News flash: Having kids is expensive.
In fact, a 2017 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that the average cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is more than $230,000.
If you have a tiny human in your life or are expecting one, it’s helpful to know where to get free and cheap items for babies.
Places to find free & cheap baby products
One great thing about little kids is that they’re generally unconcerned with buying brand new items at a retail store. They really don’t care if their clothes are a little worn or if their stroller belonged to another baby before it came to them. That means buying or acquiring items second-hand can save parents a lot of money. Here’s how to do it.
You likely have relatives or friends that have kids just slightly older than your own. These people are usually more than happy to pass along items that their children have outgrown. Don’t be shy about using social media to let people know what you’re in need of. Many people won’t even charge you for their old items — they are glad to be freeing up some closet space — and you can pass along the favor to someone else later on.
2. Yard sales
With the rise of marketplace apps on the internet (which we’ll cover below), yard sales don’t seem to be quite as popular as they once were. Still, they can be great places to find quality second-hand baby items. If you target areas of your town that you know to be popular with young families, you can save some serious cash on baby clothes and accessories.
Team Clark’s Joel once found a Baby Bjorn baby carrier for $4 at a yard sale. They retail for around $80!
3. Consignment shops
Consignment shops are another great place to find gently used clothes and items for your baby — often at 50% or more off. Most decent-size cities will have at least one consignment store that specializes in products for babies and young children.
If you have your eye on a particular stroller or car seat, call around to see if any local shops are selling them used. If they don’t have the item you want in stock already, many stores are happy to keep an eye out for the item and let you know when they have one available.
4. Marketplace apps
Craigslist might be the most widely known site for buying and selling used items (or even giving them away), but it is far from the only game in town these days. Check various online marketplaces to see if they have any of the baby items you need. Some of our favorites are:
As always, use caution when buying or selling online. There are a lot of scammers and other not-so-nice people out there.
Do you have a favorite way to get free or cheap baby stuff? Let us know your money-saving secret in the comments below and we may add it to our list!