Date: 21/11/2017
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Pregnant and on a budget!

Kim & Kanye may not have to think about these things while expecting, but let's face it, the rest of us do! Babies are expensive! From diapers and wipes, to cribs, to baby bedding, to formula, the list literally goes on and on. Based on a report from 2010, the USDA estimates the average middle-income class family will spend roughly $12,000 on child-related expenses in their babies first year. IN THEIR FIRST YEAR... FIRST. YEAR!!!! Insane, but they're totally worth it, right?!

I'm here to tell you just a few ways you can save when you're expecting a new baby.

Before leaving the hospital, if you haven't already been asked, ask the nurse(s) for a "welcome baby bag". A lot of maufacturers give maternity wards bags like this to give to new moms. They often include formula samples(sometimes FULL sized cans! WOW!), new mom books/pamphlets, coupons, diaper rash cream, etc.

Breastfeed if you can. Nursing can save literally THOUSANDS of dollars each year for not having to buy baby formula, baby bottles, and all other items associated with formula feeding. Sure, it isn't for everyone. Trust me, I know. I made it 2 weeks with my oldest child, and 8 months with my youngest. A fed baby is best, whether breast or formula fed.

If you choose to breastfeed your baby, check with your health insurance company about purchasing a breast pump. Most insurances will FULLY cover the cost of a breast pump. Also consider reusable/washable nursing pads instead of having to keep buying boxes of them over and over. If you do need or decide to formula feed your newborn baby, sign up for coupons and exclusive savings from formula manufacturers such as Similac, Enfamil, and Gerber. This can save you so much money as they usually send formula checks (use like a coupon) monthly.

When shopping for your new baby's furniture, try to purchase "multi-use furniture." Meaning cribs that turn in to twin, full, sometimes even Queen beds later on. Or, dressers that double up as a baby changing table. Not only will this stretch your budget, it will give you more space in your baby's bedroom. It will also save you money from having to update their bed to a larger one once they get older.  Here at Polka ToT Designs, we have a baby registry.  That's a great way to decorate the nursery on a budget!  We can help you design your nursery decor to put on the registry and your family & friends can purchase gift certificates for you!  We had one mommy years ago that registered for everything we made.  It was over $1000!  By the time she applied all her gift certificates, her out of pocket expense was only $64.  We still tell that story.  She's become a bit of a legend here! 

Ask your local grocery store if they have a Baby Club. Two of our local stores here in our hometown have one, Publix and Winn Dixie. Being a part of these store's Baby Clubs give me access to special coupons, savings, offers, and much more! I love it! It's for sure something to look into and can save you hundreds of dollars a year!

Make your own baby food. By doing this, not only is it healthier, you're saving money! I like to mash up a banana, or some steamed carrots for my 13 month old,and she LOVES them!

Skip the maternity tops. Just buy a size or two larger than your normal size to save money! Maternity clothing prices are CRAZY! When saving up for a new baby, we try to save money wherever possible, right? Don't skip on the pants though, get the pants!

If you plan on having more than 1 child, save your baby's clothes (even though you won't know the gender for a while). I am SO GLAD I personally did this. I have 2 girls, and when I found out I was pregnant with my second, I saved all my oldest's clothes even though I had NO clue the gender of the new baby. It has saved us a LOT of money since she has been born! Plus, it's always fun to remember what it was like when your other children wore it. My oldest does not believe she was ever a baby or wore some of the clothes her sister currently wears! When you're ready to upgrade to a new or bigger carseat, check with Toys R Us. Once or twice a year they do a trade in program where you can bring in your old car seat and purchase a new one for a percenage off! Try (key word, TRY ) to wait to purchase anything until after your baby shower if you're having one. Usually you'll rack up pretty well and you don't want to worry about exchanging or returning items because you now have two. Know of other ways to save?  I'd love to know!   Leave comments!

Oh, and while you're budgeting... don't miss our sale!  You knew that was coming, right? 

*Shelby Ezell has worked for Polka ToT Designs since 2009.  Taking the occassional time off throughout the years to grow her family.   She is also a coupon extraordinaire!  This girl knows how to pinch a penny until it screams!  We're so glad she's back with us. We've tricked.... I mean, talked her into blogging for us. Passing along her experiences as a new"ish" young mother & wife.