Why I Swear By Hand Me Downs

by Emma Dowey

When I had my first son in 2013, I was so excited to get out and shop till I dropped. We needed all the essential “stuff” that comes with having a baby. Pram, car seat, cot, clothes. The list goes on and on. And it soon became quite apparent just how expensive everything is. But I wanted the best for my boy and I’d just have to suck it up and payout.

Not second time around.

I want the best for my second boy but I also want to pay my bloody mortgage off. And having sold a lot of the bulkier baby items years ago, I had to start from scratch again when we had our baby in January. This time around I came armed with a wealth of information and experience that only a second-time mum has. I knew what to buy and what not to buy. What to invest in and what not to splash out on. And this time I became best friends with Facebook Market place and car boot sales.

You do not need to spend a fortune on baby gear. Let me tell you why…

Let’s start with the pram. Probably the most expensive item you will purchase. And something you will use A LOT. Buying a pram can seem like a complete minefield. There are so many, and some of them are just downright complicated. My advice is to go to a store and try some out. Take a list of essentials. Perhaps you need something small and compact because of limited boot space. Or maybe it’s the ease of use that is your top priority. Try a few out, put them up and down. Multiple times. Have a good go yourself. Don’t just watch the store assistant. Once you’ve made your mind up, have a look online and see what prices you can find on places like Facebook Marketplace and eBay. Accessories like carrycots are typically hardly used. I know I used ours a handful of times. You can grab a real bargain if you know what you’re after.

Clothes. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE buying baby clothes. But they can start to get expensive. For the first few months vests, baby-gros and a lot of muslins are all you really need. Then after that, scour your local charity shops, eBay, Facebook and car boot sales for bargains. I’ve picked up Joules T-Shirts for 50p and beautiful JoJo Maman Bebe tops for pennies.

Next up, toys. Argh, buy second hand! For what they are, the majority of toys are massively overpriced. Hunt for toys at your local car boot and charity shops. They will usually sell for 50p to a pound depending on what you buy. Rattles and shakers can easily be made at home using bottles and rice. We sold a lot of toys once our first son grew out of them. They were bulky and took up a lot of space. This time around I’ve bought everything second hand.

Another massive plus for buying used and accepting hand-me-downs is the environmental impact! With so much waste going to landfill or ending up in our oceans, now has never been a better time to be more mindful about what we buy and consume. I probably don’t need to tell you that but it benefits everyone to recycle all these things! And the majority of toys and clothes are in great condition too! It’s win-win if you ask me.

Do you buy second hand? Have you found any bargains in your local charity shops? Share with us your frugal finds on social media or here in the comments.

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Written by

Emma Dowey

Blogger
Hey there, I’m Emma, the mum behind “me and b make tea”. The blog started out as a way to document the highs and lows of parenting. As a busy, working mum, I started sharing some of my tips on how I create fun snacks and meals for my four year old boy. I’ve always loved writing and we soon branched out to include travel, play, home and general life “stuff”. We live in sunny Weston-super-Mare and I blog quite a bit about our immediate surroundings. We try and get out and about each weekend and make the most of what we have on our doorstep. We share our tips and tricks on all parenting and family fun and faffs, and our reviews are genuinely honest. We write about things our readers love, and are interested in hearing more about!

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