So what are your options?
Ebay is your friend. Is there something you' have been recommended and you are happy to buy second hand? Then visit this website. One tip for shoppers is to always check postage costs or if something can be delivered by a post or courier (especially with large items). Otherwise it's a great way to get a good quality cot or piece of nursery furniture or anything else at a discounted price.
Another option is Gumtree. The only flaw with this option is you could travel quite far to find the goods aren't quite what they seem. So I would suggest you stay fairly local.
Don't want to spend the money? then try Freecycle. I managed to get a moses basket and stand for the little one.
There are a fair few charity shops in the Lambeth area and I have to say none of them are that amazing for baby and kids items but here is a list of ones to visit:
Barnardos: 414 Brixton Road, Brixton, SW9 7AY
They use to have baskets with kids clothes which you could rummage through but seem to have stuck everything on a rail. Good for clothes but not much else.
Cancer Research UK: 65 Streatham High Rd, SW16 1PH
British Heart Foundation: 75 Streatham High Rd, SW16 1PH
Good for clothes and toys.
Give a Little: 71 Streatham Hill, London SW2 4TX
Has an organised children section with lots of baby and kids items. However it's in the basement which is no good for mums with buggies!
Save The Children: 36 Clapham High Street, Clapham, SW4 7UR
Some good clothes and toys but often a little pricey.
Age Concern: 58 Clapham High Street, SW4 7ULA small selection of clothes and toys.
West Norwood & Tulse Hill
RSPCA: 380 Norwood Road, Norwood, SE27 9AA
A small corner of clothes and toys.
Geranium Charity Shop for the Blind (West Norwood): 356 Norwood Road, Norwood, SE27 9AA
Toys and baby clothes in a basket - a bit hit and miss! Good prices!
Geranium Charity Shop for the Blind (Tulse Hill): 178b Norwood Rd, SE27 9AU
Toys, books and baby clothes in a basket - a bit hit and miss! Good prices!
Emmaus: 9 Knight's Hill, West Norwood SE27 0HS
Several shops all around the same location. One part of the shop does bits of furniture - some good buys here!
Asides from these I would recommend checking out the FARA children charity shops. The nearest ones are at the following addresses:
Fara Kids: Balham, 15 Hildreth Street, SW12 9RQ
Another alternative is to visit the Brixton Flea market on the first Saturday of the month. Some of the stall holders do sell kids items.
The Brockwell Lido car boot sale is also a recommend destination when it restarts in the summer. Plenty of bargains here!
And finally there are lots of nearly new sales in the area. The National Childcare Trust (NCT) are good at running them; check out Lambeth's local groups Riverside, Brixton, Dulwich and Streatham and Clapham
You will not want to buy everything second hand nor should you. Babies mattresses should always be new.
Asides from that, many other items can be found as good as new. Save your money for great days away with the little ones or for their university fees! Happy shopping!