1. Draw up a marketing list before you go to the shops and bring only enough cash to pay for those buys. This way, you can’t spend more than you’d planned.
2. Stock up on childhood necessities during sales ― like diapers, formula milk and baby wash ― but avoid buying more than a year’s worth of supplies.
3. Calculate an item’s unit price ― not all larger packages are cheaper.
4. Buy multi-functional products to extend their use. For instance, get a cot that can transform into a toddler’s bed, a reclinable stroller that even an older toddler can use, or skirts with an adjustable elastic waistband. A cheaper option than buying a highchair ― a booster seat that fits onto a dining-table chair.
5. Always compare prices ― for frequent purchases as well as big-ticket items.
6. Don’t be enticed into buying something because it is cheap, or comes with a free gift. Think first: Do you need it?
7. Sign up to receive e-mail newsletters from baby and maternity stores. You’ll hear about sales, promotions and discounts before everyone else does, so you can get your pick of what’s on offer.
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8. Buying groceries in bulk often saves you cash. Also, buy loose fruit rather than ready-packaged ones ― it’s usually cheaper. You might have to throw some away when you start, but you’ll soon get the hang of estimating amounts.
9. Poke around in charity shops for fab finds, like the Salvation Army Thrift Stores, ACWO’s thrift shop and so on. They’re a great source of clothes for fast-growing babies, as well as toys and baby basics like strollers, cots and car seats and barely-worn items. Some items are almost brand-new!
11. Fashion-forward expectant mums need not bust their budgets to dress stylishly. Rent maternity outfits from Maternity Exchange, which stocks everything from casual and work-wear, to nursing pieces, and even evening dresses. It boasts well-known international brands like Ripe, Japanese Weekend and Pea in a Pod. This way, you won’t pay top dollar for trendy threads that’ll only fit you for a couple of months.
12. Sign up for loyalty cards in the shops that you frequent. As well as receiving discount vouchers, you can earn free treats.
13. Organise regular clothes or toy swaps with your friends. It’ll save you a fortune ― and your kids get to try something new all the time.
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