Thrifty Baby: The £20 Moses Basket

Miss Thrifty16 May 16, 2012

Well I never! I’ve been asked to post more about Thrifty Baby, and how I’m doing parenthood on a budget.

The request made me do an OMG face like this:

Thrifty Baby

In truth, I’ve been holding back on the baby posts for a couple of reasons. The first is that once uncorked, I’m at risk of turning into a bloggy baby bore. The second is that Thrifty Baby and I have been doing a prolonged bout of road-testing. Although I spent my pregnancy stocking up on bargain baby gear and working out what we did or didn’t need, I was conscious of taking a step in the dark and that hello, maybe I needed that plastic “top and tail bowl”, freestanding changing table and buggy that cost the same as a small car after all.

As it turns out I didn’t need any of those things, and in the end we were able to get all that we needed either for free, or very cheaply. So over the coming weeks I’ll be setting out what I got, did and bought, and how I cut all the corners cost-wise. But I don’t want to bore anyone who doesn’t give two hoots about baby stuff, so shall we say, one baby post a week? Does that sound amenable?

I’ve been asked to tell you about what we did for a Moses basket, so that’s where I’ll start…

I was always going to get a Moses basket. Our house is small and, although we have a cot in the nursery, we were never going to fit it in our bedroom. My only worry was that Thrifty Baby would outgrow the basket so quickly, it would turn out to be money down the drain. (Actually, the opposite has been true: because he was poorly and slow to put on weight after he was born, he is still playing catch-up – and, as you can see from the pictures below, at four months old he still fits in the basket. Just.)

When I saw how much Moses baskets cost, I did another one of those OMG faces. (Actually, I did a lot of those while shopping for baby stuff.) In the baby shops, the baskets on display were priced at about £80. On the Mothercare website, the cheapest basket is £34.99 – and that’s without a stand. The cheapest stand costs £19.99. And that’s without the bedding. So £55, without bedding. As you can see, it all begins to add up very quickly…

Thank heavens for ASDA, where I found a Moses basket on special for £15. Here it is, as modeled by Thrifty B:

thrifty moses basket

The basket is still available via Asda’s website, for £25. And do you know what? I really don’t think that quality-wise, there is much difference between this basket and it’s expensive equivalents. The hood doesn’t stay up very well, but I like to keep it down anyway so that I can check he is still alive see him.

Two good points about this basket: the colours are neutral. Also it is slightly larger than some of the wee matchbox-sized baskets I’ve seen elsewhere, so can be used for longer.

As for the stand: I thought we would make one, but my husband shot that idea down as, quite reasonably, he didn’t want to be held responsible for the thing staying up. But £19.99 is a lot for a few sticks of wood, isn’t it?

Fortunately these basket stands are pretty durable – well they have to be, don’t they – and so they pop up all the time at car boot sales and jumbles. Ours was £5, which seems to be the going rate.

moses basket stand

So there’s my Moses basket: at £20 including the stand, it was a fraction of the prices charged at Mothercare and Kiddicare. Result!

This post was featured in the 337th Festival of Frugality, the Thrifty Families Carnival and was an Editor’s Pick for the Carnival of Financial Simplicity.

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16 Responses to “Thrifty Baby: The £20 Moses Basket

Rebeeca Low says:

I agree im 6 weeks away from my second child my first being 14! Big gap! And got hand me downs last time or went without, I to thought buying new things would be fun until i got the ”oh my god” face moses baskets £80, cotbeds £600, bedding £110! I to love a bargain and my friends call me the ebay queen. I went into a baby shop choose the pushchair i wanted a whopping £850 Icandy. Then watched ebay a few weeks and got the whole package as in the shop used but in mint condition £300 less than half the price. Everything i have brought is from ebay.
cotbed RRP £700 my bargain hunt price = £50
vintage dark oak wardrobe & chest of drawers with changer on top rrp over £500 my bargain hunt price = £80 for both.
Hugs & Kisses from babiesRus the whole nursery range, beddingwith x2 bumpers,curtains,changing mat,carpet mat,lightshade,bath,bath box, cot mobile, 2 fleece blankets, mosses basket with stand, bouncer all hugs & kisses range these few bits on there website was rrp of over a whooping £400 my bargain hunt price = £110
all the clothing i have brought are mamas & papers, all top names that for an outfit range from £35 to £85 (baby dior) I’ve not paid more than £6 included postage.

angle care monitor rrp £99 my bargain hunt price £45

electric breast pump rrp ££90 my bargain hunt price £22

The most expensive thing i have brought new is the carpet which at £160 including fitting & underlay and its so lovely and soft i think was a good price anyway.

Ive saved £100s & £100s and the photos i took of the nursery and put on my facebook people have commented i must be loaded as it looks so expensive and all the bits i have when in fact i’ve got everything for under the rrp of the pushchaire had i brought it new!

