Bargain hunter mum saves £26,000 shopping second-hand

One bargain hunter reveals how she saved £26,000 thanks to shopping at charity shops and car boot sales.

Helen Lyford-Smith, 33, has made significant savings and only spent £4,000 on furniture, clothes, toys, prams and nappies for her three children.

This is thanks to her success in thrift shopping in stores and on Facebook Marketplace which she documents on her Instagram page (@thriftymumofthree).

When the former circus performer-turned-writer became pregnant with her first child in August 2021, she was able to source 90 percent of the baby items second-hand.

As of today, Ms Lyford-Smith has carried out this shopping habit and saves a lot of money buying second-hand for her husband and other two children too.

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According to the thrift shopper, she does not have to “sacrifice quality” and has been able to find a wicker changing mat for £10, a bookshelf for £25, a set of wooden toys for £2 and a free cot from a local car boot.

She explained: “I’ve always loved second-hand, and I knew that wouldn’t change when I became a mum. I read somewhere that the average price of clothing and furniture for a newborn was around £10,000 which is crazy.

“I scoured Facebook Marketplace and boot sales to find everything for the kids. Some people may say it’s unhygienic but it’s so outdated as much of what people are getting rid of is basically brand-new.

“Babies grow so quickly, they’re only in outfits a couple of times before it’s time to size up. It’s good for the environment and the bank account, so what’s not to love? And with the cost of living being what it is, I’m all about making every pound stretch.”

Since she has started thrifting, Ms Lyford-Smith estimates she’s saved over £10,000 on furnishing in her house.

These include bargains such as a plush Habitat sofa for £300, a chic dresser for £20 from Facebook Marketplace, and a bespoke mirror for £10 from a local boutique.

However, there are certain items the mother-of-three will not buy second-hand for her home.

These include mattresses and children’s car seats, which she and her husband will choose to buy brand new.

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The self-proclaimed bargain hunter shared how thrifting has always been in her life and is a trait she wishes to pass on to her own children.

Ms Lyford-Smith added: “I’ve always been a bargain hunter – it’s how I’ve been brought up and I find it a fun side-project,” Helen said. When Richard and I met he was a typical bloke who would just buy new for ease – but I soon changed that.

“All the furniture in our house is second-hand – his beloved surfboard is even second-hand – costing £300. These days Richard gets just as excited as me.

“I always keep up to date with upcoming car boot sales too as I find them even cheaper than the sites. I want to show my children the value of money and that nice things don’t have to always be brand new.”

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