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Shopping like a man!

One day and £400 for buying all the baby equipment we will need in his first 12 months

Eleven weeks to go until our new arrival and we haven't even spoken about what we need to buy. This is our first child and we have no real understanding of what is essential and what is a 'nice to have'

Luckily somebody reminded me about lovemoney.com's video: How to cut the cost of having a baby. This listed 10 essential items that you can't live without. So Wifey and I used this as a basis to compile our own list.

  The shopping list  

•Cot

•Car seat

•Moses basket

•Pram

•Lightweight pushchair

•Changing table

•Baby bath

•Baby monitor

•High chair

•Play pen

•Activity centre / mat

•Stair gate

•Blankets and bedding

The rules

In the video, it mentioned that you will spend a whopping £8,853 on your baby in its first year. Around £2,000-£3,000 of this is on the initial major purchases, such as the cot, pushchair etc.

But I had no intention of spending anything like that amount of money. I was going to spend £400, and I was going to pick it all up in one day!

To keep me on the straight and narrow, I made myself some rules:

•Spend no more than £400

•Spend six evenings (eight hours) finding and researching products

•Buy within a 15 mile radius of my home or arrange postage

•Spend one day to pick up items or buy online

•Only buy quality brands. Yes, they may be more expensive, but they are likely to last and will probably be in better condition if they are bought used.

We decided to get new bedding, but everything else could be used.

Where to buy?

ebaydefinitely got the thumbs up - a quick search of the baby section and it threw up more than 360,000 items. I also decided to use online sales because I have nothing against buying new if it has money off or if it's great value to start with!

And the supermarkets would be a good option too - let's see if we can use those Tesco points.

I also considered freecycle, but decided against it. As good a concept as it is, the last time I registered I got hundreds of emails and I just didn't have the time or patience to weed through them.

It was also a big no for friends and family because any friends and family that have children are having more right now.

I got the PC fired up and I was off. And I discovered that there were plenty of baby sales around.

mamasandpapas.com had a good online sale with many things half price. mothercare.com also had many items reduced. And kiddicare.com had a half price car seat sale. There were lots of items around my area on eBay too, so I started there.

After reviewing eBay on Monday, the first item was up. A Mamas & Papas pram, high chair, bag, car seat, changing bag and parasol. It had only reached £15 - amazing, given brand new sets like this retail for £600.

20 seconds left and a further bid went in, but I secured it for a scarcely believable £25. Who's the daddy now? Ok, perhaps not the best term to pop into my head considering the task in hand.

Wednesday and Thursday

After giving Wifey patter about how easy this task was, I was quickly brought down to earth. Two cots, a baby breathing monitor, and a stair gate were all lost at the last minute, but I had maximum amounts to stick to.

Friday 

Friday is more fruitful. I get another two used items from eBay - a Mothercare wicker Moses basket and a Mamas & Papas Luna pushchair.

The Moses basket and stand retail for £90 new and I picked the pair up for £10.50. The pushchair costs £160 from retailers, but I got mine for £45.

Saturday 

Loads of items up today, but they all go for more than they had been mid-week. The original plan for a Sunday pick is now in tatters.

Sunday - The big day

The military style operation to locate and gather all our hardware is no more. We only have half the items on the list, the planned 9am start becomes 11am. This quickly becomes midday as we discover 'we' have forgotten the sat nav.

The pram people have still not come back since Tuesday with a pick up time, so the only items we have to pick up are the pushchair and the Moses basket. I've failed!

Sunday night - Valentine's night

A romantic night in buying baby stuff - not sure Wifey was impressed with that, but I couldn't fail completely and Sunday night is a hive of activity on eBay.

First off, the other purchases I had planned. A Baby Einstein activity centre is purchased from Amazonfor £45; free postage and £15 cheaper than anywhere else. Then back to the excellent sale on the Mamas & Papas website.

I pick up £248 worth of blankets, bedding etc for a much more reasonable £105. We also buy a bouncing cradle for £35 and save another £10.  

Then back to eBay for some of the bigger items. A really nice Mamas & Papas cot and changing unit are up. We secure these for £36 and £46 respectively. We also get a BT baby monitor and a Mothercare playpen. Sunday is clearly the day to shop!

We still want to get a better car seat, but that's it. So here's a quick run-down of all the items we bought.

 

Item

Retailer

Cost new

Price paid

Saving

Mamas & Papas cot    

eBay

£180+*

£36

£144

Mamas & Papas changing table

eBay

£140

£46     

£94

Mamas & Papas Luna pushchair

eBay

£160**           

£45

£115

Luna pushchair liner   

eBay

£18

£0

£18

Mamas & Papas ripple bouncing cradle

Mamas & Papas sale

£45     

£35

£10

Baby Einstein gym

Amazon

£50 (no post)

£45 (inc post)

£5

BT digital baby monitor plus   

eBay

£69.99**        

£29.05

£40.94

Mamas & Papas pram & high chair set

eBay

£450* 

£25

£425

Stair gate         

Tesco

£25

Tesco club card points

£25

Mothercare Moses basket and stand         

eBay

£90

£10.50

£79.50

Mothercare Slumberfun travel playpen

eBay

£40*

£20

£20

Blankets and bedding 

Mamas & Papas sale

£248   

£105

£143

Total              

 

£1,516

£396   

£1,120

*Estimated based on similar model.

** Currently on sale for: £129 pushchair and £59.99 baby monitor.

So overall, we saved ourselves a fabulous £1,120 and stayed within our budget of £400!

Would I recommend you do it?

Definitely, this is a great way to buy. The rules that I set worked well, but I would add the following:

•Give yourself two weeks to source all the items- My biggest mistake was starting on Monday and finishing on Saturday. Many items on eBay finish on Sunday so have the first Sunday as a buying day.

•Research your purchases- Take into account postage, specifications, and look to see if it is on sale anywhere. Also check user reviews so you don't buy a dud.

•Don't get sucked in - We almost convinced ourselves that we needed oak furniture!

Finally, have fun. I don't even like shopping for myself, but by doing it this way it was fast paced and exciting, not at all what I expected when I said I'd go baby shopping.

By Paul Taylor of Love Money

 

 

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