Mom Finds Way to Save $$ So She Can Stay Home With Her Babies

Baby 9

Recession Guide

 

When mommy blogger Kim Julian of St. Louis, Missouri became a stay at home mom after the birth of her second son, the loss of a second income hit hard. So she did what a lot of moms who want to continue staying home with their kids do -- she became a self-taught expert at saving money through coupons, free samples, free events and discounts.

And she created a couple of websites to share what she learned with other moms, STL Mommy in November of 2008, and My City Mommy in June of 2009. My City Mommy and the My City Mommy team offer national and local grocery and drug store coupon match ups along with free samples, free events, restaurant deals, kids eat free locations, discounts and more.  

I thought it was worth an individual chat with Kim to glean some of her personal at-home tips:

Tell us how to cut costs on our biggest baby expenses, please!

The biggest expense for baby is undeniably formula and diapers. On average formula costs $6 a day. Breastfeeding is a natural and cheap option to offset the cost, but breastfeeding is not an option for everyone.

To start saving money, ask your pediatrician for formula samples. Pharmaceutical representatives often leave cases of formula for them to hand out. Also, look for coupons and rebates in the doc's office.

These will always be on hand because companies want doctors to recommend their products to patients. Register on websites of the brand that you use and they will also send you coupons by mail.  Enfamil offers a reward program that gives you a chance to win sweepstakes and earn more money saving offers.

When it comes to diapers, using cloth will save you a ton of money. But sometimes that's not always realistic or convenient. You can also save a lot of money by following savings sites such as My City Mommy and watching weekly deals along with coupons. You have to take advantage of the combination of sales, store incentives and coupon offers. Coupons.com regularly offers coupons up to $3 in value for some diapers. You can also register directly with the diaper sites for money saving offers.

Breaking the habit of brand loyalty is the hardest thing to accomplish, but you really have to try them all to see what works for you. I have found that I am brand loyal at night due to leaks, but I use something other than my personal favorite during the day to cut costs.

What's the biggest waste of money?

The first thing that comes to mind is the Diaper Genie. On average the Diaper Genie costs $24.99 and refills are $5.99. If you change out the refill every two weeks you would spend $181.15 a year to dispose of diapers. I also found that the Diaper Genie, although easily accessible, did not keep odor out of the room.

The second item was passed on to us by moms on Facebook. In a survey 90 percent said that you should not buy a wipes warmer.  Many of the moms mentioned that it was never used, it was a distraction, too time consuming, or caused their child to 'need' the wipes warmed.

What are the best online sites for saving money on baby stuff?

Register on websites for the products that you purchase, including formula, diapers, household needs, toys, and baby apparel. My favorites include Ebay, Craigslist and Freepeats for free or deeply discounted items.

Give us your top three cost-cutting tips ...

1. Be smart with your purchases, combine store incentives, coupons, and sales to get the lowest price on the items that you need and stock up on these items when you find them at deep discounts so you won't make an impulse purchase when you run out of a needed item.

2. Exchange products, clothing, and coupons with friends who also have kids. Have a seasonal clothing swap, swap Halloween costumes, toys, coupons, the sky is the limit.

3. Don't make an impulse purchase. If you see something you want, leave the store and think about if you really need the item or if it is just something that you want. I have done this many times and 90 percent off the time I don't go back in to purchase the item. 

How did you save money on your baby?

I must admit my second child's birth was very different from my first. With my first, I registered for items that now I realize weren't needed, you know the Pottery Barn themed room, swing, bouncer, bassinet, etc. With my second I asked for diapers and shopped on Ebay and Craigslist to find great deals on expensive items for less than half of the original purchase price.

I also make purchases at the end of the season for the following year. My children grow a size a year and you can find clothes on sale for up to 80 percent off the original price at the end of the season. Trading items with friends is my favorite activity.

++++

Are you brand loyal or do you experiment with different products till you find the right one for your baby?

 

Related posts:

Money Tips from a Frugal Baby Mama

Save Money on Babysitters

6 Ways to Save $$ on Baby Clothes

Baby Bargains: A Must Read Resource

Saving Money for Your Baby's Future

breastfeeding, clothes, formula, poop & diapers, recession guide

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nily nily

I admit that I love some certain brands on some of my baby's stuff like clothes shoes and room decor and yes I spend a lot but I like them so much. For example clothes I like Carters,George, Gerber, Disney and others and for shoes Carters and all footlocker brands like Jordans, Nikes, Reebook and more. But I compensate buying other things more cheep and of a good quality like diapers, chops, bottles, diaper bags, making home baby food and some other homemade stuff I make for my son. That way I balance my expenses and it work great for me.

cents... centsable_mom

Fabulous tips Kim :) We love your sites!

Kajon Kajon

I used the Diaper Champ...same concept as Genie except that you can use your 13 gallon kitchen trash bags to line it.  Costco's Kirkland brand is a great savings for formula.  I asked the pedi about it and she said that there are federal guidelines for formula so off-brands are generally fine.  My son is 4-1/2 and no deficiencies of any sort.  Costco is great for diapers too; they don't sell the newborn size but wait a couple of months for good savings there,


Regarding the wipe warmer...it definitely made a difference when I had to make diaper changes while DS was sleeping.  You can get them used at consignment sales for a fraction of the price.

tidwell9 tidwell9

Thanks for th etip!

Shelb... ShelbysHope

Keep an eye on childrensplace.com for sales on clothes...I just bought my oldest long sleeve shirts for almost $3.00 to $4.00 a piece, that's cheaper than walmart and the clothes are better quality. I also registered to get the 15% and free shipping coupons..I really save a good bit, and the clothes are normally in great condition for my youngest to wear later on.

msbre... msbrewton

I always use the website www.heyitsfree.com . This web site sends free samples directly to your mail box and depending on the size of the package , they will deliever them to your door step.

lltp lltp

Awesome tips! Let's all share ours. Here's one for FREE playroom furniture. So cool. They say get your husband to do it, but I want to do it myself..


http://www.mamaista.com/2009/10/28/put-your-man-to-work-day/


 

nonmember avatar StaceyCA

Always love to see money saving tips but wanted to add one more I didn't see here. Coupons and samples are great when it comes to baby formula but the real way to save money is on store brands! We buy CVS in our house and it saves us up to $600 per year. Don't know about you but that is a good chunk of change around here. Of course, I was worried that it was not as safe or healthy as the national brands but my research proved just the opposite. Formulas are regulated by the FDA and HAVE to have the same nutritional ingredients. So where is that $600 going again? Oh yeah...marketing! If you are not sure ask your pediatrician or go to a nutritionist...or better yet just read the labels! You'll be amazed, and pretty happy with the extra $$$

nonmember avatar Boone26Elena

Some time ago, I needed to buy a good car for my organization but I did not have enough cash and couldn't buy something. Thank God my comrade adviced to try to take the mortgage loans at banks. Therefore, I did so and used to be happy with my financial loan.

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