Affordable Baby Furniture and Shopping Garage Sales: Frugal Friday

Baby Changing Table PadBabies can be expensive. However, buying affordable baby furniture can help alleviate the cost of caring for a new baby. A quick search of some popular baby furniture websites shows me that a simple crib costs around $200 at a minimum with higher priced models costing upwards of $500. Add in a good crib mattress, and a bed alone for the first few years of your child’s life can cost at least $250 to $300. Not buying into the notion that raising a child to the age of eighteen costs at least $242,000, my husband and I are buying only affordable baby furniture (and sometimes free baby furniture) for our first child.

In our quest for affordable baby furniture, my husband and I have been shopping primarily at garage sales to find all the things we need for our nursery. We found a crib for $20, a changing table for $10, and a playpen for $40 all at garage sales. (Always check for recalls on items you find used!) As for a bedroom set and bassinet for the nursery, we are going the free baby furniture route. When I moved into my own home, I brought my twin bed and mattress and dresser with me from home. A few coats of paint spruced my old bedroom set right up and made my old furniture fit the décor of our nursery. I also brought the bassinet and wooden high chair that my mom used for both my brothers and me. At a cost of zero dollars, free baby furniture is definitely affordable baby furniture.

The only piece of furniture that my husband and bought new was a crib mattress that we paid $80 for at Target. At under $100, our choice in crib mattress very much so counts as affordable baby furniture. We realize that we could have spent much more, but, because we paid only $400 for the mattress we plan to have for at least the next ten years, we were not going to spend an outrageous amount of money for something that our child will only use for a couple of years and then outgrow. And, since we used the gift cards we earned through our credit card rewards program, even the mattress was pretty much a piece of free baby furniture. Overall, we have spent only $150 on all of our nursery furniture. Add in the cost of paint, and we spent under $200 to set up our nursery.

Babies costs money to make, have, and raise. By choosing only affordable baby furniture as well as free baby furniture, my husband and I have significantly cut down on the costs of raising a child. We have spent less than $200 on furniture for our nursery but have created a beautiful and comfortable room for our future baby. Buying affordable baby furniture at garage sales has definitely been our biggest money saving choice as we plan for baby. Plus, by buying affordable baby furniture and using free baby furniture, we will be able to spend more on things that really matter to us like prepaid tuition plan for our child.

Originally written on July 10, 2010

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Baby Changing Table Pad:

Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson is a mother, wife, writer, librarian, and linguist. She earned a BA in English studies with a minor in creative writing from Illinois State University in May 2007, an MS in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2009, and an MS in English studies with an emphasis in linguistics at Illinois State University in December 2011.

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