|Stroller I bought at my first sale... for $35. It retails for over $200.|
1) Nurse longer, use no formula at all, hold off on solids until 6 months, and hold off on grains even longer.
2) Buy EVERYTHING secondhand (with a few exceptions...).
We were pretty poor when I became pregnant with Izzy. We were nowhere near the poverty level, and we could afford to eat, but we had a lot of debt and lived in Southern California which, in case you didn't know, is a pretty expensive place to live. I wasn't sure how we were going to cover our monthly OB co-pay, let alone the hospital bill. And all that stuff you "need" for a baby? It stressed me out. I cried a lot during that pregnancy. Eventually we ended up with way more stuff than we could have possibly needed for a baby, though, and most of it (with the exception of some second hand clothes) was bought brand new. What a mistake.
The only things I would buy new would be the crib mattress (and I would buy an organic, VOC free, wool covered one instead of the plastic covered monstrosity I ended up with) and the car seat... and I think I've talked about this before but instead of buying this carseat (and the two car seats I bought AFTER she grew out of that one) I would buy THIS CAR SEAT, or even a more expensive Britax Boulevard... because I think I spent that much on crap car seats. Anyway, I digress. Where would I have gone for the rest? Well, mostly here:
Kids Consignment Sales
I would have also kept an eye out for items I wanted/needed on Craigslist and Ebay, and looked around my area for kids consignment stores, like Once Upon a Child. Even the Goodwill, where I regularly find usable pajamas and shirts for my kids.
But really, can you find everything used? I'll bet you're skeptical. I can just about guarantee that you could not only find everything you need for a new baby at just one consignment sale, but that you could find a NICE and nearly unused specimen.
I'll tell you, it is worth the effort to just look. Worst case scenario- you don't find a few things you're looking for and you have to buy them new. But, besides simply saving money up front, there's another reason this is a great phenomenon. Because so much of the stuff we buy that we think we are going to need for a new baby we end up not touching, or we use it once then it gets forgotten. Sales and consignment stores allow other moms to make use of these items, while the old owner gets to recoup part of the expense of the unused item. And seriously, it's recycling!
So go back to THIS POST, make a list of the things you think you'll need, and start looking for your local consignment sale! BTW, it's just as exciting as shopping for new stuff (if not more so!).