Learn How To Get Free Stuff For You And Your Baby!

By the time you find out that you are pregnant (pregnancy test, $15) to the time that junior blows out the candles on his first birthday cake (birthday cake, $20), a new parent can plan on spending upwards of $18,000, and that is just for baby's first year alone. By the time junior reaches 18, the average middle-income family will have spent $160,140, according to government calculations. That doesn't even touch college tuition. Ouch!

Kathleen Brooks

 

Your bundle of joy costs a bundle!

"It's not hard to see how it can all add up in that first year," says Sue Hannah, author of Free Stuff For Baby! The New Parent's Ultimate Guide to Hundreds of Dollars of Baby Freebies and Parenting Resources. "Diapers alone can cost a bundle. By the time your baby is potty-taught, a parent will have changed anywhere from 7,000 to 10,000 diapers. And don't forget other big ticket items like nursery equipment, clothing, medical expenses, daycare, and so on."

But there's good news!
One of the very few times that companies are actually eager to hand out free things is when someone is having a baby. When Hannah first found out that she was expecting twins, and feeling the financial strain that goes along with being a new parent, she contacted almost every company that manufactured baby items, made several phone calls, scoured through parenting magazines, and searched the Internet to find out what kind of help was available to new and expecting parents. She was surprised to find out that many companies offered free stuff to new and expecting moms -- and with no obligation to buy anything!

She received hundreds of dollars worth of fabulous freebies for herself and her babies, including free diapers, baby wipes, baby food, baby shoes, baby bibs, bottles, free gift packs, parenting starter kits, coupons, parenting books and magazines, tons of samples in the mail from brand-name companies, and much more.

"It was really exciting to receive free stuff in the mail", says Hannah. "These companies were eager to respond to my requests for free samples and promotional products, and in a couple of weeks my mailbox was flooded with valuable free stuff. I could hardly wait to see what my mailman brought me in the mail each day!"

After receiving a flood of free stuff in the mail, Hannah decided to compile her contacts and listings into a book, consisting of toll-free numbers that parents could call to request free stuff, company addresses where parents could write to request free stuff, as well as Internet websites where parents could register online to request free stuff for themselves and their baby. Hannah felt that it would be a great book to make available to new and expecting parents to help them with the enormous costs involved in raising a child. "Parents need all of the extra help that they can get, especially a young family who is just starting out". She continues, "Children are priceless, but raising them is probably the most expensive thing a parent will ever do."

Stretching your dollars
Breastfeed and save: Besides the health benefits to mother and baby, breastfeeding can save more than $1,000 a year in formula alone.

Make your own baby food: It's a low-cost and nutritious way to feed a little one.

Infant formula: If you decide not toor can't breastfeed, a store-brand formula from a store like Wal-Mart is less costly than a name brand. Also, the preparation of powdered formula may require extra effort, but it will be less expensive than concentrated liquid formula.

Buy in bulk: Check baby product factories to see if you can make bulk purchases of diapers and other necessities at a discounted rate.

 

Baby clothes: Wait until after your baby shower to start buying clothing for your baby to make sure you buy only items you really need.

Coupons and discounts: Browse through newspapers and magazines for money-saving coupons on baby items. Ask your friends and family to clip coupons for you.

Mailing lists: Many brand-name baby product companies keep mailing lists of new parents and will send them free samples from time to time. PregnancyAndBaby.com

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