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As a parent of three children I know that stressing out over how to pay for a new baby can be all encompassing.  How much will they eat?  Will they need formula right away or later on down the line?  How fast will they grow?  When do I start childproofing the house?  These are the kinds of things that can keep some people up at night, especially if it’s your first child.  Many parents know money will be tight but they feel like they have to buy nothing but the best for their child and will spare no expense getting the newest, shiniest things they need.  Trust me, buying what you need does not mean buying the best of everything.  There are ways to cut corners and still be parent of the year.  Here are five easy ways to save money, and your sanity, when your bundle of joy arrives home.

Plan ahead, but don’t go overboard

It’s OK to buy diapers before you need them.  In fact it’s essential.  There is no need, however, to purchase the next three sizes up just because they’re on sale.  There will be plenty of time to purchase the next size of diaper and trust me; you won’t have room to store all those giant boxes of diapers once the baby comes.  They come with a ton of their own stuff already.  Baby food will be a need soon enough, but let’s get them off the bottle first.  Buying food ahead of time can save you money sure, but buying it before the little addition to the family can eat it is not a good budgeting plan.

Buy in bulk when you can

Big ox stores are going to be your go-to place to shop.  Formula, diapers, and wipes are almost always cheapest there and you’ll want to stock up when you can.  Don’t be shy about buying generic brands either.  These things are only going to get filthy anyway and your baby doesn’t care if they are brand name products or not.  The nice thing about this place is, if your baby shoots up a size overnight, they will take back unopened boxes of diapers and exchange them for the next size no questions asked.

Slow down and be patient

One of the biggest problems is over preparing.  We feel the need to go out and make sure we have everything ready for the new baby.  There’s no need for riding toys when they first get home.  They won’t want sippy cups right away.  Take your time and buy these things as you need them.  One thing I thought I needed right away was newborn sized clothing.  Turns out they’re not in that size for very long and family and friends are going to buy a ton of stuff like that anyway.  Hold off on the newborn clothes unless you really need them.

Talk to other parents

When I say talk to others, I mean moms.  Generally speaking, dads tend not to talk about these types of things very much, but they should.  Saving money is everyone’s responsibility and this includes you too dads.  Talking to others lets you know what to expect and what isn’t really important.  It also lets you know what they no longer need and what they are willing to part with.  Buying second hand stuff is the best bang for your buck.  I’ve seen my wife get garbage bags full of clothes for $10.  The clothes are always in great shape, and even if they aren’t, so what?  Throwing away three outfits out of twenty-five in the bag you bought for $10 is still a steal of a deal.

Use social media

Facebook and Kijiji are great places to look for used items, especially baby stuff.  Toys, clothes and furniture are everywhere on the web for a great price.  Parents are constantly trading coupons and ideas on here, and the best part, it’s free!  The fun doesn’t stop here however.  Once your stuff is no longer needed, you can sell it to other parents in need, often for what you paid originally and pass along the good savings that someone else passed along to you.  I think of this as renting the items instead of paying for them.  If I can get the money I spent back I’m happy.

A new baby is such a wonderful time in a young family’s life.  There is no reason why money has to stress you out.  Use these frugal tricks to maximize your money and focus on enjoying the moment with your new bundle of joy.

What are some of your baby money saving tricks?