Check whether the company you work for has any corporate discounts already set up- I work for a large insurance company and thankfully we have a rather fantastic cash back/ discount site on which I can search out retailers and get the best deals on the high street.
For example, we knew which pram we wanted to buy and it was just a case of finding which store we could get the biggest discount on through my work website- we ended up getting 12% off at Boots.com.
If you don't work for a large company like I do you might still be surprised at the local discounts your employer has negotiated- it really is always worth asking.
2.Spend time shopping around
I love finding a good bargain and if that takes me 3 hours on a Wednesday evening thats fine with me. Rather than falling into the trap of allowing shops to make decisions for you about the things you need/want, take your time and consider your purchases as you might be able to find the item cheaper elsewhere or a more suitable option by another brand.
For example, we could have easily been drawn into buying the matching changing bag to go with our pram but we decided not to as in reality the matching one is so tiny that it wouldn't have been practical.
When it comes to the daily needs (stuff to change baby's butt) there's a brilliant website called Bum Deal which helps you seek out the cheapest way to buy nappies, wipes and car seats- for example, we're going to be using Naty nappies to begin with and Bum Deal has just told me that at the moment I could buy 2 packs of newborn size from Ocado for £6 whereas at Boots I'd pay £8.58 for 2 packs at the moment.
Also, although I'm going to try and use cotton wool and water for the first few weeks/months I've kept an eye on baby wipe deals; Bum Deal came up with a Waterwipes deal which looks pretty good; 720 wipes for £19.99 from Ocado compared to 540 for £19.99 from Boots.
3.Sales and postage
Keep a look out for mid season sales and bank holiday sales too. I've been rather organised and bought the babe some clothes for next summer in the end of summer sales this year!
The price of postage for items can sometimes outweigh the savings you find online- make sure you take full advantage of click and collect services, services that deliver to your local shop and also amazon lockers.
The site I've found the most clothing bargains on has to be La Redoute.. I picked up 7 items of clothing for her for under £20 with free delivery as I got it sent to an Amazon locker at the local Co-op!
As much as I hate getting emails from every shop I've ever been in to it really does pay off to sign up for them if they have a specific baby club. By far I've found Boots to be the most rewarding card out of them all.
Here's two examples of big savings we've made at Boots-
We ended up choosing a pram for £700, minus the 12% from my work discount scheme takes it to £616,which then equates to £61 of advantage card points, which equals between 10-15 packs of Naty nappies.
When you inform Boots you are expecting a baby you'll be sent a welcome pack with a magazine; the magazine has around 3 pages of vouchers in and for us was pretty handy- we used a £40 off when you spend £200 or more on cribs and bedding voucher towards buying our SnuzPod co-sleeper crib.
Also, remember to download the Boots app too as you get personalised offers each week you can add to your advantage card- one's we've used so far are 50p off Sudocream, 100 extra points when you buy Boots baby products, free nursing pads when you spend £10 on baby products and something crazy like £10 off a breast pump.
Other loyalty cards/schemes I've found useful are-
Mothercare- They hold parenting events every so often which you can sign up for- these evenings normally offer 10% off everything and also give you a chance to try out some products before investing, like pushchairs, nursery sets and carriers.
Babies R Us- Similar to the other schemes but this card offers you wider promotions on holidays and days out. I've not used this card a lot as the store isn't within walking distance but a good one for those who drive!
M&S Sparks card- I adore the M&S range of baby clothes so picking up a Sparks card was a no-brainer. I think it tailors the offers specifically to you depending on your shopping habits; I find that if I buy baby clothes one week the following week I'll have a 20% off option to add to my Sparks card. So, if I see a few items I like in the baby section I buy them individually in the hope the voucher gets added!
Waterstones card- we knew from pretty early on that we wanted to start building a library of books for baby so we make sure that each time we buy a book we collect points. Points equals ££ of course! But..saying that, sometimes Waterstones aren't the cheapest and its better to purchase from Tesco or Amazon. Just take your time and shop around!
