An old friend who's child is in his mid-to-late teens sent me some awesome advice via Facebook. Being a new mom, doing her best to appear (to herself at least) productive, I quickly thanked her for it, asked permission to post it here -- and immediately deleted it.
I not only deleted the message. I deleted the whole thread.
So did she.
Now I will do my best to duplicate it.
By going with cloth, a family can save thousands of dollars over the un-potty trained year(sss). There's an investment upfront, and you have get into the gro0ve of cleaning diapers regularly (before the new human poop turns into real human poop with the introduction of non-breast milk foods) but it pays off! Also, nice to the environment.
Do your own wipes!
Buy some shop rags or used diapers. Again, the savings adds up, and you won't notice the extra laundry.
Buy used baby and kid clothes
Leave the fancy new duds to family and friends. Your newbie will grow out of things faster than you can use them. So it makes sense that even already-worn stuff at kids boutiques will be very gentle used.
Dress up your lil' one for fancy occasions -- but not for everyday life!
Babies and kids can be grungy and comfortable at home. Clothing can be worn multiple times in a week. But if you and yours are heading out to brunch or want to otherwise show off, break out the fancy party dress/pants that Auntie X FedExed.
Get a car seat she can grow into
Don't fall for the gimmick of needing a new car seat every time the kid grows. There are safe and legal seats that last for more than a few months. Do your research ahead of time and save money.
Be practical when it comes to your stroller
You don't need three different strollers. You need one.