Everyone’s talking about recession-proofing. Like any other job, mothers are also in danger of getting fired. So for your benefit, I’ve decided to come up with a two-part series on how to value-add and make yourself indispensable.
With the economy in a state of crisis, it’s all the more important for mothers to make sound financial decisions. While we’re usually happy to cut back on that new Louis Vuitton tote, when it comes to our kids, mothers spare no expense.
Regardless of whether there is a recession or not, their bottoms need to be diapered and their stomachs fed. Then there’s the never-ending list of baby items you never thought you’d need, like strollers, socks and shower foam.
It’s a parent’s instinct to want to give their kids the best. I’ve forgotten the number of times I’ve chosen the $35 shower gel over another brand that’s half the price, or picked the most expensive diapers just so that his delicate bottom will be shrouded in softness.
10 tips to stretch your dollar without compromising on quality:
1. Breast-feed your baby.
It’s free and it helps you lose weight so you can save on those slimming packages. Need I say more?
Until I became a mother, I had no idea how extortionate formula milk is. It also doesn’t help that Tru drinks milk like he’s been starving for three days. I usually spend about $200 a month on his milk, which can easily be channeled to more important stuff like my spa sessions.
It’s also unlimited, so as long as you keep feeding or expressing, it will never run dry. You can keep feeding them till they are 12 and after that, you can use it for cereal, cakes, cookies and cooking. There’s no need to buy fresh milk ever again.
2. Get plugged in to motherhood forums.
It’s a community where mothers gather to sell off excess items or swap for other stuff. You can find virtually anything that you need at cutthroat prices (with a bit of patience and dedication). I’ve been trawling the forums since Tru was born and here are some of the best bargains I’ve found so far.
- New Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP car seat (RP: $339) bought for $100
- Preloved Maxi Cosi Priori SPS car seat (RP: $398) bought for $100
Check out sites like singaporemotherhood.com or idobaby.com
There’s a downside to bargaining though. Occasionally, you may get cursed and hexed for low-balling the price and end up having to spend unnecessary money on getting treated.
3. Share and care.
Pass on baby clothes to other mothers who have babies after you do. Kids outgrow clothes faster than you realize, and it would be a waste to let it grow moldy in the drawers. Free up space by passing it on to other moms who will have better use for it. And don’t be too shy to take over clothes from your friends. Tru’s collection of clothes are mostly passed down from friends and he still manages to look like a superstar.
Although, it’ll be good to choose your friends wisely. Those with bad taste can make your kid look like a hobo or a tramp (or both).
4. Organize or join sprees to save on shipping.
It’s a globalized world and that means we can take advantage of clearance sales halfway around the globe without losing out on shipping. Consolidate items with other mothers to save on shipping from anywhere in the world. Plus, you get your hands on limited edition stuff from overseas without paying through your nose for it.
- Buy clothes from Gap.com without having to wait for the local store to bring it in and shipping usually costs about $1-2 per garment.
- Get First Teeth Baby Toothpaste at $6 (shipping included) from US or UK instead of $20 from the local stores.
Just make sure you don’t ship melamine-infested milk powder from certain countries. Death is not an attractive outcome for being too cheapskate.
5. Sell off excess items at lower prices.
We often find ourselves laden with excess stocks of diapers and milk powder after our kids outgrow them. Rather than chucking them away, the best thing is to sell them off at cheaper prices to other mothers. It’s a win-win situation for all.
Alternatively, you can trade them for bigger sizes or other items that you may need. Barter trade is still very much in style.
*to be continued…