How to Save Money While Pregnant: 6 Tips
Many people worry about their increased expenses after the baby is born; however, there are also costs associated with pregnancy. From maternity clothes to pre-buying baby items, it will cost you a pretty penny. Any effort to save money now will help once the baby is born.
Here are 6 tips to save money while pregnant.
Wait to Buy Until After Baby Shower
When you first get a positive pregnancy test, it may be tempting to run out and embark on a shopping spree. Baby clothes are cute and being prepared ASAP is always a good feeling. However, your efforts could be a waste of money if you decide to shop before you’ve had your baby shower.
At your baby shower, your friends and family will likely gift you with many necessary supplies, which will save you money. Friends may get you smaller items such as baby care packages or baby clothes, while close family members may gift you larger items such as a crib or car seat. If you wanted to maximize the amount you save, you can create a gift registry. Attendees will probably be thankful they don’t have to hunt for the perfect gift and you’ll ensure no gifts are duplicated and you get things you actually need — it’s a win-win.
You can create an online baby registry at:
You can register for small items or larger, more expensive items. Whatever you add to your registry, make sure to research the products to ensure you’d be getting the most bang for your buck (or someone else’s buck!).
Here are some ideas for products to add to your registry:
- Changing table
- Crib mattress
- Baby bedding/blankets
- Rocking chair
- Breastfeeding or bottle feeding supplies (i.e. bottles, formula, nursing pillow, breast pump)
- High chair
- Baby bathtub
- Baby towels/cloths
- Baby wash
- Baby clothes/pajamas
- Baby coats/boots
- Changing supplies (i.e. diapers, wipes, cream, diaper bag)
- Baby swing
- Baby monitor
- Safety accessories
- Baby thermometer
- Car seat
Maternity Clothes Hacks
Buying maternity clothes can be frustrating: They’re expensive and you will only use them for a few months. Luckily, we have a cheaper hack for you when it comes to maternity bras. It’s generally cheaper to buy a few super stretchy sports bras and they will expand with your changing bustline. Another option is to buy bra extenders. The hooks will attach onto your regular bra and can lengthen your regular hook by about 4 inches.
To get a few more weeks out of your jeans, you can purchase a bellyband. The stretchy elastic will allow you to wear your pants even if you can’t button them up.
For other maternity clothes, you can save a lot of money if you don’t buy new. If you have a friend or family member that was recently pregnant, they may have maternity clothes you can wear. You can also head to thrift stores or search online classified websites such as Craigslist, Kijiji or eBay. If your city has a large Facebook group for buying, selling and trading items, you can also make a post request on there.
Another option is to completely abandon the idea of maternity clothes. You can instead purchase cheap extra-large, loose clothing. Stretchy pants, sweaters, long shirts and flowy dresses will be comfortable as you grow. You may also choose to get creative with what you already have. For example, if your partner has a large dress shirt, you can pair it with leggings and a belt. If you’re crafty, you can use a few DIY tricks to turn your regular clothes into maternity clothes.
Ask If You Can Work from Home
If you are going on maternity leave early and you feel up to it, ask your employer if you can do a little bit of work at home. If your job allows you to pick up a few extra projects here and there, you will be able to work on it from the comfort and flexibility of your own home. Making a few extra bucks before giving birth can help ease worries about money. This is also an option after you’ve had the baby.
Be Smart About Prenatal Vitamins
Every mother wants her baby to be healthy, so it’s understandable why we spend so much money on prenatal vitamins and supplements. But is it really necessary?
A 2016 study confirmed that pregnant women are wasting money on supplements that do not improve their baby’s health. Prenatal supplements tend to group together many vitamins and minerals, many of which you don’t need. The high price of prenatal vitamins is generally justified by marketing claims.
However, that’s not to say that all supplements are useless. Experts agree that all mothers need enough folic acid and vitamin D, so those supplements are generally recommended. Bottom line is that you should only take what you need. For example, if you’re getting enough iron or vitamin C in your daily diet, you don’t need an iron or vitamin C supplement. You will have blood tests throughout your pregnancy, so your doctor should detect if you’re low on an essential vitamin.
To avoid spending money on supplements, you can change and closely monitor your diet to ensure you’re meeting your daily value of the necessary vitamins during pregnancy. If you need a supplement, you don’t need a fancy brand made specifically for pregnant women. A generic supplement will be much cheaper and will do the same job. If you have any questions about supplements, ask your doctor to recommend the cheapest, most effective option.
Understand Your Insurance
If you are a Canadian resident, OHIP will cover all of your prenatal appointments and labor costs (with the exception of upgrades such as private rooms). However, if you live in the U.S. or have an insurance plan, you have a bit of homework to do.
If you don’t know what your insurance covers, sit down and figure it out before you give birth. Are you covered for prenatal care and delivery? What tests are covered? What will you have to pay for out of pocket? If you are considering a home birth, inquire if it would be covered. Get to know your plan very well to maximize the amount of money you save. You should also find out what delivery will cost at your local hospital and ask about ways you can minimize your bill.
If you’re stocking up on items before the baby, consider where you will get the best deal. Some items you shouldn’t buy cheap, such as baby formula. However, there are other items that you can and should pick up at the dollar store.
Specialty baby stores, or even big box stores, are more expensive and often unnecessary for smaller items. For example, if you need to purchase a nightlight, you don’t need a fancy baby-themed one; a simple dollar store light will do the trick. Baby bottle cleaning brushes, bibs, baby-proofing supplies and even baby bowls and spoons (BPA-free) can usually be found in local dollar stores.
You may even be able to get some samples of baby products for free. Check out sample websites or ask your pediatrician if he or she has any samples such as diapers or formula.
Another thing you can purchase cheap is parenting books. You’re probably trying to get your hands on any book and magazine that will tell you what to expect and what to do when the baby is born. The anxious feeling can also be washed away by educating yourself with eBooks. There are plenty of parenting eBooks for only a few dollars on Amazon. Even if you want to read a specific book, the downloadable version is generally much cheaper. If you still like the feeling of having a physical book in your hand, borrowing from the library is always free. If you’re worried that you can’t refer back to the book, you can take a photo of critical pages with your smartphone so it’s handy if you need it.
Check for Coupons
When you’re pregnant you’ll likely be eating bigger portions and having intense cravings. The extra food could make a small dent in your wallet, but there are a few ways you can lower your grocery bill. We’re not saying you have to be an insane couponer, but every penny counts — and with the apps available today, it’s really easy!
Firstly, start scanning your local flyers to see what food is on sale that week. If you don’t get flyers, you can download the flyer app Flipp and enter your postal or zip code. You can also check newspapers or local sites for coupons. Apps like Grocery IQ and RetailMeNot will also help you find discounts. Rebate apps, such as Checkout 51, allow you to scan a receipt and receive the rebate money.
If you have ideas on how to save money during pregnancy, comment them below! Share this with friends who are pregnant to help them, too!