43 Must-Know Money Saving Tips for Expecting Parents: How to Get Ahead Financially

saving money while having a baby

Are you having a baby? Congrats! While you might be excited and nervous about your new baby, you are probably wondering how you will be paying for it all! Having a baby is expensive; it can be tough saving money for expecting parents.

Expert Advice

I asked many people: mothers, fathers, money experts, and parenting experts what their best advice is for expectant parents trying to save money on baby expenses. They did not disappoint! Read on to see their advice and how you can save money on your little bundle of (expensive) joy.

Save Money Slowly

money saving tips for expecting parents

Mckayla from Everyday She Moms said, “Save your money slowly and in a different savings or bank account. You’ll be less likely to touch it if it’s not easily accessible or transferrable to your debit card. Start with $25 per week, and you’ll have around $900 by the time baby arrives. Another way to do it is to map out your expenses for one month and plan to save that amount but broken into weekly “payments” to savings. For example, if I’m contributing $1,700 per month to our bills, I need to save $42.10 per week. It’s worked for baby #1, baby #2, and now baby #3!”

Buy Used

Arnie Nicola said, “Babies outgrow their stuff so quickly that it doesn’t make sense to buy everything brand new. Check out Facebook marketplace for gently used baby items. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to buy a bag full of baby clothing for a fraction of the price. Just make sure to sanitize and/or wash everything properly before use, especially if it’s for a newborn.”

Michelle Onaka from Intentional Money Life said, “Join local free and for sale Facebook groups to get free and cheap used clothes, toys, and other baby-related things.”

Sign Up For A Library Card!

Allison from Storyshine Club said, “Sign up for a library card! From board books to storytimes to online access to educational videos and apps, libraries have so much to offer for FREE. Some even have take-home crafts, toys, and games you can check out.”

Return Gifts

Return gift from a store

Rachel from Glad To Be Mama said, “My best money-saving tip for expecting parents is to not feel bad for returning unwanted or duplicate gifts. Sometimes throughout your pregnancy, you might receive some gifts you know you won’t use or don’t like.

Instead of keeping the gifts and having them stashed in a closet, never to be touched, return them and use the refunded money to get baby items you really need or want. Just remember to give the gift giver a thank you note for the original gift, thanking them for their thoughtfulness.”

Avoid Single-Use

Karee Blunt from Our Woven Journey said, “Skip any single-purpose gadgets. This includes the (not-so-amazing) diaper genies, bottle warmers, shopping cart covers, etc. Babies don’t require all the extras, and you can save yourself a lot of money and space by skipping things that don’t pull double duty. It’s just as easy to put a dirty diaper in a bag and toss it straight into your trash can!”

Open A 529 Account

Mark Patrick from Financial Pilgrimage said, “Our best money-saving tip for expecting parents is to open up a 529 college savings account before your little one arrives. That way, you’ll be ready to go when someone asks what type of gift they would like for an early birthday. Getting started saving for college early can set up your bun in the oven for a lifetime of success.”

Put Aside A Bit Of Your Paycheck

Lauren Kat from Freedom Not Fate said, “One of my best money-saving tips for expecting parents is to put aside a bit of your paycheck into savings, if possible, for sudden expenses that may come up. If you’re not already saving, now is the time to start! Another great way to stretch your money is by asking for items you may need on your baby registry. Family and friends often want to help, and a baby shower can be a great time to ask for resources and help.”

Start A 529 Plan ASAP

Josh Dudick from Top Dollar Investor said, “Start a 529 plan as soon as possible, with whatever you can afford to save. There is no substitute for time when it comes to tax-deferred growth. The current annual limit is $17,000 per individual for a given beneficiary.”

Don’t Buy Fancy Pretty Clothes

April from Chaos and Wine said, “Don’t buy fancy pretty clothes or brand-name items! I have a few nice outfits and a couple of good solid purchases, but they outgrow clothes, toys, and gear so fast it just isn’t a good investment! A few cute and nice outfits in one size are perfectly fine – they go through clothes so fast you probably won’t even get a chance to wear them all if you have a drawer full! Practical is best in all aspects when purchasing baby gear, clothes and toys!”

Get Hand Me Downs

Krissy Hadick from The Hadicks said, “One of the best ways to save money for expecting parents is through hand-me-downs from friends and family. During the first couple of years, your child will quickly outgrow clothing, toys, and baby gear. Using gently used items instead of buying brand new ones will help keep your finances in check while still providing all the care your little one will need.”

