Baby Thrift

in BabyHTP

I love: dachshunds, swimming, Greek yogurt, running (sometimes), grilled cheese sandwiches, and cozy beds.  But I also really, really love consignment shopping.  As I’ve written about before, we’re intent on buying most baby items from thrift stores because it’s so much cheaper than retail.


Case in point: $1 onesies.


The Husband is equally enamored by consignment shopping.  This is his ‘thrifting face.’

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Looks fierce, but he’s not willing to throw ‘bows to get to a good deal (I’m looking at you, woman who swiped the $1 Cranium game out from under our gaze).


Anyway, I never knew this before, but most cities have bi-yearly large group consignment sales headed by mommy groups or churches.  One event in Charlotte includes products from over 650 families (here’s another upcoming sale in Charlotte).  Today’s consignment was headed by the Charlotte Moms of Multiples group.  Think:  an indoor flea market with thousands of gently used items, organized into gear, toys, and clothing sections.

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When the doors opened, people RUSHED in with frantic looks on her faces.  Must… get… best… deal.


Our awesome haul included*…

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*Creepy baby doll explained at the end of this post.


This pack and play, which will also serve as a bassinet when the baby is little.  Retail price: $150.  We scored it for $32. Looks brand new.

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A baby gym, which retails for $50.  Snagged it for $7.50.  I plan to toss it in the washing machine (and then keep James off it), but otherwise, it looks perfect.

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And this vibrating baby bouncer, which retails for $50.  We paid $10.  Again, the cover needs a wash.

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That means we paid $49.50 for $250 worth of baby gear.  Oh yeah.


And that creepy baby doll?  It was $1, and we plan to use it as a teaching tool to introduce the dogs to the concept of a baby and their new boundaries.

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Maggie, please don’t crawl on the baby’s face.  And James, do not lick her feet. 


Our living room has already been taken over by baby gear, and I’m thinking that this is only the beginning…


Score any sweet thrift store deals lately?  The second best thing to getting a good deal yourself is hearing about someone else’s treasures!



  • Jen February 11, 2012, 5:47 pm

    I’m glad you explained the creepy baby doll cuz it really was creepy in that picture, lol. From what my child bearing friends tell me, you’re going to love the vibrating baby chair. Apparently they are some kind of life saver…hence the reason that they’re my go-to baby shower gift (again, cuz my friends with kids tell me so). You guys got some great deals today!

  • Rebecca February 11, 2012, 5:47 pm

    James thought it was his new bed? That is adorable.
    And I like the doll idea for the dogs! Very smart. 🙂

  • Tanya February 11, 2012, 5:49 pm

    I buy most of my clothes at thrift stores. Love the hunt, but also the amazing deals. My husband used to look at me funny until I came home with some designer shirts for him that were only $2 each. There are certain limits though. One of my favorite thrift stores has a lingerie section. Um, no thank you.

    • CaitlinHTP February 11, 2012, 5:52 pm

      I drew the line at used diaper pails 🙂

  • Vanessa @ Swift as Shadows February 11, 2012, 5:51 pm

    Awesome finds! I went thrifting last weekend and spent about $20 for a lot of clothes, a book and some home decor stuff. It’s like a treasure hunt!

  • Lee February 11, 2012, 5:52 pm

    No good thrifting finds for me, but I think I have that same rug. I’m too lazy to get up and look! Is from Ikea?

  • Ali February 11, 2012, 5:54 pm

    Wow! AMAZING finds. I LOVE LOVE thrifting 🙂
    I found this article and thought you might like it!

  • Rebecca February 11, 2012, 6:03 pm

    Wow! I’m impressed! 🙂 and Maggie and James are so funny!

  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras February 11, 2012, 6:03 pm

    That is so awesome! I’m going to do exactly that when I have some chilluns of my own.

  • Moni'sMeals February 11, 2012, 6:08 pm

    You did awesome! Great finds for sure. :)Cute pics!

  • Kristin February 11, 2012, 6:22 pm

    AHHH this is so exciting!!!! The pack and play is by far the most amazing deal..WOW!

  • Stephanie C February 11, 2012, 6:35 pm

    That baby doll is SUCH a good idea for training dogs! I’m going to have to remember that for when it’s time for our family. Our pup is super territorial and just now starting to be okay around little ones (she likes to keep them in line by barking at them while they run, etc).

