There are ways – and like regberadaisy said, sometimes your SO may not make enough, but a lot of times there are ways around that.
If you own a home it could be harder, but if you’re renting you might be able to downsize to a smaller apartment. Or if you have an extra room in your home, consider renting it out to a college student or young person (not hard to find someone you know who knows someone who might need housing for a bit), you can usually bring in an extra $300-$500/mo depending where you live.
Consider doing a type of in-home daycare 1-3x week. My mom did this while she stayed at home with us, this family from church needed cheap childcare, since my mom was home anyway, she watched her girls twice a week and made about $100/week. So less $$ for the mom working, and more money for my mom staying home. We were old enough at the time too that we played with the girls pretty independently so my mom didn’t have to do a whole lot of extra work anyway!
I know one PP said this – but cloth diapers! Now, I splurged a little because I wanted a certain brand, so we’ve spent about $450 initial investment for enough fuzzibunzs and grovias. But my sister just uses prefolds and thirsties covers which work JUST AS great as my AIO’s and AI2’s, and she spent maybe $100? Check out Fluff Swappers group on Facebook – mama’s sell their cloth diapers daily, and some are still in new condition! I got a lot of my fuzzibunzs either new or like-new for $5-$10 off their retail price. Also several manufacturors have months of discounts, I did a fuzzibunzs discount in September where if you buy 6 dipes you get 2 free, so it saved be about $5/diaper. I also got my grovia lot on Ebay for almost half the price the originial owner paid for them, and she’d only used them for 2 weeks! Check out: allaboutclothdiapering.com for good reviews.
Cloth wipes as well! My sister was given lots of baby towels, she cut them up into squares and used them in addition to the $4 packs of 6 washcloths at target. She made her own solution with olive oil, organic baby shampoo, tea tree oil and water. She added a couple lavender drops as well – smells great and works great!
Breastfeeding if you can do it! It’s the only way we can even afford to have a baby haha! Contact your La Leche League representative BEFORE you have the baby so that they can be there to assist you RIGHT when you get home. My sister was stuck for a week trying to figure it out on her own and was so stressed and crying about it, she said if she had done anything different it would have been having them come out sooner!
Don’t register for stuff you don’t/won’t need! That way you’ll be sure of getting most to all of the stuff on the registry instead of frivolous toys you won’t need (or want!). Don’t register for baby clothes, ppl buy them anyway! Let people know what you really want (that nice rocker!) and ask your baby shower host/mom/sister if they could encourage guests to go in on a gift together so you can get what you really want.
Make your own baby food come 6 months old 🙂 honestly, just mash up a banana, avocado, cooked squash, cooked sweet potatoes, cooked carrots, pears, applesauce etc – add a little water to get a good consistency.
If you don’t know anyone from whom you can get hand-me-downs, shop second hand. How long are they in each size?! It doesn’t make sense to buy retail if they wear it for a month! I find whole outfits for less than $5 all the time. Also, get on carters and gap baby’s email lists, they send out GREAT coupons and have great sales. I find less than $5 deals at both stores all the time. At carters, wait till they have one of their 40% off the whole store sales (and they usually send out an additional 20% off coupon) and STOCK UP on winter coats, outfits etc.
I agree with PP, consider downsizing to one car. We had to because my husband accidentally totaled our last car and we didn’t have a choice. I never thought we’d be able to make it work, but we did. We moved to the city he works in, which I love living here now, so if I need the car, I drive him to work (5-10 min drive) and just keep the car for the day.
I also skimp significantly on utilities. It’s November 6 and I haven’t turned the heat on yet. If I’m home I wear sweatpants, sweatshirt and cover up with a blanket, if you have a baby, plan a day with a friend, hang out at the library or other “warm places” to avoid having to keep your heat on 70 EVERY DAY in the winter. I sleep with an electric blanket on low during the night to keep warm as well and so far so good 🙂
I also do this in the summer, I love fresh air, so windows open and a fan keep us cool enough. Same with electricity bills, unplug appliances that aren’t in use, be sure to shut off all lights you’re not using, splurge on the energy efficient bulbs – that last like 20 years and use over half the electricity!
I am a couponer for groceries like crazy! Get the sunday paper each week and clip coupons, also keep weekly ads for stores in your area and try to match ad sales to your coupons. Several stores send out monthly coupons. I then make a meal plan around what’s on sale, last week it was BOGO chuck roast, so we’re having roast! Making a meal plan takes 1-2 hours/week, but it helps you not have to impulse buy at the store, you know exactly what you need so you don’t overspend! Some of my favorite cheap meals are chicken wild rice soup (you can make with ham as well), pot roast, muffins (freeze and eat for b-fast!), vegetable soups, etc..
Like another PP we really didn’t NEED TV. We stream netflix through out wii and there are plenty of shows/movies to keep us entertained. Plus there is a great selection of kids shows! And we stream only for $10/mo. We also don’t have a landline, just use our cell phones, and got rid of internet on our phones (esp if you’re a Stay-At-Home Mom you don’t need it).
Oh gosh this is getting long! haha But it’s possible and you can do it!!
Try making a budget, that way you can save for what you will need, know where you can cut expenses etc etc.