Photo by Amanda_Jeanne
I thought Amanda's tips and perspective were so good, I decided to track her down for a chat in Pregnancy Buzz!
Today, we're talking affordable (but still cute) maternity style -- and about making smart, frugal choices while pregnant in general. Tomorrow, we'll cover her thoughts on preparing for a baby without going overboard on the expense.
Making an Affordable Mat Style Work
I know you mentioned to MicheleZ that you've only bought a few pieces of maternity clothes. What did you buy, and where?
I've bought one pair of maternity jeans at Target (Liz Lange) and a striped long-sleeve hoodie -- both were in the clearance racks when I snagged them.
I "splurged" on another pair of maternity jeans at Motherhood (not on sale) and a stretchy pink T-shirt (on sale). Besides that, I've been stretching all my old shirts over my belly and hoping for the best. If it comes to a point where I really need larger shirts, I'll go to Ross and scavenge the clearance racks for tops.
Tell me more about your philosophy when it comes to mat clothes. Any tips for other moms-to-be?
As much as I would love to buy every cute maternity outfit they make, and as much as I love to show off my bump, I just keep in mind that it's not worth it to spend so much money on a new wardrobe that I'll only need for a few months at the most.
I would say to other moms-to-be that if they have friends or relatives who recently had children and may have saved their old maternity clothes, ask if they can borrow them. I'm a big fan of clothes recycling if it's possible!
Also, it's nothing to be ashamed of if you feel most comfortable in a pair of leggings and a big T-shirt. If you're a stay at home mom, you may have a little more freedom on how to dress.
If you go to work, then you might need to spend a few extra dollars on appropriate maternity attire for the office. You need to look professional and put together!
Where to Save and Where to Spend
Since you're a frugal kind of gal in general, how would you say you've watched (or cut) expenses during your pregnancy?
This might sound dumb, but whenever I go out to eat at a restaurant lately, I've been ordering water to drink with my meals. Normally I love to down glass after glass of sweet iced tea, but, hey, if I can save 2-3 bucks with my meal and just chug a lot of water, it's better for my body and better for my wallet.
Also, I like to make a list of what meals we're going to have for the week and use that when grocery shopping. As long as you stick to your grocery list and only get what you headed out for, you'll save a lot.
I'm also trying to be more "green" and I am a huge stickler for shutting off lights when you leave a room, taking shorter showers, and turning the heat down and just wearing an extra sweater if it's cold. All of the tiny things may seem insignificant, but if you write the expenses down on paper you can see it all adds up!
OK, but you're pregnant, and in the Navy, and moving, and very busy -- what's one thing you've allowed yourself an indulgence on?
I had a prenatal massage, which I wasn't totally frugal about.... I just got my tax refund back and decided to treat myself to the massage, as well as a facial and haircut. The total for everything was about $150, which was what I was expecting to pay, and isn't too bad.
The rest of the tax refund is going toward all the moving expenses and some things for the baby's room. I've kind of made the massage thing a new tradition when it's tax refund time. Last year I did the same thing -- I paid for a mini-package day at the spa and put the rest of my return in savings.
It's my once-a-year big treat to myself, the one time I'll be a little selfish!
Any other random thoughts on a frugal pregnancy?
Just because there are moms out there who are able and want to get the best money can buy for their babies, doesn't mean you're a bad mom if you choose to go with the basic essentials and save money. That money can go toward the baby's future college fund -- which will pay off more in the long run than the fanciest designer nursery ever made.
How are YOU cutting expenses while pregnant?