  • Angie February 11, 2012, 6:36 pm

    That’s a great idea to look at consignment shops. I’m only 7 weeks and plan on waiting awhile before buying anything though. After the baby arrives please share what you find is useful. I don’t want a ton of stuff that takes up space and we’ll never use. Did you have a lot of moving sickness? It’s been awful and I’m tired of saltines and I’m not able to get in fruits and veggies like before.

    • CaitlinHTP February 11, 2012, 6:41 pm

      I definitely will share!

      No I didn’t get morning sickness. But has it bad and she got a script from her doc for a medication that is really helping – you don’t want to dehydrate!

      • Penny February 11, 2012, 7:58 pm

        KATH IS PREGNANT?!?!?!
        That’s what I get for only reading YOUR blog. 🙂

  • Lindy Katherine February 11, 2012, 6:36 pm

    I am all for thrusting, especially baby items – and you scored some great bargains. Do you plan to have a baby shower, though? If so, you should probably wait until after the shower to haul in much more. You will get a TON of stuff!

  • Molly @ RDexposed February 11, 2012, 6:37 pm

    Is the baby doll or Maggie bigger..? I’m thinking you could practice holding her to get used to a baby. ha

  • Lindy Katherine February 11, 2012, 6:37 pm

    AAAH, autocorrect changed thrifting to thrusting. Ha ha ha! I will refrain from commenting on that one.

    • Laura February 11, 2012, 8:14 pm

      I have to admit, I giggled!

      • Jen February 11, 2012, 9:42 pm

        Me too! Auto-correct is FUNNY! 🙂

  • Shelly @ February 11, 2012, 6:47 pm

    Nice haul! I went thrifting today too – 2 suit jackets, 2 sweaters, and 3 new teacups. $15.20.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) February 11, 2012, 6:57 pm

    I love find old man sweaters when we go thrifting. Really they are the most comfortable sweaters ever. Looks like you guys made out great with you shopping! I’m getting so excited for you two!

  • Megan E February 11, 2012, 7:05 pm

    OMG James on the baby gym. Good luck getting him to leave it alone! I can just imagine him as you walked in the door. His eyes locked on it and he thought, MINE. 😀

  • JenRD February 11, 2012, 7:10 pm

    Wow, great deals! How would one find out about these huge consignment sales in their area?!?


  • Sarah February 11, 2012, 7:16 pm

    Thrifting/consignment = best thing ever.

  • Christina February 11, 2012, 7:29 pm

    I love shopping at the goodwill! Today I scored brand new knee high boots for $12, and some lovely dresses fr $8. Shopping there makes me happy:)

  • Anna Crouch February 11, 2012, 7:39 pm

    Holy cow!!! How did you find out about this big consignment sale?? Just google it?? I wonder if they do those in the Seattle area too…

    • Laura Ann February 11, 2012, 10:31 pm

      I had the same question – how did you find out about this?!

      • CaitlinHTP February 12, 2012, 11:59 am

        A friend told me. I would just try googling or emailing mommy groups.

  • Penny February 11, 2012, 7:55 pm

    I had both of my dogs 3 years before my first baby was born. I was VERY worried when baby number 1 came along because my girls (dogs) would jump and climb all over me, and I feared for the babys safety. However, as soon as I brought baby number 1 home from the hospital, my girls never gave me reason to worry about their closeness to him. After I allowed them to smell him thoroughly, they always maintained a sense of calmness and distance with him. I think dogs are very aware of the fragile nature of babies. I think introducing your furbabies to the doll is a brilliant idea, but I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their careful instincts with BabyHTP. 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP February 12, 2012, 12:00 pm

      I hope so. I think I’m more concerned that Maggie is going to be scared of the baby.

  • Meghan @ CarmanClan February 11, 2012, 7:57 pm

    We love thrifting for our little one, watch to see if any consignment shops near you do fill a bag. We have one that does it every few months and for $10 you fill a grocery bag. Last one I got 52 pieces, mostly shorts and pants- you know the pricey stuff. I actually returned the Bumbo that was given to us and bought other stuff knowing I can buy one when I need one for $12 at the consignment shop they retail for $45 at Babies R Us!

  • Heather February 11, 2012, 8:16 pm

    You got some REALLY good deals! I got one of those playpens 4 years ago and it has held up so well…we still use it when my best friends daughter comes over. Bravo!

