food makers or jars of purees. The concept is to (after your baby hits all of these milestones) slowly introduce your baby to the foods you normally eat. This doesn’t mean grill them up a steak alongside yours, but banana, steamed veggies, and other soft foods are a great place to start. To learn more about BLW this article is a great place to start: http://www.rapleyweaning.com/assets/blw_guidelines.pdf
4- Buy used
You can wash/sanitize just about anything. From furniture to clothes most things can be found at consignment stores and garage sales at awesome discounts! The only thing I never recommend buying used is a carseat. I am a carseat safety nut and not knowing if a car seat has been in an accident I personally would not want to risk buying one used. However there are many great affordable brands of convertible car seats that will last you from newborn to toddler.
5- Don’t keep up with the Joneses
I was SO guilty of this! Being that our son was our first child, we thought we needed all the newest gadgets and gizmos. We bought a ton of stuff used but still spent WAY too much on things our baby never used more than once or twice. It’s all about finding what is practical for you and your family. Talk to friends and relatives and find out what is really necessary versus the extras.