Last week I issued the following Cheapskate Challenge to readers:
Let’s say you only have $350 (including shipping) to buy the following 10 items online today:
- Crib (full-size, fixed-side)
- Crib Mattress
- Two waterproof mattress protectors
- 3 crib sheets
- 3 swaddling blankets (actual blankets big enough for swaddling, not SwaddleMe, etc.)
What would you buy?
Think carefully. Try to choose items with the highest quality possible rather than simply choosing the cheapest items you can. What do you buy? It can be done! All items must be new and in stock. You can exclude sales tax from your total.
I received so many thoughtful, smart responses. Spending less than $350 on these items is very, very doable. Here’s how:
- Even though the challenge excluded second-hand items, buying gently used items is a great way to save up to 50%. Check your local consignment shop, consignment sales, Craigslist and more for gently used crib sheets, swaddling blankets, mattress protectors and more. It’s okay to buy a fixed-side crib second hand as long as you check for recalls and inspect the item thoroughly to make sure it meets current standards and is in great condition.
- IKEA was also excluded from the challenge since their cribs and mattresses can’t be purchased online. If you’re lucky enough to live near one, definitely check it out. You can pick up a great crib for just $99 and a matress for as little as $35.
- Bundles can offer fantastic savings. Last week Walmart offered a Graco Lauren crib plus crib mattress for $145. Other bundles throw in crib bedding, too.
- DIY: If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can find patterns for crib sheets, swaddling blankets and more online. PrudentBaby is a good place to start. Etsy is a good place to look for handmade items at various price points.
To get you started, here are some of the items readers recommended. Mix and match to fit your lifestyle and budget:
- Dream On Me – Classic 2-in-1 Convertible Crib: $99
- Graco Lauren, Sarah and others: Around $150
- Baby Mod: $149 (Rollback)
- Stork Craft Tuscany, Aspen, Chelsea, Rochester and others: $140 to $200
- Roxy Antique White Modern: $148.99 (Overstock)
- Nursery 101 Concord Classic: $143
- Kolcraft – Pediatric Crib and Toddler Mattress: $36
- Dream On Me Orthopedic Extra Firm Foam Crib Mattress: $69
- Serta Nightstar Extra Firm Crib Mattress: $80
- Sealy Soybean Foam-Core Crib Mattress: $100
- Colgate Classica I Foam Crib Mattress: $150
- Carter’s 2-pk. Quilted Pad: $8.99
- KID-DING – Waterproof Ultra-Soft Quilted Crib Mattress Pad: $14.98
- Kolcraft Stain Protection Sealy Crib Matress Pad: $19.98
- American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Quilted Crib and Toddler Mattress Pad: $20.17
- Luvable Friends Fitted Knit Crib Sheet: $4.99
- Carters Easy Fit Sateen Crib Fitted Sheet: $9.99
- Secure-Fitting White Crib Sheet – Set of 2 (Target): $19.99
- Summer Infant Ultimate Crib Sheet: $15
- Tadpoles Organic Flannel Fitted Crib Sheets – Set of 2: $34.99
- Little Bamboo Muslin Wrap – 3 Pack: $24.95
- Aden + Anais 100% Cotton Muslin Swaddle Wrap, 4 Pack $44
- SwaddleDesigns Lightweight Marquisette Swaddling Blanket: $13.50
You’ll find many more reader responses to the challenge, including reasons for the items chosen, in the comments here.
**The winner of the Cheapskate Challenge? Danae!**
What do you think? Leave feedback and recommendations in the comments!