Who doesn’t like free stuff? Especially when you are up and coming parents. Today’s blog is going to highlight how I received some free and/or discounted items while pregnant with my little ones.
The one thing you will learn is that to get free stuff, sometimes you have to accept the inevitable junk emails that go along with it. Thus I recommend creating an email for your little one or children in general. This will help avoid junk and spam clogging up your personal inbox. Trust me, I found this out the hard way.
Once that is all taken care of, I would look at the websites in this blog and sign up for all the awesome deals, point collections, and free stuff they have to offer. Yes it will be a bit of a time suck but when you are holding your little one at all hours of the night trying to figure out what to do, you’ll be glad for all the free stuff you received to try out. Parenting is all about trial and error when it comes to YOUR child so trust your gut and don’t be afraid of trying new things to see what works.
Let’s start with Formula. I know, you told yourself over and over, “I am NOT going to use formula!” But life happens and sometimes your best laid plans do not work out. I tried to exclusive breastfeed my first daughter but I had so many issues that I ended up supplementing with formula along with breastfeeding. With my second, it was a bit easier in that I could exclusively breastfeed up until around the 5 month mark and then I started having issues again. We put her on supplemental formula in the end and that is what she took till she was one. Both daughters are very healthy and in the end that is all that matters. Just in case things don’t work out, how about receiving free sample or even coupons for formula as a backup? Maybe you’d like daddy to help out for those midnight feedings? There are great supplemental formulas that go along with breastfeeding also so don’t give up on formula entirely.
Similac: They provide free samples and coupons. You’ll need to sign up for the Similac StrongMoms Rewards and answer questions to help you pick out the best formula options for your family. They also have several formula options for colic, gas, re-flux, and even liquid formula (which we had to give our first daughter).
Enfamil: They also provide free samples and coupons. You’ll need to sign up for Enfamil Family Beginnings and answer questions here as well to again match your family up with the right formula options. They also have several formula options as well for colic, gas, re-flux, and liquid formula (again, had to use this option for our second daughter). If you go through there website and buy in bulk it is cheaper. Also, when ordering through there website and buying in bulk, you build points to receive FREE formula.
Gerber: This is another great brand that has been around for generations. They have kind of limited their formula options in stores but their food options are great for when your child starts to eat solids. We’ll get to that in another blog. They have offers as well so research what is available and best for your family.
There are several other formulas on the market now as well. Especially local store brands such as Walmart’s Parents Choice and Target’s Up&Up. Don’t be afraid to buy the samples that are available at stores to see if they might work for your child.
There are so many options for pumps but the cheapest one you’ll find is the one that your insurance will cover. Most insurances now give parents breast pumps. You can even get a new one every year, if you are pregnant every year, but it has to be after a year of your last breast pump order. If you don’t have insurance, there are a lot of breast pumps for sale online or you could even find up and coming deals on breast pumps in stores. Research for the one that fits your lifestyle and put that on your registry. Don’t forget to make sure you put all the attachments along with it on your registry as well. If you’re working and pumping, you’ll want a small or portable pump with a cooler bag that you can put your milk into. If you work from home and are taking care of more than one little one then you might want to look for a hands-free pump that can move with you as you cook, clean, and do other things. Working women might want that option as well. Again, research and see what you want before you commit. I recommend Medela myself as they have been around for a while and a lot of hospitals use them, but there are other great and wonderful pumps out there as well.
It’s hard to know where to register at nowadays with all the stores closing but the usual ones are Walmart, Sam’s, Costco, and Target for your brick and mortar stores. For online, of course, Amazon is the big one but there are others you could look at. When Toys R Us and Babies R Us was open, they were great to register with and you also received a goody bag with free stuff and coupons. You still receive goody bags and coupons at your brick and mortar stores today. The nice thing about shopping in-store is that you can actually pick up and touch what you think you might need versus online which might require a lot of returns before finding what works for you. Also, after registering, check with the stores to see about what type of discount they will give to you and your family for buying the items off your registry. I know that if you get the Target Red Card, at least the one that is a debit card, they give you 5% off your entire purchase, you can bundle that with their Cartwheel that gives you extra savings such as coupons or a certain percentage off items you’re looking for, and then they also accept other coupons. Plus, if you shop your registry in the last 3-4 weeks before your due date, they give you another approximately 10% off your registry items so you can get what you need at a cheaper price. Great time to buy those big and bulky items!
I am unsure if Walmart or any of the other stores offer this option with your registry but it never hurts to ask.
Oh, and keep a lookout for Toys R Us and Babies R Us, it seems they are going to be making a comeback from Tru Kids in the near future. (Just search for news of Toys R Us, there’s a lot of chatter out there.)
After looking up their registry, this one popped up that lets you register all stores and items in one place. Don’t know how this affects the extra discounts later on but it is worth looking at.
This store has great maternity clothes and items but it can be expensive. However, they do give away goody bags to expectant parents as well along with a very cheap subscription to Parents magazine. Even if you go in to just buy a little something from their clearance rack, the rewards are worth it in the end when you receive said goody bag.
Don’t forget to check with your hospitals to see if they offer free or discounted parenting, yoga, and even massage classes for pregnant mothers. Also, don’t forget to take the tour of the maternity ward before you little one arrives to know what the visitation hours are, where to park, food options, and any other topics brought up in the tour. As a last resort, don’t forget to take change for the vending machine. Dad’s need to eat to and sometimes in the middle of the night those vending machines come in handy. A lot of hospitals now have “nourishment stations” for dad’s also with tea, coffee, snacks, etc…to help them help mom while at the hospital. If your child ends up being premature or needs to be in the NICU for a long period of time, see if your hospital has a Ronald McDonald Family Room or something similar. They are great to rest and unwind from all the stress of the NICU.
Now I know what you are thinking right now:
Where do I start?
What do I need?
I thought I had this figured out but now I don’t know if I’m ready?
This is a lot to take in but that is what these blogs are for and what I am here for. If you would like assistance with any information I have provided then please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you live in or around the Albuquerque, NM area and would like a face to face on where to begin, I do offer an initial free Meet and Greet session. After learning your expectations, and if you’d like to continue, we can set up a plan to continue services and assistance one on one for $10 per hour session. Please see the Plans and Pricing for further information.
I hope this helps point you in the right direction and gives you a better way to save money on your little addition to the family.