The average cost of raising a child to 21 has risen to over a quarter of a million pounds according to figures put together by the Centre of Economic and Business Research (CEBR).
The biggest expenditures are on education and childcare but thrifty parents can make savings elsewhere (as well as being kinder to the planet) by buying pre-loved items for their little ones.
Here are some good sources for finding good quality second-hand toys and essentials:
Where to find Pre-loved Items for you Kids
Auction site eBay is a modern phenomenon and has become a sort of one-stop shop whether you’re looking for vintage toys, modern toys or even a second-hand clothes. You can find pretty much any kids’ items on eBay and you can often pick up some real bargains. Ebay’s buyer protection policies also give you a certain amount of protection if the item is faulty or doesn’t match its description when it arrives.
Ebay’s buyer protection policies also give you a certain amount of protection if the item is faulty or doesn’t match its description when it arrives.
There is a wide range of charity shops throughout the country. The FARA Foundation, for example, has 50 charity shops situated in central and south-west London, including specialist kids outlets, and every purchase you make will help support orphaned and abandoned children in Romania.
Elsewhere you could choose Oxfam or the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), helping your favoured cause as well as picking up the items you need. The selection will be limited, however.
Car boot sales
Car boot or jumble sales can be another good place to pick up bargains. Any items you pick up are likely to be ‘sold as seen’ however. It might be best to avoid any electrical items unless you can test them and also safety equipment such as child car seats unless you know what you are looking for when checking for defects.
Classified ads were traditionally placed in the back of the local paper or specialist publications like Loot. You can still use those but these days there are a number of online classified sites as well. Try *Preloved or Gumtree for second-hand items sold directly between users.
NCT is the UK’s largest charity for parents and it organises a number of nearly new sales up and down the country. All items are checked for safety and quality, meaning you can pick up baby and children’s clothes, toys and equipment in complete confidence. At the same time, you’ll be participating in fundraising to help support other parents in the UK.