Persephone: Parent

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Day 58 Encounting: Clothes Shopping

on March 11, 2013

There may be only 50+ days left, but I had completely refrained from doing any shopping of clothes whatsoever for Elvis. I knew I needed the basics, the essentials, and I also knew that my mum had that covered! In fact she’s bought plenty of non-essential items, too, but that isn’t the point.

Apparently it’s bad luck to have the pram/pushchair in the house before baby comes. I have no idea why; I haven’t researched that Old Wives’ Tale. What I think of as a bit like Counting your chickens before they’re hatched is the clothes thing. Not only for what if the worst happens, but also what if he’s massive so all the 0-3month clothes don’t fit! Or only fit for a day or two and then he needs a bigger size. It’s the same with nappies: yes, I need however many to cover the first few days, but there’s no point in stocking up on what could be the wrong size. Or, what if the scan was wrong and Elvis is… Elvira or something!

So I had refrained from buying anything other than a few little essentials that I knew my mum hadn’t bought as the doting Grandmother. Until I decided to head to an NCT run Nearly New Sale.

The National Childbirth Trust is a charity that runs various things for New and Expectant Mothers. Things include antenatal classes, post-natal drop ins, yoga and relaxation courses and Nearly New Sales (amongst other things). I don’t think any of their courses or meet ups are free, but a portion of what’s paid will go to the charity. The Nearly New Sale (NNS) is charged on the door by £1 per family, I think I heard them say, but I was happy to pay £1 each for myself and my mother (it is for charity).

What I expected was a jumble sale. Anyone can donate their used goods to be sold on the day, and I expected to see each seller having their own table so everything would be a bit miss-matched with a mixture of clothes, toys, books etc on every table.

It is not a jumble sale!

Everything donated is labelled up with a price and seller ID and then everything sorted into one giant “shop”. So there are clothing racks laid out by gender and age making it easier to look at the range you wanted. Starting off at newborn, clothes went up to about 3 or 4 years of age. Around the outside there were more clothes piled on tables in the same age range/gender layout. These were then used to top up the main racks when it was needed, but they did get a bit muddled.

There were also specific areas for toys, books, equipment and parent books. And a separate rack for GroBags and Fancy Dress clothing.

Some people get amazing bargains there – breast pumps, cots, baby bouncers, etc. We only bought clothes, but we bought loads of clothes and a lot of them were only 50p! One dungaree set still had the shop label on them – BRAND New. And there were some decent “brands” there, too. Not that I specifically want brands for me or my child, but if I can get a John Rocha or Next t-shirt for 50p, I bloody well will!

I think I totalled up 7 full outfits, one coat, one cardigan and another 5 t-shirts and all for £20. Everything that you want to buy (from any table or rack in the room) is taken to one till area (so there are big queues) and you pay for it all in one go. It means there’s no need to have lots of change like you might need to at a car boot sale (although change for the door donation/entry fee is needed) or constantly getting your purse out or wondering about accidentally wandering off from one “stall” to another.

It was far more organised than I thought and the clothes I got were of such a decent condition, I will definately be heading back to their next one – my area have two a year. So Elvis should be about 6 months old at the next one.

They also provide you with a bag to use as a shopping basket and then a bag at the end with all of your shopping in (and some leaflets and freebie stuff!) so there’s no worry about buying too much (unless it’s more than you can carry) and there was an option to bring your car around if you bought a cot or something! Which is probably the worst element of my local NNS – parking is limited to 1hour during the day, but we did it!

Meanwhile I did have a look online for other local second hand sales and found something local called Little Pickles Markets which sounds similar to the NNS except I think people do run their own stall (not sure), but I will be heading there in a few weeks to see what it’s like and what other bargains I can find!

~ Persephone M

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