So defo shop around people £5 for a mosses basket stand you can’t go wrong xxx

May 16, 2012 at 6:11 am

thriftwood says:

Well done! You can spend thousands on kitting out your new baby … or not! Changing stations, baby baths, all singing and dancing rocking chairs! I used a mat on the floor, the kitchen sink and my knee … have a lovely week,

Claire xxx

May 16, 2012 at 8:18 am

thriftwood says:

PS: He’s absolutely gorgeous! xxx

May 16, 2012 at 8:19 am

June says:

What a gorgeous little boy! I have a grandson the same age and my daughterss and I went down the same route with regard to cost/neccessity. We got ours second hand but I have noticed them on freecycle but the most important point is to buy a new mattress which we did. They are easy to customise with your own colours using whatever you have or buying vintage/used sheeting.After baby has out grown it, it makes a good laundry basket!
I love your blog, keep up the good work.
June (mummyunders)

May 16, 2012 at 8:35 am

Niftynorah says:

Truly that is one beautiful baby. I expect the OMG face is because he is th
inking how clever his mummy is.

May 16, 2012 at 11:34 am

Eleanor says:

Am looking forward to these posts my thrifty friend!

May 16, 2012 at 11:45 am

Joanna says:

I am expecting my first baby at the end of June. I have made it my mission not to spend a fortune, even so I still think it mounts up to a fair few £’s!
I’ve borrowed my sisters car seat/pram system, cot from ebay, second hand moses basket with stand for £15. The new mattresses are probably the most expensive thing so far with the cot one at £175 although it was reduced to half price and a gift from my parents so a bargain for me really.
The silly thing is now I have all the big stuff I’m dithering over silly things like a top and tail bowl. There are only a couple of pounds but surely it’s only going to be used a few times?
I shall look forward to reading more of your thrifty baby posts, and hopefully picking up a few tips!

May 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Pam M. says:

Oh your child is so cute! Those cheeks are so adorable. I wonder how it feels like to be a mom. Is it tedious yet fun? That’s what they always say.

Thanks for sharing!


May 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Jen says:

My baby is 24 now & I have to say I find all this baby stuff fascinating! My 3 children were brought up on a very strict budget & a lot of things mentioned we did without. No Moses basket for instance – i had a carrycot which went in the cot upstairs while they were tiny & on a sturdy coffee table downstairs. I had a beautiful Silver Cross pram courtesy of parents which would’ve done for more than my 3 babies. I also used terry nappies, made bedding & a lot of clothes & swapped things with friends.

May 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Miss Thrifty says:

I love those Silver Cross prams. Sadly, I don’t think we’d get one through the front door! Not to mention where we’d keep it. I haven’t seen that many carrycots around though – it’s interesting how times/trends change, isn’t it?

May 17, 2012 at 7:22 am

Miss Thrifty says:

@Rebecca Just six weeks? Good luck! I hope the time doesn’t pass too slowly… I love all your baby bargains. Thanks so much for sending me the photos – the nursery looks amazing, and I think you have a very lucky (and very thrifty) baby!

@thriftwood My knee’s on the tremulous side (and I have a very wriggly baby) but, like you, I much prefer a mat on the floor to one of those all singing, all dancing changing stations. Even though Thrifty Baby can’t roll over yet, he is very very close and I think he would twist and wriggle his way off a changing table in no time at all. I do love rocking chairs though (stares wistfully).

@June Thanks June! I didn’t spot any on Freecycle. Sadly, I think the freecyclers around here are too darned good at making do and mend. Lots of rubble offered, but not much else at the mo it seems. As for mattresses: necessary, yes, but SO expensive! And why? I think that when the baby industry knows it has us over a barrel, it really goes for it. (Grrr.)

@NiftyNorah Alternatively, it’s “OMG, not another frickin’ photo”.

@Eleanor Oh, I have plenty in store…

@Joanna No, don’t worry – you really don’t need a top and tail bowl. A lovely reader called Moira suggested using empty marg cartons – they work just as well. That mattress price is on the ouchy side though!

@Pam Thanks Pam! It’s tedious at 3 am, but fun the rest of the time. 🙂

May 17, 2012 at 7:22 am

JJ says:

I have to hold my hands up and say it was me who asked ( ok, maybe bugged 🙂 Miss Thrifty, on Twitter for more Thrifty baby posts, and the Moses Basket post. I nearly had heart failure when I went baby shopping with a friend and saw the price of baby things. I mean, moses baskets are made of straw, how can they cost £90 without a stand. I look forward to the baby posts, and hopefully they will keep me out of overpriced baby shops for baby jj.

May 18, 2012 at 1:26 am

Miss Thrifty says:

Well, thank you very much for asking! I enjoyed writing this post, and have more in the pipeline… And btw, CONGRATULATIONS! x

May 18, 2012 at 8:39 am

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