How to buy baby items on a tight budget

As a first-time mom, I had no clue on where to begin buying baby items. For one, I didn’t know what we actually needed or whether the things we needed were reasonably priced. I certainly did not know how to buy baby items on a tight budget. But with a little experience, I learned a thing or two, which I will be sharing with you in this article. The first important thing, is to make sure you’re sure about what you really need and what you don’t really need. This will avoid any unnecessary spending. 



Lay-byes are so old school, yet they still work pretty well. Not many shops do lay-byes any longer but you can still find a few baby stores that do, for example Ackermans and Pep Stores still do them. Some of the Woolworths stores also offer lay-byes but not all. You will need to check with the store directly. What I love about lay-byes, is that because you’re not spending a whole lot in one go, you’re also able to purchase other goodies each month.


Second hand baby items

Now I know and understand very well that the thought of buying second hand items for your first child can be pretty daunting. I personally wouldn’t hear of it when I was pregnant with my first. But I quickly learned how much money can be saved in buying second hand goods. And the quality of the goods are sometimes very good. It is key to know how to buy second hand goods, so I’m going to dig a little deeper into that.

Know exactly what you’re looking for and research the retail price of the goods. Decide on how much you’re willing to spend. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Ask about the condition of the goods. Questions you can ask: Are they clean? How long have they been used for? Are they still in working/usable condition? Why do you want to sell them? Can I return them if they are not suitable?


Where to purchase second hand baby items

Theres a number of places to buy second hand goods. I’m not going to go into the topic of how to safely buy second hands goods right now, but I will tap into that in another upcoming article. For now, here are places you can purchase second hand baby goods:

Gumtree – This is a well known site for purchasing second hand goods. What I love about this site, is that you can filter right down to your own suburb. You can also view the sellers previous ads.

Facebook Groups – There are quite a few closed groups on Facebook . Because the advertisers are on Facebook too, you can sort of see who the seller is and whether they’re legit. Each Facebook Group has a search function. Once you’re in the group, you can search the sellers name to see what other goods they’ve sold before, just to get an idea of whether there have been any previous complaints etc.

Below are some of the main the groups you can join on Facebook. You can search for the item you’re looking for within the group or upload a post asking if anyone is selling the item you’re looking for. 

Durban: Second hand baby items Durban

Cape Town: Moms, Kids and Babies Essentials South Africa Cape Town

Johannesburg: Baby goods resale or exchange Gauteng

Port Elizabeth (This is a public group): Port Elizabeth – Sell/Buy Preloved Baby and Toddler and Tweens Items

Second hand maternity clothing (Cape Town): Bump to Bump


Hiring baby goods

This seems to be the latest trend and it is becoming more and more popular in South Africa. Why buy when you can hire? You end up selling or giving away the majority of your goods anyway, and it is usually at a quarter of the price or nothing. Hiring goods can therefore turn out to be a more cost effective route to take. Another pro is that you will only hire the item for as long as you need it. When you buy, the goods can take up alot of space when no longer need them. Here are some places that offer a hiring service of baby goods, click on the links to visit each site:

The Mom and Baby House


The Travelling Baby

Smart Toy Club – I wrote about this previously. You can read about it here.


Baby Expos

This is a great way to test out products before actually buying them. Most of the traders at the expo (for example Mama Magic) run expo sales and discount their goods to next to nothing. From nappies, to cots and baby carriers, you name it. If you’re expecting, I’d highly recommend saving a good few pennies for the next baby expo.

Many of the Expos also give you a goody bag which contains samples of sorts. Some of the traders at the expos also hand out samples. I recently attended the Clicks Baby Bootcamp and the goody bag plus all the samples I received was way over R300 plus there was alot of parenting advice for all parents to learn. It was a win win!


How to buy baby items on a tight budget | South African Mommy BloggerHow to buy baby items on a tight budget | South African Mommy Blogger


Host a nappy party

Nappy parties are the new in thing. They work out so well and you’ll save a ton on nappies. The father of the baby usually hosts it, while the mom of the baby has her baby shower. Its pretty simple. He invites his friends and family over for a nappy party/braai and they can bring whatever, as long as a pack of nappies are included. You’ll have nappies for months!


How to buy baby items on a tight budget | South African Mommy Blogger


How to buy baby items on a tight budget – Advice from experienced moms

There are loads of thrifty moms out there, trying their best to spend wisely in every aspect of their lives. So I asked on one of the mommy groups on Facebook, for their tips on how to buy baby items on a tight budget. Here are their tips:


Maude Ryan Jacobs – Don’t create that Pinterest styled nursery which is going to cost you as once baby come they end up sleeping in your room.

Leandra Hanekom – Hi, maternity clothes are so expensive and we wear it for such a short time. So, I asked around and bought second hand maternity clothes from moms on this group. I then realized that there is a gap in the market, so I started my business, Bump-to-Bump. Giving mamas the opportunity to save money and still look great during pregnancy. (See link above for Bump to Bump)

Annelie Roux – I was lucky to have friends who could lend me their used baby clothes.

Michelle du Plessis – Freecycle groups have lots that they pass on. Also don’t buy those silly baby gadgets that you will never use. Diapers cheap ones for the beginning as you change baby alot. When they get older buy the expensive ones for night.

Patricia Shaw – Home birth with a midwife.

Rachael Walker – Cloth nappies, they pay for themselves so quickly.

Talita Luyt Adendorff – Breastfeeding, secondhand baby clothes, secondhand furniture, don’t buy brands, if they don’t have nappy rash then vaseline works as an excellent barrier cream. Join Pick’nPay, Dischem and Clicks baby clubs (with reward cards) frequently get vouchers and discounts on nappies and wipes etc., when they start weaning prepare your own food. Use wipes only for their bums, for the rest a wash cloth works well. Only thing I would recommend buying new is a car seat as you don’t know if a second hand one was involved in an accident.

Elmien Vermeulen – What worked very well for me was to first have my baby and then we purchased the baby stuff we needed as we go. Meaning we did not buy a cot, pram, snug n safe, high chair for feeding etc etc etc all at once – we only invested in a very good cot and snug n safe combo with the pram. Only when baby was almost 6 months old we invested in a bigger car seat and then when she was almost 2 we bought a stroller and at 5 years old only moved over to a booster seat in the car. As she grew out of the baby stuff (seeing that she is the last baby in our house) we traded the stuff in and bought bigger – Tippy Toes in Durbanville worked very well.

Elmien Vermeulen – What also worked very well was to use cheaper nappies during the day and when they were teething and good quality nappies for night only. Saved heaps amounts of money on that. If you will be using disposable nappies though. And also at the creche – make sure they do not waste your nappies or use them on other babies – the creche that our baby was in, had a booklet and they accounted for every single nappy change – worked very well for us.

Monique Daniels – You can save money on a gift card before the time and when baby arrives you can buy what you still need. a travel system is not a must especially if you alone with baby. most times I didn’t use my pram. carseat in trolley was so much easier.


What did you do to save? What are your tips on how to buy baby items on a tight budget? Please share them in the comments section.


Tata for now

Tracy Xx



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