When my son was born I will be honest, I didn’t really think too much about the cost of items because we had so many generous family and friends who bought us just about everything we needed. As my son grew older however I started to realize how crazy expensive kids are. Now that I am pregnant (almost 9 months) with baby #2 and little man will be starting pre-school in a few months, I am determined to save as much money as I can.
I am actually pretty addicted to thrifting. I mostly blame my mom because she used to drag me on trips to Goodwill so often. I hated it. Of course I would become my mothers daughter and I now drag my son there, although he loves it and thinks we can buy everything from the thrift store.
I’ve compiled a list of how to thrift and get the best deals on your baby gear! The great thing about thrifting for kids is that you can thrift just about anything. Toys, books, baby gear, clothing, furniture; but there are also things that you should never thrift for.
1. Make a list of ALL the things you want to buy or need for baby
2. Do your research on all those items
3. Know the cost when bought brand new
4. Check to see if the on sale price is comparable or better than second hand
5. Check to see that the items meets the safety standards
6. Check to see if item has been recalled
Where to thrift:
1. Craigslist or similar listing sites
Specific and takes a lot of time
2. Thrift Stores – local (churches, organizations)
Hit or miss with variety or selection
3. Thrift Stores – Chain (Goodwill, Savers, Value Village, Etc.)
Better Selection and variety
4. Garage Sales/ Yard Sales
Hit or miss with variety or selection, time waster
5. Specialty Consignment Stores for Kids
Large selection and hand bought to quality is decent to excellent
Never Thrift For:
Too much liability, better to be safe than sorry
Notorious for being the home to dust mites and bed bugs and are ridiculously hard to clean
Along the same lines as cribs, once a car seat has been in a car accident its’ safety has been compromised and you don’t know what the previous owner has put that seat through. They also go through a pretty quick safety standard update and every year there is a newer model that has been updated to be safer. Be safe not sorry.
Bath toys can have hidden mold and mold is disgusting.
Use Caution when Thrifting for:
-Pack and Plays
-Baby Bath Tubs
These things are hard to sanitize and clean, although it can be done, it is a pain. Bath tubs also get deep scratches where mold and mildew live and it can be hard to get those things completely clean.
General Rules when thrifting for items:
-Ask yourself if it can be CLEANED, WASHED, and/or SANITIZED?
If the answer is no, do not buy the item obviously.
-Make sure there are no missing parts or pieces, no broken parts or pieces, no chips, and if it has batteries check the battery compartment to see if there is corrosion.
Definitely Thrift for:
Make sure there are no broken or missing parts and pieces and that sounds and lights work with batteries. Plastic toys are best but don’t avoid wooden toys, they can be cleaned! Just make sure the paint is not peeling and there is no chips in the wood.
No missing pages, board books are the best to thrift because they are easy to clean!
-Gear: Strollers, Bouncers, Jumpers, Baby Carriers
No broken or missing parts or pieces, can the fabric be washed/cleaned, no stains rips or tears, and for strollers check the brakes and make sure the ride is smooth.
-Nursing Covers/ Car Seat Canopies
No stains, rips, or tears
No stains, rips or tears
-Clothing (especially dressy clothes)
No stains, rips, tears, or that the item is not overly stretched out if it has elastic. Especially thrift for dressy items that kids hardly use and newborn clothing. More often than not, those items will be brand new and gently used when they show up at the thrift store.
After you thrift:
-wash your hands, use some hand sanitizer
-take a black garbage bag and put your items in the bag and in your trunk
-clean, wash, and santize your items ASAP. I will be the first to admit that germs will probably be on the item.
-if you can’t get to the item right away, leave it in a black garbage bag and in the garage until you can clean it properly.
Here is the link to check for safety recalls and alerts:
If you would like to see how I clean, wash, and sanitize my thrifted items, make sure to like, comment, follow and subscribe! I hope this video and post helps you to save just a little bit of money!
Check out the video below for other tips on thrifting for baby!