Monday, October 3, 2011

New Parent Money Savers

In less than a month, my twin girls will be celebrating their first birthday.  It is quite surreal.  It is even more surreal when I write it or say it.  A whole year.

I'd be a horrible parent if I didn't learn a few things about raising kids over these last 11 months.  So I'm here to give a few tips and pointers on how new parents (even ones with multiples) can save a little money in the first year.

-Don't buy any toys.  Seriously.  In fact you may as well return just about every toy you're given.  For the first couple of months, they aren't going to care about all the toys anyways.  Just make faces and weird noises, and they'll be entertained for hours.  When they do start noticing toys, they'll probably gravitate to one or two things and ignore everything else.  As they get older all you really need is some plastic food storage (Tupperware, Ziploc or Glad or whatever you already had lying around) and wooden spoons.  It amazes me all the toys they neglect in favor of kitchen items we already had.

-Make sure the stuff that makes noise has an off switch.  This is a more recent development in our house.  The girls were given these items that look like remote controls that announce shapes and numbers.  Only there is no off switch, so even sitting unplayed with doesn't stop it.  Seriously annoying.

-You will have favorite outfits that your kids will end up wearing entirely too much.  And that is totally okay.  If I got a dollar for every time my girls wore their various Giants outfits, I'd be a very rich man.  So return or exchange the clothes you know your kids won't wear for something they will.  You get to choose the clothes for this part of their lives.  Take full advantage.

-You should probably return/exchange a good portion of the newborn and 0-3 clothes you get.  People come to baby showers with the best intentions, and we all appreciate the gifts you give to us new parents.  We just don't need 1000 different newborn outfits or 0-3 for that matter.  We know that is the most cute and you get to see what you bought them very early on, but there is something to be said about patience and helping out 6-12 months down the road.

-Just like breastfeeding is cheaper (obviously), so is making your own baby food.  Do you know what baby food is?  Strained and pureed regular food.  How can you not make that yourself for much cheaper?  I'm not even trying to promote being a crunchy parent.  It's all about fiscal responsibility.

-You're going to eat out less.  This may just be exclusive to a parent with twins, but you aren't going to really be able to go out to eat as much.  Enjoy your time at home and the little bit of extra cash in your bank account as a result.

What other money saving tips do you have as a new or experienced parent?  Share in the comments.

Have you entered the Icing on the Cupcake giveaway in honor of my 100th post yet?  All you have to do is comment on post number 100 for an entry and click on that little Join This Blog button on my main page for a second entry.  Who doesn't want free swag?  Especially this free swag.

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