Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mission: Make it through baby's first year of life without spending more than $1000

Everyone creates a spreadsheet of baby expenses right?  No...hmm.  Well it has sort of become a hobby of mine and a bit of an obsession.  I knew that I needed stuff, but how much is this "stuff" is really necessary?
The moment you find out you are pregnant it seems like you are overwhelmed with lists of must haves.  It's more than overwhelming.  I knew that what I wished for really needed to be essential and if I didn't receive it as a gift, I needed to find it cheap since I'm currently not working. 

We got away with spending approximately $900 for over $3000 worth of stuff.  This retail value is actually pretty low as I didn't include the retail cost for the clothing that we received as gifts. Below are the basics of how I did it.

1) Most importantly is to embrace the world of used items.  Your children grow up and out of things so very fast.  Thankfully we are moving more towards a culture where thrifting is in so there are many opportunities to find gently used items.

Three of the major online sources for such used items are Craigslist, Ebay, and Freecycle.  You will not believe what some people get rid of for free or for a fraction of the costs for new.  It does take patience but it pays off.

There is an entire world revolving around buying and selling cloth diapers and specialty clothing.  Check out DiaperSwappers or search for specific brand's For Sell or Trade (FSOT) Facebook pages for more online deals on diapers and clothing.

Don't forget to check out your local brick and mortar thrift stores as well as Saturday morning yard sales.  I know that they vary greatly by location, but where we are I've found some great items at Goodwill. 

2) Ask for items on your wish list.  Unfortunately we do not live near our family and friends so I didn't have a baby shower but luckily they still love us and sent us great things!  If I didn't have them I would have purchased the big ticket items used but we did receive some great gifts from my Amazon Baby Registry.

I know that the spreadsheet indicates some major spending on gifts.  Like I said, we are lucky.  There are options though if you if you don't receive gifts.  Many of the items that I received as gifts were also items that I passed up on Freecycle or Craigslist. Also, now into the swing of things, I'm noticing some of the items aren't really necessities after all.  Remember though that searching online can take patience so it's best to start looking well before you need things and to look often.

3) Whenever possible, try to never spend retail prices.  Always buy items greatly reduced and on sale in the stores or better yet, slightly used or new without tags off of Craigslist or at yard sales.

I didn't always follow my own advice but it's good advice nonetheless. 

4) Don't forget to resell your items once you are finished with them.   As my son outgrew his clothes and his diapers I sold them online to recoup some money.  I also sold off multiple outfits and things that I realized I didn't really need.  If you buy used or low cost, it's not impossible to make all of your money back.

Below is the rough spreadsheet I created to keep up with what I thought I needed and the expenses incurred.  We have been blessed with family and friends that showered us with gifts.  If we did not have them obviously expenses would have been more.  I also splurged on organic whenever possible.  Obviously that is a choice and one area where costs could be drastically cut if needed.  

Also, this is the spreadsheet before the baby came.  Looking back I would have moved a few of the "Non-Essentials" to "Essential" category and taken off some things from "Essential".  For example, having a bouncy seat and play mat for the floor was "Essential".  Yes, I could have used the infant carrier but the bouncy seat was much more convenient in the long run.  The play mat also turned out to be one of his favorite activities and he loved to lay and look above at the toys.

Essentials (Must Haves Right Away) Use Cost *Estimaed Retail Where It Was Purchased
Place to Sleep

Bassinet Newborn to sleep in <15 lbs $20.00 $55.00 Craigslist
Co-Sleeper Baby sleeps in bed with us safely $20.00 $68.00 Craigslist
Sleep Bag/Swaddle Blanket (1) Halo Sleep Sack $5.00 $20.00 Craigslist

For Car Rides

Infant Car Seat Received Used From Friend Free $69.00 Gift


Lot Purchased From Craigslist ($200) $200.00
Diaper Pail Craigslist Lot ($200)
$10.00 Craigslist
Diaper Pail Liner Craigslist Lot ($200)
$17.00 Craigslist
Medium Wet Bag Craigslist Lot ($200)
$18.00 Craigslist
Cloth Wipes (40) Craigslist Lot ($200)
$30.00 Craigslist
Diaper Covers (Infant) 5 EUC newborn covers $15.00 $48.00 Ebay
Baby Ointment Ointment with Sample Pack Free $17.00 Gift
Newborn Prefolds (9) 5 Organic/4 Unbleached Price Cost w/ Shipping $26.00 $26.00 Green Mountain Diapers
Kushis Small All in Ones (2) Clearance Not sure Price $20.00 $36.84 Babies R Us
Snappi or Pins (need 2) Craigslist Lot ($200)
$7.50 Craigslist
Diaper Covers (5 Small) 6 Thirsties Duo White Covers (Retail $12.25 each) $46.00 $73.50 Ebay
Small Prefolds (12) Craigslist Lot ($200)
$28.00 Craigslist
Kissaluvs Diaper Potion Purchased New $7.95 $7.95 Green Mountain Diapers
Giraffe Swaddlebee Purchased New $16.95 $16.95 Amazon
Dino Swaddlebee Purchased New $19.99 $19.99 Amazon
Kissaluvs Size 0 2 EUC fitted diapers $14.00 $28.00 Craigslist


