1. Congrats on your pregnancy! I remember stockpiling household goods, feeling like I would never have time to go shopping again. Since then I discovered Amazon Subscribe & Save, which is also awesome for diapers, and happily get 20% off household items like tp, paper towels, diapers, and detergent, with free delivery.

    I also got ready by freezing meals. Maybe not 5 months in advance, though. More like 1-2 months before.

    We bought our baby furniture (other than the crib) off Craigslist or at garage sales.

    I think selling extra stuff before the baby comes is a great idea. We have accumulated so much stuff since having kids, despite the fact that we don’t buy them hardly anything. I wish I would’ve decluttered my own stuff more when I had the time. I’ve done it since but it’s hard to make time for now.

    • Thanks for the tips, Kalie! I’m definitely hoping to post an update a few months closer. I imagine I’ll be up to my eyeballs in slow cooker meals at that time. I have a few Mom friends in real life who sing the praises of Amazon Subscribe & Save constantly!

  2. Sounds like a solid plan (and congrats!) I laughed at the binder clip because I’m not pregnant but I’ve definitely done things like that just because I’m frugal! Stapled shoes..check! Wear a cardigan over a stained shirt..check! Best of luck with everything!

  3. I’m 4 days away from taking a massive pay cut as I’m about to change jobs. I’ve been saving more and cutting excess where I can. I guess I really don’t know what I’m doing, so we’ll see how it all shakes out!

  4. Buying used baby stuff is awesome! Especially baby clothes. I find used “lots” in fb groups. If you buy a “lot” of 3-6/ 6-12/ 12-18 months, then you won’t have to stress during the week that they seem to outgrow everything and need something bigger right away. I keep little bins in the next 1-2 sizes up. Plus after they outgrow a size, you can just sell off the same “lot” and get 75% of the price back. Add in a few of the super cute things family will buy (which you might keep or give to family after), and you are set!

    • That’s terrific advice. I see that on our local selling sites, too. I think there will be enough time between our shower and the big day that I can see what we get and fill in the rest. I also may or may not have used a $10 of $10 purchase to buy the cutest onesies I ever did see. They did end up costing me $2, but I couldn’t say no. I blame the hormones for my one moment of weakness! 😉

  5. Gotta love used books! And I must say – used maternity clothes (and good baby clothes) are everywhere! These are items that people only wear a short time and grow out of so fast that it would be foolish not to take people up on their offers if they fit.

    While I have never been preggo – I know that my sister saved a ton of money on maternity and baby clothes because so many people were willing to loan or give them to her for free!

    I’m also glad your nausea is starting to lessen so you can enjoy the nice weather! I’ve seen your Instagram posts. 🙂 Makes me miss the Midwest, though Colorado has been surprisingly nice this year.

    • Oh my gosh, I’m jealous of your Colorado photos. And you’re right. My coworkers are also boxing up toys right and left. It makes sense! There’s only so much stuff a house can hold. I should know! Ha.

  6. The thing I love about all of these strategies is that not only will they save you money now, they subtly shift your lifestyle in ways that will continue to pay dividends down the road. Chipping away at excess seems futile at times, but looking back, I can see how changing my spending (and living) habits over the years has been crucial in getting where I am today financially.

    • That’s a beautiful way to put it, LG. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything now that makes me feel deprived, so they seem like very positive lifestyle changes.

  7. kim domingue

    Good comments all so far! Glad to hear your nausea is winding down. Had that both pregnancies…..No bueno!

    Your cut up t-shirts in lieu of paper towels is a money saver. I last bought paper towels over a year ago. Two six packs of inexpensive, pick-your-size paper towels that were on sale. I still have 6 rolls left. We only use them for greasy jobs like draining bacon and cleaning the black cast iron Dutch oven. I use worn out wash rags and cut up t-shirts for cleaning. I made fifty napkins out of some tea towels (a cloth diaper type of material) to use instead of paper napkins or paper towels. Cost me under ten bucks and an afternoon to hem. I used to spend five bucks a week on paper products. You can also use cut up t-shirts as baby bottom wipes. Alternatively, you could look online for a bundle of baby washcloths, buy a couple of bundles and use those in lieu of throw away wipes. A diaper pail for putting the dirty ones in until time to wash them.

