Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How to save money on baby items!

When I got pregnant with Grace, I remember being so overwhelmed with all of the stuff you supposedly need when baby gets here. The baby stores give you a list multiple pages long listing pretty much every item in their store as a must have. As first time parents, you think you must have everything new for baby because you want to give them the best! So you register for everything and anything that you think you could possibly ever need, and then when baby finally arrives, most of it sits unused. I'm scared to think how much money was wasted on items we never used, things we tried but didn't like, and clothes that she never wore.

Now that we're pregnant with Connor, I feel like I'm doing so much better at being realistic with what we really need for him. I've managed to learn a few tricks in my 18 months as a mom that have helped me save a ton of money on items for both him and Grace. So I thought I'd share!

First off, you really don't need much for a baby. Seriously. If you have somewhere for them to sleep, some diapers and a few sleepers, you'll survive. So don't get too overwhelmed by all of the "must haves" the baby stores tell you that you need. When baby arrives, you'll figure out what you actually need. For us, we needed swaddle blankets. Grace would not sleep without being swaddled. But I have many friends whose kids never wanted to be swaddled and they were a waste. Grace never took a pacifier, so all of the ones we bought were a waste.

Even though you don't need much, you still want to register for stuff, right? Go ahead and register away! If people buy you stuff, great! But here are some ways to save on things you don't receive as gifts.

1. Find your local baby/kids consignment sales. I know I've talked about this before, but I cannot reiterate enough how much money these sales have saved me. Many have first time mom presales so the first time mom's get their pick of the deals. They generally have every sort of baby item imaginable for under half the price that you would buy it new. And the great thing? Most baby stuff that you find is barely used. So you are getting it basically new. These sales are a great place to buy a full baby/toddler wardrobe. Generally, you get so many clothes from family and friends that most of the clothing never gets worn more than once or twice. Don't go spend a ton of money on new clothes for your newborn!! That $40 Baby Gap outfit might look great in the store, but honestly, your baby is going to pee, poop and spit up on it. A $5 Baby Gap outfit from a consignment sale will look just as cute!

2. Join local mom's facebook sales groups/browse Craigslist. I'm still fairly new to this. Several months ago I joined a couple of local sales groups on Facebook and am now addicted. About a month ago, I bought 10 pieces of Carters and Baby Gap clothing for Connor for $7 total. This past week, I bought Grace a pair of Nike tennis shoes for $3, they retail for $30!! No, they're not new. But she's a toddler. She's going to get them dirty. And after I take a magic eraser to them, they'll look great.

A family that was moving was trying to get rid of toys and simply gave me a Little People Carnival set that I have put away for Grace for Christmas! I got Grace's Little Tikes playhouse that she loves for only $30 on Craigslist. You do have to be careful and use common sense in these kind of environments, but if you're persistent, you can find some amazing deals!

3. Check with family and friends. Like I said, baby items have a very short usage time and often get stuck in storage and forgotten about. If you have family and friends with older kids, they most likely have things they can hand down to you. Most will probably be in great shape. If you can get over the "having to have everything new" mindset, you can get some great things! Baby is not going to care if the swing is used or if it's sitting in a stroller used by his or her cousins. I got a swing for Grace from my brother, maternity clothes from Mike's cousin, and cloth diapers from Mike's sister. Had we bought all of that new we would have spent hundreds upon hundreds of dollars. The only thing I won't get used is a carseat. I'm too paranoid about carseat safety but that could be its own post.

For Connor, I've been able to save because I have a close friend with a son almost the same age as Grace who is now due a month after me with a little girl. We literally just traded almost our entire kid's wardrobes. We have similar taste and we both take great care of our stuff, so it was perfect. We traded clothes, towels, Boppy covers, even our Moby wraps! It worked out extremely well! So find resources around you!

I hope these tips help someone out. I know having a baby seems horribly expensive, but it doesn't have to be. We've found that the cost is extremely manageable if you're smart about your purchases! There are a few things that I think are worth splurging on, more about that tomorrow!
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1 comment:

  1. Great post! I'm 24 weeks pregnant with a little girl and we've only purchased a few things---a few pieces of art, closet organizers and a dresser. Everything else has been gifted to us at this point. We are going to see what we get at showers, and then we will buy things as needed. I'm a HUGE fan of craigslist and ebay, so I know I will be getting a lot of clothes from those places once we need to start buying them.



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