I started writing a post about all the things I've learned since becoming a mother, but soon realized part of being a mother is being busy! I did not have time to write all that I wanted so I decided to just give a few tips on when purchasing items, that I have come to realize over the past 2+ years (from pregnancy until now).
1. If you can, get it second hand. It will save you a bundle!
2. If you can't get it second hand, use a coupon! We saved 20% on our brand new dresser and crib just by using the Babies 'R' Us 20% off coupon they often have. These coupons come by mail, at the store via hand outs with a purchase you make, or e-mail.
3. Use your gift cards and gift money wisely. I was slightly foolish and used a lot of the gift cards towards a breast pump. In hindsight, I think I didn't necessarily NEED to get a breast pump seeing as though I was solely breastfeeding, but it did come in handy when I felt engorged, especially since the hand held crappy one they give you at the hospital one broke on me after just a few months. If you do get a breast pump, I would suggest buying an electric over an unreliable hand held because hand helds are expensive to begin with, usually starting at around $50. Where a good electric breast pump, that will last, can be purchased for $100-200. Its a good investment if you are planning to have more than one child.
4. If you don't have the room in your home, avoid purchasing things that are non collapsible. Luckily in our apartment we have a huge storage closet, but things like the exersaucer and baby swing are not very collapsible. Play gyms, jumperoos, and pack and plays are collapsible and are easily stored.
5. Save money to invest where you need later. For example, baby gates are something I wished I had saved for earlier, because those items are not cheap, especially for good tall ones. You really don't want to have a flimsy gate near stairs. Another example, which most people don't think of is that you WILL need a car seat after your baby grows out of the travel system, so that is another rather expensive item that you will not want to skimp on and NOT get second hand. Once a car seat has been in an accident or is over 10 years old, which is way too old to me to begin with, the car seat is considered no good anymore!
Hope these tips helped a little. Perhaps I'll get around to doing a what to register for/not to list in the near future. Until then! =)