Frugal mummying 

I think most people who know me well would testify to the fact that I’m not really a frugal kind of girl. Before becoming pregnant, I would merrily swan off on mini breaks with the girls at the drop of a hat, I was always pretty carefree when it was my round, I flounced off for fancy lunches on a regular basis and I cheerfully spent a hefty percentage of my monthly salary in Topshop. 

I’m not really sure what happened to me when I became pregnant but I suddenly became very…careful with money! I was convinced from the off that I wanted to take a full year off work with my baby, so I set out to save as much money as possible during my pregnancy so I could be sure to have enough cash to enjoy my maternity leave to the absolute fullest. This part was quite easy though really as I could not BELIEVE how much money I had left over when I wasn’t throwing dosh around on clothes, wine, fags (sorry) and nights out. 

The second thing was, I discovered the world of mothers on social media and it blew my mind! In my hometown, we have a very successful and popular mummy group on Facebook which, as well as providing a sounding board for mummy rants, advice, general support and hugs, it has a buy/sell section. I don’t want to sound like a mean mummy here, but I’m well aware of the fact that babies go through clothes, toys and pretty much everything else faster than Lewis Hamilton with a rocket up his arse, so I decided to take advantage of some bargains.

Firstly, I asked my veteran mummy friends for some advice on what I actually NEEDED to buy brand new, and purchased accordingly. These are the things I have actually bought, from actual shops. 

1. A Baby Jogger City Mini GT buggy

2. A Maxi Cosi car seat that was compatible with the buggy

3. Mattresses for Moses Basket and Cot

4. A changing mat

5. Some Tommee Tippee bottles (that have never been used!) 

6. A lovely changing bag (this was actually a gift!) 

Pretty much EVERYTHING ELSE I have bought has been second hand. Ok, ok, I occasionally get iPad happy when breastfeeding and buy cute (mainly stripy) things from M&S, Zara or Baby Gap, and my other half sticks a few packs of vests and sleepsuits into the trolley when he does his usual pilgrimage to Asda during baby events (great savings to be made on nappies/wipes etc) but apart from that I honestly get all of my baby things from my local Mummy facebook group! 

So far, I have managed to snaffle amazing bargains such as…

– A complete Mamas & Papas bedroom set (crib/chest of drawers/wardrobe all in vintage pine) for £100

– A John Lewis Moses Basket for £15

– A Fisherprice jumperoo that had barely been used for £35 

– An immaculate V-Tech baby walker for £5

– Various baby sleeping bags of varying size and tog for £5 each 

– Most of the fabulous “That’s Not My…” Usbourne books for 50p each 

– Mamas & Papas “Millie & Boris” nursery set – curtains, duvet, mobile, picture etc for £80 

– Clothes, so so many baby clothes, for fractions of the original prices 

I’m also very lucky that I’m more or less the last girl in my immediate friendship group to have a baby, so I’ve been fortunate enough to get given lots of lovely baby clothes too, and I’ve borrowed things like Isofix car systems that would otherwise have been gathering dust in the loft. 

I must admit, I’ve been pretty shocked on occasion when I see how much some baby stores charge for certain items. I remember seeing a microwave steriliser in one of the big baby stores for £26. Being a newly frugal mummy lady, I did a quick Google search and found the same one from Amazon for £8. It almost reminded me of getting married, where suddenly everyday items have a few zeros added to the price. Pretty annoying. 

I absolutely and completely understand if any new or expecting mums fancy buying everything brand new – it’s what makes you happy at the end of the day – but for me, I’ve really REALLY enjoyed seeing just how much I could save by using social media buy/sell sites, eBay and generally shopping around. I’d estimate that I’ve saved THOUSANDS of pounds this way. Thousands. 

Here are my top tips for frugal mummy-ing:

– Be very accepting of people giving you maternity clothes and baby clothes. These things have usually been worn just handfuls of times, and can easily be washed and ironed back to nearly newness. And I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all my amazing friends who have chucked stuff my way. I shall pass it forward! 

– Always check with your veteran mummy mates before you buy things like stairgates, Isofix bases, bumbos etc – these things are usually kept in lofts between babies and can easily be borrowed and given back in the same condition. 

– Join your local facebook mummy groups. People love to sell baby clothes and toys and they are usually always in immaculate condition (or it is stated if they’re not). Things like baby walkers tend to do the rounds but hey, take advantage and pass it on when you’re finished! It’s so much more eco-friendly this way, too 🙂 

– Stock up on boxes of nappies and wipes during big supermarket baby events or even look at using regular delivery options on Amazon and the like. If you buy in bulk, you’ll save more.

– Books! If you have a baby bookworm like mine, find out what they like and buy bundles on eBay.

– Sell your stuff afterwards – it will pay for your mat leave lattes and cakes and will go some way to stopping your house looking like a small branch of Mothercare that’s been ransacked by lunatics. 

It’s great fun, and it’s almost like going back in time to how our grandmas would have approached parenting. Helping each other out and spreading the love. And I, for one, think that Martin Lewis would be VERY proud of me!

What is your best money-saving mummy tip? 

