We just had baby #5. We have 4 awesome sons and now we have a little daughter too. Of course, after 4 little boys, I have nothing pink. I also don’t have many ‘good’ baby things left at all. I re-used all gear, bouncers, high chairs, for each of my boys, and man-oh-man was it worn out! After my fourth son outgrew each stage, I sold or donated all my baby items.
So when we found out #5 was a girl, I was a little overwhelmed with the bows and outfits. Not to mention the fact that I needed basics as well! Plus, we are FEEDING 4 boys, paying for homeschool curriculum and classes…..oh my. Let’s just say I don’t have a huge budget to just go nuts on a baby girl.
We are also a debt-free, Dave-Ramsey family. Every dollar has a name, and there aren’t many dollars left for this baby.
Like most of us, I love new things. However, new items just aren’t in the budget. However, much to my delight, I’ve found that taking my time and searching for used items really pays off. Here are my favorite places and tips to prepare for a baby on a *really* tight budget.
1. Facebook Mommy Resale Groups
This is my #1 go-to tip. Are you on Facebook? The newest ‘rage’ are these online garage sale groups. Just ‘search’ your city with ‘resale,’ ‘mommy resale,’ ‘beg, barter, buy + your city’ and so many private groups will pop up! Just ‘request to join’ and in a few days you can thrift shop from the comfort of your own home. I’ve scored a BRAND NEW Chico stroller and carseat ($320 at Target new) for just $50! The mom changed her mind on color. Wowza. What a blessing. I also got a bouncer and play mat in pink (super cute!) for just $5 each! You have to be online often when looking for items because they are spoken for quickly. Even my husband is impressed and watches the groups for clothes for our boys and for him as well!
2. Garage Sales
A little more inconvenient than the online Facebook groups, but usually cheaper–good ol’ garage sales! If you are a bit reluctant about placing your baby in anything ‘used,’ I am here to reassure you that it’s still worth your time to check out garage sales! As homeschooling moms, we have the luxury of going on Friday mornings when the picking is good. I also use this time to teach my boys to ‘buy used and save the difference.’ Also, walking around is great in pregnancy 😉 It’s shopping cardio! I recommend looking for community sales to save time and gas. Also, hit up gated, fancy subdivisions for higher quality goods.
3. Homeschool Friends
Homeschooling friends and moms are some of the most caring and generous people on the planet! Reach out to them with certain items you need! They may be happy to give it to you, let you borrow it, or sell it cheaply.
4. Be Patient
If you are 7 months pregnant, you do not NEED the carseat today. Nope. Patience when shopping used and living on a budget is key. I’ve found that praying on an item I need and being patient ALWAYS pays off. I usually walk away with a nearly new item that’s way better than I would have thought I could get used. And cheap!
5. Do Without
What if you have so little cash that even buying used is difficult? Go with less! I can tell you that having my 5th child is so refreshing instead of having the first! All the gear and gadgets…you really don’t need it all! A good carrier/wrap to carry baby, a carseat, diapers, and some jammies–you’re set! Yes, the swings and bouncers and latest gadgets are fun, but if you don’t have the money, you don’t have it! Going into debt or stretching yourself too thin just to get a new vibrating chair won’t help you sleep at night! If your baby is really fussy and NEEDS that swing once you get home from the hospital, purchase it then. It’s a quick run to the store or an ‘in search of’ on a Facebook Resale Group, and you’ll have that swing that day. However, spend $200 on it before baby is born and she never sleeps in it? What a waste! Less is more!
Do you have any frugal tips to share? I’m always looking for new ideas, so please share them in the comments!