As we accumulated items needed for our upcoming baby, I found that most things we needed were little things -- five dollars here, fifteen dollars there. There were only several large items that we needed, one of which was the crib.
For us, my parents told us several years ago that their big gift to us with our first baby would be a crib. So that was one big expense we didn't have to worry about. However, probably many of you will not be so fortunate, and will find yourself forking over the big bucks to buy one when that first baby comes along.
My mom said in her post about laundry, "Cheap is getting the best price, no matter what. Frugal is getting a good product for the best price." I believe this applies here as well. You may think it's the best thing ever that you got a $30 crib, but if it falls apart in six months and you have to buy a new one, then you have been cheap -- not frugal. Especially with a crib, you want something that will last years, and hopefully multiple children. This means you want to find the best crib for the best possible price.
Here are a few tips on how to do just that:
First: Do your research. Shop around until you find something you love that is within your price range, then Google the item and see what comes up. I do this with random items and often Amazon or some random website will have your item for a little bit cheaper, or free shipping, or some other deal. Don't be fooled into thinking that only one store carries your crib.
Second: Wait for deals. Don't buy your item the moment you find it. Especially with the economy, big stores like Babies R Us or RC Willey are always having sales.
Third: Sign up for Rewards Programs, if they're free. They'll send you coupons and discounts in the mail. Also get on their mailing list so you are notified when there are big sales going on.
Fourth: Buy second hand, if buying a new crib isn't in your budget. Craigslist, garage sales, and Kid to Kid are all great options for buying second hand, as long as you get a quality product.
So, who else has great frugal ideas for buying cribs?