  • Melissa @ Be Not Simply Good February 11, 2012, 8:36 pm

    Last summer I got my kids used inline skates at a big savings. That was a good one.

    We got a few of our big ticket baby items from a freecycle type site here in the Twin Cities. We got a stroller and crib for FREE. We could take off the cloth parts of the stroller to launder and we bought a new mattress for the crib, but still a HUGE score! You might be able to find some goodies for free.

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery February 11, 2012, 8:41 pm

    Wow I had no idea you could buy things at consignment stores that were in that great of condition! Awesome!

  • Marty February 11, 2012, 8:54 pm

    No thrift store deals to write about but here’s a related question: As the time gets closer for Baby Boyle to make his/her appearance, what address can be used for those of us interested in sending a little something?

    • CaitlinHTP February 12, 2012, 12:26 pm

      Aw, thanks Marty. You can make a donation to in honor of Operation Beautiful in lieu of a gift. 🙂

  • Stephanie February 11, 2012, 8:54 pm

    I have 3 children, 2 boys (15 & 13) and 1 princess (4) and I have been going to consignment sales since the first baby was born, of course now I only buy Haley’s clothes there but what a lifesaver they have been. Like in Charlotte we have them twice a year, and I tend to hit up about 3 of them regularly. I went to two today for the summer clothes, and if yours are anything like ours then there are 1/2 price days at the end of the week. As fast as little ones grow they are so worth the crowds and time it takes to buy great, clean, gently used clothing. I spent right at $200 but it was for probably $600 worth of clothing, including Easter dresses and lots of great play clothes, mostly name brand. It’s funny because when we first had our daughter my husband didn’t like the idea of second hand clothing (consignment or yard sales) but once he realized how expensive girl clothing was and how quickly they go through them he became a huge supporter of my bi-yearly shopping excursions around town. You will LOVE all your finds from today. The only other things I can suggest that you will probably want are a swing (lifesaver for us with all the children) and make sure you get a Boppy. I love your blog and can’t wait to meet Baby HTP. Sorry for the book. 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP February 12, 2012, 12:27 pm

      Thanks Stephanie! I have registered for a swing and a bobby. Hope the bebe likes it!

  • Kim February 11, 2012, 9:24 pm

    Awwww, I think James should get a baby gym of his own.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife February 11, 2012, 9:34 pm

    Holy crap! Nicely DONE! That is seriously awesome. I NEED to remember this when we have babies 🙂

    SO cool!!

  • Jen February 11, 2012, 9:55 pm

    Awww…James must have thought that the baby gym was for his new cave (the deluxe version with TOYS!). 🙂

  • Courtney February 11, 2012, 10:01 pm

    The family I babysit for has that baby gym, and OMG it works like magic calming the baby down! Great buy!

  • Kris February 11, 2012, 10:19 pm

    I think the creepy baby doll is so funny — love your sense of humor!

    Can’t think of my last thrifting treasure (there are many), but I’m wearing a brand new Charter Club (Macy’s) cashmere sweater that I got for $3.99, plus wore a leather Ralph Lauren black motorcycle style jacket out tonight that I scored for $12.50 and get compliments every time I wear it. Love, love thrifting!!

  • Lindsay February 11, 2012, 10:21 pm


    Ever heard of JBF (Just Between Friends: Their sales are epic. You can even volunteer to help set up or work a few cashier shifts to get early shopping privileges. They do two sales per year- spring and fall. I consigned items one spring as a fundraiser for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and I was ASTOUNDED by the number of people who came and the number of deals being scored. Best kept secret ever. I’m not yet at the place in my life for baby-making, but after working that sale, I promised myself I’d never buy clothing for my kids at retail prices 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP February 12, 2012, 12:27 pm

      Nice! Thanks for this link.

  • Amanda February 11, 2012, 11:45 pm

    We have scored our best kids/baby thrift at the Just Between Friends sales. Consignment shopping for kids is so addictive because it makes me want to buy MORE since it’s cheap!!

  • Marissa C February 12, 2012, 1:41 am

    I’m going to one next week. I went to one in September before the baby was born and scored LOADS of beautiful baby and maternity clothes, a bouncer, carriers, bumbo, etc. for $150.

