I totally get it. Finances are tough here too. Without my salary we are really feeling the hit, and these baby things ADD UP, my goodness!!! I'm trying to do 1 big thing each month and the smaller things as I see them on sale, so I'm not "so" overwhelmed. I was nervous to start buying as well.
Anything I see that I want in a store, I write down the name, model and make and go home first and see if I can find it online cheaper. There have been several things that I have found cheaper online vs the store (ie: a cradle I fell in love with at BBB was 50 bucks cheaper online, though I didn't buy that yet) I'm finding it pays to research before purchasing.
Contests: If you google online sweepstakes or online contests, you will find TONS of links that will direct you to various contests for baby things. This is what I do and sometimes I spend hours entering sweepstakes. I enter evreything not just baby things, because if you win something, you can always sell it and there is some money for baby stuff
The coupons help alot too and when you sign up, they'll send you emails notifying you of sales.
A few weeks ago, StrollerTraffic.com was giving away a SICK amount of baby things, the Bugaboo(which I really, REALLY want), car seat, about 5K worth, but unfortunately I didn't win that one, but maybe they'll run another one soon
Target has lots of good sales too and if you sign up for a Red Card (its not a credit card, just a card that's linked to your debit) when you pay, you automatically save 5% every time. It all adds up.
If you order anything online, always google "Promo Code for _____" You will be surprised how much %
you can save adding that code at checkout. Old Navy often has them, Gap, etc.
I plan on looking at Craigs List too, for gently used things.
I had a friend look over my mock registry and she was able to give me alot of tips on things we could probably "pass" on.
I have heard mixed reviews about the Mamaroo, so hopefully the kid will dig it ;0)
One last thing, I'm not a member of the Bump (I don't post there) but I go and read some of the boards and alot of times, someone will shout out freebies or sales, it helps!
If I think of anything else, I will post!