Most of these money saving tips and tricks aren’t obvious, but they make a lot of sense and they’re easy to do!
We also added advice from four dads, because once in a while a dad has a good idea too but don’t tell them or they’ll want it bronzed! See below for our total of 23 great money saving tips from real moms (and dads).
Use Amazon Savings
Julie Hewke from Maine gives a money saving tip about saving money with Amazon.
“My biggest money saver was using the Amazon Mom and the Amazon Subscribe & Save service, especially for diapers and wipes, but also for household items. I think the percentage you save is lower now (15% instead of 20%), but still a big discount. They also have an ‘open box’ store that gives deep discounts on products with damaged packaging, so often you can score a cheap case of never-opened product because it has a dent. Yard sales and thrift stores are a given, but toy consignment shops are where it’s at as well.”
For tips on how to use Amazon like Julie says, check out our article 18 Money Saving Tips on Amazon.
Make Your Own Baby Wipes
Laurel Lynn Hill of West Virginia says: “I made my own baby wipes!! Shopped consignment sales and yard sales for clothes, shoes, toys, books, and even big items like high chairs and pack-n-plays. Made my own baby food as well. Also used cloth diapers!!!” See Laurel’s recipe for homemade baby wipes at the bottom of this article.
Roll Your Own
Cindy Chamberlain of West Virginia says, “Nursing is healthier and more cost effective than formula but it also has to work for the mom and baby. Making your own baby food and baby wipes can save a lot of money. Clothing swaps and hand me down clothes and baby items are awesome especially in the first year because nothing is used for very long. I also clip coupons.”
Gwen Hagaman of California says, “I think packaged baby food is a big money drain. I used a fork to mash some of the foods from our regular meals to give to my baby. He was able to enjoy more variety and it saved a lot of money. If you are a spicy cook, you can remove a small amount for your child before the seasoning goes in.”
Don’t Buy Extra to Save!
Callie Phillips Pecunies of Maine says, “We made our own baby food, but didn’t go the route of any special baby food maker. Just steamed the food and used a good old food processor. Another tip – resist the temptation to buy every gadget on the market. Once you have one child, you realize how short a time they actually use any of them. For example – a baby food maker. They eat food like that for about 6 months at the most.”
Lauren Farrell from Mexico says, “Using a Thermos with hot water works for warming wipes. Just put the wipes on top and turn it over to warm them instantly for cheaper than a wipe warmer.”
Coupons Are a Mom’s Best Friend
Andrea Bowen Perry of Ohio says, “One word: Coupons. Join couponing blogs and Facebook groups dealing with coupons. CVS and their Extrabucks program is hands-down my favorite. I wish I would have learned how to do it much sooner. For the past 18 months, I have been getting diapers for so little money that I actually feel guilty when I leave the store… like I practically stole them. I also do crazy couponing for wipes, and any other household item you can think of, in addition to regular food items (particularly ones that fill kids’ lunchboxes).”
Annie Eustis from Oregon says, “Join a mothers group. I am on a Facebook group called Portland Mommas that has 8,000 local momma’s on it. They know EVERYTHING. Lol. For instance, I just discovered A LOT of restaurants have a “kids eat free” night. Also, the children’s museum, zoo, and science museum all have free entry days once a month. Sell your baby stuff once your kid is done with it. But, by far the best thing you can do to save money is to budget, budget, budget. Mint.com is great for that. Also I save money by creating meal plans. Oh, and hand-me-down clothing! THE best. And Nanny share if you can figure out a good situation. Childcare is our BIGGEST expense. More than our mortgage, more than our food.”
Hand Me Downs
From Heather Groves of North Carolina: “We have several friends who are moms so we continually pass around wardrobes. When Maddy was a baby though we’d buy the next season’s clothes when they were on clearance. And trading coupons for diapers & formula with other parents saves us lots of money.”
No Second Hand Car Seats
From Chelsea Bricker Carnefix of West Virginia: “I think it’s important to note that while used items are great, you should never purchase a used car seat!”
Fight the Power
Maura Kistler, owner of Waterstonia Sporting Goods in Fayetteville, West Virginia says, “First of all: don’t believe the hype! You don’t need a fraction of what the “experts” say you do. Third world model!”
Molly Wolff of West Virginia says, “I agree with Maura. Wipes warmers and crazy crap? Pshhhh. You can use reusable wipes too instead of even buying them.”
