Pregnancy is such a crazy time for most of us women. We are so excited, yet often feel sick or in pain. It’s so fun to imagine our little one, who he/she is, and what they will look and act like. Yet, it’s unnerving thinking about costs that will be incurred for the prenatal, labor, and postpartum care. I hope that by using these 11 Pregnancy Tips that Will Save You Thousands dispels some of the anxiety you may have about the cost.
1. Prepare. I found that as soon as I knew I was pregnant, putting away a little money each week and starting to accumulate items early helped immensely. These Posts: 23 Ways to save over $10,500 on your baby’s first year Part 1 (and Part 2) have been read by thousands and shared by hundreds more. The title is perhaps a little deceiving though because I started shopping early. I saved so much on my son’s first year well before he was born (by starting as soon as I hit the 14 week mark).
2. Beware of the minimalist craze. Cutting out everything because you’ve read that it is better to be a natural or minimalistic mom sometimes doesn’t work. Why? Because when you finally realize you need (or really want) a bouncer or a swing or a stroller you won’t usually have time to find a good used one and may, therefore, spend quite a bit of money on the new ones. My son loved his bouncer, he slept super soundly in a swing, and his vibrator chair was a great place to put him for entertainment. I used a lot of things that people say you can go completely without. Personally, I would’ve never wanted to try going without them (which was still the case for my second baby). Here is my list of things you need and logical substitutions to things I think may not be as necessary.
3. Buy used or borrow maternity clothes. Maternity clothes are expensive when bought new. You can find them for much cheaper at places like consignment sales, garage sales, hand-me-downs from friends, classifieds ads, and thrift stores. Another idea is to ask other moms (about your same size) if they still have their maternity clothes. Most of the time they are willing to let you use them for the few months you will need them or even give them to you if they don’t need them anymore.
4. Contact your health insurance and hospital and ask them detailed questions (the questions you should ask are in my post: Must-Learn ways to save on Pregnancy-Related Medical bills on this post here). Some insurance plans charge you one set amount for everything the hospital gives you. In that case, take advantage of as many items as come within that expense. Other insurance plans add each and every item to a total bill. This is usually the case if you have a maternity deductible. If the deductible is over $4,000+ it may save you a lot of money to bring in your own items. Further, I found that there were important labor items I needed that the hospital didn’t provide.
This post: 11 Secrets to Have in Your Labor Bag (that you’ve never heard of) has been extremely popular and I’ve had a lot of people thank me for writing it. By taking your items with you, your own baby diapers, baby clothes, wipes, etc. you can/will avoid the outrageous charges that the hospital will hit you with if you have a very high deductible- read links above for more info. If you have any prescriptions, download the free SearchRX app. It will show you based on your area the cheapest place to fill a prescription and also if there are any available coupons.
Bonus Tip: This is a cost-effective healthcare option that everyone should look in to. It covers everything over $500 at 100% (Gold plan). It’s better than a disaster plan, cheaper than almost all other regular insurance, and even has full maternity coverage.
5. See if your employer will allow you to do a few things from home to help with the income. Working for as long as physically possible will also help with pregnancy expenses. My employer let me do a few extra projects from home (even after I had my baby). Here almost 2 years later I’m still making a few hundred extra dollars a month because of our arrangement. Thinking of ways to make money from home? I interviewed over 40 SAHM’s who make money legitimately. Click here to see the list of interviews.
6. Buy Netflix or use a library card instead of renting videos. When you are in the first months you don’t have time to do much, but you have tons of time to kill. How? Your hands are always full. I was always carrying my baby around or nursing him so getting things done was difficult. But you have a lot of time as well (at least on your first baby…not sure what it will be like with two). They eat and sleep and eat and sleep. My baby breastfed for an inordinate amount of time. He ate 45 minutes to an hour at a time every few hours!
I had at most 2 hours at a time when I was not nursing him and much of that was when he was asleep in my arms which I honestly just loved! It is the only time he has ever allowed me to hold him for more than a few seconds and I’m so glad I took advantage of it and held him for so many hours each day. But it’s nice to have something to watch while your hands are full.
Netflix was awesome, cheap, and I could find just about anything I was wanting to watch on it. My sister would check out different TV series from the library like Andy Griffeth or I Love Lucy because they are just 30 minutes and worked great for nursing entertainment. If you love romantic movies or series, don’t miss this list.
7. Buy nursing bras instead of regular bras when you are pregnant. Most women have to go up a size when they are pregnant, I decided to save money and bought nursing bras and made sure they fit me well with a little room to grow. This is an awesome nursing bra fitting guide which helped me find a quality bra that was supportive and comfortable. I can’t recommend this post (and Courtney’s other bra fitting tips) enough! The nursing bras have worked great and I have only had to invest in 2 or 3 bras since being pregnant and having my son.
8. Use a Lactation consultant. The longer you can breastfeed (if you can and want to) the more money you will save and the more health benefits for you and your baby. I had a TON of trouble breastfeeding but the help I received from the lactation consultants got me through about 4 months of breastfeeding and supplementing until 5 months which was a feet in and of itself.
9. Pay bills before you go into labor or set them up on automatic payment. It’s hard to remember everything when you are in the dazed, out of your mind, always tired, no sleep stage. I recommend setting up bills on autopay so that you don’t get fined if you forget to pay.
10. Have a diaper shower. One thing you can not buy used is diapers! Besides medical expenses, diapers will most likely be your biggest expense. If someone is throwing you a shower suggest a diaper shower in which everyone just brings a box of diapers. It makes it easy on them and it will save you hundreds! Or use cloth diapers which you can buy used and they will save you hundreds to thousands if you use them for more than one baby. Learning to coupon will save you hundreds to thousands in and of itself. Here is an easy tutorial with 11 couponing tips for beginners.
11. Make your own meals and freeze them ahead of time or stock up on quick to make low dish use meals. Costco also has some amazing frozen foods that average $1.00 per meal that can be put in the microwave and eaten 3 or 4 minutes later. I recommend having lots of those options for the first couple of weeks. Accept meals if people offer to bring them over.
Doing these 11 things will save you thousands.
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