Like millions of people in the UK, we are on a tight budget. When something breaks down, needs replacing or the kids have a sudden growth spurt and need new clothes, it can be a bit ‘oh s**t, where is the money for that going to come from?’ However, over the past few years, we have saved ourselves an absolute fortune by buying second hand, or even going on freebie sites. We have had everything from furniture and appliances to clothes and toys. Thankfully, thanks to places such as eBay, there is no longer any stigma to buying second hand, and quite rightly so. After all, no one would bat an eyelid at someone buying a used car – what’s the difference with other items?
This week, we went and picked up an LG fridge freezer that someone was giving away in a local freebie group on Facebook. Our fridge was on its very last legs, and we were bracing ourselves for having to find the best part of £200 over the summer to go and buy a new one. This one cost us absolutely nothing – the lady getting rid of it just wanted it out of the way quickly. When I say ‘old’, to look at the fridge freezer looks brand new!
I’ve been thinking about all of the things that we have over the years, from Facebook sites, charity shops, car boots Gumtree and family and friends. I’ve never really got to grips with eBay, but if I had, I’m sure I would have been scouring the site for a few bargains!
Some of our second-hand finds include:
- A lightweight buggy
- A dining table and chairs
- A fridge freezer
- About 75% of the kids clothes
- Clothes, shoes and bags for me
- Clothes for Graham, including a brand new, genuine Peter Werth coat
- Books for the kids and me
- Toys, including a slide
- Shelving unit
- Ikea storage unit
- TV Stand
- Almost brand new leather sofas (completely free, perfect condition and still going strong five years and three boisterous children later!)
- Under counter freezer
- Toddler bed
- Single bed
- Double bed
- Patio set
- Bedroom furniture
- Moses basket
- Baby bouncer
Pretty much all of this stuff, apart from the TV stand and Ikea unit, and some of the clothes cost us absolutely nothing! We’re sensible with what we get – I’ll only get things if they look in decent quality in pictures (and so far we have been lucky that nothing has turned out to be minging when we’ve picked it up!) and I will only go a certain distance to get something, unless it is something we desperately need. When it comes to a lot of these items, I don’t see the point of going out and spending a fortune on them if someone is trying to get rid of exactly the same thing for a lot less money. I’m making sure we are paying all this forward though – I gave away the kids old pushchair, which still had plenty of life left in it in a Facebook group, and have sold a lot of the baby stuff and outgrown clothes cheaply on Gumtree and on Facebook. It means I don’t have to faff about, and will help someone else out.
I asked a few fellow bloggers what bargains they had picked up second hand or off freebie sites. Laura from Dear Bear and Beany picked up a double stroller for £25 and Kate from LesbeMums got a walker for a fiver. Jaime from The Oliver’s Madhouse managed to grab some furniture for £125, and it lasted her four years. Helen from Casa Costello even got a caravan, won by someone who didn’t like caravans on The Price is Right! Emma from Life According to Mrs Shilts and Megan from Truly Madly Kids both managed to pick up some really useful freebies as well, proving that if you look in the right places, some absolute bargains can be had!
So, join a few of the local Facebook selling and freebie groups, have a mooch on Gumtree, and scour your local charity shops. You might just find exactly what you are looking for!