Thrifty Nursery Just the Essentials



Here is a preview of BabyBrother's bedroom. While I am no where near where I want to be with the decorations I have been focused on making sure we had the essentials. 

When I found out I was expecting I immediately thought about finances. How exciting! You find out that you are about to have another little guy or gal in the family and you immediately worry about how to pay for everything. Sadly, that is the world I live in and I am sure many of you are in the same boat. I am already a thrifty shopper and feel like it is a waste to buy new when you can buy used at a fraction of the price (not to mention the eco-friendliness of thrifting). I knew I would easily be able to find everything I could possibly need for our new little bundle of joy by starting early. 

My husband has been after me since I brought home the first thing from the thrift store...."He's not even born yet and he has enough clothes to last him until he is 10!" Well....not quite THAT many clothes but hopefully after this post he will appreciate all the time I have invested in scouring thrift stores and yard sales the past 7 months or so getting our essentials. So....here they are. Just the essentials and a few extras. Things that I felt were needed to provide a well rounded nursery for a newborn. 

It's been ten years since I had to do this and back then I purchased almost everything new....and then donated/sold it because I did not think I would ever have another. Some things were kept and used with my nephew & nieces but the bulk of Big Brother's things are gone. I have his special clothes and blankets and some of his favorite books and toys that were kept and used....but I had to basically start over. I hope this post encourages some of you to take the thrifty route when planning your nursery!


 Before I start getting into detail on the items that are in Baby Brother's room I will go ahead and say that before I purchased some of these items I did check the dates they were manufactured as well as look for any safety recalls. Things from yard sales & thrift stores are not always up to safety standards so shop and purchase at your own risk.

We typically in the warmer months go looking for yard sales every Saturday morning around 8. I use an app called Yard Sale Treasure Map which links to craigslist and imports yard sales that are close by my location. I can't tell you how many times I have found awesome yard sales using this app. Most of the time I don't even have to leave our neighborhood or immediate area! Also, I will say use this at your own risk since the map is not always 100% accurate and sometimes if someone has canceled a sale it will not update in time. Once you get close to the area start looking for signs.

At one of these recent outings I found this wooden rocking chair for $5. I really wanted a cushioned over-sized glider.....but definitely could not afford $450+ for a new one and they are hard to come by in good used condition. Even then you are talking $100. When I saw this rocker I immediately purchased it. I tried to find a cushion I liked for the whole thing but those are also expensive. Do I actually NEED the whole thing padded....no....although I would like for it to be. I found the bottom cushion at the thrift store for $2. **BONUS** it was for two bottom cushions....and we happened to get a Free rocker as well at a yard sale because it was broken and the lady told me to take it. We fixed it up and put it in the living room! The retail price I would put on this rocker is $150....only because Im not sure where it was purchased. I know there is this one on Amazon that looks similar for $299.

The DIY toy boxes were a project that you can find details about here: {click here for the post}

The Ikea plush fox (which has a baby one to match) was found at the thrift store for $1 and the cute little fox book which was brand new was purchased for fifty cents.

The bouncer seat was also purchased at the thrift store for only $3. The batteries were barely working when I tested it so that at least told me that it worked. I typically bring batteries with me when I go thrifting to check things like that but here lately I have been forgetting to. Retail value of this in new condition (and this thing is in excellent condition!) is $65.00 on Amazon.


Another thing I'd like to point out is when buying used products, especially baby products make sure you can thoroughly clean the item. You do not know where this has been prior to you purchasing for use. As a rule....if I cannot take it apart and wash it in the washing machine for cloth/soft items then it better be free because I don't want to spend a lot of time sanitizing and hand/spot washing.

This may spark some controversy but we are using the heirloom crib that my friend Cindy gave us. Her children slept in this and before she moved away from Northern Virginia (sniff sniff) she asked me if I would like to have it. It is an Edison Little Folks Crib and I adore it! I checked all the safety standards and this crib does meet them other than the drop rail side which can easily be made stationary. The only crib like this I could find online for sale was for $450.00 which is because it is a vintage piece. I will put a value on the crib for $119 because you can purchase a brand new (& cute) one for that price.

