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Savvy mums save mo at Facebook swap Savvy mums save money ney ney shops ps ps.

Byline: Mieka Smiles Reporter mieka.smiles@trinitymirror.com

HAVING a baby is an exciting time, no doubt about that.

But many will have you believe it is also a very expensive time.

Or is it? There's a generous trend whereby mums who've had their use from their baby necessities are passing them on to moneywise new mums - for free on Facebook.

Strapped-for-cash mums also feel comfortable to ask for products on online parenting forums - only to be inundated with offers of help by way of pre-loved baby items.

More cash savvy than cash strapped, Helen Costello, 39, lives in Linthorpe with husband Gareth Lightfoot, also 39, a court reporter, and their children James, three and a half, and Layla, four months.

She is one of those to have benefited from the Facebook generosity.

Helen said: "I have tapped into the trend since Layla was born and through two Facebook forums in particular.

"I have had quite a lot of free stuff - in particular to help with breastfeeding such as lanolin creams and breast pads."

Helen estimates she has around PS150 "free" things via the forums but has also saved money by buying second-hand things on Facebook groups.

She said: "I spent PS30 on a bag of clothes and when I totted it up it was all worth about PS200 - all good stuff from Next and Marks & Spencer.

Helen, who is currently on maternity leave from her part time role at Tesco, added: "I think it's absolutely brilliant and wish it had have been around when James was born."

She added "We have saved a lot of money and I think we have done quite well."

Fellow money wise speech and language therapist Kate Reader, 30, from Nunthorpe, is one of the mums who is giving things away via online parenting forums after using them for son Will, two.

Kate, who lives with husband, Simon, 28, a teacher, now gladly offers her used baby items on.

She said: "When I was first pregnant we totalled up the cost of everything we thought we would need for a newborn and it came to around PS3,000.

"This was a lot to find for us, but in the end we spent nowhere near as much. When they found out I was expecting, friends and acquaintances started turning up with bags of stuff out of the blue.

"I joked that my maternity wardrobe was better than my pre-pregnancy wardrobe, especially as a lot of what was passed on was from far more exclusive labels than I could afford.

"One family handed on a stroller which has been a godsend, another provided a crib, another a moses basket, another a breastfeeding pillow, another a sling...

"All in all, we ended up spending about PS300 and most of that on things we wanted rather than needed.

"As a result, I'm always happy to try and 'pay forward' the favours we received and frequently offer to loan out or hand on equipment for free to anyone who can use it."

There does seem to be one rule though - to return the favour by passing the things on to other new mums rather than selling them for profit.

Kate said: "I love the community spirit these sort of favours invoke and so always ask that whatever I hand on is in turn handed on for free."

CAPTION(S):

| Kate Reader with her son Will, above, and fellow Facebook swapper Helen |Costello with her children, James and Layla, left, who have both saved money after turning to online forums to source baby supplies
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 20, 2014
Words:594
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