My older children were 9 and 13 years old when my third child was born. The only baby related item still left in my house was a nappy bucket.
When I had child #1, I had no idea what I was doing or what I needed and I think people recognised this and gave me a lot of second-hand and new clothes, furniture and baby items which I gladly excepted.
When child #2 came along, I replaced a lot of the second-hand things with new things because I wanted to ‘do things better’.
In the years following, I slowly sold all of my baby items on Gumtree and eBay or gave them away to friends and charity.
Now that I’m a decade older, wiser, and tied to a mortgage, I wanted to have nice things for child #3 without breaking the budget. Although I could afford to buy these things new, I had become addicted to more frugal ways. I will however, only buy second-hand if it looks near new.
So this is how I did it:
The pram that I liked in the baby shop was a $650 Steelcraft Strider but I didn’t want to spend that sort of money on a pram that I would only use for one child. So I went to a baby and children’s market which I learnt about from a work colleague. There were about 20 different second-hand prams that I could perusal and I found a Love and Care Adiva sports pram which had the same 4 wheels as a Strider but which could convert to a bassinet without having to buy a bassinet separately. The seller was asking $120. I wanted to read some reviews and knew EBay was another option. I found the same pram a month later on ebay and bought it for $60 from a grandmother who used it once a week for her grandchild. (New price $550. Saving $490);
While at this same market, I bought a lot of near new baby clothing for $2 each. I have been back to this baby and children’s market three times now as it is held once or twice a year. My last purchase was 10X size 0 dresses (numerous brands including Target and Pumpkin Patch) for $2 each. (New approx. $150-$200. Saving at least $130);
Instead of a bassinet, I opted for a Miyo baby hammock which I discovered while perusing Gumtree. I purchased one for $70 (saving $70). It was the best thing ever! Baby slept like an angel.
Baby Bjorn carrier from ebay $20 (saving over $100);
Toddler trolley cover from the baby and kids market $5 (saving $40);
I was given a wooden lacquered change table from a friend and with her permission, I gave it light sand and painted it white (new $120, saving $100);
I was given a car seat (0-4yrs) from my sister’s friend who had only needed it for 12 months and gave her a $50 voucher to say thanks (saving $150)
I bought a Stride capsule from a work colleague for $70 an was able to resell it on Gumtree for the same amount. (saving $200)
**You need to ensure the capsule/car seats have not been involved in an accident. Make sure the manufacturing sticker indicates the seat is less than 10yrs old.
I have borrowed a porta cot from a friend (worth $180);
Two cot blankets were purchased from the baby and kids market for a total of $10 (saving approx. $100);
A Bentwood rocking chair for the nursery was purchased from ebay for $40 (saving $100).
These things alone have saved me over $2000.
Wasting money on buying new things which I know I can get a lot cheaper second hand now makes me feel guilty. The thrill of finding something new-looking for a lot less is addictive and the satisfying feeling is indescribable.
- Borrow wherever you can.
- Accept hand me downs. You don’t have to keep everything!
- Always look on ebay and gumtree before buying big ticket items new. You can also purchase bags of pre-loved clothing.
You would be amazed at what you might find. Other people will be non the wiser!
To find a market of pre-loved baby and kids items near you in Australia try babykidsmarket.com.au