9 money-saving hacks for new and expectant parents

First published on Tuesday 14 February 2023

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parents in nursery with new baby boy

Having a baby is wonderful, but it’s also expensive. Here, money-saving hacks for new and expectant parents plus the 'hidden' costs you might not expect

One study found the cost for couples to raise a child until age 18 is £160,000. Luckily there are simple money-saving tips and tricks to cover the costs you expect as a new or expectant parent as well as those you don’t …

1. Swap and save on baby essentials

From nappies to baby snacks, as a parent you’ll quickly see the cost of your weekly shop increase. But there is a money-saving solution … and it’s as simple as changing where you shop.

Heading to Aldi for your family shop could save you nearly £250 a year on baby supplies. No surprise then that lots of parents are opting to swap and save. 

For example, choosing the award-winning Aldi Mamia newborn nappies will see you pay 4p a nappy. This compares to the 11p price tag of another well-known brand.

And when you’re ready to start weaning, opting for Mamia Organic Baby Food Pouches (like this tasty Chicken Casserole with Rice) is a quick win. At just 72p for 130g, it's less than half the price of another popular brand’s baby food pouches which cost £1.60.

Check out more swap and saves here.

2. Check your benefits and entitlements

There’s lots of financial support you can access when you’re pregnant and when you’ve had your baby.

This includes free dental care and prescriptions from pregnancy until your baby is 1.

You might also be entitled to other support including a Sure Start Maternity Grant (a one-off payment of £500) and maternity or paternity pay. And check if you’re eligible for child benefit: here’s exactly how much you could be paid in 2023.

Search our Family Benefits and Entitlements hub to see what you might be entitled to.

Aldi Mamia newborn nappies
Sign up for FREE nappies

3. Look for freebies

They say there's no such thing as a free lunch, but there are loads of new baby freebies to be had.

Get started today by signing up for FREE Aldi Mamai newborn nappies. There’s no catch … they really are totally free!

Sign up and you’ll receive a voucher in the post to claim a full-size pack of Mamia newborn nappies. They have clever Dry Fast Technology™ to leave your baby feeling fresh and dry.

Also look for local ‘share everything’ groups on Facebook, where other parents are happy to pass on toys and clothes their kids have outgrown. 

4. Get smart on laundry day

Before you have kids, you probably do a couple of washes a week. Fast forward to the baby phase (and beyond!) and the washing machine is on ALL the time, cleaning babygrows and muslins.

With sky-high energy bills, this is a hidden cost you really don’t need. You can save money on laundry several ways:

  • Turn down the temperature from 40 degrees to 30 degrees for your everyday wash. This could take an average £34 off your energy bill, according to the Energy Saving Trust. You can even do some loads on 20 degrees, especially by pretreating stains. (See note below for guidance on washing baby clothes.)
  • Only wash full loads
  • Ditch your tumble dryer in favour of popping baby clothes on a clothes airer could save around £70 a year

For baby clothes that have sick or poo on them, you’ll need to wash at 60 degrees to get rid of all the germs and bacteria.

5. Go second hand (or borrow)

While you expect to buy maternity and baby clothes, there’s a hidden cost you may not have factored in: just how quickly your baby grows out of things!

That means the lovely winter snowsuit you bought them will probably last a couple of months until they’re ready for a bigger size.

Save your money and look for second-hand clothes (and toys) instead. Facebook Marketplace, Vinted and eBay are good places to start, as well as local mother and baby groups and your local charity shop too.

Meanwhile, ask mum friends for baby clothes or toys you can borrow. You can give them back as soon as your little one has grown out of them, saving you money and space!

money and calculator
Set a budget can help you cut costs

6. Know your budget (and your upcoming expenses)

Sometimes when we're worried about money, it causes us to avoid looking at our bank account for fear there won't be enough there. But knowing how much money you’ve got coming in and going out each month is crucial for cutting costs.

The Wallet personal finance podcast recommends checking your balance daily to keep tabs and create a positive habit for monitoring your money. This practice helps you set a budget to cover everything from bills to baby supplies. Creating a monthly and weekly budget will also stop you going over your overdraft limit (and being charged) and defaulting on any credit card or loan payments.

Write a list of upcoming expenses for both necessary expenses and extras – for example the cost of extra 4D baby scans and car parking costs for your partner while you’re in hospital and, of course, your new baby kit including nappies (Mamia Newborn nappies are a purse-friendly 85p for a 24-pack).

It can feel scary facing up to how much you’ve got to work with each month, but you’re not alone. There are lots of charities and organisations out there who can give you free advice and support, including Citizens Advice and StepChange. (Netmums has partnered with StepChange – visit our Money Matters Board on the Forum, where you can post questions that they'll answer.)

7. Only buy what you need

Having a new baby completely changes your life, and there’s a temptation to stock up with all the gear. Before you do, ask your mum mates the things they can’t do without (a baby play mat or leak-proof nappies for example) … and things they never use.

You might also decide you don’t want to fork out for maternity clothes. Loads of mums-to-be are doing the same, by ditching jeans in favour of leggings or jogging bottoms (anything stretchy!), that can be worn throughout pregnancy with no added expense.

8. Do your research

We all love a bargain, especially on big ticket items. So when it comes to buying your baby’s cot, steriliser or bedroom furniture, it pays to do your research to find the best deal, making sure you look out for quality materials and products that will last.

Aldi has a huge range of baby supplies so keep an eye on their SpecialBuys page and follow Aldi on Instagram for the latest bargains to snap up.

9. Be prepared

From nappy explosions to hungry babies, you have to expect the unexpected as a parent And the unexpected usually happens when you’re out and about. Having to buy emergency supplies when you’re away from home is a hidden cost that catches every parent out, especially since convenience stores can be several times the price you usually pay.

Save yourself money by packing an ‘all bases covered’ baby kit in your changing bag and taking it wherever you go. This could include essentials such as a handful of Mamia nappies (available from Newborn to Size 7 nappies), a pack of Mamia baby wipes, a spare outfit and baby snacks like Mamia Organic Mini Apple Rice Cakes.

You’ll get through the day without having to spend a penny. Result!

Related content

5 easy swap and saves for new parents

How to save money during your baby's first year

Newborn nappies: 5 key features to look for

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