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Freebies and Hand-Me-Downs for the Win!

I’ve always known that babies grow quickly, so buying everything brand new was not going to be my path.  But I also know that many of my friends and family want to help out.  And listing what I still need will let me know what I’m missing when I’m about to pop, hence creating an Amazon registry I am editing as we go…

Spending Restrictions Until May

Since I know baby showers and baby-to-be gifts are coming in the next 3-4 months, I also have put myself on a very restricted nesting budget.  I will only allow myself to spend $100 on anything baby-related until at least mid-May 2018.

I don’t usually enjoy shopping but I do like being prepared.  So restricting my nesting spending is actually harder than anticipated.  BUT, it hasn’t stopped me from accepting freebies and hand-me-downs from friends, family, and neighbors!!!  And that is a WORLD OF HAPPY!!!

Hand-Me-Downs are Amazing!

Thanks to the generosity of our parents and family, our friends, our pet sitting team member with a 3 year old, and now neighbors I’ve met through and Facebook, I am checking off the baby list pretty handily!  And there has been the added bonus of being able to pay forward any of the stuff that sneaks in for toddlers.  I’m avoiding storing things we won’t need for at least 2 years unless they are costly to replace if I give it away and can’t find another free one in time. 

Getting Systems in Place

With this in mind, I’m starting a labeled box system to use for Peanut as she grows.  Then I’ll be using those same boxes to collect and give away items she grows out of or anything that doesn’t get used.  I’m 100% in support of this community tradition of passing along what is no longer needed to help save all of us a ton of money on items that barely have a chance to be used at all as these kids go from infants to full-sized humans.

Online Communities 

Seriously, if you are having a mini-human, I highly suggest becoming involved on your community site or Facebook page.  The other parents in your area want to get the old stuff out of their homes and you can make someone’s day by doing the same for them down the road.  You may even end up forming new friendships or support networks.  I met two really kind families today and hope to get to know them better in time.

Baby Spending Thus Far

All in all, I’m 18-19 weeks along and have spent $20 thus far on baby stuff during this pregnancy.  This is not counting other baby costs like our health insurance out-of-pocket expenses, prenatal vitamins, etc.  But still not too shabby!  And the $20 was for a large box of 20+ bibs and 10+ receiving blankets.

The Generosity Will Not End with Me

I had already given away the several bags of clothes I had received from past neighbors during my miscarriages, so I’m very grateful for everybody’s continued generosity. 

The $20 box I just bought also contained 6 toddler training panties, sized 3T, so I’ve passed those along to a different family in my neighborhood who was then kind enough to give me 2 trash bags of baby clothes, 10+ muslin wraps, 5+ swaddlers, belly bands for after delivery, a bed pad, a few toys, bows and headbands, a small bag of socks, a Fisher-Price Rock and Play, a Moby Baby Wrap, and a few other things that have slipped my mind! 

The nursery room is already getting filled with other hand-me-downs, furniture, and gifts.  And I know more is coming (have I mentioned that my support network of friends and family is just astoundingly awesome?!). 

I see my last trimester being mostly about organizing it all and getting our systems in place.  I’ll be passing along all the extras and outgrown items to another baby-to-be to keep this train of generosity chugging away.

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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4 thoughts on “Freebies and Hand-Me-Downs for the Win!

  1. That’s awesome! My child was enormous from the womb, so I would also be prepared for larger sizes, just in case. He is always two sizes above the curve, and I was never able to use infant clothes (he hulked out of them). I wish I was as organized as you!

  2. How do I sign up for your free newsletter and monthly drawings?

    I lived off the kindness of friends for a lot of baby clothes for my first baby girl. At 5 months, though, I HAD to have a crib. I couldn’t ignore this nesting instinct and drove my husband crazy until I got a crib set up. We were dirt poor, but once the crib was set up I settled right down. 🙂

  3. @Marie, my bestie had the same issue! My adopted niecelet was born at 11 pounds and started at the 3 month clothing and went into 3-6 month clothing in a matter of weeks. 🙂

    @Revanche, yay!!! Thank you!!!

    @Susan, the signup should be under my Quick Info tab but it’s been a really long time since I did the newsletter. I should start those again…

    We all have that one thing, right?! My parents already took care of the crib setup, lol. I guess I’ll find out what my one big thing is in my 3rd trimester, hahaha.

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