    Detergent. My four year old granddaughter has had skin issues from day one. Sensitive skin. No problems since mom and dad quit using store bought detergent and went to homemade. One box Arm and Hammer washing soda, one box Mule Team Borax, half of a box of Zote soap flakes (the equivalent of one bar of soap) and one container of Oxiclean (65 load size). Mix together and put in an airtight container. I store mine in 3 gallon sized glass jars (recycled dill pickle jars!). Two rounded tablespoons per load. White vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser. You can add a couple of drops of lavender essential oil (or another depending on preference and allergies) if you like for a light scent. Benefits are threefold. Fewer skin issues, cost and longevity of your machines. For under $20, you’ll have enough detergent to last six months (in my case longer than that). Fabric softeners gunk up both washer and dryer causing them to break down faster. White vinegar keeps the innards of both machines clean so they last longer.

    Wow, sorry for such a long post!

  8. I don’t know if you have a high or low deductible, but with both kids I saw like $5K leave my account a few weeks after they were born. That was harder than you might expect. Again, I’m a new mom basket case, but I’m just saying.

    With Shirley, I was at least smart enough to have that money outside of my main checking account. That way I didn’t get used to seeing an enormous balance and freak out when it was gone.

    Other things to consider- try to pay for annual expenses before baby comes. Property taxes, insurance premiums, (go to the dentist), etc. It’s nice to be able to conserve cash even if you set aside those amounts monthly.

    • We do have a separate savings account, but it’s currently baby and emergency fund. You’re right that I should probably sort the two out. We currently pay tuition bills out of a separate savings account, and it still makes me sad to see the numbers go down (but it’s much less of a shock).

      I am going to put in another call to the very patient Blue Cross worker who walked me through the cost of all of my appointments and ultrasounds and optional scans we had done. So far we haven’t spent a dime. I’m expecting to spend about $5,000 on delivery and everything. But I’m hoping they can give me a guesstimate that will be more than me just Google searching and crowdsourcing.

      • Cara

        As a teacher, I’m guessing you have decent insurance. I’ve had mediocre and good insurance (respectively) for my two deliveries, and basically–you should simply be covered up to your deductible, whatever that is. They REALLY should be able to tell you that number, barring emergencies that (knock wood) won’t happen.

        A tip, though–when the baby is born, if there’s anything that they think MIGHT need to be done–push if it can be safely done before you leave. It might have been the case that something my daughter ended up needing, that we had to go back for about three weeks later–that was noticed and brought up IN THE HOSPITAL initially–was billed as a separate deductible (for her) when if they had done it at birth, would have still fallen under MY deductible as the patient.

  9. I knocked on wood…hoping your nausea passes soon! 🙂

    Back in the day, when my kids were babies, we didn’t have Facebook for buying used kids clothes (I’m that old), but I did buy the majority of their clothes at consignment stores and garage sales. Kids, especially babies, grow so incredibly fast, you can find used clothes in perfect condition.

    We didn’t plan on my exit from the workforce well at all. So, we had to develop some super frugal habits very suddenly to get by on one income (I even made my own baby wipes). It all worked out in the end, but it wasn’t easy. I think it’s great you are planning ahead – you’ll be grateful you did!

    I second Kalie’s suggestion of making meals to have in the freezer. I did this too. At first, friends and family are bringing in the food, but that dies off faster than you’d like. The freezer meals can be a life saver.

    • When I worked at a daycare in college, we made our own wipes! It was fun. I never cared enough then to crunch the numbers, but I imagine the savings were considerable. Plus, less plastic pouches being used that the wipes come in.

  10. Glad to read that you’re entering the “honeymoon” phase of pregnancy. You should find your energy increasing as the nausea wanes. That is definitely the time of pregnancy to get ahead on money things and everything else. Trust me – towards the end, you will be uncomfortable and tired, so get ahead now.

    We have a pretty great library of books for the kids. One of the reasons is that I asked for books instead of cards at my baby shower. It was awesome.

    As for us, I’m very lucky to receive some pay during my maternity leave. But I will take on some extra students for online tutoring to supplement the unpaid time. At least that’s what I did for the last baby, who knows if that plan will work the same with twins.

