Babies Are Free??!!

How to reduce your baby expenses When I asked a friend how much I should save for a baby's first year, her answer took me by surprise. She said her baby was essentially free. Free??!! The Globe And Mail estimates that we need approximately $8,000 for the first year alone, which is a much higher amount than “free”. Free in terms of the cost of a new baby is just impossible. Or is it? Now that I have tracked the first seven months of baby expenses, I have to concede that my friend wasn't that far off the mark.

Our Almost Free Baby Story

We began parenthood with the rosy idea that we didn't need much to have a happy, healthy child. We were not going to follow the suggestions of those clever marketing gurus and make our home resemble a baby store. After all, I've heard that there are babies that grew into productive, fulfilled adults, who began life sleeping in a bottom drawer or a laundry basket!

In reality, the journey into parenthood has been quite effortful in many ways. Babies can be expensive, and there are numerous unforeseen expenses that can derail even the most frugal plans. The bright side is that there are also numerous ways to save and spend far less than $8,000!

Using many of the tips below, we've managed to spend a grand total of $54.80* including all taxes, a $35 fee for the birth certificate, and a $25 deposit fee for a daycare waiting list. I've excluded the increased cost of water, hydro, gas, time, etc., that I can't specifically break down and attribute to the baby.

*After subtracting $400 in redemptions at Shoppers Drug Mart. We also make our own wipes and the materials are categorized under our household expenses, as they are regular household items.

Ways To Save On Baby’s Basic Needs

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Get Free Stuff Using The Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)

Get free stuff using the Scanning Code of Practice Many years ago, I found myself at a grocery store doing some late night shopping just before close. I loaded a bulk box of granola bars onto the conveyor belt and the cashier ran it over the scanner. The scanner beeped and a price of $8.99 prominently displayed on the screen. I was positive the shelf price had listed $8.49, so I requested a price check. The price was confirmed and the cashier entered the new price of $8.49. As I was scooping up my purchase into my bag, I noticed a white sign on the plexiglass counter where people usually sign for their credit card transactions.

I was in a rush and did not get a chance to read it that day. If I had, I would have been able to get that box of granola bars for free. Free!! To this day, I remember that moment and use it as a reminder to bring up the Scanning Code of Practice whenever possible.

The actual sign is typically displayed on the counter, on the register, at the entrance of the store, or any combination of those locations.

The full description of the code can be found on the websites of the Canadian Competition Bureau and the Retail Council of Canada.

What exactly is the Scanning Code of Practice?

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Clever Ways To Avoid Out Of Stock Sale Items

Clever ways to avoid out of stock sale itemsI’m sure you’ve been there: You hear about some amazing sale from a little bird and you jump in your car, race to the store where this once-in-a-lifetime deal is taking place, only to find out that they ran out of stock on that item within 5 minutes of the store opening at 7am. Or even worse, they never had stock to begin with because their shipment didn’t even arrive!

What’s a person to do when this happens? Most people just give up, get back in their car, and drive home regretting the time wasted and the opportunity lost. Others will buy another similar but much more expensive item from the same store in a classic bait and switch move that adds loads of dollars to the store’s bottom line. Neither scenario is ideal, but you’ll be happy to know you can do better ... much better.

Here’s what you do: Keep reading » about Clever Ways To Avoid Out Of Stock Sale Items

HowToSaveMoney.ca Is Hiring Writers!

Now Hiring ImageI want to bring you, my readers, the absolute best and most complete information on saving money that can be found anywhere in Canada. That’s always been my goal and I’ve come to realize that I can’t do it alone – I need help!

Sure, I have a huge amount of money saving experience, but even still I find that I can’t constantly keep up with the latest money saving trends and strategies, let alone have time to write about them all. So, that’s where you or someone you know could potentially come in.

Who I Am Looking For

I am looking for dedicated individuals who are completely passionate about saving money!

  • You love the thrill of a deal and you love talking about it and sharing what you’ve found with others.
  • You have an active account on one of the major forums or websites dedicated to deals, saving money, or personal finance – probably multiple active accounts actually.
  • You don’t just sit on the sidelines and absorb the information but you actively contribute to the discussion on a regular basis and often start new threads posting the latest deals and information or you aggregate existing information about a deal, product, or money saving strategy in an organized fashion.
  • You enjoy writing, but are probably a little rough around the edges because it is more of a means to an end than an art form for you. That’s ok, I like editing!
  • You have a high standard of quality and don't mind receiving feedback and constructive criticism on your work.
  • You're ok starting small, and working with me to grow this thing together.
  • You want to make some extra money for writing about things you would likely be writing about anyway – because hey, why not!

What Stuff Should You Know About?

What I want to do is to hire several people who have pockets of knowledge in several key areas so I can put together a team of people who have collective knowledge across the entire money saving spectrum. Keep reading » about HowToSaveMoney.ca Is Hiring Writers!

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