Have you been shopping for children’s toys recently? Out are the days of a $5 tin of tinker toys that could keep a child entertained for days on end. In are high-tech gadgets costing hundreds of dollars apiece. With Christmas coming up, fitting several toys into your budget can be a struggle, especially if you have children who are inundated with television advertisements! To keep your Christmas budget under control, follow these tips when shopping for toys:
Host a toy exchange.
Chances are, if you have children, you know the parents of their friends. You also stand a better than average chance of having friends and family with children. Toy exchanges are all the rage right now. Invite moms and dads to your home and ask them to bring along any toys their children have outgrown or are bored with. Put out some snack foods, play games and exchange toys. By the time the party is over, you’ll have a brand new set of toys; for free!
Shop with coupons.
There are tons of great coupon sites on the web. If you know the gifts you want to purchase, search coupon sites and see if there are any special offers for money off your purchase. With Christmas coming, many toy stores are sending out coupon books in the mail. Don’t throw them away! Flip through them and see if there are any coupons you can use. You can often save $5 or $10 which can add up if you are buying gifts for several children.
Shop at garage sales.
Get up early on Saturday or Sunday and head out to some local garage sales. Toys are one of the most popular items at garage sales and can often be had for a couple bucks. As long as the toys are safe and in good condition, your child won’t know the difference.
Utilize Craigslist and eBay.
Both sites are popular among bargain shoppers. Many people will post a toy for sale or auction rather than returning it to the store. Take advantage of these listings! Please do follow this tip: decide what you want to spend and enter that number as your maximum bid. Don’t get caught up in the excitement of a bidding war. Remember, you’re trying to save money, not blow it.
Put together a craft box.
Young children can make a toy out of virtually anything. Buy them one or two special toys and use the rest of your money to create a craft box. Fill a box full or papers, glue, beads, glitter, markers, safety scissors and other embellishments. Allow your children to add to the box throughout the year. Any time you hear the words ‘I’m bored’ simply pull out the box and let them get creative.
Photo credits: Daytona Pepsi 400 at the Lego Store in Downtown Disney by sylvar/flickr
Children’s toys are expensive and you can easily blow through your entire Christmas budget buying just a few high-tech toys. Make a list, stick to it and follow these five tips. You’ll be sure to spend less money than you thought possible.
Where do you find the best deals on toys for your kids? Mary Blanchard provides tips and advice on the best deals on the web. She recommends the Coupon Croc of the UK for the best deals on your everyday purchases, including that must-have gadget for junior.