5. Amazon wish lists + Subscribe and Save
An Amazon wish list is a must if you are planning on having a baby shower in my opinion. I've not been shy in asking people for specific items we need for when the baby arrives rather than us getting a ton of newborn clothing that the babe probably won't get any wear from. We are all Amazon wish list users in my family for all occasions so of course we did one for our shower- we were very lucky and received most of the items off the list; it saved us a ton of money and actually means we will use every gift we were given.
Amazon also offer the Subscribe and Save option on baby related products- like nappies, wipes, creams, cotton wool, nappy bags and even pregnancy vitamins. For most products you save 5% if you subscribe and if you set up 5 or more subscriptions at the same time the savings increase to 15%.
6.Free dental treatment
Find out if there is a local children centre in your area. There's one here in Sheffield which offers free baby massage courses, coffee mornings and also sessions like sensory play. As much as I'd love to pay to go to a baby massage course run by my yoga teacher I need to keep tight on my budget so having a free option is pretty great! The average cost of a baby massage course here in Sheffield is around £50 for 5 weeks so I'm saving a fair bit of dosh going for the children's centre option. Check out this page to find your local children's centre.
Right from finding out I was pregnant I couldn't wait to find some lovely maternity outfits; I imagined stocking up a whole new wardrobe full of items from the Topshop Maternity range but in reality, I've been going out socialising less and just wanting to be in comfy lounging clothes so it would have seemed a waste to spend hundreds of pounds on new outfits.
The one item I think is essential for any mum to be is a good pair of maternity jeans; I went for the Joni over the bump maternity jeans and these have been a staple for me. I started wearing them at around 4 months and they still are suitable to wear now, 3 days before my due date, as they have a lovely soft over the bump band which has expanded with my tummy.
I've found New Look really great for nursing wear too- ooh that reminds me, if you plan on breastfeeding then try to make sure your maternity clothes are going to be suitable for this too- I've stocked up on maternity shirts as I've found them comfy, roomy and easy to wear with a bump as well as being easy access with a nursing vest top on underneath once the babe is here.
9.Remember you won't be house bound forever
It's so easy to go crazy on stocking up with everything before the baby arrives; the one thing I let loose on was cotton wool- I ordered 15 bags of the stuff a few weeks back.. I live about 6 minutes walk from a Boots store for goodness sake. I didn't need to buy this!!
I have it in my head that everything will go swimmingly with breastfeeding so I haven't gone out and spent any money on bottles, sterilisers and all the paraphenalia "just in case" as again, if things don't go as planned I've got people around me who will be able to nip to the 24 hour Tesco and pick up the necessary kit!
10.Get your freebies and sign up for cash back sites
If your employer doesn't have a corporate discount scheme set up then don't worry; you can still cash in on cash back on your big ticket items. Check out this helpful page explaining how cash back sites work (and things to be careful of) by MoneySavingExpert.
Alongside this, make sure you get your hands on all your freebies whilst pregnant, even if they're only samples it all comes in handy. You should receive a Bounty information pack after your first scan which contains some vouchers you take along to your local Boots store and exchange for a stash of money off vouchers, some sample size nappy creams and some pregnancy vitamins. You'll also be given a Bounty pack in hospital and a 'Growing family' pack once your babe is 4 months old. Find out more about the Bounty packs here.
Another pack I signed up for was Emma's Diary; this is also one you can collect from Boots and is packed full of samples like washing detergent, baby bathing samples, money off vouchers, wipe samples and a handy buying guide for big ticket baby items.
As you can probably tell, I've really enjoyed writing this post as I love the idea of helping other expectant parents save a few £'s. In total, by using the above tips I guesstimate I've saved around around £1135.. thats an amazing amount which we can add to our savings knowing we aren't going without any of the items we want/need!
Have you got any top savings tips when shopping for baby?