If you plan ahead, there is really no reason why you need to buy (almost) anything new. For example, you can get:
- Clothes - shirts, shoes, jackets, coats, pajamas, sweaters, hats etc.
- Maternity clothes (I paid $80 for ALL my maternity clothes)
- Toys, puzzles, games
- Books, videos, DVD's
- Homeschooling books
- Baby gear - strollers, Boppies, jumpers, breastpumps, bottles, cloth diapers
- Cribs & other furniture
- Matresses and bedding
- Bath tubs and towels
Shopping the JBF Sale is somewhat competitive, due to the desire to get to the best stuff first. The bigger items, like cribs, will sell out the first day. And on the first day, you may have to wait in line for 30 minutes. So....here are my JBF shopping tips:
- Go on the first day, as soon as it opens, for best selection.
- Leave kids at a babysitters if at all possible.
- Print coupon off of the website for free entry (costs $2 first day only).
- Bring a stroller to use as a shopping cart. VERY important.
- Bring water and a snack.
- Know sizes of children for the next 6 months. (i.e. My son will need 12 - 18 month winter attire)
- Make a specific list of what you need.
- If you really want first pick, you can get admittance to a 'pre-sale' by volunteering to work a JBF Sale shift or consigning some of your stuff to be sold.
Some people avoid "consigment", thinking that it means "expensive used". In the case of the JBF sales, I would disagree. Just to give you an idea of prices (I went this morning, this is actually a sample of what I bought):
- Fleece footed pajamas - $3-5
- Nice winter coats - $5 - 9
- Toddler shoes - $2 - 6
- Books - $1 - 4 for good quality; $10 for full sets of books
Of course, you can get cheaper stuff at garage sales, and bag sales at nice thrift stores can be a great bargain. Still, it's hard to get everything you want, with guaranteed excellent quality and excellent selection, at a garage sale. On top of that, you can shop the last two days of the JBF Sale for 25% - 50% off of everything. At the end of the sale, the remainders are given to charity. Sweet!