Babies are really expensive. I “knew” this before Camden, but I didn’t understand just how much it would cost, until Camden came along. My coping strategy is a simple one. I avoid buying new baby stuff whenever possible.

Many financial advisors make the case against buying a new car. They say a brand-new car looks and smells good, but it’s usually not worth the high price. A slightly used, almost new car is the best financial choice. For me, this is even more true when it comes to buying baby clothes, gear and toys.

I’ve already become a Tot Swap meet regular. On my last trip I got a nursery rug, a baby pool, a beach tent and three books for $20. The thrill of finding something that looks new but is a fraction of the cost is such a rush. It’s like cheating the system.

I’m also a big fan of thrift stores, Goodwill stores, yard sales and hand-me downs. My mom taught me how to find a bargain. We’ve been going to yard sales together since I was a little girl.

My Favorite Finds

  • At a yard sale last summer when I was pregnant, the seller was just giving things away! I got a baby boy quilted comforter, sheet and blanket set that was sports themed for $5! It usually goes for hundreds because it was handmade.
  • Once when Rob and I were in Goodwill, another shopper saw Camden and kindly offered us all of the baby clothes she wasn’t using anymore. She brought us three big bags of different aged baby stuff later that evening. It was such nice stuff! I can’t wait until it’s my turn to pass-along the favor.
  • I bought a barely used MamaRoo baby swing on Facebook Marketplace for one-third of the cost. It is one Camden’s (and my) favorites.

This strategy also works well for me. I’ve gotten great brands for 1/10th of the price. Athleta, J. Crew, Banana Republic and Nike clothes, all at $5 or $6 a piece. I get compliments all the time on them. And, what’s the difference whether they’re new or not? No one knows anyway (or until they read this)! My all-time best deal though is a brand-new King size down comforter I got for $15. It was at a yard sale a few years ago. The guy said he only bought the set because his wife liked the mini pillows inside.