Look around your home for any underused furniture items that may be able to serve a purpose in the nursery. Dressers and bookshelves can make excellent multi-purpose changing tables and a comfy armchair can stand in for a glider or rocker.
If you already have one or more children, take stock of what you used in their nurseries that may still be laying around somewhere, and move it into the new nursery. You may think the new baby needs all new things, but sometimes a coat of paint or new fabric is all it takes to freshen up older items.
Shop End-of-Season Sales 3
Every time I go into a big box store, baby store or department store, I meticulously check the clearance sections, which are chock full of last season's leftover wares. And of course, many stores have huge end-of-season sales with deep discounts to offload all those goods. This year, I got a $30 crib skirt for $7!
Join Buy/Sell/Trade Groups 5
Since I became a mom, I've been awakened to the world of Buy/Sell/Trade or online yard sale pages on Facebook. These are pages that are local to your geographic area, where people go to sell and trade items they no longer need or want, without having to go through the hassle of setting up a yard sale. You'll find a lot of the same types of stuff that you would offline, but will have access to hundreds or even thousands of sellers all in one place.
Search Craigslist 6
When I was about nine weeks pregnant with my first child I found the crib of my dreams on Craigslist, listed for $60. I hesitated, because it was still so early in my pregnancy, but ultimately couldn't pass up the deal. I talked the seller down to $50 because we would have to touch up some chipped paint. When my husband went to pick up the crib, the seller threw in a swing and a bouncer--all for $50. And we are planning to use all three items for our second baby in a couple of months. Enough said!
Check Consignment Sales/Shops 7
You can often find baby furniture and gear at consignment and thrift shops for 40 to 60 percent off of retail--sometimes more. There are even a number of dedicated baby and kid consignnment shops popping up, most of which have high quality standards, while still offering great discounts on lightly used items. You may also be able to find mass consignment events where items are collected from hundreds of sellers and sold at one time, in one place, such as a conference center. Just search "kids' consignment" online.
Ditch Sets 8
You know those nursery furniture sets that come with matching crib, changing table, glider and dresser? You don't actually need to spring for those. You can buy just the pieces you love and think you'll use frequently, and save yourself hundreds if not thousands of dollars. And honestly, I think nurseries are much more fun when everything isn't exactly the same.
Forget Themes 9
Just like you don't actually need a giant, expensive nursery furniture set, you also don't need to pick one of the canned themed nursery bedding sets that they sell at baby stores. Lose the characters and branded purchases, and ditch bedding sets altogether--especially since blankets, pillows and bumpers are not recommended for infants due to an increased SIDS risk--and instead, go with a color scheme or more general theme and mix and match items from different stores. Believe me, you do not need that fluffy diaper holder!
Accept Hand-Me-Downs 11
Trust me when I say that your baby is not too good for hand-me-downs. We may all start off with grand notions that our baby deserves all her own things, but I can tell you from experience that she won't care a lick where her bassinet came from. If you have friends and family willing to loan or pass down nursery items that babies only use for a short time anyway, remember that these will not be permanent fixtures in your child's room and accept them. Things like bassinets, gliders and changing tables are typically used for no more than two years. Save your money, for purchases that will live on a little longer like area rugs, curtains and clothing storage.