Take Advantage Of Second-Hand Stores

Steve from Paddle About said, “One of the best money-saving tips I can offer expecting parents is to take advantage of second-hand stores. You can often find quality used items like furniture, toys, clothes, and other baby gear nearly as good as new for a fraction of the price. In some cases, my wife and I found items that had never been worn with the tags still on them. There’s no need to invest in the fanciest items if a simple alternative does just as good a job.”

Join Local FB Groups

Esther from NZ Muse said, “Join your local FB groups – the buy nothing, pay it forward type ones! You can scoop up bundles of stuff in great condition for nothing (weirdly, it’s so hard to GET what you need and then equally to get RID of it when you’re done), Bulk lots of clothing, toys, sippy cups, whatever… it’s amazing. Cost-effective, good for the planet, and so convenient.”

Just Buy Essentials

Anouk Briere-Godbout from Family Moments said, “Buy the essentials before the baby is born and do research for the rest because it’s easy to buy after when you know if you really need it. And then buy second-hand clothes as much as possible, as they outgrow them fast!”

Make Your Own Puréed Baby Food

Isabelle from Mama’s Buzz said, “You can save a ton of money making your own puréed baby food at home! If making purées isn’t your style, check out the apple sauce and other fruit purées available for adults and older kids. You’ll often find them available in bulk with the same organic ingredients at a fraction of the price. Individual pouches of puréed baby food are always quite a bit more expensive.”

Pre-Clear Any Care

Madison Sharick, CFA, CFP from Madi Manages Money, says, “To minimize insurance surprises, call your insurance company ahead of time to pre-clear any care you anticipate needing. Your doctor can give you a list of all tests and scans to expect during prenatal care and during delivery. During this phone call, I’d also recommend double-checking that where you plan to deliver is indeed in-network and how many days are covered by insurance.”

Find Free And Cheap Secondhand Baby Gear

Elizabeth from Shoestring Baby said, “My favorite money-saving tip for expecting parents is to join local Facebook groups to find free and cheap secondhand baby gear. Local “buy nothing” groups and neighborhood parenting groups are a treasure trove of all the baby stuff you could possibly need. Babies grow out of items so quickly that used baby gear is often in excellent condition. I got nearly all of our baby things secondhand from local Facebook groups, saving us hundreds of dollars every month. Don’t drop $200 on a new bouncer your baby will only use for a few months — save money buying it secondhand hand and put the savings towards something more impactful, like daycare costs or in a 529 for college.”

Only Buy Things You Need

Jeanne Visser from Have Twins First said, “There are many things expecting parents can do to save money on expensive baby gear. First and foremost, be mindful to purchase the baby items you will need and use. Parents-to-be can join their local Facebook Buy Nothing groups and buy big ticket items used online or at consignment shops.”

You Don’t Need Much

Jana Dziak from The Peasant’s Daughter said, “Babies don’t need much. And it’s okay if you haven’t bought everything you think they need. When my first son was born, we were living out of boxes in my in-law’s basement as we waited for our house to be finished. Everything was in disarray, and nothing was set up — we slept on a mattress. And you know what? It was great.”

Subscribe And Save

Holly Nordenberg from I’mwithHolly said, “Use Subscribe and Save on Amazon, Target, or Walmart. You’ll save money and have your staples delivered on a schedule so you don’t have to remember to pick them up when you run out (where you could pay considerably more for convenience).”

Buy Secondhand

Sara from Our Kind of Crazy said, “Buy secondhand where it makes sense. Bouncers, walkers, swings, etc., will only be used for a short time. Changing tables, high chairs, and cribs are also great places to save by purchasing secondhand. There are so many great deals on local marketplaces, where you can get barely used items for super cheap. Buy new for things that really matter to you, but secondhand will help save you lots of money.”

Do Your Research

Anika Jindal from What Anika Says said, “As a parent, you always want to buy the best baby gear, but that doesn’t mean that the expensive ones are only the best. There are 100s of options available in the market with various features; you might not require all of them. So do your research to compare products and go for the ones that provide the best value for money.”

