We’ve still got over 4 months to go and already we know there’s no getting away from the fact that shopping for your first baby can be very expensive business – something we’re learning very quickly. On top of that, its likely one of us will be off work for a year meaning substantially less cash coming in each month.
With that in mind, we decided to budget as much as we could, refrain wherever possible from buying anything that although cute, wasn’t particularly necessary and try our best to adhere to a few other money-saving ideas along the way.
Creating a list
We’ve created a shopping list and thus far, we’re finding that we are sticking to it reasonably well. We’ve not bought a massive amount yet, but we have found that simply by having a list is making us stop and think before buying every single “oh so cute” item we see on almost a daily basis.
We also hope that by having a list, it will mean we can share it with those wanting to help us out such as parents and siblings. We’ve heard so many people say that they received tons of clothes for 0mth – 3mth babies and next to nothing for 6mth onwards. I guess its understandable but to get the most wear out of them, we plan to add a few items that would suit Pancake later on, maybe 6mth – 12mth.
There are hundreds of websites offering advice and guidance but one thing we’ve learned is to remember in most cases, the review reflects one persons experience which may not necessarily reflect our own lifestyle.
We found the Baby & Child section of the Which? website and invaluable source of information when deciding which travel system to go for and as all the products are tested in the same way, it means we had a true comparison.
Join Which? for £1 for the first month is well worth it, could save a few costly mistakes and is a website we’ll definitely be using again as we start looking at carriers and slings, monitors and high chairs in the coming months.
Consider second-hand items
This is very important to us, not that we’re tight, but because we’ve seen the deals to be had on eBay and have also seen friends picking up fantastic clothing bundles at car boot sales (check CarBootJunction.com) and from Gumtree.
After a few weeks of setting up a number of automatic eBay alerts and monitoring what the Silver Cross Wayfarer pram was going for, we managed to grab the travel system (one of three that were on our shortlist) off eBay for £266. For that we got;
Brand new, the travel system and accessories would have come to £675 meaning we were lucky enough to have saved over £400 simply by buying second had. For something that is in near perfect condition, a scuff here and there, it means we have £400 to spend on other essentials.
Initially once we’d won the eBay auction we were worried we’d made the wrong decision getting the Silver Cross Wayfarer. However after reflection and in the knowledge we’ll be using a sling more often than not when out and about, we think we done right 🙂 I guess we’ll only really know in 4 months time!
Decorating a baby’s bedroom has to be one of the most enjoyable and fun parts of preparing for a new arrival and I know I’m itching to get started. Simple bright colours and wall stickers are the usual route, however paying £120 for a colourful scene isn’t my idea of value.
Google and Pinterest are your friends when it comes to ideas and stencils and I plan to keep the colours to basics (blue, red green, yellow, brown, white) to easily create my own simple scene at a fraction of the cost.
I love simplicity and innocent feel of the Tesco Baby Club animals and I may have to drop them an email to see if they have large versions of the characters I can use as a stencil to help me design my own scene.
Watching the online sales
Whilst visiting our independent local baby store the assistant told us of some new parents-to-be admiring prams and asking if they “looked good” with a particular model, treating it like some sort of fashion accessory. I suspect their priorities will change after a week of nightly feeds?
Anyway, as you’ve probably gathered, we’re not bothered if we’re seen in last seasons clothes and Pancake (like it or not) will fall into this way of life too. We be making the most of the Online Sales, snapping the odd thing or two in the Spring Sales in preparation for next spring and of course making the most of cash back sites and discount codes..