Gently Used Items Can Save Families Big Bucks

Having children means having a lot of expenses. But while it’s beneficial to buy some things new, there are quite a few items you can do just fine with buying gently used.

When we found out we , there was much to do in a very short time. We had to move, find a larger vehicle and buy for three babies -- all within about three months time.

I needed to be able to cut costs as much as possible while finding reliable items that would last. I took helpful advice from a few of my friends who are mothers and decided to give rummage sales and consignment stores a try. 

I discovered that in many instances these places can be quite the gold mine. By keeping a few things in mind, you will start seeing savings immediately.

There are a few major differences between consignment shops and rummage sales. Both offer some advantages, if you keep a few things in mind.

Staying Safe When Buying Baby Equipment and Toys

Consignment shops like Once Upon a Child in Orland Park sell products that meet current safety standards. They also make sure the products are all safe from recent recalls.

A recent article in Consumer Reports listed the top five products to avoid buying used:

  1. Cribs
  2. Bicycle helmets
  3. Child safety seats
  4. Children’s outerwear with drawstrings
  5. Toys, including jewelry


Consignment shops often offer brand new items that are still in their original packages or with the tags still attached. This is a plus, but they also tend to be a bit pricey with their clothing sales. The right rummage sales on the other hand, can offer name brand and high quality clothing for very reasonable prices.


Consignment shops offer products in a more organized manner. The are divided by size, season and occasion. They have also been spot checked and are usually only gently used. You are also only shopping in one location.

At a rummage sale you never know what kind of treasure you might find. You are also not limited to only buying for children. However, the process of finding usable items can take time and patience and a bit of traveling.

Consignment shops are also a great way to make some extra money off of the items you no longer need or want. It’s hassle free, quick and easy to drop off your items and earn some quick cash.

There are however some negative aspects I have found in working with consignment shops. From my own experience you don’t usually end up with much cash. You’re then left to figure out what to do with the items they don’t accept or want (I donate mine to families in need or Goodwill).

I feel there are numerous benefits to buying certain items secondhand. And it has been a huge blessing in our home to accept hand-me- downs. In today's economy, the value of the dollar is going down and prices are going up, so it’s smart shopping to save when you can! After all, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure“.

jackie August 18, 2011 at 06:32 PM
dont forget about the once upon a child in chicago ridge at southwest and ridgeland


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