Nine Easy Ways to Find Cheap
(and Free) Baby Stuff
By Susie Cortright
Raising a baby can be expensive, but, with a little online savvy and some help
from your friends, you can save bundles and even find some free baby stuff.
Here's how to save money on baby and find the best baby freebies on the web.
Baby Freebies Online
Just as having a baby can be an expensive proposition for you, it can be a
profitable one for retailers and manufacturers. Many companies will give away
things to expectant and new moms in the hopes of earning your business for a
long time to come.
Here's how to get free products, samples and coupons from the most trusted baby
You can typically find free samples and discount coupons by navigating your
browser directly to a manufacturer's website. To find these websites, do an
online search for your favorite brands of formula, diapers, and baby foods.
You can also often get free trial subscriptions to leading parenting magazines.
At the time of this writing, you can get a free 6-month subscription to American
Baby magazine and a free 12-month subscription to Baby Talk magazine directly at
the publications' websites.
A word of caution about signing up for baby freebies, newsletters, and
sweepstakes. Make sure you read the fine print, as well as a site's privacy
policy before you enter your name and email address on the company's
registration form. Each time you are signing up for something, you are probably
being put on a mailing list. You may want to have a secondary email address that
you use only on registration pages and, if the page asks you if you would like
additional mailings from partners, opt out.
It's a good idea, too, to check the URL of the freebie's registration page
before you fill it out, to make sure you are on the website of the manufacturer
or publisher. Third party sites, especially sites devoted to providing freebies,
may be in the business of collecting and selling your personal information.
Savings on Diapers and Formula
These are two items you will probably spend the most money on before your baby
becomes a toddler. Breastfeeding is, of course, the cheapest way around buying
infant formula, but it's just not an option for everyone. Here are the best ways
we have found to save.
See if you can find products cheaper online. Do a search on
froogle.com for bulk groceries or formula.
This site, run by Google, allows you to comparison shop across lots of different
sites with just one search. And check prices at Amazon Grocery, too, which will
ship these products to you, just like any other Amazon purchase. Shipping is
often free for orders of $25 or more.
Join the Club.
Ask at the customer service desk of your local grocery store to see if they have
any kind of Baby Savings Club. Some of the leading grocer chains offer
additional savings for these types of purchases.
Discount Baby Furniture and Gear
When it comes to baby furniture and baby gear, you can save a lot simply by
knowing where to look.
Let Your Friends Know What You Need.
The best way to get free baby stuff is to ask your friends and family for
anything they might be hanging onto that they don't need anymore. Even your
friends whose kids are a bit older may still have some items in the attic.
Have a Baby Shower.
Baby showers are a great way to get exactly what you need for the new baby. Even
better, your guests can share more ways on how you might be able to save money
on baby items in your particular area.
Join Moms Groups.
Join parenting groups both in your local area and online. These are fantastic
resources for free information and a daily or weekly dose of sanity. Plus, once
you get to know other moms in your area, you can swap secondhand baby clothes.
Join a Freecycling Network.
Freecycling allows you to give away things you don't need while taking things
you do. Do a Google search to find a Freecycle Network in your area, or visit
Freecycle.org and browse the groups or
enter your town into the search box. Once you find a local freecycling group,
you can usually post your own needs and you find a lot of good things,
Shop for used items.
Local consignment stores, thrift stores, and garage sales are a great place to
find gently used baby furniture or gear. Check the newspaper for this weekend's
garage sales or monitor an online garage sale announcement service. Go to Yahoo
Groups and enter your city and "Garage Sale."
A note about buying baby items secondhand: If you buy used toys or baby gear,
make sure they still have safety labels attached. Also, it's a good idea to
always buy a new car seat for your child. You don't want to take a risk by
getting a secondhand car seat that may have been in an accident.
The most important thing for our family when our kids were small was to consider
carefully what it was we really needed. When we were excited about having our
first child, we felt like we wanted one of everything. But we found that some
gear was not necessary at all, and some of it just got in the way.
The simple approach is sometimes the best, so take a little time with each
buying decision. If there is a piece of furniture or a baby item that you feel
you really need, see if you can get it gently used. It's better on the
pocketbook and the environment.
It's also tempting to invest in things the baby will need when he or she has
grown older. You can save money by waiting until your baby actually needs a
bigger, better stroller, for example, to see both what you can afford and what
kind of features are truly the most important to you. It helps me to look at it
this way: When you save money by not buying things you really don't need, you'll
have more money to put aside for your child's future.
With babies, as with life, the simple approach is often the best. The simpler
your life is, the more time you have to enjoy your child.
Susie Cortright is the founder of
http://www.susies-coupons.com. Visit her site today to find direct
links to diaper and formula savings, coupon codes for baby gear and more: