Friday, 26 April 2013

Budget baby - How and where to save on setting up for the new little addition to your family

So many expectant mums and dads run out to the shops the moment they find out about their new little addition. But its time to get real about what a baby REALLY needs

Once you have been informed here are some ways you can save setting up for your new little bundle of joy. PS Congratulations. Welcome to the most amazing (and sleep deprived) time of your life!

First things first. Baby does not need:

  • A state of the art stroller that weighs so much you get a slipped disk pulling it out the back of the car
  • Brand name/Designer clothing. Chances are they will wear it for 5 minutes and spew on it and then need something else anyway.
  • Designer furniture. Just make sure that whatever you buy be it a cot, cradle bassinet etc that it meets safety standard requirements and doesn't contain a paint with a heavy lead content

Now down to the bargain hunting.

Some of the big tips here are:
  • Shop online
  • Shop big department stores the are not exclusively baby stores
  • Read junk mail for sales or join all the baby store online newsletters to be notified of sales and upcoming specials
  • Accept donations from friends and family
  • Second hand does not mean second best
  • Find discount or scratch and dent stores in your area that sell baby goods at a lower price
  • Facebook is your friend
  • Check out local community services

Getting time to browse the internet thoroughly can not be on the top of our to do list but it can save you a lot of money. If you like a particular product get the name of it written down and do a google search. Eg. “Mothers choice Snap and go stroller compare prices” You can then get an idea of where you should buy your product from and what is the best price you can get it for. Also if you don't want to drive to another area to get it you can go to your local store where it is stocked and ask them to price match the product. Make sure you have proof of being able to purchase it for that price elsewhere.

Big department stores such as Target, Big W and Kmart all have more than adequate baby sections with reasonable pricing. If you are still wanting to purchase things new but cant justify a big shopping spree these are really good places to start. For instance your big ticket items such as a cot could cost you $200 less that what you would pay in a store like Babys R us just because they are targeted at middle class families. The product does the same job so why not? And seriously how many people are going to be walking in to your nursery to see your brand of furniture anyway?

Junk mail is fantastic. Its like the internet but friendlier as it comes in your mailbox and you can compare things without switching pages. Plus you can write on them , tear them out etc to take to other stores to price match. Signing up to newletters of different stores will help you work out when the best time is to buy the things you need as an email will be sent to your with upcoming sales and specials, saving you a tonne of money from not just going into a store and impulse buying.

This will save you so much money. Hold a baby shower, invite all your friends and family. If people ask what kind of things you need be sure to say the word PRACTICAL. The last thing you need is a whole heap of toys and stuffed animals that you need to find room to store for a few months until your baby is ready to play with them when you could have had an extra box of nappies.
If you have friends with children be happy to accept all the offerings of clothes their children have grown out of. When clothes are free you can never have enough! Same goes for most baby things.

Think that everything in the op shop is going to be the ugly scratchy beanie that someones nanna knitted their child and they ditched? Think again. There is some gold to be found in op shops and more and more people and working it out! You can pick up amazing (and even some designer) baby clothes for a couple of bucks and no one would know except you. Babies grow so fast they might get to wear the outfit a few times and then its too small. Their loss is your gain.

These are treasure troves for people on a budget. A gorgeous product can be marked down significantly because of a mark or scratch on it. If you are a bit of a handy person you could potentially sand, fix or fill the mark yourself or if you can't just face the damaged side to the wall and no one is the wiser! Not to mention the fact you just saved some decent dollars to go and spend on something else you need. Sometimes as well you can ask for a discount if something you want is floor stock, discontinued product or a demo model.

There are so many buy, swap and sell sites on facebook now you are bound to find nearly anything and everything you could possibly need. Most people tend to sell their baby clothes gear in bundles sorted by size or boy or girl and its always way cheaper than what they bought it for. If you are not sure what to search for try typing keywords such as mothers groups, stay at home mums, mummy meetings, buy sell swap, garage sale or the closest capital city to you. Eg Adelaide mums, Adelaide Garage sale, Adelaide Buy sell swap.. you get the point. You can also check out websites like gumtree for similar bargains.

Places like these will often offering services such as financial counselling that can help you work out what you are going to do financially. They also are able to offer emergency relief and food but another great things is places like Red Cross also have a capsule hire service. You can hire a capsule and have it professionally fitted in your car by them for around $100-$120 for six months of hire. This is fantastic because it means that you can save around $200 from not having to purchase one. The capsules only last about six months and from there you will need to get a car seat but you may be in a better financial position when your baby is six months anyway so why spend the extra money if you don't have to?

 Questions to ask yourself.

What are you buying the product  for? 

Have you any injuries/ surgery to prevent you from lifting heavy , not to mention awkward items from your car boot?

How many children do you have/planning to have in the near future?

These are some basic questions to help you work out your needs. Getting on local Facebook mum groups is a great way to get real time reviews on baby products and services. If you have narrowed it down to say 3-4 products put a post on the site asking for mothers feedback. It will more than likely help you decide what you want to purchase.

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