Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Baby On A Budget

One of the biggest stress factors for me so far in this pregnancy has been the finances.
If I had known my workplace had such an awful maternity policy, I may have spent a few more months saving up before I put this bun in the oven!
But rather than wallowing in self pity, I have been trying to be proactive by finding ways to save money in the lead up to my baby arriving, alongside buying the necessary baby equipment.
I thought I would share some of the money-saving tips I have found so far in case they could be useful for you too, so here goes:

Freecycle / Greencycle
If you Google ‘Freecycle’ or ‘Greencycle’ and the area you live in, you should come across some groups you can sign up to. They are basically mailing lists purely for people in your local area who want to give away things they no longer use. So far I have picked up a few baby bits including a cot, baby clothes and a bath seat. It is also a great way to get rid of things you no longer want to people who can make use of them, rather than just dumping them in the bin.
There are quite a few websites that offer free samples of baby bits, from nappies and creams to teddy bears and wash products. Some of these even come with money off vouchers, which is always handy.
My favourite sites so far are:
This site has freebies in a range of areas. The health and beauty section has a lot for babies.       

Financial advice
Getting advice from The Citizens Advice Bureau or a financial advisor can be helpful, especially if you have debts and want to sort these out in time for your new arrival. There are quite a few tips on many pregnancy websites about trying to budget, and consolidating debts so you can move them over to interest free credit cards for a few months to help ease the strain.
Making savings where you can is vital during pregnancy. I am cutting back on all the nicer foods and activities I used to do, and reminding myself that it won’t be like this forever. It is going to be hard, but you will be surprised how much money you can save just by changing little things, such as cancelling that gym membership, trying to swap your gas and electric to a better deal, and walking instead of driving round to the corner shop.

Car boot Sales
I have become a car boot junkie! You would be amazed by the great bargains you can pick up at these, which in the long run will save you a lot of money. I have been getting baby grows for as little as 10p each, as well as toys, books and useful bath accessories. I bought a bath chair for £2 which is still for sale in Asda at nearly £16, so it can really help the old purse strings!
The only downside is that you need to plan in advance for boot sales, as now we are heading into winter, a lot will shut down until Easter. However, when these close, many schools, churches and charities tend to organise indoor jumble and table top sales, so I am definitely going to keep an eye out for these!
Sales and Sites
Keep an eye out for all the shop and internet shop sales. BHS, Mothercare and Debenhams in particular tend to have a lot of regular sales, and clearance sections on their websites.
Ebay is a great site to find second-hand and brand new items for low prices. I am also a fan of Gumtree, as you can search by local area so you can collect rather than pay postage.
Since becoming pregnant, I have found that some of my friends have been great helps, as they have offered to loan me some of their play equipment and clothes that they have in storage until they have their next child or grandchild. This is by far a great way to save the pennies, and when you no longer need them they have another home to go back to, rather than take up space in yours!
My only worry doing this is breaking the items, but I will only borrow the more low cost items, so if they do break, I can afford to replace them.
In some areas, there are toy libraries, where you can borrow many toys for a few weeks free of charge. It is worth contacting your local library to find out how to do this.
Doing a Del Boy
Now is the time to have a massive clearout of your own, and seeing if anything is sellable. Gumtree and The Friday-Ad are free to post ads on and you can specify your local area, so people can collect easily.
Facebook now has selling pages and groups. Just type in the name of your local area and you are likely to find quite a few. This is another great way to advertise your things.
There are also some sites that you can bulk sell things to. Musicmagpie.co.uk buy cds, dvds and games, and they even let you send it to them by freepost.
If you are feeling really brave, you could even do a car boot sale yourself, and try and flog it all in one go.

Make sure you look into what benefits you are entitled to, so that you are not missing out on anything. These include Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits, Child Benefit, Income Support, Mortgage/Rent help, Healthy Start Vouchers and Council Tax reductions.
Your midwife can provide you with a book about these benefits, and you can also look at the HMRC and Inland Revenue websites to try and calculate what you are entitled to.
Any other tips?
If you have any other money-saving or money-making ideas, please add a comment at the bottom of this post, as all ideas are very welcome!


  1. Great idea!! I have been scoping Gumtree and also ebay for good quality second-hand stuff. Also i recommend the local library for getting things like poregnancy books, prenatal excercise DVDs and also relaxation music CDs.

  2. What a good idea! There have been a couple of articles in the Guardian Money section about a woman who was trying to spend as little as possible when getting baby equipment.

    Some Freecycle groups became Freegle groups when there was a bit of a fall out or something, so might be worth mentioning then too. I live on the border of 2 groups, one is Freecycle and the other is Freegle but they both use Yahoo.

  3. What a great blog. It never occurred to me to go to a car boot sale but I'm going to look into that. Also NCT Nearly New Sales are supposed to be good, think we're going to one in a couple of weeks.
    We've also told everyone that we don't want anything for us for Christmas presents and can we have baby things/mothercare vouchers instead. Bit boring but last year I got a rather expensive bronze cat (seriously!) that gathers dust, a baby monitor would be much more useful this year!

  4. well i have told everyone i dont want presents and im not buying any either.I bought for my children and thats it.Thats all i can afford and i was not going to skimp on my kids presents so i can buy everyone else stuff.

  5. NCT sales are great I've been to loads and you can get fantastic bargains. I got over £200 worth of toys for less than £50 at one and always come away with what I was after for a fraction of the price! Defo worth a look if you are on a budget! My friend gets most of her clothes for her new baby at them.
    They also do ones that are specifically for equipment and clothes and they also do maternity bits as well.

  6. Great blog! I think one of the comments mentioned it, but nct nearly new sales are great, saved me a fortune with DS1!
    Now expecting LO2 I am planning, one I know the flavor, to do swaps if necessary with friends who have had the flavor before....or reuse of course (cam you tell I'm praying for pink).
    Boots baby club (or something like that is amazing) you get 10x points on baby products & loads of vouchers. You used to be able to get a free change bag too....not sure if this is still the case, but I recommend if it is as it's a great basic bag & is still going strong for us 1 year later

  7. sorry I'm crashing
    yes boots still so the free changing bag :)
    sign up to ALL the sites.
    pampers - they're giving away baby packs at the minute, can't remember what's in it now but def 10 free nappies :)
    asda own brand nappies just as good as pampers/huggies but half the price.
    can't think of anything else at the minute due to lack of sleep lol but good luck all :) xx
    Donna xx

  8. Just a quick note that other ladies keep telling me..... George at asda.... The best vests and bodysuits on the market.... Perfect size and wash brilliantly. They are also very very cheap £2.50 for a pack of 3 etc xxx

  9. Tell friends you're doing it on the cheap and trying for second hand. They then all jump in. So far I have a crib, a cot bed, 3 different slings, loan of a v. Expensive buggy and a car seat. Result. Have started to hoard reusable nappies from gum tree.
    As for Christmas, I'm asking people NOT to give us anything baby related. Will be my last Christmas thinking of just me so I'm going to ask for vouchers towards a nice massage, some books whilst I still have time to read them, a new pair of boots...

  10. Love the article, I am pregnant at the moment, and was looking at ways to cut down on costs. Only my husband works, and its not a fantastic paying job, but its still good to save. I really do like free stuff sites though, I got some baby stuff from Free Stuff Baby :)