My Due date is looming above my head and I have this need to prepare for Baby S (we call it “squishy” or shorter than Baby Stewart.) I still have upwards of four months until I have this baby but seeing as how it is our first child and we really don’t have much prepared yet. I am starting to panic, a little.
We are on a budget, a very strict budget. If you are like us the prices at baby stores are outrageous. To get some decent pregnancy clothes I spent $350 in one hour at our local maternity store and only a couple of days later I got double the amount of items at a baby thrift store for $70.
Here are 10 Tips to help ease the stress of consignment shopping…
Tip #1 Shop Smart
We all don’t know everything about shopping thrift stores and consignment sales. Every event or store is different, just be prepared and use your noggin. Don’t be afraid to walk around with items while deciding.
Tip #2 Don’t Shop Alone
I personally hate shopping alone. I like to talk through things and take a trusted person with me to get their opinion instantly. I hate waiting for replies for picture messages. Also take someone who is willing to carry your stuff or purse when the load gets heavy.
Tip #3 Know Your Limit
Budget Budget Budget!!! There is a reason you are buying used and not new, it’s because you are a savy shopper and you know that often used is just as good as new but better because you got a great deal! Calculate in your mind how much money it is going to cost for everything you have already grabbed.
Anther way I like to shop is with a list. Take a list and stick to it! Don’t buy anything not needed unless your husband would justify it for you. My Hubs will often allow overspending for an item we will use for a really long period of time if it’s a great deal (But don’t get crazy!) limit yourself to one item Hubs would approve of.
Tip #4 Use Your Resources
If something seems too good to be true, it might be. Grab your phone and Google that sucker! Maybe there is a new and improved item out and so there are tons of this certain product floating all over the Internet waiting to be shipped or sold! Sometimes it is worth checkin g and watching a bunch of that item on eBay you could end up saving even more money in the end than you expected by putting off purchasing that item today.
Tip #5 Reusable Bags
These double as shopping bags for during the process and save plastic in the end. I like my giant canvas trader joes bag (it holds a ton of stuff think 2 boxes of monopoly and then some…) but check rules for consignment sales, some allow only certain personal items inside.
Tip #6 Take Another Mom with You
This could be a great bonding opportunity between the two of you. Don’t think of this as a competition for who gets the best stuff or deals, work as a team and it can be mutually benefitting.
Example: have a plan to work your way around the sale. In each section work together to find good deals that either of you could benefit from, don’t be afraid to speak up and say you want something they are looking at and offer something else or other items they (or their child) might like. Be courteous.
I will be taking my mom to an upcoming event, she has experience with kids (obviously) and I’m just beginning and she knows me better than anyone. And she will have my best interest at heart the whole time. Soon-to-be grandmas seem like more fun than other moms anyways because they are so excited about this new little one coming into their life too.
Tip #7 Dress Smart
This is the time to wear comfortable clothing that can get dirty or snagged. I always and walkin into things so it’s something to consider. Don’t dress to impress! (But don’t scare the children either!) A good outfit to consider would be comfortable jeans, a t-shirt and walking shoes. I like my pants to have pockets so I can store my lists or phone. Ditch the big designer hand bag and take something that isn’t going to weigh you down or get in the way. I also like small bags so if you are hovering with your arms full security doesn’t stare at you because you can’t steal with a super small purse!
Tip #8 No Kid Zone
Imagine the deal zone as a no kid zone. If there is walking, standing and waiting involved kids are not going to have fun (unless it’s Disneyland!) So please leave your kids at home for everyone’s peace of mind! I hate shopping with those people who have the screaming child that they are ignoring. And it makes everyone get grumpy which we don’t need on the sale floor. Be courteous to other shoppers.
Tip #9 Know What Baby Gear to Buy USED
Cribs, Car Seats, and Bottles should be bought new. For bottles you could always buy new nipples but just get some coupons and wait for sales and buy new ones. I think it’s the best for your child, but use your best judgement. Cribs and Car Seats are a danger when used. If you don’t know where a crib came from it could be a problem: could have been recalled and you don’t know without the brand and style number.
Car Seats Cannot Be Used EVER EVER again after a car accident. This is a safety issue. This could mean life or death for up your baby. If you’re tight on a budget just get the car seat new and see if you can borrow a crib from a friend or reach out and see if anyone at church has one to offer. Bassinets are always a good option until you can afford a crib also.
Clothes, Shoes, Playpens and Strollers offer get grown out of before they are too used or messed up. These can be really good finds. Especially clothes and shoes because kids outgrow them so quickly. Just check for signs of wear and stains.
Tip #10 Don’t Stress!
Don’t stress yourself out! You don’t need to get everything at one place or this one day you go shopping. Congratulate yourself for putting in the effort to hunt for a good deal instead of giving in and just going retail shopping. Think of all the money you will save in the long run and don’t give yourself a headache.