    In fact…it was the same bouncer. Unfortunately our kid hates it. The vibrating doesn’t do it for her 🙂

  • Amy @loveAmyx February 12, 2012, 3:45 am

    Not sure what the advise is in US but in the UK you’re recommended to buy a brand new mattress for each child as they believe it reduces the SIDs risk. So you might want to see about a new one for the travel cot? Just a thought as no one else has mentioned it x

    • CaitlinHTP February 12, 2012, 12:28 pm

      Hmm I wonder how it relates to SIDS? I’ll see if I can buy a new one!

      • Jennifer February 12, 2012, 4:14 pm

        Google it. Apparently in the UK and Australia they are way ahead of us. Also, look into an organic crib mattress or a mattress cover. I researched this when my first was born over 6 years ago. I don’t remember all of the specifics, but I was alarmed at some of the SIDS research that has been done pertaining to mattresses that I didn’t even know about. Go to Don’t want to scare you but it is good to be informed.

  • Daisy February 12, 2012, 6:35 am

    So impressed with how money-savvy you guys are. Evereything looks adorable too!

  • andrea February 12, 2012, 6:41 am

    I have a four month old and I bought nearly all of our baby items and clothes at garage sales last summer. I paid 10 cents or 25 cents for a lot of the onsies. I even got a TON of basically brand new cute clothes from place like gap and old navy for a dollar or so. I always pick garage sales over consignment sales because they are so much cheaper, and I usually get them to come down on the price. Also, I really like to see the people and the home it from….that way you can see how clean they are (not to be mean, but go to a unclean garage sale and you’ll know what I mean) and you can get the history of the item. You could hit up some garage sales this spring before baby comes, and even some at the end of summer when he’s bigger. I only went to garage sale for about a month and got a TON and saved A TON.

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) February 12, 2012, 6:45 am

    You scored some sweet deals! Love to thrift. Also, y’alls idea to use the baby doll to teach the pups boundaries is genius!

  • andrea February 12, 2012, 6:47 am

    Oh, one more thing! If you find a cheap bouncey seat with a bar that has toys hanging from it, I suggest you pick it up! We have both kind of seats for our baby and the one like you have is great for newborns, but when they get older they will LOVE LOVE LOVE to stare at and hit the toys while they are in their seat…we hang more toys on it so our baby can grab them and “eat” them lol

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 12, 2012, 8:55 am

    Wow you saved so much money today! Don’t you love that feeling? 😀 I haven’t been thrifting in a while, but last time I went I scored two old Moosewood cookbooks. I love their stuff, so I was so excited!

  • Vanessa February 12, 2012, 9:17 am

    I LOVE that you’re thrifting for you baby. I’m a big thrifter myself and it blows my mind when I see all the money parents give out for their kids by buying things new. I don’t have any of my own yet but when I do have kids, I like to think I’d save on money and clutter by just buying the essentials at one of the many weekend flea markets that are always going on here in Hamburg.

    My best flea market purchase: a GORE running shirt with matching jacket for 6 Euros, that’s eight dollars!

  • Mel February 12, 2012, 10:23 am

    Thrifting is amazing. I would say that 95% of my wardrobe is thrifted, and all of it retails for way more then I ever would have spent in the store. (My favorite stores are Banana Republic, Loft, and J.Crew which can all get a bit pricey!) Yesterday everything at the Salvation Army in Seattle was half off so I scored a pair of Vera Wang flats for $5!

    I love the creepy baby doll idea almost as much as I love that Maggie has already cuddled up in the baby gym!

  • Theresa February 12, 2012, 10:23 am

    I have been to huge sales like that in my area. There is a group called Just Between Friends that puts them on. You should google them to see if they have them in your area. The sales are amazing and you can register as a new mom and shop early. I think you can also volunteer to help out and shop even earlier. I also love Once Upon A Child. It is a chain of stores that sell gently used baby items. I don’t know if it is local to MN but definitely google it to see. They possibly have something similar in your area. I scored a $70 activity mat there for $12. Awesome! Good luck with your thrifting.

  • Courtney Leigh February 12, 2012, 11:06 am

    Love thrifting and garage selling! Yesterday I scored a sweet little typing table for 4 dollars. Some sanding and a coat of paint and its going to be awesome!

  • Dominique February 12, 2012, 11:32 am

    The photo of James on the baby gym made me laugh out loud! And the idea of using the creepy baby to introduce James and Maggie to the idea of a new baby is genius.