    • I’ve heard a few people mention that about their shower. That’s a cute idea! And that’s so smart to do online tutoring. In-person tutoring fluctuates so much. I really enjoy it, but it can be so unpredictable from month to month.

  11. When my wife became a stay at home mom in November we had to adjust to a massive income change. For us the key was to live on that income before it arrived for a few months. That gave us both a cushion and adjusted us to the spending level.

    • That’s awesome! We already save about half of our salary (post taxes and post 10% pension contributions). But the trickiest part is…I’m the breadwinner. So living on half isn’t the same as living on his. We’ll figure it out. I hope.

  12. Sounds like you’re working a good plan. When I left the banking business, I went out on my own with some financial clients, but my plan was to semi-retire and move to Florida. I had a downsizing in mind to correspond with the drop in income, and planned on working part-time. But fate stepped in and I met my wife here in NJ. I ended up staying here, moving to a comparable condo, and working full time for a few more years before retirement.

  13. This is so inspiring. Ah, if only Mrs. G and I were 30 years younger. It would have been nice to bring some baby groovies into the world. I love the way you and Mr. P attack a problem. Mix cheerfulness with awesome critical thinking skills and pitbull intensity and you end up with a big batch of problem solved. Call me nuts, but I have no doubt you’ll take this income hit in stride. Keep us posted, Penny. And good luck with the nausea. That can’t be fun.

    • Oh, goodness. I don’t know if it’s inspiring us right now, but that means a lot, Mr. G! The only thing that I am truly sure of is that I will be doing more learning over the next year than I probably have in my life. I’m trying to be open to everything!

  14. We are gearing up for reduced income for 12 weeks right now, along with the insurance premium increase and daycare costs. It’s a little daunting be we will figure it out! I imagine we will cut back on eating out/weekends away until we get back in rythem.

    • We haven’t crossed the daycare bridge yet. My stress level is already at capacity. The short version is we know my parents (and possibly my MIL) will be devastated if we don’t let them watch Baby. But we’re only going to agree to it if they accept money. That’s the next battle.

      • Cara

        Just some food for thought–there’s no such thing as Free Childcare. Everyone I’ve ever known, including myself, who has had “free childcare” from grandparents agrees. So if they refuse to accept money, don’t feel guilty … just know that you will have to get their opinions, etc. … Besides, they’re getting older and so will the baby–by toddler time, they’ll be ready for you to put him/her in daycare at least part-time, so I would be happy to keep the little one from daycare germs for a little while, while it’s young and vulnerable. That said, still doesn’t mean you want the free childcare with strings!

  15. I’m a little jealous of all the people who got their energy back in the second trimester. I never did get any.

    I’ve listed a lot on PM but have only had 3 sales in the last few months – I’m debating whether it’s worth taking the lot of stuff with us to the new place whenever that happens, or if I just donate it all. I had originally planned to donate it two weeks before moving so we don’t have one more hassle but now the risk averse part of me is squeaking that we should hold onto it for all the money we can get, no matter when it comes, because any new place is going to cut our savings in half, if not more.

    I think the biggest thing we did in preparation for my time off was to research all the prices ahead of time for staples to be sure that we were ready for a sleep deprived few months, and setting up our auto-savings for the anticipated childcare cost so that we were already used to losing that income. I did get 55% of my income during that time so it wasn’t as bad as yours but the cost of living here means we still had to be pretty careful. We came through that period ok but it wasn’t fun.

    It also made a huge difference that we paid maybe $200 for the delivery and medications at the time of birth, that’s nothing compared to the $5000 you’re looking at!

    • I’m hopefully overestimated a lot. My insurance has been remarkable so far, but I’ve only walked through doctor visits, required tests, and optional screenings in terms of cost with my insurance. Over spring break, I’ll call again and see what information I can get regarding delivery.

      Poshmark has been a pain lately. I thought thredUP might be a decent alternative. I only got $6 from them when I tried them out, but they do recyle clothes they don’t accept. I thought that was a plus. But now they charge a $10 processing fee. Um. No. Everything that doesn’t sell by Baby’s arrival is either going to the local resale shop or donations. I am so guilty of hanging onto things longer than I should hoping to squeeze a few dollars out of everything. Sigh.

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