Honey Shares...

Having a baby is going to add to your weekly shopping bills but there are lots of things you can do to  reduce your outlay. When I was pregnant with Honey, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and family. We were given and leant nearly everything we needed to start us off, which was pretty amazing. We also joined all the baby clubs online and received (and randomly still receive) loads of stage appropriate freebies and vouchers. On top of this, I had lots of time on my hands to enter baby competitions and had quite a winning streak!

Get by with a little help from your friends
If you have little ones a few months apart, hand me downs are great. Often, they only wear items a few times and before weaning there can be very little staining so items still look like new! I've heard of lots of people swapping clothes bundles e.g. If they have a boy this time but have previously had a girl and a friend is in the opposite situation. We have also borrowed toys from a friend, not having to shell out for a door bouncer and a push along baby walker has saved us money and it's nice to know the toys have been loved by another gorgeous little person before Honey.

I love Facebook. This has been the single most useful online tool for buying and selling baby clothes and equipment. Groups like Blue Skies, Facebaby and Cheltenham Mum's Noticeboard allow you to advertise your items and more often than not, secure a local sale or trade. No trips to the post office and no fees! You can also post wanted/ISO messages of you're looking for something specific.

Look out for random acts of kindness. We got Honey a sit in baby walker for free, a lovely lady posted a picture in a Facebook group offering it at no charge so all it cost us was about a miles worth of petrol. It felt good to pass it on in the same way recently.

Even with the power of Facebook, I still love eBay! If you spend time searching (Martin Lewis has some great tips), you can find some real bargains. My top tips are to search for the item you're looking for by using a description rather than a brand. I picked up a genuine Totseat for less than £5 all in, as someone had simply listed it as 'chair harness'! Also, search for poor spelling, I have found bargain Irregular Choice items when the seller had missed out an r.

Gift Lists
Rachel from Friends had it right with this one! While we don't expect people to give Honey presents, we use giftsandlists.com to compile Christmas and Birthday lists for Honey then email it to anyone who asks what she would like. It helps reduce the risk of duplicate or unwanted presents then acts as a shopping list afterwards so I can pick up then items she didn't receive if she still needs them.

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