Congratulations! You’re expecting a baby.

You’ve been waiting for this moment for your whole life.

You think you might be, you rush to the store and purchase a pregnancy test, you visit the restroom and then wait anxiously for the lines to show up and confirm dreams and fears. What a fun and exciting and expensive time in your life.

Wait a minute. What was that? Expensive? You bet! Had you thought of that part of it?

If not, don’t work yourself into a flurry of worry. Instead, prepare for baby with frugality in mind by using these tactics.

1) Don’t pay full price.

Put off big purchases until you can find them on sale.

Don’t go out and buy a $500 crib when chances are good that you can find one at a much cheaper price. You may even be able to find the big ticket items at a garage sale or thrift store.

In my neck of the woods, we have a children’s resale consignment shop where you can find everything from cribs to changing tables to clothing at a fraction of the cost.

2) Substitute.

Do not believe everything you read about what it takes (supply-wise) to raise a baby.

There are all sorts of lists out there that will list every piece of furniture and every convenient gadget out there. Often times, you can use substitutes and avoid buying some of that “stuff” altogether.

For instance, do you really need a changing table when a towel on your bed can work just as well? You can save on the cost of formula by nursing instead.

3) Borrow.

If your sister-in-law isn’t currently using her stroller, grab it up. If your next door neighbor has clothes that her little one has grown out of, thank her profusely. Accept every offer of second-hand gifts.

Be gracious if the person requires a return of the item and make sure to return it in at least as good a condition as it was lent to you. If it is a gift and no return is required, be thankful.

Keep what you need and get rid of what you cannot.

4) Buy used.

Garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets, and consignment stores are your new best friends if they weren’t already.

There is a wealth of baby items for sale all the time at all of these venues.

You have the luxury of being picky, buying only what you deem worthy and you can save up to 95% off of the original price for items that have been previously loved.

Considering how quickly your little one will grow, it may not be the wisest move to invest in a baby brand new Tommy Hilfiger or Ralph Lauren clothing. Why do you think the clothing is sized by month? Do you really want to spend $50 on that Tommy outfit just to have precious baby outgrow it in a couple of months?

Most of the time, the items being sold have been used through only one child and have plenty of life left in them. You can purchase clothing and gear in mint condition because the sellers simply need to get rid of them due to the growth spurts of their own child. Take advantage of these fantastic bargains.

5) Consider charitable organizations.

If you qualify, charitable organizations can be a big help in preparing for and raising your little one. They can offer financial assistance to families in need as well as food.

It can be taxing coming to the realization that your bundle of joy will cost you a bundle of cash. It doesn’t have to be as costly as many would lead you to believe if you simply know where to look to find great deals.