A year into this parenting malarkey and while I’m still figuring A LOT of stuff out, one thing I know without question is that babies are expensive. Silly expensive.

Even when you take out the big expenses – the pram, the buggy, the car seat, the crib, the cot – the cost of clothes and toys do really add up.

So I’ve been trying to save money wherever I can – without feeling like a total Scrooge. And these have really helped...

*Ruby & Willow, Leigh Road, Leigh: Sells pre-loved designer baby clothes. Pick up some lovely clothes for a fraction of the price they are new (my fave was a pair of Blade & Rose rocket leggings which cost a mere £4!) Which, when your baby grows out of *all* his clothes about every ten weeks, is a huge help. Plus you can take in your baby’s gear and they’ll sell it for you on a 50/50 basis. So you can get some cash BACK on the clothes the baby wore the whole of once before they grew out of. Groovy Baby, a few doors down, also sells the most FABULOUS pre-owned baby clothes.

*Charity shops: (in particular the Children’s Society, in Leigh, and Barnardos, on Canvey.) I don’t know about you, but I don’t have £80 to blow on a wooden zany zoo activity cube. Especially if Sonny Jim takes one look at it and decides he hates it. Which is why spending £7 on said item in almost perfect condition from a charity shop makes sooo much more sense.

*Mum-Bay on Facebook: I discovered this when Sonny Jim was about six months old. You buy stuff off and sell stuff to local mums. Who pick up the bits you sell from your home. Trust me, you need it in your life.

Obviously, there’s eBay, but I get a bit intimidated about the thought of putting stuff up there and dealing with postage (anyone else, or is that just me?) I’d love to know your favourite places to shop for your little one and save cash. Comment below or email me at katy.pearson@nqe.com

Follow Katy's blog at whatkatydiduk.com