Sarah Inman from Louisiana says, “Whenever my son begs for useless crap from the store, I offer to put a dollar in his piggy bank instead of buying another piece of plastic.”
Nora Morris, Mrs. West Virginia, says, “We skipped the whole “kids needs every plastic toy on the market” thing. Make a toy. Find something fun outside. Whatever. Just skip the chemically-treated plastic junk. It’s totally unnecessary. Mud holes. Sticks. Wooden blocks. Trees. Cardboard boxes. You name it! I sound like a cheapskate, I know. But I like to think I’m a *practical* cheapskate!”
Save Money With Mommy Earth
Casey Davis Monnier of Maine says, “Have a garden, harvest, can and freeze.”
Lesa Groves of West Virginia says, “I always noticed a decline in my power bill during the summer months when I used my clothes line to dry all those diapers and continual clothing. Baby wipes weren’t invented when Jeremy and Shane were small so I traveled with damp wash cloths in sandwich baggies. In my opinion baby wipes are a terrible waste of money. Teaching children to turn off lights when they leave the room also helps. I also seldom purchased store bought baby foods. I’ve always been suspicious of the ingredients. We always had pear trees, peach trees, blue berry bushes, apple trees, endless black berries and a vegetable garden so I prepared and preserved foods in advance. I would imagine many folks could bargain with some farmers for this produce or bargain shop at the farmers market. I wasn’t good at this one but in hindsight I can see a huge saving in not purchasing all the gadgets and gizmos that are advertised on TV. They lose interest quick or it breaks before you get your money’s worth. Never purchase new clothing of any sort. Yard sales, consignment shops or swapping with friends can save a bundle.”
Save Money With Thredup
Jo-Beth Stamm of West Virginia says, “I love Thredup.com. It’s an online consignment shop. Cheap, quality clothes. They’re strict about what can be sold, so it’s all in good shape. Way cheaper than buying kids new clothes every season as they grow.”
Ella Turton of Ohio says, “I would give each kid a dollar bill and said they could buy ANYTHING they wanted from the Dollar Store. I would ONLY do this twice a year and that lasted for several years. Less is more… we spent our time outside with our children. That is priceless and costs nothing.”
Money Saving Baby Tips From the Dads Corner
Nicholas Bowie-Haskell from Maine says, “Breast feeding saves a lot of money, if that’s a possibility for the mom. Baby showers help, but resisting the urge to eat meals out could save tons. With a busy house it’s easy to get caught spending tons out to eat.”
Hugh Mclaughlin says, “We bought a “Beaba” baby food maker and made our own baby food. Way cheaper than buying it at the store, and less packaging and waste.” According to Julie Hewke, homemade baby food can even be frozen in ice cube trays for proper serving size and thawed out later. Hugh also adds, “Don’t take your kids to the store with you if you can help it. They always want something in the toy section, or the candy in the checkout aisle.”
Cindy Chamberlain comments, “Totally agree about reading baby magazines, the marketing in them lead you to believe you need so many things for a baby when each baby’s and family’s needs vary. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a happy happy baby. Surrounding yourself with like minded and positive friends also helps take some pressure off.”
Richard “Goldie” Lilley of Virginia says, “We have half a dozen local mothers’/children’s groups around here in VA that simply swap clothes or give them to each other as the babies grow up. The pressure to always buy new is immense. One church used to just collect all the clothes from the congregation and then you could go find what you liked in the back room. Coupons online for everything and spend time as Andrea said to become a coupon expert. It pays off better than a week’s hard work at a job and spending full price on everything. Lots of second hand resale stores have “pay one price and fill a bag” deals every few months. If you live in a city go to the fancier area of town to shop in their resale/second hand stores for more “high grade” goods as they tend to toss things long before they need to. Even bartering in stores can save you money.”
Laurel Lynn Hill’s Homemade Baby Wipes Recipe:
Get a used disposable plastic container as big around as a roll of paper towels, plus a roll of soft paper towels, coconut oil and baby soap. Boil two cups of water. Let the water cool, then add one teaspoon of coconut oil and one teaspoon of soap to the water and mix. Cut the paper towel roll in half and remove the cardboard tube. Put the tubeless half-roll of paper towels in the container and add the liquid. Pull the center paper towel up so you can pull the paper towels out one by one with ease! One word of caution: use within a week so the wipes don’t get moldy.