  • Nicole M. February 12, 2012, 11:50 am

    Awesome! I wish I had thrifted a little more with certain baby items but you live and learn I guess. I will say, however, that not all baby clothes have to be super expensive. I love the Garanimals line at Wal-Mart and Old Navy sales and clearance. I also shop at Elder Beerman for their baby sales. I’ll use coupons in addition to their sales and be able to score Osh Kosh B’Gosh stuff for like 75% off! I feel a shopping trip in my future now, lol.

  • Devonshire February 12, 2012, 12:22 pm

    Awesome deals! See kids can be inexpensive! Only piece of advice is to never buy a car seat used! Once it’s been in an accident it should be replaced and car seats have expirations as well.

  • Heidi Bundles Of Hugs February 12, 2012, 12:35 pm

    WOW, what a bargain! You can’t beat those prices – jealous!

  • Amber K February 12, 2012, 1:42 pm

    Just the idea of thrift sales freaks me out. I hate shopping in the first place, but if I am shopping for something I want time to relax, browse and not have to worry about crazy people jumping in front of me. I might have to have someone else go in my place so I can still get the good deals! 😉

  • Amy February 12, 2012, 4:52 pm

    It looks like y’all were able to get some good deals! I recently went to a consignment sale and was able to get a glider in great shape! Keep your eyes open for sales like these, many times they have preregistration for expecting/new moms to shop before the general public (aka have first dibs on the ‘good stuff’).

  • Stephanie @ Legally Blinde February 12, 2012, 5:28 pm

    Wow, those are really impressive deals! My cousin is an expert at buying clothes for her 3 y.o. daughter from consignment stores, church sales, and eBay – and then when her daughter outgrows them she takes really good pictures of them and re-sells them (along with matching bows that she makes) for more than she originally paid! I love thrifting but don’t do it often enough.

  • Carolyn February 12, 2012, 8:22 pm

    Definitely look out for church-hosted giant yard sales too! I’m pretttty sure St. Matts (in Ballantyne) hosts a big one sometime during the summer.

  • Fallon February 13, 2012, 12:16 am

    Just wanted to chime in and say that the bouncer you scored is a great find! I babysat identical twin girls, until they moved to Switzerland at one, who both had that bouncer. The vibrations on the seat are great for soothing newborns, napping for all ages, and bottle feeding when they can hold their own. I hope your little one likes it as much as Sophia and Nina did 🙂

  • Suzanne February 13, 2012, 1:07 am

    Just dropping by to say hi, you are looking GREAT, and I shared your link to operation beautiful on my tumblr! <3

  • Sarah T. February 13, 2012, 12:53 pm

    Here’s another tip for getting the dogs (and you) ready: play the sound of a baby crying. Seriously, we did that a couple times in the weeks before the baby came and it helped our Lab get accustomed. We also brought home a baby blanket from the hospital after she was born, but before she and i got home, for him to sniff. Gets him used to the new smell. Great finds!

  • Diana February 13, 2012, 2:38 pm

    Oh my goodness, I’m dying at the line “Maggie, please don’t crawl on the baby’s face. And James, do not lick her feet.”

    Great job, though! So many people are anti-thrift because they associate it negatively. Great job on your finds! 🙂

  • Tricia February 13, 2012, 3:40 pm

    I have not read all of the comments, but I also love Mother’s Exchange sales as we call them here in Cincinnati. Lots of great deals. My thought always has been that If you can throw it in the washer or dishwasher or wipe it down, why not? I get a lot of items that way…and Craig’s list. Funny thing is that your pack n play and papasan seat are both items I got brand new 5 years ago when my first was born and now they are probably normal for consignment. Great purchases. Especially the vibrating chair. Well loved by all three babies at our house. Also nice to throw large sheet over for newborn pictures…and our kids often slept in it on stuffy nose nights to keep upright. We just sat it right down in the crib.

  • Kathy February 13, 2012, 3:50 pm

    Awesome finds. The stuff looks new. Kids grow so fast, it makes sense to buy used items. But, remember your family and friends will have a shower for you and you will most likely receive a bunch of new things. So don’t buy too much, or no one will know what to buy you. Its so fun to buy baby things. I now have a grandson and I love to look for things to buy him.

  • Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie February 14, 2012, 12:45 am

    Those onesies are SO cute 🙂

  • Jessica February 16, 2012, 9:07 pm

    We have that papasan and it has been a godsend for our 16-week-old!!! I’m going to be so sad when he outgrows it…

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