Baby Supplies on a Budget

Filed under: Babies

Save money on basic supplies for your baby by shopping smart. Credit: Getty


The cost of basic baby supplies such as diapers, wipes and formula can add up very quickly, but with a little know-how and advance planning you can reduce these expenses and save yourself a lot of money.


It's good to start planning for these purchases before your infant arrives, since your time will be greatly occupied once he or she enters the world.

One of the best ways to get started is by creating a smart baby registry. Your family and friends likely will be excited to help you purchase important baby supplies, so don't be shy or overly frugal. Spend some time researching the brands and styles you want for important large-ticket items such as strollers, car seats and cribs, as well as smaller day-to-day items.

Another option: Have any of your family, friends or neighbors recently had children of their own? They may have unused baby supplies they would be willing to loan, give or sell you at a greatly reduced cost.

Diapers and milk are the two main items your baby will need during her first months of life. Breast-feeding your child, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, rather than using formula will save you hundreds of dollars, and your infant will receive extra immunities from your milk.

However, if breast-feeding isn't feasible, remember that store brands of infant formula are required to meet the same strict guidelines as more expensive national brands and often cost much less. Also note that many manufacturers for important baby supplies such as formula and diapers feature special mailing list sign-ups on their websites that give you access to coupons and offers that could save you a lot of money.

Another way to save on diapers and formula is to be flexible with the brands you purchase. Watch for sales and buy in bulk when you find a good deal. Store brand diapers can save you money, but be sure to try the cheapest ones before buying in large quantities to avoid diapers that scratch or leak.

Cloth diapers are another option. Over time, they can save you money compared to disposables if you have your own washing machine, but the up-front cost can be high and cleaning them can take up much of your day. If a generous relative owes you a big favor, request that they sign you up for a diaper service. Such services are expensive, but will free up a lot of your time and space in our landfills.

Finally, when shopping for higher-priced baby supplies such as strollers, bassinets and cribs, don't be afraid to check out garage sales, thrift stores or websites such as freecycle.org or craigslist.org. (Used car seats, however, best be avoided.) Often, you'll find high quality, well-maintained items from caring parents just like you whose children have simply outgrown them. Just be sure the items are up-to-date when it comes to ever-changing safety regulations and that they haven't been recalled.

Give yourself time to shop around for deals on baby supplies by starting your search during your pregnancy. Bargain-savvy parents can save a lot of money on baby supplies. It just takes a little extra effort.

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