Part 2: Baby on a Budget
A lot of baby equipment does not need to be brand new. For my son, I actually bought very few things new, and the things that were new were often gifts or bought with gift cards. With a little bit of work and some creativity, I was able to purchase many of the things for my son’s nursery, or play equipment for a fraction of the price.
• Look on Craigslist. One of the things that I bought for my son was a Fisher Price cradle swing. These swings retail new for about $150 at Babies R Us. I thought it was ridiculous to spend that much money on something that he would only use for a couple of months, so I took to the Internet. I was able to find the swing that I wanted on Craigslist for $40 instead of spending the $150 I would have at the store. There are lots of great deals on Craigslist for everything including baby clothes, toys, and equipment.
• Go to consignment sales. Consignment sales are a great way to get a good deal on many of the products you will use for your baby. At consignment sales, people are able to sell their gently used baby toys, clothes, and equipment. This is great because you have a large amount of stuff, in all ranges, in one place. Instead of searching Craigslist or walking around at garage sales or flea markets, it is a one stop shop for everything that you need. In addition, there are often multiples of toys and equipment so you are able to compare prices and conditions. Consignors are able to set their own prices, so there may be some variation between the items. Once again, you will be able to pick up these items at a fraction of the cost of what you would pay at the store. And to be honest, when it comes to many of the things for infants, they will only use them for a few months and then be done with them. Also keep in mind that the last day of the sale is usually a discount day where you can get 25 to 50% off many of the items.
• Look for items and flea markets or garage sales. I found a lot of items for my son at garage sales and flea markets. I was able to find a hamper with a frog on it for my son’s nursery. I had a frog theme for his nursery and the hamper that went with the set was $38 at the store. Although the pattern wasn’t exactly the same, the one that I found at the flea market was close enough and I only paid $2 for it. In addition to the hamper, I bought some picture frames and even a dresser for his room at garage sales, and paid a fraction of what I would otherwise.
Even though buying equipment for a baby can be very expensive, there is no need to take out a second mortgage on your house to pay for it! I paid a fraction of the cost for my son’s clothes and equipment that I would have had a bought it all new, and I was able to buy him a lot more because of the money I saved. Just invest in some Magic Erasers and some laundry detergent and most of these things clean right up!
For more on raising kids on a budget, follow Rachel at Third Stop On the Right (www.thirdstopontheright.com) and like her page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thirdstopontheright).
I hope you enjoyed our frugal living talk. Make sure to stay tuned in for more tips, tricks, and helpful hints!