Last week I may have grumbled slightly about eBay’s lack of value lately. I owe eBay an apology.
In my yearning-to-have-some-control-while-I-can way I got busy making the list of things that we needed more of to cater for having two babies at once. I hunted around for best prices and then lovingly created a spreadsheet listing the items, quantities, and the prices we would have to pay.
Then I began searching for bargains.
The main item and consequently most expensive was the twin travel system. Boy, do companies know where to make their money. After hunting around and not knowing how good any one would be over another we decided the Jane Powertwin looked like a good option. The price at £7-£800 just for the buggy and two carseats however, was not so appealing. Wouldn’t you know, they also have an accessory pack with a couple of footmuffs, a changing bag and a parasol for only £250 extra? Over a thousand pounds just to get your babies safely from one place to another (the accessory pack isn’t necessary. A blanket wrapped around them will do the trick just as well). Surely it’s not just me to think that completely exhorbitant?!
Some sites ran offers of 10% off or similar. Others offered freebies. I just wanted the best price and while 10% off a grand might be a good bargain, I wanted a better one.
Cue hunting on eBay for something a) in good condition, b) very reasonable price and c) close enough to collect.
There was nothing nearby.
So the list changed to a) in good condition, b) very reasonable price and c) willing to have it collected by courier and then finding a very reasonably priced courier.
After three days straight of scrutising eBay listings we got one!
Travel system with two car seats plus the accessory pack all for… £200! Even paying for the courier came to under £40, therefore saving us almost £800 to if we’d bought it new.
Being on a high after finding such a great deal, I continued my quest. The cot will be kindly given to us by my friend, who is also Mike’s cousin, so we could cross that off the list. The other “big” item was a crib for downstairs. I like my small babies to be within sight for the first few months. It gives me peace of mind, especially with so many other kids running around the house too.
The crib we have now was set up eight years ago in the front room of our old house when I was seven months pregnant with Harry. It hasn’t been taken down since, having been the downstairs sleeping quarters for a baby almost every year since then. It cost us almost £100 back then and we’ve been happy with it. It’s proven to be reliable, solid and great value.
We searched, we found and we got itchy bidding finger poised until the quest was won. £33 and a trip later and we have a matching crib to the one we already had and probably in better condition if I dare admit it.
Another of my “things” with new babies is that they should have new bottles. I have never been able to breast feed and have gone through guilt and shame for it. Women can be their own worst enemies sometimes, I found out. However, nobody is going to make you feel guilty and shamed without your permission and finally I’m able to look at my bottle fed and now completely 100% healthy older children and say, “It’s ok”. Anyway, my point being, is that all new babies get new bottles and after experiencing constant screaming for three months from colicky Eddie, we now swear by and are totally loyal to Dr Brown’s bottles. Not cheap but so worth it.
Between my saved Boots Advantage card loyalty points and Tesco Clubcard points we’ve got most of the bottles we need. Plus another eBay bargain found on the smaller bottles as you now need to take your own to hospital when the babies are born. We’ve saved over £100 on them and needed to spend only £34!
The most expensive items have been bought for under £300 saving almost £1000 in the process. The only things left on the list now are:
Cloth nappies (extra small ones to add to the existing lot plus more larger ones to replace the worn ones for the older babies),
Triple bunk bed (not for the twins but so we can do the pre-baby musical beds things in order to prepare new sleeping space for the twins’ arrival),
2 new crib mattresses,
Baby sleeping bags for the twins (0-6 months. The ones I had were stored in the airing cupboard which had a leak and turned them mouldy).
Baby clothes – (a few <6lb ones to have to hand in case they’re born tiny and more of every size. We have enough for one baby at a time but not two at once). So that’s it. Babies on a budget can be done. You don’t have to scrimp on quality and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Twin Pregnancy Diary is available to buy in paperback now.