(1) Diapers. I've already said that I will NOT be using cloth diapers. Originally I had planned on it, since you can save a lot of money using cloth diapers. It's a big initial cost, but you can get ones that grow with the baby, so you don't have to keep buying new ones. Here's the thing though... Both the boys I nanny for used cloth diapers, and I am NOT a fan. They are much easier to use and much more convenient now than they used to be, but here were my problems with them. (1) They leaked. They were pretty absorbent diapers, but sometimes they just leaked through and the clothes got all wet. Now I'm sure that happens with disposables also, but for those people who say cloth diapers don't leak, well, they lie. (2) They smell. Maybe disposables have chemicals or something that help lock in the smell, I don't know, and poop smells like poop no matter what kind of diaper it's in, BUT, when the boys had a wet diaper, they just smelled like urine. Yuck. That didn't happen when I used disposables with them. And wherever you store the dirty diapers smells gross as well. Yuck. (3) What I like to call "the gross factor." Changing wet diapers is really no big deal when you're dealing with cloth. But when it comes to poopy diapers... YUCK. You have to scrape off the poop into the toilet (which is in a different room than where you are actually changing baby), and then you have to remove the cloth inserts from the diaper and place all of it into a bucket (which also smells). Now, I never actually had to do the laundry, but I can only imagine. And, we don't have a top loading washing machine, which means you can't just dump it all in and be done with it. And then of course there's the added cost of washing the loads in hot water (recommended to do two cycles, even), and then drying them, and then putting them all back together again. Needless to say, after that experience, I have been put off of cloth diapering and will be using only disposables. Guess I won't be saving much money here. My only money saving technique will be to try and stock up on diapers when I travel to the US, as they are much cheaper there than here. But that's not really much of a savings, sadly. Oh and for your viewing pleasure, here's what the cloth diapers I was using look like... Very cute. Lots of work.
(3) Food for baby. The first 5-6 months baby will be drinking exclusively milk, and I plan on breast feeding the entire time rather than using formula, so that will be free! Now I just have to hope and pray that my body cooperates with that plan. We shall see. Once we start baby on solids though, I plan to make my own baby food!! Now jars of baby food are super convenient and easy, but they are also actually quite expensive. Each jar is about $1, and those are for the little tiny ones. So if you say you feed baby 3 jars a day, that's $20 a week (and that doesn't include any wasted jars when baby decides she doesn't like peas or whatever food you decide to give her)! Yikes. $80+ dollars a month to feed little baby some mashed up fruits and veggies. It is actually super super easy to make baby food in advance, and freeze it and store it for quite a long time. You just spend a few hours steaming and mashing or puree-ing fruits and veggies, and freeze them in ice cube trays. Once they are frozen, you pop them out and store them in plastic bags. Then when it's time to feed baby, you just take out a cube from the freezer, thaw it, and viola! It saves TONS of money to do it that way! And let's be honest, I'm all about saving money.
(4) Toys and clothes. This one is not so exciting, basically we will be buying things used, or borrowing toys from the toy library. Yay for money saved!
Now I'll get back to you once we actually have a baby here, and let you know how all these brilliant money saving techniques are working for us. Wish me luck! Also, we take diaper, toy, and book donations if you are feeling generous. :)