Today we’ve got a guest post from the amazing Sally who blogs over at Life Loving and All That Grows. Life Loving is my lifestyle blog, which hopefully inspires others to enjoy life more. All That Grows is more focused on my passion for gardening.
My husband and I have a very lovely and extremely cheeky almost 2-year old son, so I thought it would be good to share some tips on how we prepared for his arrival, on a budget. I’m a firm believer that you don’t need to blow the budget when you are shopping for a new arrival in the family.
Start With The Essentials
There’s a lot of things that you can buy for a baby that you don’t really need. It’s best just to buy what you know you are going to need at first. Car seat, pram, cot and clothes are a good place to start. As you find you get into your groove, you can add items to the list that will make your life easier. Nappy bin, slings, elaborate toys, baby bath – you might find that these aren’t something you’ll use.
Hit Up Family and Friends
I’d recommend starting here. Especially if you are of the age where all your friends are having babies. There’s loads of stuff you can borrow from family or friends. Clothes, slings, baby baths, prams, shoes, toys – all of it. Babies grow out of these things really quickly, so often there’s quite a lot of life left in baby items. I’ve got several slings and carriers and they’ve been shared around my family and friends, as Austin was either too big or too small for each of them at various points. They will last for years and as long as you give them a good wash/clean between children, they’ll be fine to use again and again.
If you’ve got a friend or family member who has decided their youngest child is their last, they may well offer you a big bundle of things. Don’t forget to either offer a contribution towards it or, at the very least, get them a thank you gift. I think a bottle of wine, a box of choccies or a gift voucher goes a long way to say thank you when someone has given you something for your new arrival.
Look For Offers at Baby Shows
Baby shows are not only a fun day out if you are expecting, but they are a great way of saving a few pennies. Often the manufacturers have stalls at the shows and run exclusive discounts for the duration of the show. There are lots of online baby shows which you can register to ‘attend’, but if the shows are running in a physical venue, a day out to a show is a nice way to see what’s on offer. Do your research beforehand and get a list together of what you’d like to buy.
The easiest way to waste money is to buy things that you don’t need or haven’t researched, so make sure you come prepared and don’t be tempted to buy things spontaneously if you are sticking to a strict budget.
If you are attending a baby show intending to buy items. Make sure you keep your mobile phone handy. That way you can do a quick search to see if that baby show ‘exclusive deal’ is as cheap as it looks.
Did you know that a branded travel system/pram/stroller can set you back between £1000 – £1500? That’s a lot of money if you are buying for baby on a budget. If you have your heart set on that specific brand, why not shop around and see if you can find a second-hand set cheaper. If you are buying second-hand, you can easily strip down a pram, clean all the hard, non-fabric parts with an anti-bacterial cleaner and then pop the washable elements into your washing machine for a thorough clean.
I also think that stripping down your pram in advance of baby’s arrival will stand you in good stead, because that way when you need to take it apart because of a spill/sickness/poonami, you’ll already be one step ahead of the game, as you’ve done it all before.
You don’t need to stop at just buying a pram second-hand. There are lots you can buy much cheaper if you shop around online. Websites/apps like eBay, Facebay, Shpock, Gumtree and Preloved are great places to start looking. You can get furniture, toys, bundles of clothes and lots more, for just a fraction of the brand new price.
Know What Not To Buy Second Hand
There are certain things that you shouldn’t buy second-hand. Top of that list is a car seat. Why you might ask? Well, as much as someone will tell you that the seat has never been in an accident, can you be sure that it hasn’t. Not everyone is genuine and I wouldn’t trust the word of someone you barely know. Sure it’s fine to buy a second-hand seat of a friend or family member who you would trust with your baby’s life, but not a stranger who you’ve spoken to online.
Another thing never to buy or reuse is a cot mattress. There’s a link between second-hand mattresses and infant death, so it’s just not worth the risk. It’s fine to reuse a mattress for a second or third child in the same family, but no one else.
Buy in the Sales
If you make a list of everything you want and then keep an eye on the places stocking these items, you might be able to get a bargain in the sales. We did this with our car seat. One of the major department stores was offering a discount on the car seat we wanted, so we bought it whilst it was on sale. It saved us over £100. By planning ahead, you will find that you aren’t forced to buy items in a rush, at the last minute.
You can sign up to the retailers’ email list and then you’ll see they’ll notify you when a specific department is being discounted. Baby events like the ones held at supermarkets Aldi and Lidl are pretty good for baby and toddler items. A friend of our spotted a discount on baby gates and got us two at just £3 each! You’ll need to act fast, as a lot of items sell out quite quickly, so make sure you visit on the day that the item is on sale and don’t be tempted by what else is on offer.
I hope these tips have been useful if you are expecting a new baby and want to get prepared on a budget? If you want to get in touch, you can do so via my socials at :