shopping


There are few things that I love more than saving money. Except possibly (ok definitely) seeing my kids smiling and having fun! Enter : All Kids Stuff Sale. Pretty much the best thing ever for cheap thrifty parents.

It is basically a giant, amazingly organized garage sale, with some quality control. (They really don’t sell junk stuff) Priced somewhere between garage sales and chain re-sale shops (like Once upon a child). I have found that especially with baby/kids things getting something new is really overrated. The kids don’t use something long enough (in general) to make it worth the outrageous price that a lot of retailers put on the item simply because it is labeled “baby”. I went tonight and struck gold! Here is how I do it.

1. I sorted through all the kids clothes last week to see where they are lacking. (Alex only needs snow pants, Kalea some
more 6-9 or 9-12mo stuff. More on this later)
2. Jason and I talk about and compile a list of what we think the kids need, so I have a plan of attack going in.
3. I get there an hour before the doors open to the sale so I can get a front spot in the line.
4. First place I head is if I have any major items on my list (like a pack n play, stroller or crib.) This time my “big item” was outdoor toys.
5. If something even makes me think about it and it is a “big item” I grab the tag off of it (claiming it as mine, even if I can’t lug it around the whole sale) I can always put a purchase back.
6. I always go in with a budget and keep a running tally (roughly) in my head.
7. I re-evaluate all my purchases before I check out.
8. My general rule of thumb on pricing is : if I can’t make it cheaper, I will buy it. If I haven’t seen it cheaper I will buy it.

9. Unless there is a major clothing item (like a winter coat) I don’t purchase any clothes till Saturday. That is their half price day. There are soooooo many clothes that it is easier to even look for clothes when they have been kinda picked over.

So here is what I got last night:

All my finds

      

They will cook lots of yummy meals with this!

Some pretty cool inside toys.

Some pretty cool inside toys

Two wall hangings with matching bedroom set.

All in all I got : Play kitchen, lots of play food/dishes, outside swing, two baby dolls, baby basket, head bands for Kalea, play lawn mower, Little Tikes car, complete bedroom suite (including 2 twin quilts and 2 wall hangings), somewhere around 15 match box cars, somewhere around 10+ animal “action figures”

For a grand total of: $64.00.

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One of the staples of every family with a baby is a stroller. Unfortunately one of the other things that most families with a baby have in common, is a slim budget. And those strollers are expensive!!!! One of the ways we decided to get around the cost was to shop on e-bay. We found the following stroller…



This was bought by a grandma who ended up using it only a few times. (The wheels look barely worn and the fabric is in great shape) It folds simply with one hand, reclines, and has a nice storage basket under the seat. We figured blue and green was fairly safe for boy or girl, but it will definitely work now that we found out we are having a boy!

The best part was the price. The asking price was only $10.00 and with shipping we ended up paying around $30.00 for a gently used stroller. I was pretty happy with that purchase 🙂

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Since we heard the baby’s heart beat we have decided it is “safe” to start purchasing some need-to-haves. My sister-in-law told me about a local baby store that is going out of business. Since I am always on the look out for sweet deals I decided to check it out. From my experience, I have come up with some guidelines for getting the best deal possible.

1. Scope out and ask around. I went in last week and looked at what they had. I took a pen and paper and made notes of items that were of interest to me. Everything in the store was 25% off. So I wrote down the items, and the prices, then went home without buying anything. I asked my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law about what good prices are for the items I had written down. That way I could narrow it down to what I really wanted to get.

2. Just because it says sale doesn’t mean its a deal. This is why I asked around before I bought. Some things really were decent (like a toddler to infant bath tub for $9) Other things really weren’t a deal at all. (Like a bebe pod infant seat for $35). But since I am not familiar with baby pricing I did some research, so I didn’t get sucked in to spending more than I needed to just because I saw the sign “sale”.

3. Prioritize needs over wants. Think ahead. What is something that you are really going to need. What can your baby not adequately survive without? Those adorable baby bumpers, and wall hangings really are cute, but are they needed. Spend money on the needed things first, then think about what you can get as shower gifts, then get whatever you really really want with left over money.

4. Don’t fall for fancy trimmings. I walked into the store tonight (for the second time) and the owner remembered me. I picked up a fisher price infant to toddler aquarium bathtub. It was quite adorable. Originally priced at $24 at this shop (other places had it retailing at $30) then 25% off of that dropped it down to $18. I was happy with this price, saving $12 on typical retail price. But before I checked out I saw a table that was marked down to 50% off. On it was also an infant to toddler tub. It was a First Year brand. Original price $18, but at 50% off it was only $9. Before I purchased either tub, I compared the two.

The First Years brand

The Fisher Price Brand

As you can see the Fisher Price brand is flashier, and could be quite tempting. But when it comes right down to it, the only real difference between the two tubs was the 3 bath toys that came with the Fisher Price one. They both had rounded plastic bodies, they both had soft rubber grips/cushions for the toddler, they both had plugs in the bottom to let water out and they both had soft mesh infant attachment. The Fisher price had patterned material and the First Years one had plain material and of course the lack of toys. Practically speaking, babies won’t play with toys in the tub, nor do they care if their are fish on their seats or not. So I decided to spend $9 and get an infant to toddler bath tub 🙂

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