Babies are expensive. Including diapers, clothing, infant formula and all of the other items you need on a daily basis, the average first-year cost of having a child is $7,205, according to Denise Fields and Alan Fields, authors of "Baby Bargains." Don't just accept that bill, however. If you know where to look and how to ask, you can score loads of free baby samples that will lower your total child-raising bill and leave you with some spare cash in your wallet.
There are really no limits to what you can get for free if you know where to look. Many parents take advantage of infant formula samples to lower their food costs as well as diaper samples to reduce that ever-present bill. Savvy parents might even be able to find ways to get free clothing, shoes and baby gear such as strollers and car seats. You can also get samples of items such as baby soap, diaper rash cream and sunscreen.
Racking up the Savings
Register with individual baby gear and supply companies. When you show interest in the products, the company will often send you coupons for free samples as well as coupons to save money on future purchases. There are many online companies that also provide free samples if you register with them. Seek out subscriptions to free parenting magazines as well. In addition to the free magazines, many of these publications also offer deals for free stuff exclusive to their subscribers.
Consider the Source
Start with the hospital when your baby is born. Many hospitals throw away anything in your room that's unused, so feel free to take extra blankets, diapers and other supplies home with you. Ask your baby's pediatrician, too. Many pediatricians' offices offer free formula samples to new moms and many also supply samples of infant sunscreen, baby wash and diaper rash cream. Your obstetrician might offer free diaper bags, formula and other supplies so check there, too. If you have friends or family members who work for baby supply companies, ask about their sample policies.
More Secrets to Score Big
Register at a retailer before your baby is born. Registering lets you make a list of all the things you plan on using once your baby arrives. If you have a baby shower, friends and family can purchase these items for you so you don't have to spend as much money. Many moms and dads use their registry to score big-ticket items such as strollers and cribs. See if your favorite baby gear stores offer daily deals online, recommends "Baby Bargains." These deals can offer free items with other purchases. Download apps to your smartphone. Many companies offer free apps that allow you to score points when you buy baby items. You can use these points toward freebies in the future.