Most of you are aware it can be super expensive starting and raising a family in Australia. From the moment we find out we are expecting we are bombarded with products, information and so called must haves. The cost of setting up for a new baby can be as much as $5000 and this of course costs are ongoing as bub grows and develops. The money we spend on kids under 5 is always justified but much of it is unnecessary money spent which could be put towards improving family life.
In 2010 after the birth of my second child I realised how much I had saved over the years. Many friends were excited to hear how to spend less, some were a little shocked and others were already converted. I was a regular market goer and after seeing a lack of outlets in my area to buy and sell secondhand the Sunny Coast Baby and Kids Market was born. Now my youngest is 18 months old and I continue to live and breathe pre loved!
Below is my guide to saving some $$$ for your kids under 5..
Make a list
When you are setting up for your first born it is so easy to overspend! Make a list of necessary and wanted items for your baby. This avoids unnecessary purchases especially on items you will never use. The best way to compile your list is to consult friends, look in their baby’s drawers and nurseries and ask lots of questions! Once you have a list compiled carry it with you and mark off items as you go.
Source from friends
The ultimate form of re housing is sharing amongst friends. Lots of people will offer and like giving things to you that they no longer use. Most friends won’t expect money but if it makes you feel better you can pay or swap.
Hit the Markets!
Okay! So I am a baby and kids market junky but unless you have been to one before you have no idea how good they are. You can save so much money by shopping at markets as most people are just happy to offload their excess in exchange for some cash. Most markets have a huge range of large items including prams, cots etc. and 1000’s of items of clothing and toys. Entry is normally only a couple of dollars. Be prepared with a suitable car to transport larger items, plenty of change and comfy shoes. Make sure you stick to that list to ensure you don’t end up with 30 size 0000 suits etc. It is usually quite easy to find a local market but you can always search marketangel.com.au or find your local ones on Facebook. Word usually travels fast amongst Mums!
Hit the op shops
Another great outlet for pre loved baby and kids gear is the op shops. This is one you must take a little more care with as some are as expensive as retail stores. Shop smart and look for the better ones that may offer fill a bag deals on kids gear. A great local op shop can be a good place to check every week as they get new stock every day.
The explosion of Facebook has seen hundreds of buy and sell sites. Most areas will have one or you could always start your own. These are a great way to link up with Mums and buy in bulk. Always make sure you double check the quality etc. before committing to the purchase. EBay can also be a good bargain finder, but be aware of getting sucked into bidding more than you should and remember to factor in the postage costs.
Search local garage sales
Every week your local paper will list the garage sales. Check the ads to see if they are selling any baby gear or just visit them to find out. Be prepared to sift through boxes of clothes and allocate enough time to visit all of the ones you would like.
By following some or all of these tips you should be on your way to saving lots of dollars. Come and experience the smarter way to shop! xx
Guest Post by Julia Meaker
Julia Meaker is a full time Mum to Georgia 3 ½ and Jack 18 months. She is the creater of the Sunny Coast Baby and Kids Market which was born out of a love for shopping smarter for kids under 5.
The concept has now spread to include three venues with more on the cards. The idea came about after a lifelong love of saving by buying pre loved. The Sunny Coast Baby and Kids Market aims to provide an affordable outlet for parents to buy & sell their unwanted baby & kids items, as well as provide a stage for the work at home mum’s (WAHM’s).