'I saved €1,000 by buying used items'
Lisa Burke, from Lucan, Co Dublin, has three young children: Isobel, nearly four; Liam, two-and-a-half; and a five-month baby girl, Marianne.
She reckons that she has saved about €1,000 in the last year simply by buying new or nearly-new baby equipment and clothes secondhand.
"Now that I have three children, I am less precious about wanting everything to be brand-new," she says.
She has achieved her biggest savings to date on a buggy travel system from a seller on parenting website Rollercoaster.ie, and a baby sling from another seller on Magicmum.com, another parenting website. "I saved about €600 from those two purchases alone."
However, she prefers buying stuff the old-fashioned way.
"It's a pain in the neck trying to arrange to meet, and then I hate the idea of going to someone's house and having to say, 'no, I don't want it.'"
She went along to one of the first events in Dublin organised by Arís, which organises sales of secondhand baby clothes and equipment, she has attended its sales regularly ever since.
"I bought my baby girl a ton of brand-new outfits at less than a third of their retail price. I also bought a lot of clothes for my son and older daughter, some new, some secondhand but barely worn."
Among the baby items was a Ralph Lauren outfit for just €10 (cost €80 new). "I was thrilled with this outfit because its absolutely gorgeous and because I would never pay that kind of retail price for baby clothes."
Other items included a crib for €50 that would have cost €150 new, and a co-sleeper for €50, a saving of €150.
She also enjoys the family atmosphere. "It's not a jumble sale. It's just mums and dads like ourselves who are just trying to clear out the house of all the outgrown toys, clothes and equipment.