My sister P is a frugal queen and is always forthcoming with wise words of wisdom about saving money whilst not sacrificing quality or lifestyle, due to the fact she follows many a financial blog (yes, she's a bit of a geek, but that's why we love her). One of her frugal flashes was to set a goal for the amount of money spent on Tricky in the first year of his life. As soon as the budget of $1000 was mentioned I thought it was impossible... have you seen the prices of cots, change tables and car seats?? Even shopping at Baby on a Budget is expensive – I'm not sure who's budget they're catering for but it certainly isn't mine! So let's try the $1000 challenge!
I've always been a bit of an eBay junkie – I've bought lots of things ranging from makeup through to bathers and electronic toys. So why not use it for baby stuff? A lot of the items are big and pick up only, so while it cuts out over half the products for sale, it saves trying to figure out a courier cost from the eastern states.
There is a down side though. I'm pretty sure my blood pressure is sky rocketing at the end of each auction as I become the highest bidder for a few minutes until I'm knocked out of the race (probably by someone not participating in a budget challenge). I sit there with multiple windows open, a different high price in each, not trusting the automatic bidding system. Watching the countdown clock, calling out to Hubby “3 minutes, 26 seconds left!”, and if he answers back I don't actually listen – I can't listen – I'm way too busy being ruthless. This is the closest thing to armed combat I'll ever see. My weapons are strange prices, high speed broadband and the unpredictable craziness that comes with surging hormones – WATCH OUT!
Ok, so maybe not the healthiest option. A much more sedate version is Gumtree. List item, state the price you want, first person to make contact gets it. Easy. The only problem is people don't delete the ads after the item has sold, so you can be looking at an ad, only a few hours old, only to be told it sold immediately.
So far from Gumtree I've nabbed a Hug-A-Bub baby sling for $50 (RRP $120) and a cot for $150 (RRP ~$600). Plus with the cot the lady threw in a high-chair, a nappy holder and an older style swing bassinet, all in great condition. Because I'm fussy I'm going to sand back and paint the cot and bassinet, make them all pretty, ready for Tricky... who won't have a clue and really won't care that Mummy spent hours doing it.