A SAVVY mum told how she’s amassed more than £2,450 worth of baby clothes for less than £100 – including a fancy Oyster pram and travel cot worth £668 for a TENNER.
Senior healthcare assistant Rebecca Watling, 26, from Southport, Merseyside, is mum to Olivia, 18 months, and pregnant with her second child.
Engaged to Lee Hough 39, she wants to dress her kids nicely but her £14k income means it isn’t possible to buy brand new.
So she’s scooped amazing bargains from charity shops, spending hours scouring the rails.
Among her wins are a Liberty Maime romper suit valued at £32, a Phi Clothing why dress which normally sells for £60 as well as M&S cardigans and Next jumpers all for a fiver or less.
She told Fabulous: “From the age of 16 I have been a fan of charity shops and second-hand stores.
"I've spent hours scouring them for fashionable pieces people have given away.
“I loved finding vintage pieces to wear. I knew charity shops were treasure troves if you take the time to look regularly.
“People are always complimenting me on my outfits and items like my YSL mini dress, a Guess Coat and a Vintage Donna Karan top.
“When I tell them they’re from shops like Oxfam, Scope and the British Heart Foundation they are astounded.”
Rebecca, who met dad-of-two Lee at work in July 2016 and started dating him five months later in December that year, said he “loves” her “thrifty ways”.
“He knows I could never go past a charity shop without looking for a bargain,” she said.
Rebecca even said she would wear a wedding dress from a charity shop and has been hunting for vintage dress styles – along with stockpiling second hand vases and table decorations.
On discovering she was pregnant with Olivia in February 2019, she knew straight away she was going to dress her girl with clothes she had bought from charity shops.
She said: “I wanted our child to be dressed stylishly but with me earning £14K we had a tight budget.
“Our wedding is in three years time in 2023 so we needed to save money.
“So, I started spending more and more time in charity shops, on eBay and in second-hand stores.”
She also followed pre-loved pages on Instagram, determined to find the best quality items at the cheapest prices.
“The cost of baby clothes and kit is staggering,” she continued. “I knew it was possible to save money and be stylish.
“Even before our daughter was born I’d amassed a range of baby clothes and toddler dresses which I’d pickled up for under two pounds each.
“Highlights included a Little Tailor cream jumper which sells for £30, Phi Clothing smocks normally retailing at £55, a Liberty Maime floral romper suit which cost £32 and a Mini La Mode designer dress that I was shocked to discover originally sold for £62.
“I love Kate Middleton’s children’s style too – so looked out for that sort of look.
By the time Olivia was born in February 2019 I’d amassed more than £1,200 worth of clothes, shoes and baby items which had cost less than £100.
“Buttons are a sign of high-quality items as well as embroidery on baby and toddler clothes.
"I mapped out all the local charity shops and during my lunch hour or on weekends or days off I’d scour them for bargains.
“I also found dozens of stylish babygrows with Peter Pan collars and stitching for less than £2 which originally sold at Next, Marks and Spencer's and from a range of Spanish designers all retailing for between £12 to £49.
“Meanwhile, I discovered handmade cardies often never worn that were adorable.”
Rebecca makes sure she always washes her finds so they are as good as new by using Fairy washing up to do an additional laundry wash.
She also hangs vintage pieces in the sun for a couple of days to add extra spark to vintage pieces.
“By the time Olivia was born in February 2019 I’d amassed more than £1,200 worth of clothes, shoes and baby items which had cost less than £100,” she said.
“And it paid off because from the day she was born she was constantly getting compliments on her outfits.
“Friends and family automatically assumed they were new and asked me where they could buy them.”
Now she’s been scouted by a baby modelling agency – and mum thinks it is partly thanks to her style.
And she’s started buying toddler clothes for her.
“Over the past year I have found toddler dresses and outfits for my growing daughter that cost just £2 in charity shops but would normally sell for £50 to £60,” she said.
“When I found a Striped Romper from Beautiful Beginnings which sold original for £32, a Phi Dress which sold for £60 and Baby Boutique and Mini La Mode dresses I realised people didn't know what a bargain they were missing.
“All they needed was a proper clean and sunshine.
“I think some of my bargains will become family heirlooms which will be passed down through generations as I love the classic look.”
REBECCA’S TOP BARGAIN FINDS
- Liberty Maime Romper suit, £32, bought for £3
- Phi Clothing white dress, £60, bought for £5
- Little tailor Cream Cardigan, £32, bought for £2
- Beautiful Beginnings striped romper, £32, bought for £3
- Flamingo and Fox ink Romper, £18, bought for £2
- M&S cardigan, £15, bought for £1
- Mini La Mode Dress, £62, bought for £4
- Oyster Pram travel cot, £668, bought for £10
She said she flinches when she sees parents buy toddler and baby clothes new.
“Seeing mums and dads shell out £50 on fancy frocks when you can get them next to nothing in charity shops makes me cringe,” she admitted.
“I can buy more than 20 dresses for that. My kids are never scruffy.
“Some people might turn their noses up at us, but they look brilliant – and I’m saving a fortune.”
We shared how a mum showed off her huge Asda haul for £37 – including Disney baby clothes for just £2.
Elsewhere, mums are sharing their monster Monsoon hauls after picking up swimming costumes just £1 in its mega summer sale.
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