Since we found out we were pregnant, my husband and I have been trying to be as frugal as possible adding Kelsey to the family. I’ve never had a problem with thrift stores and now that I know how quickly babies grow and out grow things, I love the reduced price tag. From choosing to breastfeed, make our own baby food, and make Kelsey’s hair clips, a lot of my decisions come from trying to both do the best we can for Kelsey while doing it for a little less.
I do have to say we have been very fortunate to get so much gear as gifts or handed down from family and friends. Using that as a starting point, we’ve tried to fill in the rest while not breaking the bank. I’ve picked up a few things from Once Upon a Child and from local thrift stores over the past few months.
Recently, I have been trying to get some cool weather basics together. I figure that I might come across winter clothes that people cleared out back in spring but before most people start looking towards the change in the weather. I have read posts where people set a goal of $.50 per item. I wish I was that good. I don’t really have a goal cost in mind but, depending on the item, I try not to pay more than a couple of bucks.
Here are some things I’ve been able to pick up recently and the lessons I learned along with them.
Get to Know Your Local Thrift Stores:
There are two thrift stores in particular I peek in at from time to time here in South Tampa. Sunshine Thrift Store has colored tags on their clothing and everyday two colors are 50% off. Now the goal should be to only get those colors, but I say, if you really like something get it then because it may not be there when you come back. In the photo below, the pink jacket was 50% but $1-$2 for the other two items that I know she’ll wear (planning on the dress for Thanksgiving and I LOVE rompers for everyday) seemed reasonable and it was all in great condition. They also have everything 50% off days about once a month but I haven’t braved any of them yet.
Also, the closest Salvation Army location (I’m not sure if it’s region wide) has all clothing 50% off every Wednesday. I have left with a shopping bag full of items and only paid a few bucks. Lots of times I can get items for about $.50 including baby pants and dresses. I also pick up t-shirts to cut up for crafts.
Join Your Local Mom’s and Family Sites:
I found out about a free children’s clothing and gear swap happening about 30 minutes away through both What’s Doing? Tampa Bay (actually found this site from a Mom I met through a group on www.Meetup.com) and www.MomsLikeMe.com. You could take as many items as you brought. I am saving most of the items we have because we plan on at least trying for another child in the not too far off future. However, there were some items that I never even had the chance to put on Kelsey so I probably wouldn’t miss them for baby #2. I took those to swap for some clothes in future sizes and some other items. The stuff in the big plastic bag is a baby food making system – the best thing I left with.
Listen When Other Moms Talk:
Overhearing some other moms talk left me with a good tip on inexpensive toys and gear. I have driven by Lionhearted Toys countless times since it’s on a main drag just minutes from me but I never stopped to check it out. After hearing about the great inventory and prices, I’m so happy I stopped in to check it out.
It’s a used toys store so you never know for sure what is going to be there, but if I’m looking for something I’m going to be sure to start here first from now on. The prices were great.
We are on a Dr. Suess kick around here hence the book; Kelsey loves chewing on tags and she’s getting into “noisy” toys; I’m going to try some activities from playgroup with the hoop; and, I’ve been looking for a second Boppy cover (to go with the $6 Boppy and cover I got from Once Upon a Child – I love my Boppy).
Take Advantage of Freebies:
I joined www.Freecycle.com a while back and was able to get rid of our moving boxes when we moved to Florida which saved us the hassle of working with the local waste management (downside of living off base). Recently, I was able to get some baby items from someone. I took some items, let some friends take some of the items, and donated the rest. It also included a pack of diapers in Kelsey’s next size.
Combining those with all the diaper sample offers online, I have a whole box of size 4 diapers that I didn’t have to pay for. Some suggested sites for finding freebies: www.mojosavings.com and www.moneysavingmom.com.
While I am still in no way an expert, I’m happy to learn and to learn from others! What tips do you have?
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