Mummascribbles

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Beautwins
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21 thoughts on “Frugal mummying 

  1. Great money-saving mummy tips here. I was lucky enough to be the last of my siblings to have children so had a lot handed down and my twin sister gave me all her maternity clothes. Hubby’s cousin has twin girls who are a year older than my eldest so we have had quite a few hand-me-downs from them and having a second child of the same gender has also been great for being able to use all those baby clothes again! 🙂

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    1. Thanks Louise! My sister had a boy two months before me so that was pretty handy too…I can’t believe how little wear they get out of clothes – seems bonkers to spend so much on everyday items! I’d rather him wear hand-me-downs and then occasionally splash out on a nice boden or monsoon party outfit 🙂

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  2. Great tips! I had the opposite problem when pregnant the first time & spent horrendous amounts of dosh on fairly useless things. Second time round I was much more frugal & relied on hand me downs. I’ve been selling off all my baby stuff slowly over the last year which gives me a nice little bit of ‘frittering’ money 🙂
    #brilliantblogposts

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  3. I should pay heed to this more – i’m getting better at budgeting. I was a demon for online shopping just after my last baby, breast feeding, iphone and a credit card make a bag (good?!) combination!! #brilliantblogposts

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  4. Great advice here! I have had to become more frugal now that we have four kids. Completely agree with you about buying second hand, the stuff can be in such good condition. I have also come to the realisation that cheaper nappies and baby wipes can be just as good quality as the expensive range, the difference in prices for the same quality astounds me.

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  5. Buying second hand when it comes to kids things make absolute sense…and your tips are fantastic. Means less goes to landfill too which has to be a good thing!

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  6. I agree with all of these! Consigning/buying second hand has been a true money saver for us. My husband thought I was crazy at first, but once he realized that I could buy a $20 onesie for $4, he eased off on the looks and remarks when I came home from consignment shops and sales 🙂

    We also use cloth diapers during the day. Those are a lot up front, but we’re using them on our second child and I love not having to worry (too much) about running out mid-diaper change! I agree with stocking up on the disposable ones when you find a sale — at least when your child is older and isn’t growing super fast like they do when they are newborns.

    (hi from the #WeekendBlogHop!)

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  7. I spent so much on our first boy then the second we became aware of local swapshops and these became my mothercare! you do need to be choosy and check everything twice but you can save urself a fortune for sure ! great post #weekendbloghop

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  8. I’m an ebay addict! I love a bargain, and it’s very rare I pay full price for anything, as there’s always a sale on some where! Children are very expensive so it’s handy to save money where you can. I use topcashback as well, as we get cashback on the things we have no choice about paying like car insurance, I’ve had £240 cashback so far just for doing my normal shopping! #sundaystars

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  9. I am so the same! I have got so many bargains for Zach – I once picked up two bags of clothes for £20 from someone and some of them still had tags on! I had loads of hand me downs too, both maternity clothes and baby clothes – most from my old boss who had her last child six months before me! I am currently saving everything up in the loft for (hopefully) baby number two but after that I’ll be passing things on! I did lend some of the maternity clothes to a friend and they’re back in the loft now! Oh I also got a playhouse for the garden for £20 – a house s few doors down had it in their front garden for sale as they were moving! And I also got a scooter for £6 and a bunch of ride ons for nothing!! Bargain 🙂 thanks for linking up with #twinklytuesday

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  10. I wish i had been more frugal I brought all new for my first so it did last 2 children but then got rid after and had to buy most things again when my youngest came along! I’m alot more aware of the great bargains that can be found now though!

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  11. Brilliant post!!! I wish I had been as frugal and methodical as you when I was pregnant with Luke. I could have saved loads! But luckily for me, some of the more expensive things were bought for me, such as the bouncer and play mats. I also got given a load of clothes and a free microwave steriliser (it was for Advent bottles, but Tommee Tippees fitted well enough too).
    Thanks for the eBay book bundle tip! I was just on some book sites thinking of ordering some books for counting and colours and Luke is now 18 months and starting to learn and pick up on things like that. But now i’m not looking at paying a FORTUNE.
    Thanks for such a lovely post, darling! #SundayStars

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    1. Aw thank you so much! Yes, in pretty sure I managed to get about 7 of the That’s Not My..books for about £12. They were in great condition too! Car boots are a pretty good idea if you’re looking for books too – I bought loads of Night Garden books from a local car boot for 50p each and they didn’t look like they’d ever been opened! 🙂

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  12. Fab tips there! I was the complete opposite – I am a nightmare! Ha ha! Hands up! I know frugal living can be done but I just didn’t. I am the one that gives it all away too at the end apart from clothes I love. Although I did have some larger clothes given to me by friends towards the end. If I was to do it again, I would definitely go down the frugal route!! I know I can do it! Thanks so much for linking to #SundayStars xxx

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  13. We regularly hold a ‘swishy morning’. Basically we have coffee and biscuits at somebody’s house and bring any items that we no longer need or use to swap. Clothes, toys, books, puzzles, games as long as they are in good condition. It’s a fun morning getting rid of items you don’t want and gaining new ones 🙂

    #weekendbloghop

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  14. Brilliant post, great that you did this with your first too! I spent far too much money on my first but I am finally getting there now I am expecting my third, I even bought a second hand double pram the other week, was a bargain! x

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