Less is More - Saving $ on the babies

According to the USDA, the average cost to raise a child to age 18 is a staggering $250,000.  (Do the math-- I have a million dollars to my name!! WOW!)  I cannot personally substantiate that figure but I can personally tell you that we don't have to spend alot of what we think we do.  Here are some ideas for saving on the babies....

1.  Borrow.  Babies need stuff in stages so maybe while you need the crib, your friend needs the potty chair.  Borrow among your friends.
2.  Buy used.  Except for car seats, you can find everything you need at substantially reduced prices at yard sales or consignment stores.  Trust me, your child will not be emotionally damaged if they use a high chair that once belonged to someone else.  (But if you insist on overpaying for things, you all might suffer some emotional distress!!)
3. Cloth diapers.  Seriously.  The ones available now are light years beyond the ones I used 16 years ago.  You can save about a bazillion bucks doing this.
4. Clothes.  Resist the urge to meet your own self-esteem issues by dressing your child in expensive outfits that they outgrow in 3 weeks.  They just need a few "public" items in their wardrobe and the rest can be simple and inexpensive.  Yard sales and hand-me-downs are your BFF.  Repeat after me...
5.  Swings, etc.  Not worth the expense.  They will outgrow it too soon to make it worth it.  But if you can't help yourself, at least buy used or borrow.
6.  Baby food - Grind up cooked veggies, fruits, oatmeal, etc.  Spoon into ice cube trays to freeze and then pop one out to heat up in microwave when it's time to eat.
7.  Ask grandparents to give practical things for gifts.  (You have to specify.  We really do want to help but often we don't know what you want/need and we want to please you.  I promise)
8. Limit the amount of toys.  I repeat, limit the amount of toys.  A dozen stuffed animals is overkill.  So is a 10 gallon bucket of things that need batteries.

These are just a few suggestions.  Children need far less than we think.  The real issue is in the heart of the parent.

I think I probably offended 60% of readers today......