One-piece Sleepers (6-8) 3-6 m (2) Free
Sleep Gowns Newborn (4) 3-6 m (3) Free
Scratch Mittens (2 pairs)
$3.00 $6.00 Babies R Us
Newborn Hats (2) JJ Cole Bundle Me and Pack from TJMax $3.00
Short Sleeved Onesies (4) 3 m (3) $4.99
Long Sleeved Snap Tees Newborn (4)/3 months (4) $14.00
Stretchy Pants (2) Freecycle/Target $4.00
Hoodie Jackets (2) Bought on online at Carters also Goodwill $11.00
Socks (4) Newborn Free
Dress Up Outfits (2) 3-6 m (2) Free
Large Blanket (3)
Thermal Blankets (3)
$5.00 $21.00 Craigslist
Receiving Blankets (8) 1 Monogrammed/8 Flannel $8.00
Bunting Bag (1) One Plush Original/Bundle Me Lite Free $45.00 Gift


Breast Pads Purchased with Groupon $4.00 $8.00 Babies R Us
Breast Pads
Free $8.00 Freecycle
Breast Ointment Purchased with Groupon $4.00 $9.00 Babies R Us
Bibs (2-4) Have 6 small/1 burpy bib Free


Hooded Towel Bath Set Included Towels,Sponge,Washcloths Free $39.00 Gift
Wash Cloths (10)
Baby Wash
$8.00 $9.99 Walgreens
Baby Bath Tub Easier way to bathe baby $5.00 $25.00 Craigslist

Baby Gear

Baby Carrier K'Tan $35.00 $60.00 No Better Deal
Baby Carrier Ergo $45.00 $130.00 Craigslist

Free $11.00 Gift
Nail Clippers/Emery Board/Scissors Using One We Already Have

Pacifiers (2) Purchased with Groupon $2.50 $4.00 Babies R Us
Essentials (Really Nice To Have By 4 Months) Use Cost
Where It Was Purchased
Place to Sleep

$110.00 $99.00 Wal-Mart/Gift
$180.00 $180.00 Albee Baby
Crib Sheets (2 Super Soft)
Crib Sheet Organic Cotton $18.00 $18.00 Amazon

For Car Rides

Car Seat For when baby > 20 lbs Free $212.00 Gift
Sun Shades
Free $10.00 Gift


Diaper Sprayer Craigslist Lot ($200) $35.00 $59.00 Craigslist
Diaper Bag
Free $32.00 Gift
Changing Pad and 4 Covers
$20.00 $60.00 Craigslist


One-piece Sleepers (6-8)
Hats (2)
Short Sleeved Onesies (4)
Long Sleeved Onesies (4)
Long Sleeved Snap Tees
Stretchy Pants (2)
Hoodie Jackets (2)
Socks (4)
Dress Up Outfits (2)


Nursing Pillow Positioning Baby/Sitting Baby Up $4.00 $40.00 Goodwill
Breast Pump with Storage Bag Get from insurance if needed Free $47.00 Blue Cross Blue Shield
Milk Storage Containers
Blue Cross Blue Shield
High Chair
Free $70.00 Gift

Free $75.00 Used Gift
Jogging Stroller > 6m
Free $313.00 Gift
Bonus Items (Nice to Have) Use Cost
Where It Was Purchased
Place to Sleep

Crib Skirt Sewn by Friend $20.00 $59.00 Carousel Designs


Diaper Changing Pad Skip Hop $1.95 $30.00 Goodwill
2 Disana Wool Covers Purchased New $42.90 $42.90 A Small Green Footprint
Wool Care Bar Purchased New $7.95 $7.95 A Small Green Footprint
Newborn Workhorse Diaper Purchased New $5.50 $5.50 Green Mountain Diapers
Prince Lion Wipes Warmer Craigslist Lot ($200)
$25.00 Craigslist
Prince Lion Wipes Replacement Pillows Craigslist Lot ($200)
$15.00 Craigslist
Sustainablebabish Organic Bamboo Fitted Craigslist Lot ($200)
$50.00 Craigslist
Lovey Bums Diaper Cover Craigslist Lot ($200)
$38.00 Craigslist
Wooly Bottoms Diaper Cover Craigslist Lot ($200)
$23.00 Craigslist
Flip OS Diaper Cover Craigslist Lot ($200)
$13.95 Craigslist
Wee Huggers Diaper Cover Craigslist Lot ($200)
$18.95 Craigslist
Lovey Bums Diaper Cover Craigslist Lot ($200)
$36.00 Craigslist
Lovey Bums Diaper Cover Craigslist Lot ($200)
$22.00 Craigslist


Nursing Cover Hooter Hiders Free $18.59 Gift

Bumbo Helps baby sit upright $1.95 $40.00 Goodwill
Pack N Play Portable sleep space/Play Yard Free $50.00 Freecycle
Pack N Play Fitted Sheet (1)
Free $6.00 Gift
Vulli Giraffe Teether
Free $18.06 Gift
Bouncy Seat
Free $28.79 Gift
3-1 Swing
$10.00 $60.00 Craigslist
Batteries and Charger
$40.00 $40.00 Amazon and Target
Toys Rattles, Teether $34.12 $34.12
Infant Play Gym
$10.00 $60.00 Craigslist
Plan Wooden Toys 10 Wooden Toys and Instruments $35.00 $150.00


Sold 3 OS Little Comfort Bamboo Fitted (Diaperswappers)

Sold 3 Packs of Infant Socks (Craigslist)

Sold 2 G Diapers and Disposable Inserts (Craigslist)

Sold G Diapers Cloth Inserts (Craigslist)

Sold Kushies Small All in Ones (2) (Ebay)

Sold 4 Newborn Diaper Cover (Craigslist)

Sold Co-Sleeper (Craigslist)

Sold 3 Thirsties Covers (Craigslist)

Sold Stroller (Craigslist)

Sold 3 Thirsties Diaper Covers (Craigslist)

Sold 30 pieces of newborn clothing (Craigslist)

Sold 2 Newborn Swaddlebees (Diaperswappers)

$887.17 $3,080.53