When my parents came to see us on Christmas, they brought us a crib, which is now assembled in my office, awaiting my ouster to the guest room and the arrival of our little one in the spring. My parents paid $30 for the crib (almost everything I know about being frugal was learned from my parents) at a thrift store last week. They saw it outside the store just as it has been donated, and inquired about a price. The manager said that they rarely accept crib donations, but that this one was in such good shape that he decided to take it. He said it would cost $30.
I had been talking to my mother about my perusals of cribs on Craig’s List. I knew that I didn’t want to buy new (I had wandered around Babies R Us with a friend last summer and the price tags were out of control), but I was nervous about buying used. All you have to do is Google crib safety and you’ll find 375,000 results – many of which will make an parent-to-be cringe. I had seen some good cribs on Craig’s List for under $200, but I hadn’t seen anything that seemed like an amazing bargain, and since we weren’t in a huge hurry, I hadn’t bought anything yet. I’m glad I didn’t.
The crib my parents bought is solid ash, with beautiful solid head and foot boards. It included a mattress, mattress pad, and sheet – all of which look brand new. The crib itself is in great shape. But since it was a used crib, and since my mother knew that I would be concerned by the 375,000 articles online about crib safety, she called the manufacturer to get more details.
She was told that this crib had never been recalled, but that it no longer met safety code because the corner posts were more than 1/16 of an inch taller than the head and foot boards. (they were about 1/4 inch higher). So my father took the crib apart and sawed the top 1/4 off each corner post. Then he sanded down the edges until you’d never know that he had worked on them at all. If they hadn’t told me this story, I would have assumed that the crib came with corner posts that were even with the head and foot boards.
So now we have a crib that meets code, is very solid (we put the whole thing together earlier in the week, checking each bolt and spring as we went), and is a beautiful piece of furniture. For $30, plus the time my parents spent tracking down the code issues fixing the corner posts.
I’m ever so grateful to my parents for -as always – leading by example in how to stretch a dollar and for getting us set up with such a beautiful crib. I’m glad that we won’t be spending $400 to buy a new crib, and I’m glad that I can be completely confident that our crib is safe and secure while at the same time fitting into our frugal lifestyle.