Make A List

Farwa from Peachy Fours said, “Create a shopping list that includes only the necessary items, get your list approved by a person who recently became a parent, and then STICK TO THE LIST. Do not go for add-ons and other fascinating items that are not absolutely required. Keep writing the cost of every item you purchase. Having a written plan and sticking to it will help you save money.”

Accept Help

Marina from A Mum to Mum said, “My money-saving tip for expecting parents would be to accept the help from their friends and take the clothes their kids outgrew. You will help them to make space in their closets, and you won’t have to spend as much on new clothes. Once your kids grow, pass it on as well, and help others.”

Buy Nearly New

Jo from Me, Them and the Others said, “I recommend buying nearly new. Babies only use clothes for a short time, often a matter of weeks, and equipment is often only used for a few months. This means that nearly new items are usually in great condition and can save you a fortune. It also has the bonus of being better for the environment. Make sure you buy new car seats and mattresses as these items aren’t safe when bought used.”

Use Cloth Diapers

Emma Reed said, “I would really recommend looking into using reusable nappies and wipes both for money-saving reasons and environmental reasons. Yes, these do come with upfront costs, but over the course of the years, you could save yourself over £1000. The nappies can also be sold once your child/children have potty trained, so you’ll be able to make some of your money back.”

Make A Plan

Sophia, from The Organized Family Blog, said,  “Expecting a baby is such an exciting time! I loved so much daydreaming about setting up the nursery, cute little clothes, baby toys… If you are on a tight budget, it does not mean that you can not fulfill your dreams. However, planning and arranging your budget is key, especially in this case!
1. You should agree on your budget for buying the essentials for the baby.
2. Have a list of things you need (or you would like to buy).
3. Check what you can borrow from friends or family, what can be bought second-hand, and in which stores you can find discounts.”

Use It For More Than One Kid

Jenni from Chilling with Lucas said, “Don’t underestimate the power of the hand-me-down. One way to save money if you’re about to have baby number two, for example, is to make use of what you bought your firstborn. Utilise friends, charity shops, vinted, and Facebook groups to buy second-hand.”

Reuse And Recycle

Sarah from Arthurwears said, “Shop around on preloved clothes websites such as Vinted for bundles of baby clothes – you can pick up some absolute bargains this way, and most are in excellent condition due to the fact babies grow out of their clothes so quickly! This saves you money and is also better for the environment by reusing and recycling.”

Don’t Buy “All The Things”

Lisa Lightner from A Day in our Shoes said, “You don’t have to buy “all the things.” Newborns need surprisingly little stuff during those first few months. There is no shortage of books, magazines, TV segments, and websites telling you about everything your baby “needs.” They really only need clothes, food, and sleep for a while.”

Have A Diaper Party

Pranali from Empirical Mama said, “It is exciting to find out that you are going to have a baby. But out of excitement, it is not advisable to stock up on baby clothes, especially for newborns. Newborns do not need fancy clothing; only 10 -15 onesies will do. And if you need more, you can always buy as you need them. I would rather stock up on diapers. The easiest way to save money on diapers is to throw a co-ed diaper party. Your guests will bring a box of diapers and wipes.”

Check Your Benefits

Ram Chakradhar from Dollarforcent said, “Welcoming a baby is both exciting and overwhelming. You should review your current health insurance plans to see if they have any maternity support benefits. The benefits could cover the cost of compression socks, support bands, and premium-brand breast pumps. Some even come with free debit cards (with cash up to a limit) and online nurse consultations. Also, everything you use at the delivery hospital, be it a postpartum pad, leftover baby formula, diapers, breast pump kits, medicines, and perineal care kits, is yours to keep. You may also request some extras.”

Borrow Baby Items

Chhavi from Mrs. Daaku Studio said, “If you have friends or siblings who have baby things they are not using, ask them to hand down to you or sell them to you. Certain items like car seats, strollers, etc. are almost always in good condition and can save a lot of money.”

Compound Interest Is Your Friend

Margarita Ibbott from DownshiftingPRO said, “Put money away for college – now. Find a tax-saving account and have it taken off your paycheck. It doesn’t have to be big but start now. Compound interest is your long-term friend.”

Buy Groceries Online

Mia from Tiny Hands, Tidy Home, said, “My best money-saving advice that makes life easier is buying groceries online and taking advantage of curbside pickup services. This will save you a lot of money by limiting impulse buys and save you so much time and energy. You don’t have to worry about lugging your items to the car, not to mention being able to grab everything on your list and avoiding the temptation of buying unnecessary items, all while trying to keep an infant happy in the store. Trust me – curbside grocery pickup has been a game-changer for our family!”

