I don’t admit that I’m “good” at things too often but one thing I am good at is finding deals. The main reason for my ability to scope out a deal, my mother. Hands down, she knows when something is a deal when it isn’t and when it’s right to pay full price for something. Thanks to her, I don’t feel like I get royally screwed on too many purchases. Ahhh, Thanks Mom! 🙂
Just like any couple about to have their first child, looking over finances is one of those things that you just have to do whether you want to or not. Here’s a list of resources that I have found helpful when trying to save money and get some good deals throughout my pregnancy:
1. Retailmenot : I typically use this website for coupon codes to enter for my online purchases. I have saved up to 50% on clothing items, 15%-20% off of baby items etc. Just have patience. Not all of the coupon codes work, so you may have to try a few or all of them before you get any discount but it’s worth it in the end. If all you have to do is ‘apply a promotion code’ to save $10 to $20 bucks, why wouldn’t you?
2. www.hotels.com: Just because you have a baby on the way and you need to be more aware of your finances doesn’t mean you can’t take a weekend getaway. I highly recommend looking into a place that has free events or even free venues so that not only are you getting a discount on a hotel but where you are going is actually free. We headed to the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area and found a great deal on hotels.com at a Fairfield Inn near the Mall of America. This hotel included a free shuttle within 5 miles (so we could get a shuttle to the MOA) and had a great continental breakfast that was included. We stayed a little bit further away from the mall but were still able to get their quickly, we went to a free zoo and conservatory and if we would have had time, we would have gone to a museum because it was a free Saturday.
3. Pampers : Pampers uses a point system called “Gifts to Grow”. You get points when you purchase pampers diapers or wipes. Inside each package of Pampers diapers or training pants you’ll find a small white label with your Gifts to Grow code. On the wipes they are typically right on the package. You can use your points to sign up for chances at great offers and even enter to win chances at a years worth of diapers.
4. Toys R’ Us : They always seem to have good deals. You just have to be on the lookout. I’ve heard some discrepancies on being able to cash in your points online but I haven’t had any issues with it. Be sure to sign up for their rewards program, “Rewards R Us”. Every 500 points equals $5 in rewards. Also look for deals on diapers because they will often have if you purchase a certain dollar amount, you get a gift card. Which, if you keep going their for diapers, it really is just free diapers. Those are a few of the benefits but there are many others, so be sure and check out their website or head to their store.
5. Shopathome.com: Yes you have to sign up with your email, so you will get emails from them and if it’s not something you want to be getting tons of emails from but you don’t want to miss out on the deals, create an email address specifically for coupons and promotions. You know when you go to a store and they want your email address? Give them that one instead of your personal one so you don’t get tons of junk mail. I print grocery coupons off of this website and have found coupons for diapers and baby food as well.
6. Use your local Sunday newspapers. Some of the best manufacturer coupons come from the Sunday papers. Remember to only clip what you would typically use. There is no sense in saving $1.00 on brats or hot dogs if you don’t eat them.
7. Evaluate all of your monthly bills. Is your cellphone plan too much and you can cut back? Do you really need all of those TV channels? Remember that as much as we all like to do everything online these days, a simple phone call doesn’t hurt to check on any promotions or deals. I called our tv provider and told them that I was looking to cut down on our plan. I got enrolled in a program, without switching anything and $50 was taken off of our monthly bill. All I had to say was “yes, I’d like to do that”. Before you question if I got suckered into something that I didn’t want to and don’t yet know about it…… I didn’t. I just had to commit to another year of service.
8. Shop Around. We found a nursery set that we loved. Then we saw the price, still loved it but decided to do some price comparison. We found a nursery set that is comparable to our original choice. Instead of buying directly from the company, I looked up the set on amazon.com and we will save almost $200 by ordering through them.
9. Hand-me downs: Take them. People are just trying to help you out and things are expensive. You can choose whether or not you use them but I’ve found when people know you’re pregnant, they really want to help you out. They’ve been there, they’ve had the shell-shocked moment when they see how much diapers, strollers and maternity clothes cost.
10. Do you REALLY need it?: The biggest question I’ve asked myself on many occasions but especially since I found out I was pregnant. I love purses, bags, jewelry, and makeup to name a few. Guess what I’ve bought since I’m pregnant? …..Depressing but I’ve bought nothing. I have plenty of purses, bags, clutches, etc. to get me through, ask my husband. I could probably wear a different piece of jewelry every day for at least 3 or 4 months (only because I have tons of fun, cheap, costume jewelry) and I could probably give a makeover to an entire unit in the army…3 times… with the amount of makeup I have. The same goes for buying things for our child. We enjoy leading a pretty simple life and don’t particularly find all of the “necessities” actually necessities when it comes to having a child. That doesn’t mean you can’t splurge on items because we’ve done that too but I have found it so helpful to ask parents and read reviews about products before I choose to believe that I actually need an item.
Don’t forget to sign up for freebies. They are out their, they exist, you just have to find them. Stay tuned for future posts and I will post links to free baby items.
Who else is in saving mode? What do you do to save money and still enjoy yourself??