A new baby comes with a lot of challenges. There are lots of sleepless nights, mastering the diaper change, learning to navigate a pram through narrow supermarket aisles…and of course, there are financial challenges too. “But there are a few ways you can cut corners on the expenses,” says Claire Cobbledick, Head of Gumtree Marketing.
- Don’t shop in the baby aisle unless you have to
Marketers are smart and know that parents are willing to spend a lot of money on baby-related items – hence slapping the word “baby” on everyday items. “You’ll pay a lot more for a specialist baby food blender than a regular food processor, but there is no difference in what they do,” says Cobbledick.
- Take other parents shopping with you
If your friends had their baby six months before yours is due, they are the best couple to go shopping with. “They’ll be able to steer you away from nice-to-haves and don’t-need-to-haves like bath thermometers and overpriced monitors towards the stuff you’ll really use – and who knows, they might have extras lying around that you can use.”
- Buy for the baby you have
Having a baby brings out the kid in all of us – which means you might be buying Barbies, Legos and Monopoly sets long before they can actually play with them. “You might envision evenings spent playing Pictionary or drawing doodles while your kids actually just want to go outside to kick a soccer ball around, so stick to age appropriate toys to avoid white elephants piling up in the cupboard.”
- Buy second hand
Babies grow out of their clothes in a matter of weeks, and quickly get tired of expensive Legos. Buying items secondhand not only gives you the opportunity to pay less for items but you can often get a great deal. “There are families selling boxes and boxes of Legos, Barbie dolls, teddy bears and other items for a few rand, having probably spent thousands collecting them over the years. Take advantage where possible!”
- Put hand-me-downs on your registry
Chances are your friends have great quality hand-me-downs lying unused in their homes, but aren’t sure what to do with it. When sending out your baby shower invitations, be sure to add the phrase “hand-me-downs welcome!” – you are sure to get a collection of lovely good-as-new goodies.
- Use the nappy bin hack
Nappy bins are a must-have, especially if you aren’t keen to constantly run out to the bin in the middle of the night. But the bin liners are notoriously expensive at about R100 for a small roll. “Don’t buy the pricey accessories if ordinary household goods will do. Instead of a nappy liner, buy scented pedal bin bags and roll them over the middle of the bin before placing the lid over it. It works just as well and costs R20 for a month’s supply as opposed to R300.”
- Sell as you go along
You might want to keep a few items for sentimental reasons, but bulky feeding chairs, Bumbo seats, rockers and old toys can quickly pile up in the garage. “By selling the things that you don’t need anymore, you’ll be able to buy the things you do need. And you won’t constantly trip over a box of onesies that your little one outgrew six months prior!”
Find all the baby items you need on Gumtree for less…right here.