Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stretching Every Dollar

It may be a bit off-topic for this blog, but I thought I'd add in my two cents on some ways to save $$$ as a toddler mom. So, my biggest suggestions for saving money... no for not WASTING money are:
  • consignment stores
  • online auctions

When we were preparing for the arrival of the Biscuit I started exploring consignment stores. There are SO many out there in every community and there are SO many good deals to be found there. Now, I'm not saying that everything you buy your child should be used, second-hand, previously-owned, however you want to package it, but I am suggesting that you consider it for things like play clothes (or clothes for daycare) and for things like books, DVDs, strollers, high chairs, etc. Just get yourself a nice high-pressured steam blaster if you're like me and paranoid about cleanliness and germs.

An example of a big way to save (at baby time): We opted not to get a brand new stroller when the Biscuit was born and, instead, picked up a 3-year old Graco stroller for $10. It's been great and now that the Biscuit is walking, he won't even get back in a stroller. I know it seems like a good idea at the time to spend $200 on a new stroller, but I would so much rather keep that $$ for his college fund.

Now, on to online shopping. My son has an unusually wide foot, extra wide to be exact. I can't walk into a Target, Wal-Mart, or Old Navy or even a Payless and walk out with new shoes for him. A fitted pair of shoes is going to run me about $25-30 a pop (ouch). Once I determined what the Biscuit's size is, I opted to start shopping around on online auctions, like eBay. So far, I've managed to do well shopping there. I even managed to get a pair of $40+ Stride Rite shoes (gently used) for $10, including shipping... not a bad deal!

Yes, some call me frugal, but I prefer to think of myself as practical. My son looks adorable and I always pick out nice things for him. So don't read this and think that he looks like a rag-a-muffin. For goodness sakes, he'll either ruin them during dinner of playing outside. It just makes sense (or should I say cents) to me.


RacingMom said...

Although I am not one to shop online or at consignment shops, I do try to save money at all times when shopping for Piglet. As he continues to grow older (11 now), it makes it a little harder because he likes the name brands. My goal is to never buy anything unless it is on sale and being on sale is normally 40% off and higher. Piglet is very aware of my spending habits, so knows not to ask for anything if it isn't on sale. In addition, because he has two grandmothers that like to shop for him too...he has a closet full of clothes and to date, has never worn out anything. I have been very lucky in the past that friends with younger boys love when I clean out Piglet's closet and they normally buy everything that we are getting rid of. I don't charge much for his old clothes, but it is nice to know that I can get a little money to help buy the next size of clothing for Piglet.

jodyfarrad said...

As long as you're not dressing him this way: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2008/03/04/toughskins_3.jpg

MamaCat said...

I just want to know how they got a picture of me in 1st grade!