Britain’s most frugal mum has vowed not to buy anything new for her or her children – for a whole YEAR.
Thrifty Katie Musgrave, 32, made the pledge after becoming sick of the amount of barely-used equipment, clothing and toys that were being stored in her home.
She has now banned herself from purchasing anything new for herself or two kids Eliza, three, and Ariadne, one, for the next 12 months – apart from food and nappies.
Instead she will look to source all items in either local charity shops or via a second hand selling shop she has set up for new mums online.
Katie, a GP registrar from Loddiswell, Devon, said she felt compelled to act after becoming shocked at how expensive it was raising small children.
She said: “When you have kids you go from a normal home to having a loft and garage full of stuff that will have been used once or twice and then outgrown.
“I have been shocked at how expensive it is raising small children. The cost of clothes, toys and equipment can be astronomical.
“And as my children get through clothes really quickly, I have found it very difficult to find ways to sell our good quality baby and children’s items.
“Realising that my loft was filling up with valuable, but lightly worn children’s items, I decided I wanted to find a better solution.”
Katie launched her web project called One Baby Owner as a place for parents to sell nearly-new items that their young ones have outgrown.
She said the idea was to launch an easy alternative to mainstream selling sites so parents could source or sell items easily.
She added: “I didn’t necessarily want to buy all my children’s clothes new, but it was difficult to find the time to search through charity shops.
“What I wanted was a good quality website, where I could search for items by size, sex, category and postal option (like you do when using a department store website).
“So, for example, I could search for a coat for my three-year-old from all over the UK. When I found one I liked, I could contact the seller and another mum would post me their child’s gently used coat.”Katie said that other parents were keen to join her in her non-buying challenge.
She said: “We’ve only just started, but to be honest it’s been reasonably manageable.
“We have quite a few local charity shops where I can get bits and bobs. We’re still doing our food shop and the children are at an age where they don’t really mind about Christmas presents too much.
“A few people have been in touch via Facebook who are keen to try it themselves.
“Especially when you have young children who go through so much stuff in the space of three to six months.”
And the selling site is looking equally positive for Katie, who also hoped to spend more time with her children by running the business from home full time in the future.
She added: “It’s early days but we’ve had some really positive responses.
“We’ve even been collecting items on schools’ behalf. A lot of teachers have been very enthusiastic.
“Families today are very short on disposable income (especially at the time when a mum might be on maternity leave, and the few years afterwards when parents are paying for nursery fees).
“This is the time when children are growing fastest, and it is hardest to keep up with their need for clothes, toys and equipment.
“It is my dream that I might be able to encourage other parents to cut down on wasteful materialism when bringing up their children, and that my website might provide a helpful solution to this problem.”