Monday, February 20, 2012

Baby on a Budget: Stocking Up

Rachel originally wrote this post for her blog, The Atwoods, but received a tip to contact me about adding it to my Baby on a Budget series as well.  And it couldn't be more perfect for the series.  Rachel is a girl after my own heart, hitting up garage sales, thrift stores, and clearance sales, but what I love most about their saving for baby strategy is that Rachel and her husband started saving up baby items before they were even expecting!  And from the pictures, it looks like that strategy has really paid off!  Rachel, many blessing for your little boy on the way.


When Nathan and I started to really talk seriously about trying for a baby, we both decided it would be a good time to start preparing ourselves for all the stuff we'd need to buy.

Since Nathan is in management at a local retailer, he sees all of the sales/discounts in his store weekly and he's always aware of the great coupons that are floating around. He took it on as his job to start stockpiling the baby basics - diapers, wipes, baby lotion/oil, etc.

As most of you know, my mom and I make weekly shopping trips to our local Goodwill, so I decided I'd start perusing their racks for maternity clothes too. And now that we're actually expecting baby #1, we're so glad we got a jump start on stockpiling this stuff; all of which we managed to score for a great deal using coupons, or buying stuff 1/2-off at the Goodwill.

I thought I'd share some of our tips in case any of you are planning/trying for kiddos's never too early to start saving money on these things!

Diapers, Baby Lotion/Oil, Bath Wash, etc.

Nathan's tips for buying these everyday items include:
  • First educate yourself on how much diapers cost at their regular price (i.e. Walgreens store brand usually runs about $10/pack, and that big box of Pampers can run upwards of $30 - these are our prices in NY, so make sure you check your local stores to find out for sure)
  • Shop drug stores for clearances, mark downs, and Buy One-Get One Free sales. 
  • Pair the sales in the stores with any manufacture coupons you can find online or in weekly ad circulars. 
  • Stock up if it's a great deal! We know diapers don't expire, so we weren't afraid to buy the "size 3" diapers this early on - we know we'll use them eventually!
All of these same tips apply for any other nonperishable baby items - lotions, oils, wipes, shampoos and bath wash.

With the help of these tips, Nathan was able to score all that stuff pictured above, and we're only halfway through our pregnancy! The Walgreens brand diapers were Buy One, Get One Free so that's why he snagged so many of those, and the Pampers boxes were on clearance so we snagged 2 big boxes of those too. I feel good knowing our little one will have a squeaky clean bum for half the cost! ;)

Maternity Clothes

See those two totes marked "Maternity?" Those suckers are piled high with maternity clothes, and the best part is - I paid no more than $5 for any one item. In fact, a lot of the items cost me $2-$4 each! 

Rachel's tips for buying maternity clothes:
  • Shop your local Goodwill, thrift store, consignment shops first before hitting the major department stores. (All of mine came from Goodwill, but it took me roughly 4 months to stock pile 2 boxes worth.)
  • Buy items that are multi-seasoned. Because I wasn't sure when I'd actually wear the maternity clothes, I only chose items that I knew could be good for many seasons (i.e. a short sleeved shirt that could easily be paired with a cardigan or sweater for fall/winter, thin long-sleeved shirts that could easily be worn in fall/spring, pants that could be worn any time of the year, etc.)
  • And my own personal Goodwill shopping rule - Only buy if it's 1/2-off, UNLESS it's a really really good deal. For example, a few of the maternity work pants were too good to pass up, so I think I ended up paying $5 for them. They were name brand and some even still had the store tags on them, so I think that's worth snapping them up!
And here's a peek at a few of the great items I've found...

Striped dress, originally from Motherhood Maternity 

 Pink top, originally from Kohl's

Maternity below-the-belly panel jeans, originally from Old Navy

Other items that you just want for fun!

I don't know why, but I have always wanted a BabyCook baby food maker. I know you can do the same exact thing with a food processor and a pot of water, but these are just plain fun, and I assume make things a bit easier. However, for the $200 price tag, I just resolved I'd never have one.

Until one sweet day when me and my friend were yard saling and stumbled onto a lady willing to hand hers over for $15. You read that right - $15!!! Did I mention she also included 32 of those little containers for preparing and freezing the baby food?!? Crazy!!!

My tip here? Make a list of these big ticket items that you want/need and then yard sale (or scour Craigslist) like crazy. People are always giving away baby stuff for barely anything at yard sales, so it's an expectant mother's gold mine! 

Now I know what some of you are thinking...wasn't it a bit presumptuous of us to stock pile baby stuff and maternity clothes before we even got pregnant?!?! We thought so too at first. But then, we realized the deals were too good to pass up and decided if we couldn't use them then they would always make great donations or gifts to other expectant parents in need.

What about you guys? Any mother's out there who want to share their tips for finding good deals? We'd love to hear!

Rachel is an Alabama native that moved to cold, snowy Upstate New York several years ago. She fell in love with a red-headed cutie named Nathan and they said 'I-Do' in June 2009. They bought a little place to call home and have been fixing it up ever since. She blogs over at The Atwoods about their DIY house projects, recipes they enjoy, and their most recent adventure...getting ready to welcome a new (little) member into their family in June!

Please check out the other posts (including some great guest posts) in my Baby on a Budget series.  


  1. Rachel @ The AtwoodsFebruary 21, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Thanks for featuring us, Mandi! :) 

  2. Those cologne are really perfect for a baby. My cousin's first baby use it. The smell was great! :)

    pheromone cologne


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