Cut Wipes

Noreen from Our Two Family said, “Cut wipes in half! Most of the time, you don’t really use the whole thing. Boom, now your wipes are 50% off.”

Only Simple Clothes

Claire from Money Saving Central said, “As a mum of five, I fast learned that it was so easy to get suckered into buying gorgeous baby outfits. They might make your baby look as cute as a button, but in reality, they are a huge waste of money. Most outfits get no more than one use, and nine times out of 10, they are extremely Ill-fitting and don’t get worn at all.

My third, fourth and fifth (twins) children only wore outfits if it was a special occasion such as a wedding or christening, and for the first year of their lives, they only wore babygros [sleepers]! This saved me £100s over the course of a year.”

Shop At Aldi

Andrew from Wealthy Nickel said, “Aldi is a lifesaver for new parents. They stock all the basics, such as diapers, bath soap, and baby food, at less than half the price of what you would pay for name-brand products. When I was a new parent, I was initially skeptical, but I found the quality of their products to be equal or better than more expensive alternatives.”

Pay Down Debt

Brooke from Bump To Busy Mama said, “When my husband and I found out we were expecting, we saved 10% of every paycheck. We used any extra money to pay off our credit card debt. Doing this for the duration of my pregnancy helped us tremendously! We also began buying some baby items in advance. For example, we bought diapers and wipes in bulk. You will save money buying diapers and wipes in bulk from BJ’s or Costco. You never want to run out of those! Especially with a new baby!”

Wait To Buy

Stacy from Blessed Farm Mama Life said, “Buy secondhand and wait to buy things as baby gets older and you see what he is she likes. Don’t purchase sit-up chairs and bouncers until later, and only buy one at a time. They probably won’t like them all.”

Go To Consignment Sales

Kristy M.  from Mommy to Many said, “Buy most items used from consignment sales or online sources! They grow so fast that you will be selling all the big gear that has barely been touched, and you will have clothes you don’t even take the tags off.”

Travel When They Are Young

Mitch Glass from Project Untethered said, “If you’re a travel lover, adding a new member to the family means heftier vacation bills. The good news is, if you’re willing to do some exploring with a baby, you can knock out your bucket list destinations before they’re old enough to require a plane ticket. Most airlines do not charge for children under two years old if they sit on your lap. So, expecting parents should start researching their dream trips in advance. That way, they’ll be ready to squeeze it in before having to fork over money for extra tickets.”

Stop And Think Through Your Purchases

Jon Dulin from MoneySmartGuides said, “Stop and think through your purchases to make sure you actually need and will use the item. We easily get caught up in being the best parents and buy things we don’t need. For us, it was a wipe warmer. Was it necessary? No, but it sounded like a good idea at the time. Turns out we never used it, along with many other things. The next time you see something you think you need, put it on a note for later and review it after a week or two to see if you still want it. Chances are you will realize you don’t need it. If you do find you still want it, actively look for how to get it on sale, or in some cases, used on Facebook Marketplace.”

Try Before You Buy

Melissa Price from Loving Life with Less said, “Try before you buy. Just because you’ve read rave reviews about things you HAVE to have for your baby doesn’t mean your baby (or even you) will like them. Things like cloth diapers, carriers, swaddles, and swings can often be borrowed or tested out for a little while so you can decide if they are right for you. And you may find you can forgo many of the big ticket items, like nursery furniture, fancy strollers, and even infant car seats, in favor of a convertible one, depending on your family’s needs. But my biggest tip is that no amount of “stuff” will do more for your child than a loving home. Ignore the pressure to keep up with the mom groups and do everything “perfect.” You’ve got this!”

Create A Budget

Greg from ChaChingQueen says, “The best money-saving tip for expecting parents is to start preparing for your baby’s expenses early, such as creating a budget and identifying all potential costs. Additionally, try to purchase items like diapers and clothing in bulk when possible to take advantage of discounts.”

Use Cloth Diapers

Erin of ClothDiaperBasics says, “We are big fans of cloth diapers. We saved thousands of dollars by using them with our three kids.”

I hope you found this list helpful! Enjoy your little one!

This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved.