Baby Consignment Store

A great way to save money on baby items is to purchase secondhand. Today, I stopped at a consignment store that just opened up nearby called Once Upon a Child. I don’t really need anything, but I thought I’d check it out anyway.

I was really impressed with the selection they had for children; they had clothes, toys, strollers, carriers, safety gates, costumes, nursery items, etc. Plus, everything was in great/excellent used condition. They also sold a few brand new items. From what I noticed, baby/infant clothing ranged from $1.50 to $15.00/piece and swings and bouncers started at $30. The clothing sizes ranged between newborn to 8 years of age.

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There were so many cute little outfits that I wanted to pick up, but I managed to fight the urge. At least I know where to go when I realize the baby needs a special outfit or mommy needs to freshen up his wardrobe :)

Stroller and Car Seat – Decisions, Decisions

There are so many choices out there for strollers, car seats and travel systems. Before I tackled these options in person, I did a lot of research online and made my list of wants.

Stroller must-haves:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to fold
  • Able to go over various terrains
  • Able to adjust handle height
  • Easy breaking system
  • Cupholder for mommy/daddy
  • Seat can be front-facing or rear-facing
  • Seat can recline and lay flat

Infant car seat must-haves:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install
  • Front-adjusting harness
  • Space saving enough to leave plenty of room in my Mazda hatchback

It was difficult to find a travel system that met all these requirements so I decided to find separate pieces.

My first stroller choice was actually the Summer Infant Fuze. It had all my wants and included accessories, as well as a universal car seat adapter. All that for $299.99US. Unfortunately, the stroller is not yet available in Canada. It is set to arrive at Babies R Us at the end of March 2014 and expected to retail at $469.99CDN for the travel system (and only in the red/black colour). So I contemplated getting it shipped from the US, but shipping would cost almost $200. At $500 (for the stroller alone), this choice was becoming less appealing.

I ended up going with a black Baby Jogger City Versa (because it also offered many nice-to-haves) and the Graco SnugRide Infant Car Seat.

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The stroller doesn’t include any accessories or the car seat adapter, but I found some great deals. Here’s how:

  • Baby Jogger City Versa Stroller – This retails for $429.99CDN, but I found a new-in-box stroller on Kijiji for $300. Note: If you’re not buying from a store, make sure to check the manufacture date. The Versa strollers that were manufactured between May 15 and August 20, 2012 were recalled, and in order to get a replacement part in Canada, you need a receipt.
  • Baby Jogger Universal Car Seat Adapter – This retails for $79.99CDN, but I purchased it from Shop.ca and they usually have great promos. I found a discount code for $10 off, so I got it for $69.99.
  • Graco SnugRide Infant Car Seat – This retails for $179.99CDN, but I found it online for $139.99 and Babies R Us pricematched it, so I was also able to use the $5 coupon that came with my Baby Registry Gift Bag. So the total came to $134.99.

Overall, I saved $248, which came to a total of $531 including taxes for my combo.

I am so happy with my choices. Although I still need to buy the cupholder for my all-important coffee cup, the stroller is awesome. Among the many pluses, it’s easy to maneuver and the canopy is huge and provides SPF 50+ protection. My 9-year-old stepdaughter is also excited and has already been practicing with the easy-fold – and the handle can be adjusted perfectly for her height.

I’m so looking forward to my walks with baby!

If you’re still in search for your perfect stroller, good luck and have fun! There are so many to choose from and try out!

7 Tips for Online Shopping

Motherhood Maternity is having an online exclusive sale right now. I jumped on it quickly and my purchase arrived in the mail today! I get so excited when there’s a delivery :) I do a fair bit of shopping online because it’s quick, easy and cheaper (you just have to search — that’s the time-consuming part).

If you’re willing to invest a little bit of time online, there are some great deals out there.

Here are some tips:

  1. Make sure you’re on a legit site. This is an obvious one. If you’ve never heard of that company before, do some looking around first. Also, keep in mind that some vendors have different US and Canadian sites. This could change some of the inventory and shipping costs.
  2. Find out the shipping options and costs. If the vendor is local, you might even be able to pick it up yourself to save on shipping costs. Also, consider the shipping couriers they use, e.g., Canada Post, UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc. If duty and handling charges are involved, these prices may vary depending on the courier.
  3. Find out the exchange/return policy and costs. There are some sites that offer free exchanges and returns, i.e., you don’t have to pay for shipping costs. There are also some that allow these transactions at stores so you don’t have to go through mail. Just make sure you don’t get stuck paying to return something. Most of the time, the initial shipping costs aren’t refundable so why would want to pay twice?
  4. Look for coupon/promo codes. RetailMeNot is a good site to check. Retailers also use social media to push promo codes, so check their Twitter feeds or Facebook pages.
  5. For clothing or shoes, try it on in a store first before purchasing online if possible. If you can’t, look for reviews. They will tell you if things fit small/large, the quality of the item, etc.
  6. Pay with a PayPal account. It’s free and it offers a good purchase protection for buyers.
  7. Check your payment account regularly, e.g. credit card statements or PayPal. Thankfully, my account has not been compromised with all the online shopping I’ve done, but it’s always good to check. Also, it’s good to verify the purchase charges.

Happy and safe shopping!