When a new baby is on the way, saving money becomes more important than ever and shopping can feel like a struggle, but it doesn't need to be that way. It's completely possible to create a hip, modern nursery on the cheap while keeping your finances and peace of mind in tact. Here are a few places to start looking.
Modern & Contemporary Baby Stores
These stores aren't necessarily targeted towards budget shoppers, but they have some good finds for affordable prices.
They carry pricier high-end brands as well as affordable furnishings, like their in-house lines of mini cribs and basic storage caddies. Shown left is the Easy Fold Step-Stool, a collapsible design that's just $15 and works well for bathtime.
G.U.S. Great Useful Stuff
This organization store has a well-priced line of baby goods, like this Neat Nursery Everything Tote for $10. Their fabric closet organizers and undercrib storage boxes are also worth checking out if you're looking for inexpensive storage solutions.
This childcare center resource catalog isn't always cheap, but their items are safe, consistently well made, and you can find quality furniture for less than you might pay elsewhere. The Community Crib, for instance, has a hardwood frame and sells for $315.
Vintage & Thrift Stores
Second-hand stores are rich resources for nursery furniture and accessories, but exercise caution when buying an older crib, since it may not meet modern safety standards.
This thrift store is a staple among bargain shoppers, but it's even better since they introduced online shopping. You can search for furniture, lighting, artwork, and toys without having to sift through dusty aisles of stuff.
Always a good source for one-of-a-kind finds, flea markets are especially good places to shop for lighting, artwork, and storage furniture. If you're lucky, you might even find a classic Thonet rocker for a steal. For a national directory, click here.
Local Thrift Shops
Beyond Goodwill, there are tons of local thrift shops that stock cribs, furniture, and other things you can use to outfit a nursery. For a short list of great thrift shops from Coast to Coast, see this post.
Big Box and Online Sources
Although they can be impersonal and overwhelming, big box stores are skilled at producing mass quantities that can sell for lower prices, and they're a good source when you need something fast and cheap.
In the past few years, Target has made a name for itself as a premier affordable retailer of hip baby items. They carry modern budget brands, including DwellStudio, Liberty of London, and Skip Hop. This is the DwellStudio Space Baby bedding collection, starting at $10.
Their kids section is a good resource for nursery furniture under $500, and you can frequently find inexpensive knock-offs of modern pieces, like this Vinnie Cradle Chair, a cheaper version of the Eames rocker, for $137.
In their baby store, you can find a huge selection of name-brand products that are sometimes cheaper than what you'd pay in store, and sometimes aren't. This is the Stork Craft Lauren Fixed Side Crib for $143.
You could easily outfit a whole nursery for under $1,000 at IKEA, but it's best used in small doses, mixed with vintage pieces and a few higher-end furnishings. Their cribs, storage, and high chairs are very popular — this modular
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• Thrifty and DIY Shopping Tips
Top Photo: Vinnie White Cradle Chair from Overstock.com, $151