Shopping for kids can sometimes be quite stressful as a parent; especially when you’re shopping for children on a budget. Try out some of our budget-busting tips the next time you need to shop for the kids, to remove the stress, and make shopping fun again.

Babies, and children for that matter, don’t need a lot. That’s why we wrote an article specifically for babies, Buying for baby on a budget-10 top tips. You really can save a fortune at a very expensive time of life!

And when it comes to older children, we like to buy items that will last, grow with your child, can be passed down to subsequent children, or on-sold or donated knowing that they are still intact and safe to use.

Probably our number 1 tip would have to be to shop online.

Shopping online is a great way to prevent yourself from impulse buying. And you get to see the total cost of what you’re buying before you pay for it. It’s so much easier to hit delete from your online cart, than it is to remove an item at the store checkout.

Your time is extremely valuable – any time spent shopping in brick and mortar stores is time that could be spent having fun and interacting with your children. Shopping online solves this problem – the internet is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can shop when your baby is napping or your children have gone to bed for the night.

Plus, shopping online means that the world is at your doorstep – not just the department stores that are down the road.

Shopping for Children on a Budget-10 Top Tips

Having children often means going from two incomes to one, and having to budget out costs more than you’ve had to in the past.  Here are our tips for buying quality goods while on a budget.

1. Plan your purchases

Plan out what you’ll need – if you’re on a budget, the last thing you want to be doing is spending money on items you’ll never use.  If you’re pregnant and not sure what you’ll need, have a look at our new baby checklist.

2. Create wish lists and gift registers

A lot of online stores will have the functionality for you to be able to create wishlists or gift registers. Don’t be afraid to use these so that when people ask what you want or need, you can point them in the right direction.

Wish lists and gift registers are great because you can add items of varying prices to them, so people can easily select something within their budget.  People will buy gifts for your baby/children, and it’s easier for both parties if you guide them and you end up with something you need and they see you using or your children enjoying.

3. Shop online

This is one of our buying philosophies, but has to be restated here. You will find some amazing sales and deals online. Check out some of the amazing family-focussed businesses in our Directory to get started.

4. Buy sales items for the year ahead

End of season and annual sales are a great time to pick up a bargain.  It means planning ahead a little – for instance, buying clothes at the end of winter for your child for next winter, or buying toys in the January sales for next Christmas, but the savings are often well worth it!

5. Take a shopping holiday from time to time

We love buying New Zealand made and supporting New Zealand based companies whenever possible. However, because some other countries are a lot bigger than New Zealand, they are subject to a lot more competition and often have to discount their products accordingly to attract customers.

We love shopping on Australian websites because they often have extra discounts for overseas shoppers and most of the time, delivery costs are reasonable (in some instances, less than we’d pay in New Zealand including the postage!).

The other side of the world has it’s charms too – as well as being able to find brands you wouldn’t find as easily in New Zealand, you can shop their end of season clearance sales for our current season! Sometimes customs duty will apply to purchases made online – click here to see the current information from Customs New Zealand.

6. Group shop

Set up a system to email around your coffee group or other parents you know when you see a good deal on.

A lot of online stores offer free delivery if you purchase over a certain dollar value of goods, and if not, you can share the delivery costs to reduce the overall cost to each person.

Also, you will often find a lot of ‘2 for’ deals on the internet – purchase together and split the cost to both enjoy the savings.

7. High price doesn’t always mean high quality

There are certain things you will need to buy, where it doesn’t matter if you spend $5 or $500, the quality is going to be the same, or are used for a purpose that doesn’t warrant high levels of expenditure.

Anything that no matter how well you look after it isn’t likely to have a decent resell value or is guaranteed to be a throw away item.  Be cheap, buy the $5 version, not the $500 version.

8. Hire short life items

We’re not fans of plastic mass produced toys, they often get thrown into a corner pretty quickly, and then into our landfill not long after. Save yourself some money and hire them from your local toy library instead.

The same goes for anything that you need that won’t last long and can’t be onsold easily (capsule carseats are a good example here).

9. Recuperate your costs

On-selling quality is easy. Just do a search on any of the online secondhand/trade sites, or on your local Facebook buy and sell page, and you will soon see top brands selling at high prices. Because they retain their quality and are often just like new, despite being secondhand.

To be able to recuperate as much of the initial purchase price as possible, you will need to take good care of your belongings – with clothes for instance, follow the wash instructions, iron them inside out before taking photos for on-sell and take photos in the best possible light.

Make sure your furniture, toys and other items are cleaned thoroughly before on-selling.

10. Have fun!

Alright, so this isn’t really a budget-busting tip, but we really wanted to include this one. Shopping on a tight budget can often bring parents a lot of stress, and even end up ruling the household.

The experiencing of shopping for your children should be a fun one – from placing the order, to the excitement of the courier turning up on your doorstep, to opening the parcel, and enjoying your purchases! And by keeping it fun, you’ll prevent it from becoming a stressful ordeal.

For more expert money tips, check out our Grown ups: Family finances section.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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how about second hand and repurposed items. Or sewing for your children. Old t-shirts can be used to make smaller shirts for the kids same with old jeans etc. Not everything needs to be new. Especially as they grow so fast.


Hey Deb, you’re totally right. Facebook buy and sell pages are wonderful for finding quality second-hand items for kids. And we’re big proponents of clothes swaps, and other reuse and recycle ideas too. You might also like our kid’s clothing article: https://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/articles/clothing-your-kids-on-a-budget/ — Jarrod

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