In this week’s baby bargainista column, I’d like to welcome Rebecca Atkinson who recently announced she’s expecting her first child later this year. She and her husband have already been doing a lot of shopping and thinking about what they’ll need when baby Atkinson comes along. Rebecca will be filling in while Jenny takes some time off to be with her newborn and pre-schooler.
My husband and I went to the United States (read: Buffalo) over the holidays to take advantage of the post-Xmas sales and avoid some of the crowds. For those who don’t know, December 26, known as Boxing Day here in Canada, is not a holiday in the U.S. so generally speaking you get the same post-holiday sales you do in Canada, without such large crowds.
Number-one thing on our list was looking for ideas and perhaps deals on baby things. While it’s still pretty early (I’m just entering my second trimester), this being our first baby we’re rather excited. We haven’t started decorating the nursery (read former games/storage/linen-closet room), but we’ve - ok, mainly I’ve - spent time in the room thinking about colour schemes and furniture placement.
Not knowing if it’s a boy or a girl yet, the plan was to go with some sort of green and yellow theme.
First stop was the outlet mall where we found a few great deals on sleepers and Onesies ($6 or less), then we were off to Walden Galleria in Buffalo. Wandering around the mall we spotted Pottery Barn Kids and figured that we’d head in to get some ideas that I, the bargain shopper in our house, could then figure out how to recreate for less.
After oohing, awwing and gasping over prices, my husband pointed to one small area in the corner of the store marked “Clearance.” We looked at each other and thought, why not? You never know.
If there’s one thing Pottery Barn Kids does well, it’s mark items down when on clearance. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we discovered that amongst the items on sale was a crib set, including three crib sheets, a quilt and crib bumper originally priced for $290 US total, marked down to $70 US.
Likely it was the last of some discontinued line, but we didn’t care. We felt like we'd won the lottery. For bargain hunters, saving more than 75% in Pottery Barn was the deal of the century.
The next question was, did we like it? Would it go with the colours we’d chosen? Upon closer inspection, not only did it go with our theme, it seemed made for it. Little green, yellow, orange and blue polka dots with a scattering of animals around. That cinched it, without a doubt. I had to have it. Luckily we both agreed.
As we walked out of the store, still giddy over our purchase, I looked at my husband and asked him what would we have done if it hadn’t matched our design ideas? His response: “Change the paint colour.” I had to admit he had a point...
Lessons learned from our U.S. shopping trip:
1. Be open to letting deals drive your design/paint colours. Paint is (generally) cheaper than most of the accesories that you have to buy for a (baby’s) room.
2. Shop early and often. Start browsing from the get go and when you spot a deal, jump on it.
3. You can have designer names for less, you just have to look and be open to change.