See I told you, this would help!
- SC = Store Coupon
- MC = Manufacturer Coupon
- SS = Smart Source
- RMN = Retail Me Not
- PG = Proctor and Gamble
- WYB = When You Buy
- B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
- .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
- .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
- EXP = Expiration Date
This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.
“Having a baby costs so much money!”
While raising kids does have many costs (not just financial!), there are so many ways to exercise frugality, especially when buying items for young babies. Here’s how to save on baby gear and clothes, which can end up being some of the most expensive items you buy!
Saving on Baby: How to Save on Baby Gear and Clothes
In our society, both baby clothes and baby gear seem to be status symbols among young families, and often new parents feel guilty if they don’t provide the most stylish and highly rated products for their children. An obvious step in spending less money is to care less about status and more about your relationship with your baby. As long as he is fed, warm, clean, and loved, your baby will be happy. However, it can also be a comfort to know that your baby is comfortable and safe in a quality outfit, crib, or car seat.
Keep things simple
Simplicity is a beautiful thing. Keep reminding yourself that newborns need surprisingly little. While growing babies and toddlers need some form of diversion to keep them from destroying everything in the house or whining like crazy, they don’t necessarily need expensive diversions. I’m continually surprised by how long a child’s attention can be held by a cardboard box or a piece of junk mail that makes a cool crinkly noise. Just because the top baby websites list 101 different items for which you “need” to register doesn’t mean that everything on the list is a true necessity. Bear in mind that the more you “need,” the more money the companies make. How many outfits, toys, and gadgets does a baby really need? Take some time to evaluate what is truly necessary and purchase quality products instead of buying lots of junk that will just end up cluttering your house and your life.
This is by far the best way to save on baby gear and clothes. So many helpful baby items are only used for a short period of time: think swings, bouncy seats, Bumbos, and playmats. And so it is not wise to spend $100 on one of these items! Ask friends and family if they have one you can borrow. When one of our kids was younger, there was one baby swing that I think got passed around to about six different families! With clothes, think about people you know who have a child about a year older than yours and ask if they’d be willing to hang onto any clothes they don’t want and pass them on. Then you can pass on the kindness by giving your baby’s clothes away to others you know who need t hem!
Look for freebies
If you read this blog, then I already know that you are all about finding free products. Try putting your money saving skills to work for some bigger items. You will be surprised what people are willing to give away after they are through with the baby stage. When you announce your news, you may even discover that a family member has been saving some heirlooms for you. I personally received furniture (crib, rocker, chest of drawers, bookshelf), books, a baby gate, clothing (large amounts), and a changing pad and cover.
Buy items secondhand
How many times does an infant wear an outfit before he grows out of it? Many second hand items are very gently used. Start your hunt early and you are likely to find some great deals. Shop yard sales, thrift stores, flea markets, and consignment sales/shops around town, search classifieds in your local paper or online, and start making offers on Ebay and Craigslist. You will tend to find slightly higher prices at consignment shops as two parties are splitting the profits, but in my experience they tend to carry higher quality merchandise than a thrift store or yard sale. Many consignment stores will only receive name brand clothing or gear. Classifieds and online sales will vary by seller, but don’t be afraid to barter with someone.
Please remember to shop with caution for used items. You will want to purchase new Breast pumps and car seats for health and safety reasons. Some products that used to be considered standard have now proven to be unsafe, such as Rock ‘n Plays, walkers or certain crib designs. Buyers should also check a purchase carefully for damage and do some research to make sure that a product has not been recalled.
Hit the clearance rack
You probably won’t find the rock bottom prices of a yard sale in the mall, but there are times when some sweet deals can be found. One of the advantages to buying new, name brand products is their resale value, but we’ll get to that later. Two keys to finding great sales in the mall (which can often be a money trap): when to shop and where to shop.
When to shop: The best time to look for sales is at the end of a season. If you know your child will need a new winter coat next year, buy it in February and put it away (even though by that point the store will be full of Easter outfits!). If you need to outfit your little beach bum for next year’s summer vacation, buy in August (when the stores are advertising for the new school year). The week after Christmas is a great time to find deals on all items, especially toys as stores try to move out the old merchandise to make room for the new. Also look for big sales on holidays like Memorial or Labor Day when department stores advertise big mark downs as well as special coupons for percentages off your total purchase.
Where to shop: I’m not talking about which store to shop in, but rather where to look in the store. Very rarely are the advertised deals really the best deals in the store. Don’t ever buy the often tempting items in the front of the store or on the edge of the aisle. Make a bee line for the clearance rack, usually at the back of the store. If you are shopping for children’s clothing you may be able to find items for just a few dollars, often 50%-75% off the regular price. If you’re shopping for gear at a large store, ask where you might be able to find items that have been marked on clearance.
There are a few additional “wheres” that are not to be forgotten. Outlet malls can be a great source for everyday low prices on name brands, and they usually have their own clearance racks. Look for online outlets and clearance “racks” as well.
Sell quality used items
Finally, whether you buy a like-new item from a yard sale or find great deals in retail stores, take good care of it so that you can resell it. If you are a good saleswoman, you can often earn back part or all of your original investment. For example, I bought a Jeep jogging stroller for $25 at a yard sale (it usually sells for around $200). If I take great care of it like the previous owner did, I could probably turn around and sell it for $20-$25 when I’m done with it!
There are a few helpful hints to reselling clothing. Firstly, only try to sell name brand: no one wants to purchase Walmart clothes secondhand. (An exception to this would be trying to sell a large lot of clean, gently used clothes all in the same size.) Secondly, new is best, although you may be able to get away with very gently used high quality clothes. Try to buy as many items in the collection as you can find. An outfit with the matching accessories will command a higher price and be easier to sell when offered as a set as opposed to just selling one random piece. Lastly, pay careful attention to washing instructions or, better yet, try to keep them from getting too dirty in the first place. Put some play clothes on your kids when they play in the mud or eat spaghetti.
See more posts about saving on baby:
- Latest Articles