Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Bargain Addicts Anonymous 3

My partner and I have never been 'big spenders'. We have never liked spending more than we need to and often just make do. This was not because we 'had' to live this way, although neither of us had jobs that paid the 'big bucks' we certainly lived well within our means and this made us happy. As mentioned in previous posts, I left my job when I was 3 months pregnant which meant our budgeting became more of a necessity. As my other posts have shown I have been trying to buy everything for the baby with this new budget in mind. 

With recent articles suggesting that first time parents often spend £1000-£2000 on items for their new arrival I was worried that spending less would be a struggle. It really has not been though! Yes there are some things that are expensive (travel system, cot bed etc) but I do think that if you spend a bit of time looking around for the best prices and also consider what you can buy second hand or even made do without you can save a lot of money. Gratefully accepting all gifts and hand me downs helps too! 

I have a few new additions to my bargain hunting. The first is my amazing second hand nursing chair. We decided that as I fully intend to give breast feeding a really good go, having a nursing chair would be a good idea. Even if breast feeding fails I am sure we will both appreciate somewhere comfy to sit during late night bottle feeds. I decided that if I wanted one it would have to be second hand as the cheapest one we could find in the shops was £130 (Argos). I looked daily on Ebay and Preloved to see what had been added in the local area. I also joined a few local baby and toddler item selling groups on facebook. In the end after a few weeks of searching I managed to get a barely used chair and stool in immaculate condition for only £50. We had to collect it but as it was only across town this was not a problem. I am so pleased with this purchase and how much money we managed to save!

My other new bargains come from George (ASDA) online. I have been trying to buy some of the smaller items that we need so that we don't have too much to get all at once. I have been looking around for hooded baby towels, which most places seem to sell for between £5 and £10 each. I was very pleased to find that George sold them for only £5 for a pack of two. They also sold packs of 2 jersey fitted moses basket sheets for just £5 too. I ordered a couple of packs of each and got free delivery to my local store. I am very pleased with the quality of the products and am very glad I didn't spend more. They have good reviews too, with most people saying that the quality and softness lasts after washing. It is well worth looking through the George Baby department as they have quite a few good bargains!

Photos taken from www.direct.asda.com Both products available in other colours/designs.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Nanas Don't Just Knit Shreddies

I have not posted for a while - which is bad of me and this blog was intended to keep me on track with my plans and projects. 

I have been quite busy visiting family and working on the house and garden. Currently the following projects are ongoing:

1) Decorating the nursery
2) Eating more healthily - after the midwife measured my fundal height as being 1.5 weeks ahead last week at my 28 week appointment (an increase of 6cm from the previous appointment) I am making a conscious effort to reduce my sugar intake and eat healthier. We shall see how that goes!
3) Planning and purchasing everything we need for baby

I will cover those in more detail later on as this post is about the amazing gifts that my grandma (baby's great grandmother to be) gave us this weekend.

My grandparents live 2 hours away from us in the Cotswolds which means we do not get to visit them as often as I would like. We went down for the day on Saturday for lunch and a catch up and we were given some handmade gifts for baby. She had made us a large white blanket, a very cute white cardigan and some knitted animal toys. The blanket is beautiful and I love the animals as they remind me of the toys that I played with at my grandma's when I was a child. I think they will be kept on a high shelf in the nursery until she is at the age she can play with them nicely!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Bargain Addicts Anonymous 2

Now that all my Ebay clothing bundles have arrived and we have pretty much got all the clothes we think (and hope) we will need for the first 6 months I thought I would do an update. 

Through a combination of second hand purchases and a few gifts from friends we now have:

27 x Sleep Suits (sizes newborn, 0-3 and 3-6 months)
26 x Body Suits - long and short sleeved (sizes newborn, 0-3 and 3-6 months)
3 x Full outfits (sized 0-3 months) 
2 x Coats (0-3 months)
1 x Pram suit (3-6 months)
10 x Bibs
6 x Hats 
12 x socks
3 x shoes (0-3 months) 

I have worked out this has cost £47.00. Even if I went to the cheapest places to attempt to purchase all these items brand new (Asda/Primark etc) I worked out that this would have cost almost £100. Considering that the vast majority is brands such as NEXT and Mothercare I know that if I worked it out properly it would have actually cost a lot more! 

I am hoping that we only need to pick up a few more bits such as another pram suit and maybe a few more day outfits for 3-6 months (I plan for her to spend most of the first 3 months in sleep suits but will probably have to start dressing her properly by then!) I am definitely hoping that we don't have to spend too much more to do this. I really am so pleased that a bit of time consuming Ebay trawling and charity shop hunting has meant that we may have managed to get all the clothes we need for the first 6 months for around £50. Well worth the effort! 

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Project Nursery - Part 2

Having returned our original cot bedding set (see previous post) we were back to square one with the decorating theme for the nursery. Having decided we would just get plain fitted sheets we knew that we wanted to make more of a statement with the rest of the room. We decided that curtains were a good place to start - especially with them generally being one of the most expensive items.

After measuring the window (and getting stressed working out what size that mean't we needed, they never make it easy!) we decided to look in Dunelm Mill in the hope that we could just get some 'pre-made' ones. It must have been our lucky day as they were selling off some of their nursery range at 50% off. We managed to buy some black out curtains with a matching rug, 2 packs of bunting and door stop all for £45.00 - which was less than what we expected to pay for the curtains alone! 


Although job number one is to get the walls prepped by sanding and painting a white base coat we have chosen some samples of the final wall colour as Dulux and Crown paint are currently on offer in B&Q (2 for £24 and 2 for £22 respectively). 

Having been convinced we were having a boy I still can't quite believe I get to paint a pink room. I can't wait to get started. The plan is to have it finished by the end of June - fingers crossed. 

Cot Bumpers - Safe or Not?

A while back I posted about how pleased we were with the lovely cot bedding set and mobile we got in the sale. Since then we have actually returned it. The first reason for returning it was because the quilt had a manufacturing fault, and originally we planned to just exchange it. In the few days between this I had also (luckily) been reading about how to put baby to sleep safely. I was reading into this more and becoming aware that cot bumpers were actually not recommended that gave me the second reason to return it. 

Now I knew that the quilt that came with the set was not recommended for use for babies under 1 years old, it said this on the packaging. However this was the first time I had read anything questioning the safety of the cot bumper part - which is suitable from birth according to the packaging. 

Naturally I read into this further and I found quite a few sad stories about babies who had died after getting caught up in the ties from the bumper or that had suffocated after the bumper had fallen on them. As shocking and sad as these stories a big part of me still felt that because all the shops sold them and displayed them in their cots, that surely they must be safe. Maybe these parents just sadly didn't use them correctly? Then I look on the NHS and NCT websites. BOTH stated that cot bumpers were not recommended. 

It was reading this that made me 100% decide to return the bedding set and opt for just plain fitted sheets for the cot. As pretty as the sets make a cot look, if something ever did happen I could never forgive myself having read these warnings.

I have since read a quote that said 'There is only one thing you need to make your cot beautiful - your baby'. This is so true.