Have you found that when buying necessities for your little one that it seems that the companies and shops are just out to screw you for money? They do, because they can! I, however, have decided to take a stand and bleed these companies dry of any savings they’re offering.
I’m not an overly tight person when it comes to shopping, but there are certain things I don’t agree with, and over charging for things really winds me up. (I used to work for a licensing company for a HUGE sports company that owns a lot of brands and trust me, the prices you pay for items are massive compared to the cost of manufacture.) I’m also big on buying items that will last for years on end, so I really do get my monies worth.
When it came to shopping, K left pretty much everything up to me to research once we passed the 12 week safety zone, and research I did. I compiled a list of options and presented them to K, to find out what was a definite NO. Once we had narrowed everything down – thats when I started to shop around to find the best deal on said item. It was a lot of work but when you then compare the savings you’re getting at the end it’s totally worth it.
Some people will recommend that you get certain items second hand where you can, and in some situations I would agree, however as Beansprout could very well be our only child, getting things second hand was not an option, especially as we’d prepared for this moment by saving for months on end, so I really wanted everything from new.
With a combination of using cash-back sites, sales and baby shows, we managed to save a fairly hefty amount, which all comes in handy when preparing for a little one. Don’t get me wrong, some items did cost a little bit more that we would have liked but that’s because some of the benefits that came with the item actually outweighed the price and it would benefit us in the long run.
I’d like to give you some examples;
I use our baby swing as an example of over spending, although we haven’t reviewed this item yet I know it’s going to last us longer than other baby swings. It did cost us almost double the price of our second choice swing, but that swing would probably have a smaller shelf life.
When it came to the furniture, we wanted to purchase something that would last for at least 4/5 years. After a lot of deliberation we opted for something from the Mamas & Papas range, mainly because they had an incredibly good sale on that we just couldn’t pass up on, as well as a great reputation.
We purchased a 3 piece nursery set, which included a Cot Bed, Wardrobe, and Chest of drawers with built in changer for £512.00 down from £800.00!
The cot bed didn’t come with a mattress as these are sold separately. Looking around, I wasn’t prepared to pay Mamas and Papas prices for a cot bed mattress and headed over to Mothercare, who at the time had a sale just on mattresses. This is not an item you want to cheap out on, but we found our chosen mattress had a whopping 40% discount on it – get in!
The last item worth mentioning as an example is of course the pram/travel system depending on your preference. We wanted something that would be value for money and grow with Beansprout, so opted for a Travel System.
The one we bought comes complete with a Chassis that can have multiple combinations. Option 1 – Car Seat for rear facing on the system; Option 2 – Carry Cot, and Option 3 – Buggy Seat, that can be rear or forward facing. The set also came complete with drinks holders, Boot cover, Mosquito net (don’t ask me why we need one in the UK), rain cover and changing bag.
This set normally retails for around £500. By shopping around and waiting a little longer to purchase it, this gradually came down until I got it for £249.99!
So in total we managed to save 58% just on these 3 items by shopping around.
We have been just as assertive on everything else we have purchased for beansprout, but it’s the bigger items that really make a difference and can cut into your budget. In total, savings on everything we have purchased have tipped the scales at just over £1500 (inc. the above mentioned items, this saving does not include the cash-back we have earned.)
Just remember to take your time and plan exactly what you need / want for your little bundle of joy, and if you approach it with a reasonable maximum price you wish to pay for the item, more often than not you will get it for that price or cheaper, just be prepared to shop around.
Other quick tips include:-
- For items you may not need straight away, put them in a shopping basket and leave them. Online stores often change their prices and will notify you if the item’s price has changed if it’s sat in your basket. Using this method will mean you don’t have to keep checking the item for a change in price, just wait.
- Don’t buy too far in advance. There are tons of toys and nursery bits we’ve seen for beansprout but they won’t benefit from them yet so why bother spending that money now when it could be put towards something else?
- Wait for Baby Shows! We’re not lying when we say you will make savings at Baby Shows so go prepared with a list of how much certain somethings cost so that you can compare. If you find that there’s no difference to an online store than at least you know and you haven’t wasted money (or valuable bag holding space).
- Compare the difference in price once cash-back is earned. If it’s cheaper anyway AND you get cash-back then you’re onto a winner. If the difference in price with cash-back purely pays for P&P then don’t bother.
- If you have no idea where to start your search, look at places that offer awards to products; such as Prima Magazine and Mother & Baby. These items have been tried and tested, and compared with dozens if not hundreds of other products. There is a reason they’ve received the award.
- On a similar note to the above, just because they’ve got the award doesn’t mean they’ll work for you. A lot of the time, the simpler (and cheaper) item will work just as well.
- Don’t rely on high street sales! Big name stores like Mothercare and Mamas and Papas big themselves on “massive savings”, especially in January, but in reality they really are no different to smaller online stores that are offering that price already. Plus, I’m all for giving smaller companies a go.
Have you got any money saving tips when it comes to preparing for a baby?
*We’ve mentioned certain stores in this post as they’re the ones we’ve used, not because they’ve asked us to. All items mentioned in this post have been purchased with our own money and any discounts offered by the companies were because we found them advertised and not because they were given to us for the purpose of a review/sponsored post.