Making Baby More Affordable

With a new baby on the way and the upcoming Toronto Baby Show, I was inspired to think about all the ways that I saved money with my last babe, and the new strategies I’ve picked up along the way.

There’s no doubt that having a baby will cost money and not just at first, but for the years to come. That’s why it’s so important for moneysavvy parents to investigate and capitalize on programs that can reduce as many expenses as possible.

Here are 10 ways you can reduce the costs of being a new parent:

1. Baby Shows – These pop up all over the place, and are a great way to learn about products, get exclusive discounts, receive money saving coupons and get lots, and lots, of free stuff! I absolutely love the baby shows and the big bag of goodies that find their way into my car afterwards. Note that you will be approached by vendors and when you sign up for their promotions or to enter contests, you will often be giving them permission to contact you, so be sure to navigate your comfort level in that regard.

2. Facebook Mom Groups – I’ve just recently discovered and fallen in love with Facebook Mom Buy and Sell groups. You join just like any other Facebook group (search your city followed by the word ‘mom’ to find one in your area) and once you’re a member, you will be privy to a local and convenient garage sale. Kijiji is certainly another option, but the nice thing about the Facebook groups is that there’s less anonymity (it’s people’s Facebook account) so there’s less likely to be scams or deceptions. I’ve saved and earned hundreds of dollars with the Facebook Mom group in my area.

3. Sales – Don’t like second hand items? That’s okay (I was the same way with my first), then watch out for store sales, which come up weekly and frequently. Also watch for end of season clearances where you can get great items (especially clothing) for a fraction of their normal price!

4. Reward Programs – Take advantage of reward programs and use your earnings towards your baby needs. I am always getting stuff for free from Amazon thanks to Swagbucks and GiftHulk, and more often than not, those free items are baby supplies.

Watch out for store reward programs too. If you’re already shopping somewhere, you might as well earn some points for future savings, which can be used on your baby items (I buy almost all my diapers with my Shoppers Optimum points)!

Also sign up for Pampers Gift to Grow and Huggies Enjoy the Ride. Both programs allow you to enter pin codes that you get from product packaging, or that are released from the company (watch the Rewards Program Feed on moneysavvyme for codes when they are released), which can then be redeemed for all kinds of rewards including free diapers, toys, books, and gift cards!

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5. Coupons – Sure, saving $2 off a pack of diapers may not seem that amazing, but when you save $2 off the 10 packs you’ll use in the first month, that’s an extra $20 in your pocket! Then combine that with the savings you can get using cashback apps (see next point), and you’ll be smiling! Not sure where to get coupons? See this section on Canadian coupons.

6. Cashback Apps – Between the six apps I use (Checkout51, Snapsaves, Zweet, Cartsmart, Save, Changio) there’s always at least one rebate for a baby item of some sort. When combined with sales, coupons and store rewards, cashback apps make for a nice bonus!

7. Cashback Sites – When shopping online, I always go through a cashback site first. My top 3 choices are Swagbucks, Ebates and Great Canadian Rebates and I choose them in that order based on payout. Just be sure to watch for double cashback events, where the site hosting it will offer a higher cashback percentage, making it the better choice. If you’re going to buy something online, why not save get something back for it?

8. Gift Cards – If you check out Ebay, Kijiji or your local Facebook Buy & Sell group, you’re bound to find gift cards being sold at lower than face value.  This is a great way to get an automatic discount on your purchases!  You can also check out cardswap, where you earn rewards for buying gift cards that can be redeemed for more gift cards!

9. Doctor/Midwife Samples – When at your prenatal appointments, don’t be shy about asking if they have any samples or coupons that you can have. I’ve been with 2 different midwife clinics and both have had free samples and coupons for vitamin D drops and Iron supplements in the exam rooms for patient benefit. Why pay for something if you can get it for free?

10. Company Samples – Again, why pay for something when you can get it for free? Many companies give out coupons and samples to expecting and new parents to gain new customers. Here’s a list of 14 companies that will give free baby samples to Canadians:

Babies R Us – When you sign up for their baby registry you will receive a gift bag with samples and coupons (if you register online you will need to go into your nearest store to get the gift bag).  JoinHere

Canadian Mother Resource – Signing up with the CMR makes you eligible to receive tons of coupons, samples and offers – just be wary that they do sell your information and you can expect to be contacted by various companies offering their services. Join Here

Enfamil Enfagrow – Enfamil Enfagrow will send you a free sample of a toddler nutritional drink and then periodically send out coupons. Join Here

Enfamil Family Beginings – When you sign up for the Enfamil Family Beginings Club, you will receive up to $125 in coupons, samples and special offers.  Join Here

Heinz Baby Club – You will receive electronic and mail newsletters, samples and coupons. Join Here

Hydrasense Dolphin Club – Sign up with Hydrasense to get coupons, samples and a toy. Join Here

Nestle Baby Club – Nestle sends out a great starter pack with a backpack diaper bag, change pad, bottle, formula samples and coupons. Join Here

Potty Training Concepts – Going to their Resource page, you will find lots of free potty training resources to help the whole process go smoother (including charts, videos, tips, advice, and certificates).  Get them Here

Proctor and Gamble – Get a free safety latch starter kit by filling out this form on the P&G website. Get it Here

Pull Ups – It may be a bit early to think about, but not to early to get a hold of this potty training video free from Pull Ups. Get it Here

Shoppers VIB – This is a great program that will give you a sample pack and coupons when you first sign up, and then will send out awesome coupons throughout the year. Join Here

Similac Baby Club – Sign up to receive samples, coupons and peroidic cheques (work like coupons). Join Here

Sobeys Baby Club – You need to sign up for the Baby Club in store, but once you do you will receive free prenatal vitamins, a welcome kit and baby coupons. Join in store.

Well.ca Baby Club – Sign up for the Well.ca Baby Club and you will automatically recieve discounts on baby products, and occassional special gifts. Join Here

*Even if you breastfeed and don’t use your formula samples, you can still put them to good use by donating them to your local woman’s shelter or food bank*

How do you save money on baby expenses?