The mattress was gently used and I got it for free off of a local Facebook yard sale site. New retail value for this is $75.

The rock & play sleeper was a yard sale find and I paid $8 for it. New retail price is $75.


This photo is going to be hard to determine a savings but Im sure most of you will know about how much these little toys and books retail for. A lot of the board books I found for twenty five cents at thrift stores or yard sales or they were Big Brothers & my nephews.

The black bag to the left contains a breast pump that I am borrowing from my dear friend Kelly. The retail value of this particular pump is $300.

The little donkey riding toy was too cute to pass up. It's in excellent condition and while I couldn't put it in the washing machine I was able to sanitize it very well. I couldn't find anything like it online but this is the closest thing to it and it retails new for $56.


Im going to be borrowing the changing table that my boss used for her sons but I have not been able to pick it up & bring it home. Retail value for a new changing table is about $80 and I will have to buy the padded part but I think those are about $10 so I will get that new.

My cloth diaper stash has come from a variety of places. Again, my friend Kelly gave me several of these and she also was able to find a deal for me on some used ones. I have also been able to find several at the thrift store. Retail for cloth diapers varies and it is hard to put a value on them. I have saved a lot this way and a big thank you to Kelly for helping me in my cloth diaper journey.


Let's see where do I begin here. From the right.....I got two Boppies at the thrift store. The "naked" one had a pink cover so I took it off and it is currently in the donate to the thrift store pile. A new Boppy with a cover retail for about $40.

The Bumbo seat with the tray was an awesome yard sale find. They didn't have these when Big Brother was a little guy and my nephew loved his so this was an essential item for me. Got it at a yard sale for $3 and a new one retails for $50.

The Moby Wrap was also a must for me and they are hard to find second hand at a decent price. I saw this one at a yard sale without a tag and almost did not ask the price scared it would be unreasonable. When she said $4 I almost cried....it is brand new! Retail price for a Moby Wrap is about $40.

The tummy time mat was new in the box and my sister had that left over from my nephew.

The two baby carriers are from the thrift store. One was was $1 and the other was $5. The  $1 carrier is Chicco brand. They retail new for $50. The other one is a CatBird Baby mei tai carrier. I got it for $5 and the new retail price for it is $79. The print I have is not being sold anymore though but this one is still in great used condition.

The crib bumpers were a thift store find for $2. They are Eddie Bauer brand and Im not even sure how to price them. The shopping cart and high chair cover was $1 at the thrift store. Retail for this particular one is $30. The My Breast Friend nursing pillow was not an essential item....just something I purchased prior to finding the Boppies. They retail new for $45 and I got this one for $2. Last is the baby bath. I paid $3 for this at the thrift store and this exact one retails new for $25.


I cannot even begin to price out clothes, shoes, etc. I got pieces from numerous places...hand me downs, yard sales, thrift stores, gifts. I have only purchased one thing new for his wardrobe and it was on clearance at Target. The blankets were all gifts and leftovers from Big Brother. You can check out my Thrifty Baby Shower to see more about the gifts I received by following this link.

So here is a roundup of the essentials and the amount of money I saved not buying new:

  • Rocking Chair ($145)
  • Custom Toy Boxes ($88)
  • Bouncer ($62)
  • Crib ($119)
  • Crib mattress ($75)
  • Rock n Play Sleeper ($68)
  • Breast Pump ($300)
  • Riding Donkey ($53)
  • Changing Table ($80)
  • Cloth Diapers (???)
  • Boppies ($72)
  • Sumbo seat ($47)
  • Moby Wrap ($36)
  • Chicco carrier ($49)
  • Mei Tai carrier ($74)
  • Cart/Chair cover ($39)
  • Nursing Pillow ($43)
  • Baby Bath ($22)
Grand total that I can actual say I have saved: $1786.00 and that is just on these items named. There may be close to another $800+ dollars that I do not have the time or want to put the effort into tracking including extra crib sheets (which are expensive and all the crib sheets we have are thrifted) as well as the countless toys he has....Im sure it is several hundred in savings on toys alone!

Now I need a nap after going through all of this....so sweet dreams & enjoy!


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